Holy fuck. Holy fuck that's a lot of money. Holy fuck Microsoft just bought the #1 player in code repository and open source sharing. What the fuck?
2 weeks agoborisof007 HR Manager, Engineering
3 weeks agopapajohn56 Dulator
So when Pilot Month was announced the only series I had heard of was Achievement Haunter. Everything else was brand new. I think the advertising for Pilot Month itself was well handled. Before seeing any of the shows, I was most excited for Achievement Haunter and Murder Room. But the promotion definitely got me hyped for all without giving too much away. As a fan, I think all 5 series could be given more time to develop a voice and audience. I don't think there are any stinkers out there. But I'd still like to give a critical review/thoughts on each series.
<<Spoilers for all shows from here on down.>>
Branded. Pilot: 4/5 stars; Potential: 4/5 stars.
I went from not knowing what this was to being pleasantly surprised. The Joel Heyman thumbnail was a decent misdirection, but after enjoying the pilot as much as I did, I'm sad he was basically a cameo. I think this is one of RT's best acted shows ever. Casting the show mostly from outside the company really shines a light on how much professional actors can bring a project. I don't mean this as an insult to RT employees, but there are very few professional actors in house and most of their content is personality or improv driven. Aside from the cameos and the obvious influence on the premise of the show, this series is something I could see being aired on a major network. The writing is solid, the characters are well thought out and developed on camera, and the humor has a broad appeal. I honestly think this might the most fully realized series out of the 5 pilots shown.
However, I don't know if RT First is the best platform this type of show. I'd love to be proven wrong, but I think this show is too broad to drive a consistent audience on such a niche platform. The closest comparison I can think of to Branded is CrunchTime. Granted CrunchTime had a much more unique premise, but the bones of the shows are very similar. Comedy show staffed by non-RT regulars with a premise that skewed toward demographics that the RT community has in high numbers. I loved CrunchTime and was disappointed when it didn't come back for another season. Sadly, I think Branded will suffer a similar fate, despite it's obvious quality.
Prediction: Picked up for 1 season, or potentially shopped to another distribution platform.
GORQ's Quest. Pilot: 2.5/5 stars; Potential: 3.5/5 stars
I love Todd Womack as GORQ and Chad James as host. I think they deserve to be more central RT personalities. But overall, I didn't really feel strongly about this show. The sassy robot is fun. The game show aspect seems unnecessary and scattershot. The questions/topics were hit or miss.
I think this show wants to be a live in person version of the Jackbox games. Which is a solid premise. I think the show might be improved by moving a little quicker between segments and loosen up on the gameshowy aspects. Like move to a more Whose Line Is It Anyway format. But that might overlap too much with On the Spot. I don't really know if this shows has a quick fix. I think it's going to be loved by some, hated by others, and most will be indifferent.
Prediction: Might get an extended pilot run, but not picked up long term.
Achievement Haunter. Pilot: 3.5/5 stars Potential: 4/5 stars
I was very excited about this after hearing about it. And while the pilot was entertaining, I don't think it quite lived up to the hype. I loved seeing AH personalities outside of games, but I think my biggest issue was the balance between pre-scripted bits and live interaction was off. I loved the little snipets in the intro. My biggest issue, I think, was with the pacing or the editing. The live stuff seemed to jump between serious/scary and funny/prank-y too quickly or too much. It felt inconsistent and never let me get comfortable with the show. I wanted to like this more and I think it has potential, but something was just off.
Prediction: Picked up for more episodes, but probably doesn't have more than a season or two long run. Great merch opportunities though.
Million Dollars, But Animated. Pilot: 3/5 stars Potential: 3/5 stars
I don't have a lot to say about this show. I simply think this should just be part of the regular MDB series. Maybe confine it to having episodes where all the scenarios are animated versus jumping back and forth between live action and animation within an episode. Animation opens up a bunch of scenarios that just can't be filmed live. So that's fun. But honestly, I think the viability of this show lies in its costs. Is animating a given scenario cheaper in dollar cost than live action? Is it more cost effective in terms of time, given that RT has a huge animation department? Does RT Animation have idle work hours outside of all their other projects? If those metrics are favorable, than yeah, make some more. If not, revert to live action.
Prediction: Not picked up as a standalone series, future MDB episodes may include animated segments.
The Murder Room. Pilot: 4.5/5 stars Potential: 5/5 stars
The promotion got me hyped. I wanted this. I was ready. I love escape rooms, whodunnits, puzzle games. I was so ready to go all in on this show. And for the most part I was right. But like grains of sand in shellfish or an itch you just can't reach, there were a couple of things that keep this from a perfect rating. So I'm going to list some nitpicks, but overall this show is great and I love it.
Nitpick #1 - I love Blaine, but I think he was definitely trying too hard to forcibly insert comedy. The premise and fanfare that was built around the show lends the show to be serious. And, while humor shouldn't be outlawed, the #jokes stuck out like a sore thumb and took away from the overall experience.
Nitpick #2 - This comes directly from my experience as a DM for tabletop RPGs, but it felt like the cast didn't know the rules of the game well enough. I understand you might not know what you should do in a situation, but you should know what you are able to do. As a DM, I hate putting hours of work into a session only to have a player sit down and ask me how do I attack, or not know what the character they built is capable of doing.
Nitpick #3 - I like not having RT "personalities" as the callers, but I think tapping some people with more improv experience would be beneficial. The callers, I believe, were all from the broadcast department and spoke as if reading lines to deliver facts versus how an actual individual on trial for their life would sound. I'm not sure the fanfare of the trial is strictly necessary but if you keep that, then having the suspects nonchalantly answer questions is a big disconnect.
Again, these are minor things that I think can, and will, be cleaned up if the show is given more time. Overall, I think it's awesome.
Prediction: Picked up, runs on a non-regular schedule a la Immersion or RT Life.
Overall, I think Pilot Month was a success. I don't think RT produced the next Red vs. Blue or RWBY, but all the shows were solid and I wouldn't be surprised if any of them got picked up for an extended run. Kudos to everyone who worked on these shows and the rest of RT for the promotion and distribution awesomeness!
3 weeks agoPaul-1122
Due to my growing interest in Red Vs. Blue (since late-2016), I've decided to play more Halo (through Reach & the Master Chief Collection) during my spare time at home & while I decided to switch to a Steel/Violet armor colour sheme for Halo 2, 3 & 4 (on the MCC) & a Cobalt/Cyan armor colour schele for Halo 2: Anniversary multiplayer, I'll still stick to my classic Red/Gold armor colour scheme for Halo 2, 3, ODST, Reach & 4 like I've done since I started to get more into Halo right around Grade 10 (2007 - 2008) back when I started High School, & of course for Halo 5, I'll stick to the Black/Purple colour scheme for that as well & for June, I'm gonna play through the 1st 3 Halo games for a week (Combat evolved on Monday night, 2 for Wednesday night & 3 for Friday night) & when I do, I'll use my original Halo campaign playlists & have a hydro monster (Melon Manic for #1, Tropical Thunder for #2 & Mean Green for #3) to get set-up for how I plan to make the most of my free time at home over the summer more exciting & to help out with what else I expect to do more of in the future in order to move ahead.
1 month agoericvespe
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away Star Wars fandom was united. It was generally accepted that A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and most of Return of the Jedi were good, the Ewok spin-off movies and the Holiday Special were bad and all was right in the world
Sure, Ewoks were always divisive, but a lot of the Return of the Jedi hate that has become commonly accepted didn't seem to pop up until around the time the Special Editions were released. As someone who was there I don't remember anybody talking shit about the movie on the whole. Ewoks, absolutely, but most people loved how the Vader/Luke/Emperor storyline played out, thought the Jabba sequence was rad as hell and the Redwoods speeder chase the most thrilling thing since the original trench run.
Then the Special Editions happened and that was a huge event. The movies were all #1 again at the box office, but all the early days CGI soured the experience a little and then became giant points of contention when George Lucas refused to let people own the actual versions they fell in love with to begin with.
But we all still mostly agreed on Star Wars. At least on all the important things anyway. Some of us spun off to the Extended Universe books, some of us stuck with the movies as our canon, but we all basked in the same loving glow of this series we all adored.
Then the dark days began. For me it was sitting in the Regal Metropolitan's biggest house after waiting in line for 2 weeks for The Phantom Menace. The opening crawl went by and the audience was going absolutely batshit. It was the first official, real-deal Star Wars anything in 16 years and it was finally here. Then the Neimoidians spoke. I'll always remember the line-reading. “Yes, of course. As you know our blockade is perfectly legal.” The emphasis was on all the wrong syllables and it sounded like a white guy playing a 1940s-era Asian stereotype.
There was a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and the whole temperature of the room changed like an invisible wet blanket smothered the audience's enthusiasm at the same time. That movie has high highs (Darth Maul, a cool lightsaber fight, the remarkably thrilling podrace sequence) and low lows (pretty much every line of dialogue stiltedly spoken, a convoluted, boring plot about trade embargoes and resource hording, and front to back bad acting from good actors), which left me in a daze when I exited the theater.
Episode 1 couldn't be bad. It's Star Wars and no official Star Wars Saga movie had been bad before, so it must be me. I rewatched it a half dozen times that summer and every successive screening made me angrier and angrier at the stuff that didn't work.
You may love the prequels, you may hate them or you may feel indifferent about them, but it's undeniable that they deeply fractured Star Wars fandom. I thought I had moved on from that franchise until The Clone Wars was able to retroactively improve the nonsense of the prequels. Suddenly Anakin was a multi-dimensional character and I actually bought him as a good guy worth saving. Suddenly the Clones had personality and were rich characters. Suddenly the Jedi weren't just boring dudes sitting in a circle debating about mundane bullshit. I still may not love the prequels, but The Clone Wars and, later, Rebels, helped me come to terms with them.
Then the Disney era came and for a brief time fandom was reunited again. Maybe not as permanently or purely as they were in the good ol' days, but that level of excitement between when Episode 7 was announced and it premiering was the closest I've felt to pure unity since the lead up to Episode 1.
Again, there were always minor squabbles and some cynicism, but on the whole the question of what this new Star Wars was going to be enraptured most of us. The guessing game and slow glimpses behind the scenes and wait for that first trailer... it all felt fun again.
There's a reason The Force Awakens broke box office records and had huge legs. It was a fantastically fun movie with one foot planted firmly in nostalgia with the legacy characters and a rehash of A New Hope's basic structure and one foot taking a giant step forward, introducing us to a whole new cast of lead characters that somehow felt perfectly Star Warsian.
Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8, Kylo Ren... they all felt like part of this universe without being direct repeats of what came before, thanks in large part to the smart decision to mix and match Star Wars character tropes. There isn't a Han Solo type. Finn and Poe have elements of the charming scoundrel, but Poe also has Luke's almost naive optimism. Rey has Luke's pure-hearted earnestness as well as a dash of Han's roughness and Leia's get-shit-done attitude, for example.
But even this very crowd-pleasing movie couldn't completely heal the fractured fanbase. The cracks started showing up again, this time with a heavily misogynistic flavor that puts a bad taste in my mouth. The same people who believed a young man intuitively strong with the Force but without any training whatsoever could use the Force to essentially dunk a basketball from outside the stadium said that it was unrealistic that a girl who had fought for her life since she was a child could swing a lightsaber.
That's not to say everybody who dislikes the new characters or how they're executed are misogynists or racists. I want to be clear about that because saying something that definitive undercuts the discussion at large and automatically paints anybody who disagrees with me in the most negative light possible. I would never assume that's where you're starting from if you dislike the new Disney-era saga films. However it is fair to say that if you are racist and/or misogynist odds are you hate these new movies.
Star Wars has always been progressive. The very first film is an allegory for Vietnam, which means the evil Empire is the American Military Industry, folks. They may dress like Nazis, but the Empire is a stand in for America and the evil Emperor was Nixon. Don't take my word for it, Lucas says it here.
But a lot of fans were happy to keep all that as subtext and weren't comfortable when that progressiveness was put on full display in the new era.
Yes, some prequel haters were dismissive of prequel apologists and that conversation was hardly ever cordial and very often heated, but there's a meanness to the fanbase now. Maybe, like the MAGA hat wearing bullies that have sprung up in the last two years, the mean Star Wars fan was always there and just afraid to go full bore until now, but it's happening.
That all came to a head with The Last Jedi's release. One more time, in case you missed it, I'm not saying that if you disliked any aspect of Episode 8 you are automatically lumped in with the worst of the worst. It's totally fair to not want to see Star Wars evolve past the icons that you love and that's what that film was about. Remember them, use that memory to inspire the next generation, but it's not their time anymore. We see that on the light side with grumpy old man Luke's storyline and you see that on the dark side with Kylo Ren finally evolving past just trying to imitate Vader.
That brings us to Solo. The reason I spent so so so much time outlining the history of Star Wars fandom is because I believe where you fit into the current Star Wars fandom will determine how you react to Solo.
I think those that loved the direction The Last Jedi and, to a degree, The Force Awakens were going in will feel like Solo is a step backwards. Their interest will be muted because it's not a story about pushing the overall lore forward. It's a nostalgia bath that wants you to relax in the warm waters of characters and iconography most of us grew up with.
There's no real attempt at gaining any deeper understanding of the characters you already know and love. They're so focused on just making them look and feel right that any deeper reason for this movie to exist within the established lore is thrown out the window.
For me that was frustrating. We'd get little glimpses going in that direction. In particular there's a conversation between Han and Lando where they're getting to know each other and talk a bit about their parents. The way Lando talks about his awesome mother piqued my interest. It was the first time I felt like they were exploring something about that character I didn't already know, but it's dropped as soon as it is brought up.
And that's fine. It's not what I want out of Star Wars at this point, but I'm sure it's what a lot of people do want. They just want a fun story told in an exciting way with the characters they loved. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not all that interesting to me.
But I'm the guy that never really got into the Extended Universe books either. I liked what I read just fine, but they just never felt like real Star Wars to me. They did for a whole lot of people, but I wasn't one of them, despite trying as hard as I could to be one.
Solo is made for those people. It really does feel like a movie adaptation of an EU book that never was and for some that will be music to their ears.
Whether you will think Solo is good, bad or mediocre will entirely depend on what you want out of Star Wars. My guess is that history will show it as an entertaining, but inconsequential addition to the overall lore, but only time will tell.
On a technical level it's a solid movie. There are a couple really thrilling action sequences, one involving a train heist and one being a rather creative envisioning of the Kessel Run. These sequences are unquestionably well-executed. Towards the end they finally go for the character complexity I was hoping for with a band of pirates and smugglers, but at that point it felt like too little too late to me.
The idea of doing a Han Solo on his pirate adventures story is pretty fun, but much like Rogue One I felt like they missed the target on integrating a famous cinematic genre into Star Wars. If they made Heat, but in Star Wars or even The French Connection, but in Star Wars, that would have been amazing, but we don't get nearly enough of the smuggler life or spend enough time in the gritty criminal underbelly of this universe. That stuff felt like a side note, kind of like how the Men On A Mission aspect of Rogue One was backgrounded pretty much until the final third and we never got to see those people actually work as a team until the big mission... when they're all separated anyway.
Everything you've heard about Donald Glover's Lando is spot-on. He's got the charisma and chops to make me buy that he's Lando. Alden Ehrenreich is trying his damndest to pull off young Harrison Ford's swagger and he succeeds on some levels, but the fact that Glover seems to do it so effortlessly really shows how much Alden's struggling to find that pencil line thin balance between capturing a character's essence and just giving us an imitation.
It made me wish this wasn't a story about Han Solo, to be honest. If Ehrenreich was playing a character in the Han Solo mold then I think he would have been freer to try different things and make it his own.
I have some issues with where things leave off at the end, particularly when it comes to Solo himself. I kinda feel like it undercuts who he is at the beginning of A New Hope, but I'm not too much of a stickler about that because there is still a question about stuff that could happen between the end of Solo and the beginning of A New Hope.
The score is pretty damn good, as to be expected. Some great themes return at the right moments and really help give those big scenes the Star Wars feel. John Powell does a fine job at keeping the non-John Williams cues feeling like Star Wars and not a pale imitation, which is a tall order.
Ron Howard is a guy who knows how to put a film together. He has decades of experience telling him what angles work best for what scene, how to manipulate the edit and to keep the pace going, but there's not much of a director's voice on display. He does a solid job, no doubt, but I didn't feel like there was anything special going on, which is kind of my issue with the entire movie to be honest. Maybe if he had been able to build this one from the ground up instead of pinch-hitting when things went bad between Lucasfilm and Chris Miller and Phil Lord things could have been different, but that's not what we got here.
At the press screening there was a bit of a technical difficulty. Right in the middle of the movie, just as the main heist was about to begin, the screen went dark, but the audio kept playing. This went on for about 60 seconds and then the projectionist stopped it and rewound the film. The problem was they rewound it almost a full reel, maybe 15 minutes.
As I rewatched those 15 minutes I found I was bored, which doesn't bode well for my next actual re-watch. If that had happened during The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi or literally any original trilogy movie I wouldn't have felt that way, but I did here and that might be the most blisteringly critical thing I could say about the movie.
It doesn't make you a bad person or a bad fan if all you want is to cuddle up to an old friend and bask in nostalgia for 2 hours and 15 minutes. If that's what you want then you'll get your money's worth here. If you want something a little deeper then you might find this journey into the Star Wars universe a little hollow.
1 month agoJoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi
Top 10 Avengers That Should DIE in Infinity War - Writer & Editor Notes
- #10 - Vision - I LOVE the MCU. Let's just get that out of the way. But honestly, I have this strong (and concerning) desire for this movie to be a gruesome blood bath. Like I would love if Thanos just walks up to Vision and effortlessly rips the Mind Stone out of his head ... all within the first 10 minutes. I may have a problem.
- #9 - Drax - Sincerely, I think this would be a good death. What more is there for Drax beyond Thanos' death? Perhaps Infinity War will set something up for him or of course something in Guardians V3.
- #8 - Star-Lord - I do miss chubby Chris Pratt and Parks and Rec in general - that doesn't justify his death. Please accept my sincerest apologies. It funny doh.
- #7 - Pepper Potts - Again! I think this would be a legit death! If Pepper dies, what does Tony have to live for? maybe it'll push Tony to finally "lay down on the wire"
- #6 - Loki - SOMEBODYSSSSSSS DEEEEEEEAAAAAAADDDDDDD!
- #5 - Hawkeye - Seriously, where is he? DON'T ANWSER ME UNTIL AFTER I SEE THE MOVIE ON FRIDAY NIGHT!*
- #4 - Phil Coulson - I legit miss old school Coulson. He is one of my favorite parts about Phase One. I guess in a sense he did really die in The Avengers because the character he is in Agents of SHIELD is so different. Also, just FYI, I have seen the first three seasons of AOS and have a love/hate relationship with it.
- #3 - Captain America - Okay, seriously, I meant every word of this entry. When I finally saw the finished project with the music, the footage and Nick's performance, I got emotional, like for REAL! I love Cap!
- #2 - Tony Stark - Get to the chase Marvel and just kill Tony and make him an AI assistant to the next Iron Person. Like the new JARVIS. We know it's coming.
- #1 - Iron Fist - Lol
- #11 - Nick Fury - Lolol
*Story Time: In 2012 I was insanely excited about The Avengers (like every good American) I bought tickets to the midnight screening and gathered a big group of friends. Unfortunately my best bud couldn't make it (his GF's birthday was the same day) He asked me to wait to see it with him and I DID NOT. Instead, I went into our dorm room when he wasn't around and I grabbed HIS Avengers masks for me and my friends to wear. #NOREGRETS. Flash forward to now. I live in Austin and he lives in Dallas. I told him to drive down to see it with me but he made me promise to wait to see it with him as payback. SO I WONT BE WATCHING IT TONIGHT AS SOON AS I COULD BE! I'll be waiting until Friday night like a chump. #SQUADGOALS
3 months agog1Features
MADHERO: Ok. Here we go again. Every now and then, the question arises: will we get a good video game movie? Tomb Raider already had 2 goarounds, and now they're giving it a go again. But there's only one problem. WHERE ARE THE POLYGONAL GIANT BOOBS?! WHAT THE HELL, WARNER BROS/MGM?! HOW CAN YOU BETRAY US LIKE THIS
LARRY: ThEy ArEn'T bIg EnOuGh!1!1!
STICKMAN: Without a pair of rocking triangle tee tahs, it's just not...a video game......ah....
MADHERO: Absolutely disgusted. I'll just have to wait for Rampage to get my true video game movie experience. I'm so mad I want to talk about something else, like I dunno, news.
STICKMAN: I hope that big flying wolf got better boobs, y'know?
UGghGHHGHGHhHGhghghHGHGHGHhghg WHY ARE THESE BEING MADE. Sorry, force of habit. Warner Bros. is chugchugchuging along with the Fantastic Beasts train of films (so much so that the god damn franchise has a logo now), and this past week saw the drop of the first official trailer for the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, that being The Crimes of Grindelwald. Based on the trailer, it looks the beasts themselves are taking a backseat to pursuing and defeating the evil Grindelwald, played by Johnny Depp, a figure who has caused an uproar with the fanbase after he was accused of being emotionally and sexually abusive. Maybe that’s why there’s only one god damn shot of him. Whoops. ;)
We also get our first look at Jude Law as Dumbledore. And….yup, it’s Jude Law. Playing…Dumbledore, I guess? I dunno, the lack of giant beard is throwing me off. Of course, the original four leads from the previous film are set to return, and it looks like the magic is certainly still in spades…well, the magic, not the “magic” so to speak. I personally wasn’t too struck by this trailer despite it showing a good chunk of stuff, most Potterheads probably saw Hogwarts.
MADHERO: Ok, so I think we're all pretty big Potter fans as it was all part of our childhoods, but the lack of excitement for this film just feels like its gonna reach subzero at this point.
LARRY: I mean, I'm not much of a Potterhead. I've seen all the films but haven't read any of the books in full. I do enjoy some of flicks tho
STICKMAN: I grew up with the books, the films and the games (Sadly), so yeah. I'm big into Pooter. Fantastic Beasts 1 was....pointless? And the sequel looks even moreso. Throw in how stupid The Cursed Child was, and I'm just done with the prolonging of this franchises financial viability.
LARRY: Yea, and Depp's controversy certainly isn't helping matters. The fanbase is unhappy, so the vibes just aren't good.
MADHERO: My lack of excitement isn't even necessarily due to Depp, though his appearance as such an important character is annoying. I think my lack of excitement comes mainly from how mediocre Fantastic Beasts was.
LARRY: I didn't even think Fantastic Beasts was that mediocre. I enjoyed myself in it even though it was pretty vapid overall. It was a fun little side quest of sorts but why make four more?
STICKMAN: The Depp controversy washed away with the appearance of Hogwarts. You just have to wave your hands at the camera, twinkle some pixie dust and say DUMMBLLEDOOREE and the hardcore Potter fans will start crying with joy.
MADHERO: It was nice seeing Hogwarts again, but I'm actually far more interested in them exploring Paris. Exploring America was one of the better things in Fantastic Beasts, and that circus looked interesting.
LARRY: Oh, AND the whole "sidestepping Dumbledore’s homosexuality" controversy as well. Just a lot of bullshit surrounding this film.
MADHERO: Ignoring Dumbledore's sexuality and his relationship with Grindelwald is missing such an open goal. That's one of the interesting aspects you can explore.
STICKMAN: Star Wars as a franchise rides so much on the nostalgia people have from seeing and hearing certain things. Harry Potter...SORRY, WIZARDING WORLD is becoming very much like that, and I'm not a fan.
MADHERO: All in all, we're peeved, and I hope its better than the first one. Then I can actually not dread there being 5 of these.
After a teaser trailer and a brief TV spot in the past few months, we've finally gotten a full length trailer for what's possibly going to be the film event of the year, providing Black Panther doesn't overshadow it...and that's Avengers: Infinity War. We don't really get a whole load of new details, but we do get to see the different teams of characters interacting/bantering a bit more. Most notably we have Star Lord dissing Iron Man's iron plan for...something happening in the movie that we don't yet know about, and Spider-Man dissing Doctor Strange's name as the end-credits sting.
Beyond that we get a lot of big scale action, a suggestion that Strange will be tortured/used by Thanos' team as an unintentional Avengers spy of sorts, some Hulkbuster activities, and proof that Mr Purple's big plan is to wipe out exactly half the universe, including half of the human population, as it was in the comic books. Mainly, it looks rad as hell, and if it was any other studio, having so many characters smushed into one epic sci-fi romp would be a concern, but it's fair to say Marvel have earned our trust for the time being. Don't let us dooooown, guysss.
MADHERO: *froths in the mouth* Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit
LARRY: Ughhhh this trailer was so gooooooood Easily their best, no question.
STICKMAN: This shit gon be crazy
MADHERO: Its a really well done trailer that I feel does a great job at selling not just the scale, but the character dynamic we've come for
STICKMAN: This was a very Spider-Man heavy trailer I must say, they're clearly happy to have that guy in the film.
LARRY: We get some subtle plot details, some hysterical character interactions, and FINALLY A SNEAK PEEK AT THANOS FLASHBACKS YESSSS. I am very pleased. All great moments.
MADHERO: Yeah, lot of Spidey is this trailer. Lot of Doctor Strange as well. Mainly I'm just a fan of Peter Quill dissing Tony's plan, or Steve putting up a fight against Thanos. This trailer is just filled with cool moments
STICKMAN: It's not an Avengers movie without SNAPPY DIALOGUE. CHARACTER INTERPLAY.
LARRY: SOME GOOD OL’ WHEDONISMS
MADHERO: That's the one thing that separates its from its contemporaries, you don't just come for the massive action: you come for the characters.
LARRY: You right Maddy boi, it’s all about their journeys. I’m very excited to see the Guardians play around with everyone as well. And this is the major culmination.
STICKMAN: That Captain America bit where Thanos is like "You fuckin serious, mate?" is pretty rad.
MADHERO: It definitely feels like the endgame, even though we're getting Avengers 4 next year.
STICKMAN: Erryone gon die.
BLACK PANTHER BECOMES HIGHEST GROSSING SUPERHERO MOVIE IN NORTH AMERICA. FIRST MOVIE TO STAY 5 WEEKS ON TOP OF BOX OFFICE SINCE AVATAR
O HEY, A MARVEL MOVIE THAT IS SUCCESSFUL! WHAT ELSE IS NEW! You may have noticed it, but the superhero movie is kinda doing really well. The movie has been number 1 at the domestic box office for 5 weeks now, becoming the first movie to do that since Avatar in 2009. Black Panther has some very strong legs, and it out grossing the Avengers domestically is now an inevitability which is something no one could've predicted. Its the 5th MCU movie to break the billion barrier, but the first solo debut film (if we don't count the Avengers), and has outgrossed any Spider-Man or Batman movie. Anyone that would've told you that 5 years ago would've called you a madman.
Now of course, Kevin Feige has used this moment to say that, duuuuuuuuuh, of course Black Panther is going to get a sequel. You could argue how much of a spoiler that is for him surviving Inifinity War, but that was always on the cards. Its success has also led Sony to start developing a Spider-Man spinoff movie on the character of Nightwatch, to be made by Spike Lee. Now I've never heard of Nightwatch despite being a big Spidey fan, but the fact BP's success is used to make more minority superheroes can only be a good thing after decades of white men. So good job, Black Panther.
STICKMAN: The Black Panther livves.
LARRY: If this beats Tomb Raider, it'll be the first time since Avatar a film has been at #1 for five straight weeks. Nuts. Not much to say about this other than this is great news and it deserves all da monies.
MADHERO: Its success has been amazing to see. It already felt like an event upon release, but you can really feel like its this big moment for movies
STICKMAN: I don't think it's the best MCU film, but I'm glad it's done so well and the ramifications, much like with Deadpool's success for R Rated movies, is already starting to show potential for more interesting productions in the future, good and bad. I think this and Wonder Woman have proven there's a market for more than just white dudes in the blockbuster market. Not that this needed proving, but it's been proven...so....here we go, folks.
MADHERO: Yeah. The Nightwatch thing already is a pretty obvious reaction to this huge moment.
LARRY: Psh, that’s dumb as hell. Like I'm all for the success of this film and more big blockbusters with black leads but don't use it as a ploy to grab some cash. Also, Spike Lee hasn't made a good/successful movie in years.
STICKMAN: It's Hollywood, Larry.
MADHERO: I am genuinely curious where its gonna end up when all is said and done. Could it outgross the Avengers? Could it make more than Infinity War. We'll find out.....in a couple months I guess
STICKMAN: I think Infinity War's gonna make more, but that's about as event a film as you can get these days.
LARRY: It probably will, but it will it be as consistent as BP gross-wise? We'll have to see.
So here's a whopper of news. Ava DuVernay, director of Wrinkle in Time, has officially been announced as the next female director to join the DCEU. Yeah. You heard me. The project? Adapting "The New Gods", a series by Jack Kirby in which two neighboring planets, New Genesis and Apokalips, are ruled by Highfather and Darkseid respectively. The series features characters such as Mister Miracle, Big Barda, and Steppenwolf, who we saw as the villain in Justice League. In fact, we also saw Batman v. Superman allude to Darkseid during Batman's dream sequence, so it's no surprise that New Gods is in the works.
What IS surprising is that it's being given to DuVernay, who notably passed on the opportunity to direct Black Panther, saying that her and Marvel simply didn't see eye to eye, so my question is....what makes DC different? While I respect DuVernay a lot as a director, the overwhelming consensus on Wrinkle in Time is that it's a little all over the place with its world and its plot, which is concerning seeing as New Gods is jam-packed with lore and characters. And, once again, this is yet ANOTHER DC project that they have announced before even finding a good footing after Justice League's disappointing reviews and box office returns. So...yeah, call me skeptical I suppose.
STICKMAN: I have no faith in DC.
MADHERO: So I haven't seen A Wrinkle in Time yet, and have heard the mixed reception, but I'm actually really interested in this. New Gods is Peak Jack Kirby, and trying to put that on film sounds like a insane endeavor for any filmmaker. It also takes place so far off anything DCEU related that they can ignore it and do its own thing
LARRY: Yeah, but Wrinkle in Time isn’t goooooooood
STICKMAN: My concern is if this is a hard thing to adapt...like a Wrinkle in Time, and she didn't pull that off with Disney? How is this going to work with DCEU.
LARRY: My thoughts exactly. She hasn’t proven she can tackle large world-building.
MADHERO: You could say the same about the likes of James Gunn and Ryan Coogler and they did fine. Again, haven't seen WiT, but I'm at the very least still interested in what they do with this. And I'd imagine that WB gives DuVernay the creative freedom to make this movie.
STICKMAN: I feel she may need to get her blockbuster chops going on less ambitious projects before tackling nightmares like this.
LARRY: Yeah I’m interested in seeing it, just not sure if it’s be smartest move right now.
MADHERO: I dunno, maybe my tone will change when I see Wrinkle and go "oh no why you do this"
LARRY: Yeah it just might. Coogler wasn’t perfect either but his thematic work was top notch.
STICKMAN: You could say that yeah, but they had a more confident backer in the form of Disney/Marvel. DCEU and Warner Bros don't have the same quality control. I'd like for this to be good, and mainly it's nice to see a director like this get a film gig that isn't based around specific representation, because the sooner we normalise the idea that minority filmmakers can make ANY film they want? The better.
MADHERO: I feel we put too much stake in the overall DCEU quality, but like all other 900 DCEU movies, we'll see if this even gets made. This is by far the most out there we've seen so far.
LARRY: It’s great to see DuVernay getting work. I’m just not sure she’s ready.
Believe it or not, but the live action Grinch movie will soon turn 18 years old, which just continues to show how fucking old I'm getting and how time is incredibly cruel. That movie, in retrospect, is not very good, and kind of terrifying when it becomes clear how Dr. Seuss' style really doesn't work in live action, and if that didn't do it, Mike Myers' Cat in the Hat sure did. Since then all Seuss movies have been animated, with Illumination now tackling its 2nd Dr. Seuss adaptation, after previously kinda missing the point of the Lorax as well as making certain subsets of the internet thirsty for the Onceler. It was a weird time.
We already had a brief tease during the Winter Olympics, and now we have a actual trailer, which mostly just shows the Grinch, voiced almost unrecognizably by Benedict Cumberbatch, being a bit of a dick while doing groceries, and being a grump to anyone but his good dog, Max. The whole thing is shown through a pretty ehh remix of the classic Grinch song, and it being Illumination, Pharrell Williams' Happy shows up, but I honestly didn't mind the trailer. The animation looks nice, Cumberbatch fits the character, and it all looks decidedly inoffensive. We already had a far worse movie out, so I don't this'll ruin Suess' legacy, but that's just me.
STICKMAN: Fuck me up the ass, this looks awful.
LARRY: Oh, agreed. A-fucking-greed.
MADHERO: ......what is it exactly that looks so awful? It just looks kinda inoffensive.
STICKMAN: Well the first 30 seconds being Minions in-jokes for starters, wasn't a great opening. None of the jokes were funny, the premise is missing the point of the source material completely, it looks so bland and like every other CGI animated movie in terms of pacing and style....it's just...ich.
MADHERO: What about it misses the point? The point is he's a jerk that learns eventually to be kind up until the end?
STICKMAN: He's supposed to be cold and twisted and isolated from the world and that's partly why he's so bitter. He goes to the fuckin supermarket in this one.
LARRY: Yeah it's fucking stupid. OH LOOK HOW GRINCHY HE IS, HE PUTS JARS BACK ON THE TOP SHELF.
MADHERO: Like, yeah, The Lorax missed the point spectacularly, but I don't know how walking into a supermarket being a jerk is out of character for the Grinch.
STICKMAN: I'll say the animation quality and details are nice, but given this film probably cost like $150 Million to make and had animators slaving away on it without any overtime more than likely? Hardly kudos to be given at this point.
LARRY: To me this looks like Illumination continuing to add unnecessary bits and pieces to an otherwise brilliant source material. I love The Grinch, I find the original special a great piece of animated history, and this just looks to be annoyingly modernizing it in dumb ways. Hell, Cumberbatch doesn't even sound that good as Grinch.
STICKMAN: I shan't be partaking in this one, sorry. Dog's cute though I guess.
MADHERO: Illumination movie are pretty famously cheap. I guess I just don't see why you guys are being such Grinches towards this. Like, The Boss Baby I can understand, but this genuinely looks really bland and inoffensive, and somehow that warrants it the death penalty
LARRY: Oh sure, it's inoffensive. But like...it's just so dumb looking. And again, I don't like the whole "Grinch is just a part of our community hardy har har"
STICKMAN: I swear to christ if the Mario movie opens with a Minion going DUDDADUDUDUNUDN DBUUUBUBUB POOPOOOOO I'm gonna burn down Hollywood.
MADHERO: Y'all are overreacting and I look forward to having the usual Illumination reaction of "ehh, it was fine."
LARRY: God I hope I have that reaction.
KEEGAN MICHAEL KEY AND JORDAN PEELE TO REUNITE FOR STOP MOTION COMEDY “WENDELL AND WILD” BY HENRY SELICK
Well, this certainly came outta nowhere. Henry Selick, well known for his stop motion directing work on classic films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline, is making a new stop motion movie, this time for Netflix. 'Wendell and Wild' will star recent Oscar winner Jordan Peele and his constant comedy co-hort, Keegan-Michael Key as the titular characters, who are twin brothers...and also demons who end up having to showdown with their arch nemesis in order to win their freedom from hell. Disturbing 'Hell & Back' PTSD aside, not much else is known about the project at this point, except that Selick is co-writing the screenplay with Peele, who as we just said, recently won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for this work on Get Out, and the character designs are being handled by Argentinian artist Pablo Labato, who has a very...unique visual style which is going to be interesting to see translated into stop motion puppetry. That's all we know at this point, we don't even have an estimated release date, but obviously this is stop motion, and can take many years, so watch this space, folks. I know I will.
MADHERO: O wow, I completely forgot about Hell and Back up until you mentioned it. That was a thing
STICKMAN: The cursed.
MADHERO: Never has Bob Odenkirk as Satan been so thoroughly wasted. That said, I'm into this. Key and Peele are an amazing comedy duo, and Sellick doesn't make enough movies. Probably cause they take so long to make.
STICKMAN: Selick hasn't made many films but the ones he has end up pretty good.
LARRY: I'm here for an extended Key & Peele routine....in hell.
MADHERO: It being Key and Peele, on Netflix and about demons does make me wonder if this is going to be a more adult affair.
LARRY: That'd be awesome.
STICKMAN: That's certainly possible, although Netflix have a few family friendly animated films under their belt now, so I wouldn't rule out either angle.
LARRY: True....but an adult comedy would be so much fun. I want them to cuss and stuff
STICKMAN: You should watch Hell and Back, Larry. That's got a lot of cussing.
LARRY: I did.....
MADHERO: It can go either way. Of course, Sellick's films always have a dark sensibility to them. I think it can work either way, and if it can make Peele unretire from acting, even just voiceacting, that's always good.
STICKMAN: Must be better than talking poop.
LARRY: Maybe get Patrick Stewart a cameo in thissss hmmmm?
STICKMAN: I'm always down for more stop motion...unless it's Hell and Back.
MADHERO: Alright, that's it in terms of news this week. Now last episode we had to cut some movies because we were late, but now that we're back on schedule, we now have to discuss everything coming out, whether we like it or not. So. Do we have a good video game movie finally? Are we there for giant robots? Are we ready for...GAY TEEN ROMANCE?!
STICKMAN: The Planet Gayteen.
MADHERO: Now we could start talking about those big movies first, but hey, as it turns out, Larry actually saw the film. So before we get to our Sherlock Gnomes takes. Larry, what did you think of Love, Simon?
LARRY: I definitely was not ready.
DIRECTOR: Greg Berlanti (Arrowverse, Life as we Know It)
STARRING: Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Schipp, Keiynan Lonsdale
SYNOPSIS: Simon Spier (Robinson) keeps a huge secret from his family (Duhamel, Garner), his friends, and all of his classmates: he's gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity.
LARRY: It was....okay. I understand that this film has been getting a lot of praise for being a great piece of representation for the LGBT community while still being accessible to everyone. And, yes, I commend the film for tackling this subject with a lot of nuance and a less-than-soapbox-y take; think John Hughes with a slice of 2018. That being said, I still think it's fair to judge this film like every other dopey romantic comedy out there and...yeah, some moments are pretty cheesy, there are certain character and story flaws in the third act, and the ending reveal wasn't particularly interesting to me. But, it's relatively well-written, surprisingly well-acted (Nick Robinson being the clear standout), very funny, and tells a human story with enough attitude and intelligence for me to walk out somewhat satisfied.
MADHERO: So fairly standard teen romance, but gay?
LARRY: Yeah, I suppose. Consider this a nice step forward, but not notable otherwise.
STICKMAN: I find romantic dramas/comedies immensely not interesting regardless of who's in love with whom. Fact of the matter is a gay romance in a film shouldn't be a big deal, so no point giving this film undue praise just for doing one.
MADHERO: Its still a pretty big step for a major film release. So good on Fox for releasing it wide. A lot of the reviews seem to suggest "yeah its sweet" but not much else besides the fact it is a gay romance, which sadly still is important, but hey, progress.
LARRY: I agree, Stick, but it really matters to some people, so why spoil their fun, especially if they're connecting with it?
STICKMAN: I have no problem with people connecting with it, and I hope it helps someone out who feels incapable of expressing their sexuality.
LARRY: I saw this film with a queer friend of mine and certain scenes had her in tears, so clearly it is having a strong effect on people. But yeah, no need is overpraising it on my end. Besides, other people are much more well-spoken about this film than I, so I'm not sweating over it.
MADHERO: That's good to hear. Happy for those feeling represented.
MADHERO: Alright, Love, Simon get a lovely recommendation. NOW GET THAT GAY SHIT OUTTA HERE! TIME TO TALK MANLY THINGS, LIKE ROBOTS, ADVENTURE AND GARDEN GNOMES!
STICKMAN: Gay Robots.
LARRY: Ew. Gnomes.
STICKMAN: Don't be Gnomeist.
LARRY: I will be Sherlock Gnomeist.
STICKMAN: That's fair.
DIRECTOR: Roar Uhtaug (Escape, The Wave)
STARRING: Alicia Vikander, Walton Goggins, Dominic West, Daniel Wu, Kristin Scott Thomas, Nick Frost
SYNOPSIS: Lara Croft (Vikander) must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father (West) disappeared.
MADHERO: WHERE ARE THE POLYGONAL TITS! WHAT THE HELL, WARNER BROS!
LARRY: Ah, the smell of mediocre action films with great lead performances.
STICKMAN: So, the reviews for this ain't been so hot, but it's still the HIGHEST RATED VIDEO GAME MOVIE OF ALL TIME, CHAPS. WOOOO.
MADHERO: WE DID IT! Now Rampage doesn't have all this pressure to succeed.
STICKMAN: And hey, the audiences seem to like this more...so...audiences are never wrong..r...right? RIGHT!?
MADHERO: I've seen a bunch of interviews with Vikander, and it really does seem like she gave it her all. And the game its based on has a (largely) good story, so its a bit of a shame its mostly turned into a generic origin story.
STICKMAN: I hear it weirdly doesn't spend as much time on the island as you'd think. Considering the game it's based on is set entirely on the island.
MADHERO: Does she lock the butler in the freezer. This is important information I need.
STICKMAN: God I hope so. In Rise of the Tomb Raider's DLC, there's an audiolog you can find that references her doing that as a child. It's CANON. LET'S HAVE A CINEMATIC FLASHBACK.
LARRY: ...I have no strong feelings about this particularly point of contention. All I know is that I'm probably skipping this one.
STICKMAN: I'm gonna go see it, hopefully I'll have a GOOD OL' TIME.
PACIFIC RIM UPRISING
DIRECTOR: Steven S. DeKnight (Daredevil Season 1)
STARRING: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Jing Tian
SYNOPSIS: Jake Pentecost (Boyega), son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori (Kikuchi) to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots against a new Kaiju threat.
MADHERO: From Academy Award winner Guillermo del Tooooowait, never mind
LARRY: Another one I'm thoroughly disinterested in. Why PR needed a sequel, I'll never understand.
STICKMAN: Pupcific Rim Puprising is the only movie I need now, thanks to Screen Junkies.
MADHERO: That video was absolutely adorable and the best ad for this film. Now I'm the only one here that thouroughly enjoyed the OG Rim, but even I find it hard to really get excited for this sequel
STICKMAN: It feels weird how loved Pacific Rim 1 was back in the day. I never really understood it and now a lot of people don't seem to either. I enjoyed the one interesting fight in the 2 hour movie about fighting robots.
LARRY: I think Del Toro not being as involved just has me cold.
MADHERO: I'm well aware it has issues, but I found it too fun to care. In this....well I guess all action scenes are in the day now, so you can see what's happening, but for a film about colorful giant robots, it looks like its lacking a sense of personality.
LARRY: I mean, that's a plus in my opinion. People gotta STOP shooting action scenes in the dark.
STICKMAN: My favourite fight scene was at night...in Tokyo...dripping with rain and neon. That was like...AMAAAZING.
MADHERO: But Larry, how else are we gonna hide our dodgy CGI?
STICKMAN: As you can see, it's not being hidden very well in this film. Pacific Rim was never a big hit in the west, it only recouped money thanks to Asian markets, and Legendary is owned by an Asian company now sooooo....here's your sequel.
LARRY: Whatever, it was cool action but bland characters and a shit story. Uprising probs ain't gonna do much better.
STICKMAN: John Boyega is a good boy though.
MADHERO: It actually looks pretty good from the trailers effects wise. I dunno, I should be more excited than I am, but I feel like this is just going to be a big thud. Which is a shame for John Boyega, but he'll always have Star Wars and be Moses, so he's ok.
LARRY: Again, it's the lack of Del Toro. He's the heart of the project.
STICKMAN: He's the heart of all projects. Including my love.
MADHERO: Its a shame this guy called Oscar took him from us.
DIRECTOR: John Stevensson (Kung Fu Panda)
STARRING: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, Chiwetel Eljiofor, Mary J. Blige, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith
SYNOPSIS: Gnomeo and Juliet (McAvoy, Blunt) recruit detective Sherlock Gnomes (Depp) and his sidekick, Gnome Watson (Eljiofor) to help investigate the mysterious disappearance of the other garden gnomes.
STICKMAN: Ah shit. Speaking of films I can't believe have sequels.
MADHERO: ....who asked for this? Other than Elton John
LARRY: Poor Elton...was he really that desperate??
MADHERO: He REALLY wanted to make Gnomeo and Juliet, and I guess now he's like, shit, another one cause why not. Now with more problematic casting
STICKMAN: Elton John shouldn't be allowed near any movies, after what happened in Kingsman 2.
LARRY: He was GREAT in Kingsman 2. Whatchusayin
MADHERO: That should've been a cute cameo and turned really fucking obnoxious. Anyway this movie......its bad, probably
STICKMAN: Make one Elton John cameo joke, fine. Make him a plot device? No no no. The first Gnomeo and Juliet was bad, so why wouldn't this one be any different.
MADHERO: I do kinda like the Oscar posters they did that tried desperately to cram in the world gnome
STICKMAN: Fuck. FUUUCKK.
MADHERO: Call Me By Your Gnome
DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh (Side Effects, Logan Lucky)
STARRING: Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharaoh, Juno Temple
SYNOPSIS: A young woman (Foy) is involuntarily committed to a mental institution, where she is confronted by her greatest fear--but is it real or a product of her delusion?
STICKMAN: A horror movie Larry, RUN.
LARRY: Not just a horror film. But one SHOT ON AN IPHONE! RUN FOR THE HILLS
MADHERO: Leave it to Soderbergh to just go "yknow, what, I'll make a film on my iPhone, cause I'm Steven Soderbergh"
LARRY: You can fucking tell almost instantly.
STICKMAN: It's a really dumb gimmick though, you either won't notice or it'll look worse. What's he trying to prove? It adds nothing.
LARRY: I think he's just trying to experiment, but I don't like the iPhone look.
MADHERO: I actually kinda like that about it. Its very different looking from other films and at least in some shots, has this almost dollhouse quality. And the iPhone also worked really well for something like Tangerine
LARRY: Yeah, iPhone doesn't shoot shitty video, it's just that (without additional lenses and shit), every shot looks the same.
STICKMAN: Tangerine was filmed that way because that was how they got the film made though. Steven Sodomburger probably has enough money to rent a couple cameras.
MADHERO: I dunno. Its Soderbergh, and he rarely makes bad movies. Also nice to see Claire Foy in other things as well.
LARRY: Eh, maybe Logan Lucky set him on a new path. Wanted to go smaller. Either way, I'll pass.
STICKMAN: I'll wait until it's on Netflix.
MADHERO: Well, that's it for the movies, other than that Christian one that suddenly made a ton of money, but that ain't really our scene. You know what is our scene? MOVIE OF THE WEEK THAT'S WHAT!
STICKMAN: I'll have no religion in MY HOUSE. WHAT MOVIES ARE WHAT.
LARRY: Movies are my only religion.
MADHERO: Oh dang, deep. If you're so spiritual about films, than what is your Movie of the Week this time, Larry?
MOVIE OF THE WEEK
LARRY: My MOTW is Cory Finley's Sundance darling, Thoroughbreds! I may not like horror, but I'm all for a good psychological thriller, and Thoroughbreds certainly delivers that and more. Starring Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Anton Yelchin in his final cinematic role, it tells the story of two young teenage girls who conspire to kill one of their stepfathers, and needless to say things take a turn.
What I love about this film is that it's incredibly restrained: it doesn't indulge in typical thriller tropes or anything over-the-top, it keeps the entire situation very grounded and somehow finds less in more. The most visual and compelling moments come from the minutiae of the characters' lives, brought out brilliantly by the editing and cinematography. However, the star here is the surprisingly quotable script and its flawless execution from our three leads, each providing their own insightful piece of the emotional puzzle. It's ending is a biiiiiiiit of a whimper all things considered, but with multiple rewatches it is bound to grow on me. THOROUGHBREDS is naturally a very small release, but I encourage anyone looking for something subtly intense to give it a look if they can.
STICKMAN: Psychological Thrillers are horror films, fucking fight me.
MADHERO: Such a shame that this is Yelchin's last ever film role.
LARRY: Well, lemme tell ya, it's one to go out on. Really well done.
STICKMAN: Yelchin was a great actor.
MADHERO: Anya Taylor Joy is really showing herself to be a good actress as well, between this, Split and the Witch.
LARRY: She is amazing in the film, though it's Olivia Cooke who steals the show. It's a shame that she's in Ready Player One right now, which is sure to overshadow her work here.
MADHERO: Or maybe it'll lead people to see more of her stuff, including this, I dunno.
STICKMAN: Time to wipe off the numbers on the '__ Seconds since someone dissed Ready Player One on the internet' board. ANYWAY, MAD. DO YOURS.
MADHERO: So my movie of the week is, as it turns out, my Most Anticipated Movie of the year, so y'know, no pressure. I was naturally pretty excited for Annihilation to finally make it to my Netflix que, even though I'd have happily paid a ticket to see it, but that's neither here nor there. What is there is that its a movie I definitely needed to think about for it after finishing it, reading articles upon articles to get a sense of interpetation of details that I missed, and that's when I realized just how deep this movie really is.
Alex Garland has really shown himself to be one of the most exciting directors working today between Dredd, Ex Machina and now this. It almost makes me kinda glad that its on Netflix, cause I almost immediately watched it again after thinking and reading all those interpetations. It also helps that besides being such a cerebral experience, its also a very cool and beautiful looking sci fi film where nothing quite feels right, with dashes of some pretty horrifying yet amazing imagery. Its on Netflix outside of the US, so if you're into brainy sci fi, you have no excuse. Go see this film, on as big a screen if possible.
STICKMAN: Hey this is mine too I guess. Mainly because Paddington 2 is OVERRATED. But that's a story for anoooother time. I don't know how I feel about Annihilation but it certainly was an experience.
LARRY: KEEP PADDINGTON OUTCHA MOUTH! THAT WAS A LOVELY FILM
MADHERO: Really? Awesome. I knew you were really looking forward to it as well, so what are your THAUGHTS!
STICKMAN: I felt like it lacked a strong cast of characters, despite having a strong cast, nobody really had much to do apart from Portman, and there wasn't really a story so much as a series of weird events that happened in a strange world. In that respect it disappointed me, given how strong the narrative of Ex Machina and his previous writing on films was, but...yeah...it's still an amazing visual experience and the last 30 minutes fucked me good.
LARRY: Gotta agree with Sticky on most of those points. I found Portman to be fine, nothing extraordinary, and the last twenty minutes confused the shit out of me in a really awkward way. But yeah, visually dazzling. Finally a sci-fi film with some COLOR.
MADHERO: I do agree that the characters could've been stronger. Ex Machina had the advantage of being a bottle film with few characters. But I generally enjoyed just about everyone in it and I do think a lot of them do a good job of bringing the themes home
LARRY: Ugh Ex Machina is soooooo good...
STICKMAN: It created this really amazing world and had some really cool sequences, but it just lacked engagement? And whilst I think it's a good film in a lot of ways, I do disagree with the sheer volume of acclaim it's received. It's definitely a film with problems, which, given it was my most anticipated film of the year, disappointed me somewhat.
MADHERO: For anyone who saw this and want a deep dive in its themes, I highly recommend Emily Yoshida's article on Vulture. Really helped me understand the film more and made me love it more. Definitely up for consideration for my Top 5 this year.
STICKMAN: I feel like a film needs to be more than a lengthy post-viewing analysis piece to be worthy of acclaim, but there you go. It's kinda in the same camp as Space Odyssey in some respects. I liked it though, a very unique experience and I loved the lighthouse sequence.
LARRY: Ooh, yeah.... Like Space Odyssey meets Arrival meets Aliens.
STICKMAN: Mainly I just wanted Dredd to turn up and be like JUSTTIICE TIIIIME and shoot some people up. I dunno.
MADHERO: Well....that about does it for this episode. We're gonna take some rest to prep our HOT TAKES! Ready Player One is upon us soon, and we need something good prepared to dunk on it/the haters.
STICKMAN: I REALLY DON'T GET WHY PEOPLE HATE IT SO MUCH. IT LOOKS ...OKAYYYY? I DUNNOO...THE INTERNET, EH? EHHHH?
LARRY: Nah, fans are loving it post-early screenings. It's the marketing that's got people jaded. Who knew, Spielberg can deliver fun.
MADHERO: Just read some of the book paragraphs and you'll find out why. Will that affect the movie?! COME FIND OUT THEN! Gotta go to the volcano and boil my takes.
LARRY: Good one. Aw well. See you all after that rolls over!
3 months agoYssa
My #1 pet peeve are food blogs that make you scroll through their entire thesis paper just to get to the recipe, so you know what? Here’s my list of ingredients -
125 g caster sugar
125 g almond four/almond meal
125 g icing sugar
90 g egg whites (~3 large eggs)
Yields about 26 cookies, or 52 individual patties
HERE IT IS.
If you’ve been following my twitter since the beginning of 2018, you’ll notice I’ve been baking a shit ton of macarons. My family gifted me a stand mixer for Christmas, and considering how much it costs, I feel like I’ve been given the responsibility to bake more now. What else do you use a stand mixer for? Can anyone tell me? I could probably just google i
I don’t have any specific list of how to make macarons because I’d like to encourage you, if you’re interested in making your own, to watch as many YouTube videos and read recipe instructions as I have HAHA. I spent a gooooood amount of time (both in work and out of work, sorry Maggie lol) watching a lot of macaron recipe videos just to understand the technique and figure out what I’m supposed to do.
Hell, I still didn’t get it right until the end of January. That’s like. At least *10* batches of macarons. At least my coworkers was more than eager to eat my self-perceived failures.
All the set instructions are roughly the same, depending on whether you’re using the Italian meringue method vs Swiss vs French meringue method. I myself prefer the French one because it’s easier.
My personal preferences (and ingredients list I tend to trust more) are the ones that have an equal amount of sugars and almond flour. If there’s a recipe I see that has more icing sugar than almond flour, I tend to just watch the video for their technique and not follow the recipe. As someone who recently got into baking desserts, fun fact, I don’t actually like it. I treat myself to an occasional doughnut, never say no to Boba or frozen yogurt or ice cream or gelato, will always say yes to some of the delicious cookies a coworker’s wife brings in to work (this is a long list of desserts), but I could never handle chocolate or cakes or cupcakes. A lot of American desserts make them reeeeeeally sweet. I actually have a specified sweet tooth that physically aches if I eat something too sweet, so for my own health, I have to stay away from them haha.
AND YET. I probably have gained, like, 5 pounds the last few months with all the macarons I test-ate and have been consistently average irt my weight because I can’t stop putting sugar!! In!!! Every dish!!! The woes of loving Filipino adobo....
Going back to macarons, I do have some tips that kind of helped me out, in list form!!!!!
1. To bake macarons perfectly, you must first perfect your oven.
(Lol tho but for real, it took 10 tries because I was still trying to figure out my jenky ass oven. I got mine down to 13-15min at ~275 degrees F. I use “~” because my apartment oven isn’t digital, it’s just a dial that has I put the arrow to some where between “300” and an unmarked line that’s supposed to represent “250”.)
2. ALWAYS! REST! YOUR MACARONS!
(Three times, I have ruined batches because I was too quick after I piped them. It wasn’t enough that my macarons weren’t tacky to the touch. I had to wait at least 30min just for them to develop a “skin”, as the videos describe it, so they could bake up instead of out.)
3. Some instructions will give you a countdown on how many times you should fold your batter. You don’t have to count to 75 all the time but....honestly, it helps when you start out.
(That way, when you get better, you get more accustomed to how the batter is supposed to look and feel instead of counting it out. I don’t have to count anymore when I fold my batter, but it helped me a ton when I was trying to figure out what my it was supposed to look like before I put them in piping bags.)
4. Cream of tartar isn’t necessary, but I hear it helps?
(I never used cream of tartar. Never bothered to buy it. My macarons at least turn out ok.)
That’s all I can really think of, off the top of my head!
There are a toooon of different macaron fillings you can use. You can use flavored jam, buttercream, or ganache as fillings! Jam is jam, buttercream is creamed sugar butter, and ganache is basically a chocolate paired with a flavor. Do a google search and look up some! Macarons are mostly known for using flowery flavors like rose and lavender, tea flavors like earl gray and matcha, but my personal favorites are nutty flavors like pistachio and fruity flavors like mango.
I personally prefer buttercreams, since ganache tends to be too sweet for me, but they all taste pretty ding-dang-darn good to me.
Anyway, that’s my basic blurb on macarons. Everytime I make a journal, I feel like I could ramble on for another few paragraphs, but I feel so sheepish about writing so much about A Thing.
Happy Monday! Try a macaron!
4 months agoTreanomaly
You may have noticed that I enjoy jokes and have posted a few absolute golden ones here (jury may still be out on that).
So I've set myself a challenge to write at least one joke a day for the next year. All will be of my creation but as is the case with comedy, it could be similar to something someone has said before. I won't be intentionally using others jokes though.
So here is number #1. Just like my recommendation for anal, I'll just to ease it in.
When I was a child, I'd cook with my mother. I'd stir her up and she'd beat me with a wooden spoon.
4 months agoLarcher
... and I'm still here.
No joke I'm struggling to find words to describe what I'm feeling. I might have officially joined ten years ago but I've been in the deep with Rooster Teeth ever since they started. This is going to be a long one folks so grab a coffee and get comfortable.
I remember the first time I stumbled upon Red vs Blue. I was this chunky, pimpled filled nerdy teen who couldn't talk to girls, feared authority and was beyond socially awkward. My friends and I all had the same computer class and one of them was on Heavy.com. I as for as I knew at the time it was just a website that hosted a bunch of content from around the web. Although I'm sure they were more of a ebaum's world, just stealing things and never giving the proper credit when it was due.
Fast forward a few years (2008) and I've graduated from high school (2007) and I am working at the hospital as a Linen/Patient porter. It pays really well but something was missing, I felt like I wasn't going anywhere and the I didn't see this as my final destination in life. Now I've never had the best memory but it was roughly in the summer of 2008 when I started working with a new friend named Paul.
He had this goal to start a news site that covered many different facets of pop culture. I signed on because I thought why the hell not I got nothing better to do. I remember hearing reading a journal of either Burnie or Matt talking about the community and these events the members host. The one that really caught my was RVBTO for a few reasons. #1 I only lived 4 hours away from the event. #2 The site members that hosted this were constantly interacting with other site members. #3 They had garnered such attention on the site that actual RT staff members would attend the 2-3 day gathering and hang out with the fans there.
Gathering all the confidence I could muster I contacted both the head even organizers and the RT staff that was going to attend and see if we could set up some interviews for HBHT (Halfway Between Here and There. The news site I helped grow). Much to my amazement both RVBTO and RT crew said yes.
Now this....this is where all the shit I talked about comes into play. I was beyond nervous and was sweating buckets. I was always a goof with my friends and in the final year of Highschool I just let it all out. I became the base blocks of who I am now. Only thing was that was MY pond. Those were MY people. I was about to stand in front of a camera talk to A) total strangers (RVBTO) and B) be talking to three members of what I would said and still say are the most influential people in my life. So the situation got real for me, fast.
I can safely say that if it wasn't for @Brittewater and her fiance at the time Ryan (wonder what's going on with those two. I know they had a kid together) that I never would have been able to stand in front of Burnie, Matt and Joeland start talking to them for the camera.
It was that day that a few things start burning inside of me. I realised that no matter what happens in life my goal, my desire, my bucket list item would be to work for Rooster Teeth. I wanted to start something that would entertain a mass audience and knowing that it would be done with online content. Finally that there was no better place to be than with a community.......no friends/family, a group of individuals that would support your creative ideas, just want to sit down and shoot the shit or give free advice and tips on how to attain your goals. After coming back from that event I quickly immersed myself into the everything Rooster Teeth.
I might have gone quiet during those ten years on the site but I was always more than happy to come back and even more so to connect with old/new friends. It's this place that helped me conceive some of most bonkers ideas for shorts. This website destroyed any kind of social anxiety I had about speaking in public or strangers. Thanks to this home we have, I've made some of the greatest friends I could have ever asked for. @pak78 @baggins316 @malduck All people I talk to even outside of this website. Hell with all three they've helped me try things Creatively online, Pak helped me create I believe what was the first episode of a podcast, Baggins and Mal helped create Select Start Network. That's still standing and we're releasing content to this day!
I have met up with some of the most passionate people here @Dopp @Fireball @john. We used to have the longest chats on Barbara's Tinychat nights. I helped Kickstart John's short film because I knew what that dude could accomplish and thanks to meeting up with him at my second RTX outing planted the seeds in my to what I needed to do.
I am in college right now at the age of 29 (soon to be 30) in a program for Television and Film productions (and Broadcasting) because of these people, because of you, because of Rooster Teeth. This home has given me so much in my life even more than what has been written. I just feel like it's time I give back. I started with finally getting my fat ass into school to actually get the proper experience and knowledge to be hired at this company because that goal in life has not drifted or waivered in the slightest. These last few months here in college has just stoked the fires even more.
I've said it before and it will be said again. This place has given me the greatest home a fat kid from Northern Canada could ask for the last 10 years. I am going to return the favour, get hired and let everyone know that you can achieve what you strive for. 10 years of friends, love and family. I am ready to give back 100 more.
Love you guys.
5 months agoJoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi
One thing I've learned after editing together my first Boomstick Top 10 is that he has a type.
#10 - Lt. Col. Kilgore - So what's the deal here?? Did they really name these weapons after a character in Apocalypse Now? Is the character in the movie based on a real guy? Why? Why any of this?
#9 - Master Sword - I was watching a lot of videos about the Master Sword in prep for this entry. I came across a fun pronunciation of the weapon. I won't name names but now I can only hear it as "Massa Swwurd"
#8 - Hellfire shotguns - I would definitely rack my brain for every non-lethal way to use these guns. You could create pillow-fort-esque fortress in your living room but made with nothing but Hellfire Shotguns. You could have a unlimited source of income if you sold them. You could do professional magic. YOU COULD THROW UP GUNS AND TRY TO SHOOT THEM OUT OF THE SKY BEFORE THEY HIT THE GROUND. Endless joy.
#7 - Icebreaker - Gerardo actually helped me edit this one! Thanks, Gerardo! I don't know anything about this weapon.
#6 - Blades of Chaos - Gerardo did this one too but I still have a question. How hard would you have to spin magic blades chained to your forearms before you lift off the ground like?
#5 - Sniger rifle - I could listen to Boomstick say "tigers" for days.
#4 - Caster Gun - Gerardo. But also, yes. Wand gun? Yes! ACCIO WAND GUN.
#3 - Mjolnir - Again you could use this weapon in so many fun ways. I PUT MJOLNIR ON MY DAIRY, TRY READING IT NOW WHOSOEVER BE WORTHY!
#2 - Sword of Omens - Gerardo actually helped me edit this one! Thanks, Gerardo! I don't know anything about this weapon.
#1 - Green Lantern Ring - This entry is the exact reason the movie was so bad. You could have made anything but you made guns and stuff. Yawn.
#11 - Voltron < Megazord
5 months agoJoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi
Here we goooooooo! (again)
#10 - Garlic Jr - Not only is his name Garlic but he's a JUNIOR. Someone thought this name was so good they needed to use it TWICE? Okay. Can't wait for the next DB villain, Oregano III.
#9 - Cooler - Okay, wait, actually the next villain is The Coolest.
#8 - Hercule Satan - I hate Hercule! Never thought he was funny. For me he only ever distracted from what I was interested in seeing.
#7 - Bio-Broly - I didn't know this existed before this episode. It's an odd feeling to realize you've missed out on something completely inconsequential.
#6 - Majuub - Nick asked me this when watching back the first cut of this episode and I want to clarify for all of you. I didn't alter Aladdin or Uub's skin color at all. It just worked.
#5 - Pan - I....really liked...Pan. (but don't ask me why. I couldn't tell you/don't remember)
#4 - Yamcha - The woooooorst
#3 - Para Para Bros - So, they got the gang to dance. Was it a lethal dance or something? What's the problem here? "Oh no! We look ridiculous and now we're melting because of it"
#2 - Chi-Chi - These last two entries are the most insightful entries on the whole list. I couldn't agree more.
#1 - Adult Gohan - Gohan was the best and they squandered his potential.
#11 - Is there a way to tell Maron and Bulma apart by just looking at them?
5 months agoJoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi
Intro - I'm not Torrian
#10 - Krinkles - What was Post thinking? This isn't their only terrible mascot. Just do a quick google search for "So-Hi Post Cereal"
#9 - The Raisins - THE CALI RAISINS ARE EMMY WINNERS. ARE YOU?
#8 - Senhor - Sorry, Jonah. I saw an opportunity, which was a cheap shot, and I took it. The internet is cruel.
#7 - Monokuma - Who is this bear fooling? You're clearly evil.
#6 - The King - C'mon it's 2018. Where's the Burger Queen?
#5 - Freddy Fazbear - This Top 10 Entry brought to you by Achievement Hunter.
#4 - Stubhub Ticket Oak - So it's absurd. That doesn't equal funny. At least the spongemonkeys are funny sometimes. This is just odd.
#3 - King Cake Baby - So..... THIS BABY IS JESUS ISN'T HE?!?!
#2 - Spongemonkeys - Yeah, I like them. You wanna fight about it?
#1 - PuppyMonkeyBaby - That's John Mayer at 6:41 right? It has to be.
#11 - Mario has some great games obviously but is he a good character? I don't know and I've wondered about it my entire life.
5 months agog1Features
Live. From not Los Angeles on the Discord thread on which these episodes are made, its the 4th Annual Screwvie Awards. Sponsered by Schik Hydrobot (not really) and New Years hopes and dreams. Welcome as always. Guys, how excited are you for these awards?
STICKMAN: Eh. I hear there's this really cool thing called the Gimpy Awards next door, we should go watch that instead.
LARRY: Ooh you gotta snag me a ticket.
MADHERO:Well why do I even bother turning up then? Goddamnit I was really hoping for some excitement. You know what I am excited for? The new year. New chances, oppurtunities, and most importantly MOVIES!
STICKMAN: I DREAD EVERY DAY THAT PASSES. OH GOD HELP ME.
LARRY: I'm excited to start my 2018 in Poland, there's that. What are movies again?
MOST ANTICIPATED FILM OF 2018 (THAT ISN’T AN MCU FILM)
MADHERO – ANNIHILATION
Its kinda hard to pick a film that isn't an MCU film as Most Anticipated, but leave it to Alex Garland to deliver the goods. A long time writer of scripts like 28 Days Later and Dredd, he really burst to the scene with Ex Machina, which was one of my favorite movies in 2015. So needless to say I'm extremely excited what he can bring to Annihilation, a film that seems much bigger in scope and decidedly weird, and based on an acclaimed novel. There's been a odd bit of distribution shenanigans going on thanks to Paramount not doing so hot, with the film not becoming a Netflix film internationally 17 days after its theater release in the US/UK and China. That and a public fight between 2 producers, one of whom who wanted to dumb the movie down, but ultimately Scott Rudin stepped and kept the film as is. Cool, I guess, but I would've loved to have seen this on the big screen. With it coming out on February, we don't have to wait very long to see this, so I'm done pretty quick
STICKMAN - THE PREDATOR
Now...full disclosure, my pick was also gonna be Annihilation, but Mad already nabbed it so...I'm doing The Predator. Now there's a lot of love for the original Predator movie, it's considered one of the best 80s action films of its kind, but the jury is decidedly out on the cocaine fueled fun of Predator 2 and the division inducing most recent entry, Predators (Which I rather liked). It'll have been 8 years since that films release by the time this new entry comes out, and there's a lot of hopes riding on it. Shane Black is a highly respected action/comedy director, the cast is solid, and Fox have put a lot more money into it than they did the decided lower budgeted 3rd film. There's concerns it won't remain true to the 'core principals' of what made people fall in love with the original, but personally I'm pretty keen to see someone do something new with the franchise, after a couple of attempts to do the same sorta thing within different eras of action movie tonally and visually. Shake it up, make it a great time, and one that resurrects the franchise, please. I'm excited to see what's coming for this one.
LARRY - ISLE OF DOGS
I personally can’t say I’m particularly pumped for that many films coming in 2018. However, when a masterful filmmaker like Wes Anderson has a release planned, it’s hard not to have that be a clear standout. ISLE OF DOGS not only looks to have the offbeat humor and charm that every Anderson project keeps at the forefront, but it is also a return the stop motion animated stylings last seen in FANTASTIC MR. FOX, which is always a breathe of fresh air amidst the wave of 3D CGI contenders. You also have a ridiculously star-studded voice cast, featuring both Anderson mainstays (Bill Murray, Edward Norton, F. Murray Abraham) and newcomers to his rolodex of stars (Bryan Cranston, Greta Gerwig). I am always a proponent of original, fresh stories over the, while fun and exciting, often tired and tedious blockbusters; with that in mind, ISLE OF DOGS looks like a strong contender for one of the year’s most memorable films.
STICKMAN: A unique sci-fi movie and a stop motion indie film...meanwhile I got a Predator movie. What fun.
LARRY: Hey, that movie sounds fucking awesome.
MADHERO: Well now, that Predator has the director of The Nice Guys involved. No need to beat yourself up over it. I think that could be a really neat film
STICKMAN: We know very little about it at this stage, but I'm excited to get a first look at it soon, I hope.
LARRY: Yes, I can't wait for the teaser trailer.
MADHERO: We only have a motion poster and not much else. Larry and ours have full trailers, both of which makes them look pretty out there
LARRY: Annihilation also looks like quite an experience. I loved Ex Machina. Alex Garland has my attention.
STICKMAN: I've been a huge fan of Alex Garland for a long time, so it's really fun to see him step out of the shadows of other directors and make his own films. Shame about the Netflix situation.
MADHERO: Its weird how its a Netflix movie now in my neck of the woods. Would've probably seen in in the theater regardless, but oh well.
STICKMAN: Isle of Dogs is a film I'm only excited for because it's stop motion, I'm not a fan of the director especially, but he suits that medium pretty well.
LARRY: I'm definitely checking out Annihilation on a big screen if I can.
MADHERO: I like how Wes Anderson is returning to stop motion, especially since Fantastic Mr. Fox is probably my favorite Anderson film
STICKMAN: I'd check out all of these on a big screen if I could, and hopefully I will get that chance. We made good choices, GENTLEMEN. I'm excited to see them all.
LARRY: Isle of Dogs has an amazing voice cast. Great pick with Bryan Cranston in the lead especially. I can just imagine Bill Murray and Edward Norton as like a posse in real life. But now they're dogs so it's IMMEDIATELY better.
STICKMAN: Everyone's better as cartoon dogs. Except Louis CK.
TRAILER OF THE YEAR
MADHERO - THOR RAGNAROK DEBUT TRAILER
It was a good year for trailers. Sure, some of them sold a completely different movie than many were expecting, like It Comes At Night, but we saw the record for Most Watched Trailer broken twice (for IT and Infinity War), but for me personally, I gotta go with my gut feeling and go with the trailer I've probably rewatched the most, which would be the very first trailer of Thor Ragnarok. It already has one huge advantage: Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song, which can make everything seem epic, but its backed up by some amazing imagery, especially Cate Blanchett's Hela fighting off the Valkyries (which sadly is about all we get in the film). At the end though, it teases the laugh riot it actually is, with the now infamous "he's a friend from work" line. It excited, it made me laugh and got me stoked for a Thor movie, which seemed hard after The Dark World
STICKMAN - KONG SKULL ISLAND FINAL TRAILER
As always, there were a ton of great trailers this year, some great trailers for films that ended up sucking, some great trailers for films that succeeded even our wildest hopes and dreams...some great trailers for films we've yet to even see at all. Skull Island was a good film...not great, but certainly highly enjoyable, but oh man did it nail its trailer. Playing as a highlight reel of just some of the most staggeringly scaled, colourful and vibrant shots from a very pretty film, in addition to hosting some exceptionally fun looking action sequences, with an acting cast that the trailer manages to make it seem aren't completely wasted. Everything about this trailer is splendid, the punchy editing, the killer soundtrack, the sense of energy and fun it conveys....hell, I've seen the film already and this trailer still makes me excited to see it again.
LARRY - SPIDER-MAN: ENTER THE SPIDERVERSE TEASER TRAILER
There is no question for me: the best trailer of 2017 is SPIDER-MAN: ENTER THE SPIDER-VERSE, mainly because it’s the only one that genuinely surprised me in how god damn good it looks. Naturally, not every film has that luxury, but holy fucking shit, this trailer is incredible. It’s visuals take a comic book composition and fuse with a neon, flashy aesthetic that is pure eye-candy. The action looks large in scope and cinematic in design. But, beyond all that, we are FINALLY getting to see a cinematic iteration of Miles Morales. I think we can all agree that, while I did enjoy HOMECOMING, we need new blood in this character’s veins, and based on the “Spider-Verse” title, it looks like that is exactly what we are getting. What all of this amounts to is the first time in countless years that the Spider-Man franchise looks to finally have a true breathe of fresh air in its sights, and I couldn’t be more excited.
STICKMAN: Ah man, another great lineup. Still can't get over how much fun a Thor movie of all things looked after that teaser trailer.
LARRY: I will definitely say Kong Skull Island had amazing trailers. Just the reveal of how huge Kong is was enough to sell me a ticket.
MADHERO: Its a really epic trailer. Not sure how much it really spoils, but its such a hyperkinectic trailer. Even more so than the movie
STICKMAN: We've got two teaser trailers for comic book movies, and the very final trailer for Skull Island. All of them really sell their films quite fabulously. I went from 0 to 100% interest in Spider-Man after that teaser, so can't argue with those results.
LARRY: RIGHT???? That's why it's here, man!!
MADHERO: I feel like my trailer sells a more serious movie than it actually is, but its super effective from the use of Immigrant Song to the intro of Gladiator Hulk
STICKMAN: I think Thor Ragnarok's teaser was pretty fun rather than serious, personally. But there's not a huge deal of comedy lines, sure.
MADHERO: Plus Goth Cate Blanchett
STICKMAN: It had it all, man. IT HAD IT ALL. It was also the only one (that we know of at least) to use the music of the trailer in the film itself...to great effect I may add.
MADHERO: I'm still more on the wait and see side on Spider-Verse. But it certainly made an impact on you guys
LARRY: Mad stop spoiling our fun.
STICKMAN: Who knows if Spider-Verse will actually be good, but that teaser. OOH. Tingles.
MADHERO: I'm not saying its bad. I'm just not as hyped as you guys are. It has a great style. Just too bad we still have to wait a whooooooooole year
SCENE OF THE YEAR
MADHERO - K AND DECKARD MEET (BLADE RUNNER 2049)
Honestly, I could've picked basically any scene from Blade Runner 2049 and it would probably be eligible for my Scene of the Year. The syncronization, the memory creation and even the very end. Eventually though, I settled for the Vegas meetup between the blade runners, K and Deckard. The scene beforehand, showing a destroyed and very Las Vegas is already gorgeous, thanks to Roger Deakins' stellar cinematography, but it really reaches its apex when the actual meeting/fight happens. We see flickering neon lights, holograms of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe with audio cut in, and it just represents Blade Runner 2049 in a nutshell. Its tense in its encounter, haunting in its use of deserted scenery and an visual stunner throughout
STICKMAN - THE STAIRWELL FIGHT (ATOMIC BLONDE)
Now....full disclosure again...Mad stole my pick for this one too. That said, it gives us a chance to talk about one of the most brilliant fight scenes of the year, in a 12 months that also featured the likes of John Wick 2 and The Villainess. Atomic Blonde was a great film that turned into a bad film towards the end, but this sequence, kicking off the events that lead into the bad turn, are far from it. Designed to come across as one continuous shot, which is always really fun for a fight sequence, we follow Charlize Theron as she works her way down the stairs of an apartment building, out the door, into a car and then crash. Simple enough...but oh no. There's guys with guns, and guys with big ol fists in her way, and she's pretty haggard by this stage of the film. You feel every blow, and unlike a lot of similar action sequences, you can really tell how much pain is behind and directed by every punch, kick and gunshot. It's like a scene from MCU Daredevil but turned up to 11, the scene scored only by the sounds of violence, and featuring some spectacularly brutal choreography to boot. It's a fantastic scene in general, but it's definitely the most brutal fight of all cinema in 2017, and for that reason...it has my respect.
LARRY - TAKING OFF THE BANDAGES (STRONGER)
Few movies were more emotional gut-wrenching than STRONGER, David Gordon Green’s biopic on Jeff Bauman, a victim of the horrific Boston Marathon bombing that left him with both legs lost. Sadly this film didn’t get a lot of attention due to a smaller release and not much word-of-mouth, but hopefully this scene can convince you to at least add it to your watchlist. The scene I chose involves Bauman, played masterfully by Jake Gyllenhaal (bound for snubbery again), having the bandages taken off of his freshly amputated legs. While I absolutely love both Mad’s choice and Sticky’s choice, neither of those scenes literally made me almost turn away from the screen. At this point in the film, we have come to deeply sympathize with Bauman, so I don’t think it’s surprising that seeing him experience what is likely to be extreme pain is devastating for the audience. This scene reflects the compelling, powerful story that STRONGER tells, and it will not be leaving my head any time soon.
MADHERO: Leave it to Larry to not pick a fightscene like us commonfolk
LARRY: Again, just waaaaaaait until that Top 5.
STICKMAN: To be fair Larry, a great scene shouldn't make you want to turn away, it should make
you want to stick your face into the screen and go FUCCKK YEAAAAHH.
LARRY: I disagree. If that turning away is a result of investment and emotional conviction, I don't see it being a bad thing.
MADHERO: Ehhh. Doesn't have to. I don't think my scene is a big "Fuck yeah" moment. More of a "oh wow"
STICKMAN: I mean, fuck yeah in the sense that it's awesome, not a Team America way.
LARRY: To be fair, I like both of these scenes as well. In fact I would've chosen Atomic Blonde if Sticky didn't.
STICKMAN: I think a hard to watch scene can be very compelling but I'm not sure I'd ever put it as a best scene of the year, but I haven't seen Stronger so heeyooo.
MADHERO: Its a great fucking fight. Think you hit the nail on the head with calling it a Marvel/Hallway fight x11. I haven't seen Stronger either, so I can't commenct on the scene itself, but I'm familiar with the story and of course the famous photo
LARRY: I swear there are like 17 individual epic moments that just get me. You guys really need to see it. One of the year's most engaging dramas.
STICKMAN: Me and Mad went for two completely different fight scenes. Atomic Blonde is a no punches held, full on, visceral fight for survival, whereas 2049's fight is so drenched in artistry and visual flair. Also Harrison Ford punched Ryan Gosling by accident in the scene and there's a picture of it.
LARRY: God that orange. I CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF IT.
MADHERO: Its amazing. Both the scene and the picture. I'll put Stronger on the list. We've had time to praise things. Now lets talk about some...... not very good things.
WORST MOVIE OF 2017
MADHERO - GHOST IN THE SHELL
Good news for movies in 2017: I didn't see something I outright hated like Terminator Genisys and Suicide Squad. That does mean bad news for Ghost in the Shell, a film that just edges the new Pirates for me, but only cause there's so much baggage than just another meh Pirates film. I went up to bat for this adaptation more times than I care to admit, with the internet ready to hate this from the start due to the whitewashing of the Major. I wanted to like this movie, but the sad part is that its a dumbed down version of the original anime, which can be overly convoluted, but at least felt smart and philosophical as opposed to this surface level adaptation. That and a plot twist so misguided that just made things even worse. A film that tackled all of its themes better was the final nail in the coffin. Its aint Dragonball Evolution bad, but good it sadly aint.
STICKMAN - RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER
I mean...who saw thiiiis coming? The 6th installment in a franchise that never managed to surpass anything more than stupidly entertaining. From the 4th movie on things went more and more downhill, despite having more and more money until everything just went to shit in the FINAL CHAPTER, which follows the franchise tradition of quietly killing off every character established from the previous film, be they random nobodies or beloved characters from the games. This time around it also promptly ignores the ludicrous cliffhanger from the fifth in favour of opening on a completely different, never explained scenario, and from that point onwards it's poorly lit action scenes, annoying jumpscares, bad dialogue, bland characters and a few groan inducing attempts at adding emotional stakes to a franchise devoid of any emotion since day 1. The CGI RE movie that came out this year managed to be leagues better, which is really saying something when that involves a laser cannon that destroys 5 skyscrapers, which is never brought up again. It better bloody be the finally chapter of Alice's shitty story nobody cares about, that's all I gotta say.
LARRY - BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN
Thankfully, 2017 hasn’t had too many duds for me. Sure, some films were a tad underwhelming, like JUSTICE LEAGUE and POWER RANGERS, but even those had good ideas that they ran with. BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN has semblances of good ideas that are not just completely ignored, but simultaneously overwhelmed by a ridiculous cacophony of bad ones. This is a Batman story that strips away everything that makes the universe so compelling or entertaining, opting to go in a more comedic and outlandish direction that makes for some of the strangest, most embarrassing scenes I’ve ever seen in a superhero film. All of these bizarre choices stem from Harley Quinn being a central character in the story, which is actually a great idea in theory; However, here she happens to be poorly written, gratingly unfunny, and overtly over-sexualized, so her as an emotional crux is all but a dead end, and her attempts at breaking down Batman’s stoic presence are even worse. Add that to basically no thematic subtext, minimal character progression in any form, standard animation at best, and an insultingly abrupt ending that wastes one of the best twists you could’ve implemented, and you have what is easily one of the worst Batman films of all time, and one of the worst DC animated films of all time. Fuck this movie.
MADHERO: Guys I think we all picked a movie with a female lead. Are we......SEXIST?!
LARRY: See mine has multiple ass shots, so possibly.
STICKMAN: Mine doesn't, but is also terrible. So oops.
MADHERO: Mine has Scarlett Johansson in a bodysuit that's skin colored, but that's part of the anime as well. ANYWAY! I'm surprised by your entry, Larry. I haven't seen the film, but really? One of the worst Batman films ever?
LARRY: It's just so stupid dude. One scene literally involves Harley Quinn singing a rock number in a villains nightclub. Another scene involves Harley Quinn farting in the Batmobile to pressure Batman and Nightwing into taking a pit stop.
STICKMAN: Okay well. I'm out.
MADHERO: A shame, because it looks like its part/a revival of the DCAU and that's usually quality
STICKMAN: I never had much hope for either Harley Quinn or Resident Evil, but I'd hoped for more from Ghost in the Shell, especially after I defended it for the many stupid reasons people shat on it prior to its release. Sucks when you fight for somethings right to exist and then it's a load of shit.
LARRY: I never had any interest in the film honestly. I just had a feeling it wasn't gonna be good.
MADHERO: I as really hopeful for Ghost in the Shell. I desperately wanted it to be good, and while its not bad and visually beautiful, the film feels like a very ehh blockbuster and I can't get over that plot twist/reveal
STICKMAN: GitS was just really boring I found. And that twist was...oof.
MADHERO: It just made that conversation so much more awkward. As for Resi.....well what did you expect?
LARRY: Yeah I never even TOUCHED those movies.
STICKMAN: I expected nothing and I was still disappointed. I enjoy stupid movies, and it's Resident Evil so I have a soft spot for it...but yeah. That was not a good. PM Didn't help the screening I saw had the volume up to like 5000% so every annoying jump scare was like being kicked in the nuts.
MADHERO: 2017 in a nutshell. Anyway, we also caught up on a bunch of movies, so lets talk about those and give them their time in the sun
BEST 2016 FILM SEEN IN 2017
MADHERO - THE HANDMAIDEN
Being from Europe, I don't see the Oscar contenders until January/February, and while Moonlight and La La Land definitely struck a cord with me, The Handmaiden was the one that absolutely blew me away. The film that would probably be nr. 1 on this list if it was eligible. Set in the 1930s in a Japan-occupied Korea, it follows pickpocket Sook-hee as she's helping a conman to seduce a Japanese heiress to marry him and take her inheritance. Things get far more twisted after that. Really, really twisted. To say anything more would be a spoiler, but Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy) delivers similar goods (including an octopus) that had me mouth agape and on the edge of my seat. Somehow it wasn't nominated for Best Foreign Language film, but that doesn't matter anymore . GO SEE THIS MOVIE!
STICKMAN - THE RED TURTLE
When it comes to indie animation, and just...animated films that aren't blockbuster family hits from Disney or Dreamworks, you either have to wait a good long year for a UK release, or you never get them at all. The Red Turtle was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 2017 Oscars and got unanimous acclaim from a wide variety of filmgoers and critics, and when it finally turned up in my lap...it was clear why. A wordless, quiet tale of a man washed away at sea who's attempts to escape are frequently scuppered by the titular turtle, the film can be watched by any age, and enjoyed in any part of the world. It's truly one of the most accessible animated films made for a long long time. Co-produced by Studio Ghibli, it has their trademark attention to detail, heart and warmth, but Dutch director Michaël Dudok de Wit brings a quiet, action-light quality to proceedings, with a focus less on some grand adventure as it is the passing of time, and life itself, including the highs, the lows, the moments of pain and doubt, but also moments of great love. It's a beautiful, unique film, not so much sentimental in its emotion as it is at times almost literally, silently tragic.
LARRY - HACKSAW RIDGE
It isn’t often you find a new favorite film of the year about a month after the year is already over, but here we are. Last year, I ranked THE NICE GUYS are my favorite film of 2016, but that stance began to sincerely waver after sitting through HACKSAW RIDGE, a masterful reminder of just how talented Mel Gibson is despite his more-than-tarnished ethical presence. Andrew Garfield gives what is easily his best performance as Desmond Doss, a pacifistic Christian who enlists in the army during WWII, but is immediately ridiculed for refusing to hold a weapon. Nonetheless, he persists as a combat medic, and becomes a war hero in the process. It’s a powerful story, and it is all heightened by some of the best and literally most explosive war sequences I’ve ever seen in a movie. The stakes are high, and the tension is thick. But Doss’ determination and strength make for a likable and well-written lead character, alongside other strong performances from Sam Worthington and Vince Vaughn of all people. Add that to some genuine family and romantic drama, a beautiful score from Rupert Gregson-Williams, and incredible sound work (which it won Oscars for, and rightfully so), and you have one of the most intense and inspiring films of the year that I just happened to miss in 2016. Aw well. It happens.
MADHERO: Its weird how Hacksaw Ridge is probably the most mainstream thing on this list
STICKMAN: Handmaiden's been on my list for a while, should get around to watching it.
LARRY: Same, I've been hearing great things.
MADHERO: Its almost 3 hours but its absolutely worth those. The cinematographer of the film went on to do IT, so that's neat
STICKMAN: Can't say Hacksaw Ridge takes my fancy, seems like a needlesly over the top war film in terms of gore.
LARRY: I'd give it a chance, seeing as the whole point is that the character doesn't fire a weapon.
MADHERO: Hacksaw Ridge has been on my watchlist but hasn't been a film I've gotten around to. Have seen Red Turtle though and that's an amazing piece of animation
STICKMAN: Red Turtle is pretty dang great, well worth the long wait. Plus a Dutch director and that's an automatic win in my book
LARRY: I have Red Turtle on my watchlist, mainly because of Sticky.
STICKMAN: Dutch and Ghibli combining to make ART. This is a very diverse selection of films, two of which are 'world cinema' so that's fun.
MADHERO: Alright. Time for the moment we've all been waiting for. 2017 has been a great year for movies of all different genres and cultures. Where does the Boss Baby rank? What type of Oscar bullshit is Larry going to throw at us? All those questions and more you'll find out....about now I guess
STICKMAN: Don't spoil my number 1, Mad. That's just not fair.
MADHERO – COCO
I've said it so many times that it became kinda boring to repeat myself, but 2017 was a surprisingly weak year for animation. Sure Lego Batman was fun, and Larry can vouch for Captain Underpants, but otherwise it was pretty dire. So leave it to Pixar (granted, after Cars 3) to make it all look easy with Coco, a film I wasn't particuarely excited for, but that grew and grew as time went on, and I came out really impressed. There's just something extremely life affirming about the film, even if you don't believe in a afterlife. Its theme of family goes so far and beyond the usual kids movie formula. That and the Pixar heart and soul that they've crafted to a tee. And while I didn't cry, its ending did leave me quite emotional, but in a good way. Coco is a emotional rollercoaster of a movie and one of my favorites this year
STICKMAN – JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2
So my pick for No 5 is maybe an oddball, I guess we'll find out. A little film called John Wick Chapter 2. The sequel to the very enjoyable but tonally uneven original installment, this follow-up pretty much fixes everything wrong with the last one, and throws in even more stylish visuals and tons more creative fight sequences, unlike the first, pretty much every fight in this film has some sort of unique flair to it, be it Keanu using his suit as a bullet shield, or two assassins popping silenced shots at each other across a busy, unaware train station. It's really entertaining, the journey of the main character is genuinely interesting at times, and the ending packs a memorable punch that sets things up really nicely for the 3rd chapter in a couple years, hopefully. I'm a big action fan and this was my favourite action film of the year, great stuff.
LARRY – STRONGER
My #5 is, wouldn't you know it, STRONGER! I already talked about a lot of why I love this film, but I'll just once again reiterate it. This is one of the year's most heartbreaking yet inspiratonal dramas, made something truly remarkable thanks to performances from Gyllenhaal and Maslany. Like the bandages scene, certain moments make you truly feel the pain the characters feel, and few movies this year captured that same kind of visceral reaction from me. Thankfully however, this film does sprinkle some humor in between the drama, and that also soars. One scene in particular involving a swingset perhaps made me laugh harder than any other film this year. However, what I love most is that it isn’t your typical martyrdom story. Our main character isn’t inherently likable, but his journey in the story shows him learning to accept who he has become and what he means to other people. That is so refreshing for a film of this kind, and I hope that this film is seen by more people in the years to come because it is sincerely underappreciated.
STICKMAN: GOD DAMNIT MAD, COCO AIN'T EVEN OUT HERE YET.
LARRY: I'm probably gonna miss Coco this year and I hate myself for it.
MADHERO: I'M SORRY, MY DUDES! MAYBE IT'LL BE IN YOUR 2017 FILM IN 2018 LIST
STICKMAN: So, Larry...I hear Stronger got a mixed reception, but I guess you really dug it huuuuh?
LARRY: Did it? I didn't know that. I loved it.
STICKMAN: It's been called a bit cliche by some, and there's some controversy about having Jake play a disabled person.
LARRY: Well, I loved Gyllenhaal's performance in this film, so I honestly don't agree with that criticism. I am praying each and every day that it gets just the tiniest bit of Oscar love. More people deserve to see this film.
MADHERO: I feel like that might be a very small subset on Tumblr. First time I've heard the complaint at least. I saw a poster for it after coming out of Blade Runner and thought it had a mixed reception as well, and then it had like a 90 on RT, As for John Wick Chapter 2.....yeah I can see that. I want more of this bullshit crazy world
STICKMAN: It's my kinda bullshit. John Wick inspires me to be stronger with my pencil usage.
LARRY: Still haven't seen either John Wicks.
MADHERO: You'll never look at pencils the same way again
MADHERO – SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING
Unless your name was Justice League, 2017 was a good year for superhero movies. Logan matured the more comic book era of the genre, Wonder Woman captured the cultural zeitgeist in a way not even DC couldve expected and Thor Ragnarok made the Thor movies not a slog to go through. With all that said, the one that ended up really sticking with me was Spider-Man Homecoming. If I were to use 2 words for this film, it would be 'relief' and 'nice.' A relief to finally have a genuinely great Spider-Man movie in over a decade, and nice in just how....pleasant it was. Jenna Nicholson described it as a superhero movie version of Hey Arnold, and that's more accurate than expected. For a 180 million dollar superhero film starring one of the most popular characters in the world, it just feels small scale and nice. Plus its really funny and Tom Holland is the best Spidey to date
STICKMAN – WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
At number foooour for me is the closing chapter of one of the most underrated cinematic trilogies of recent times. War for the Planet of the Apes, whilst not quite to the same level of consistent quality as the stupendously good Dawn, is still an engrossing, visually arresting and emotionally engaging trilogy-capper, with yet another outstanding, no doubt soon to be consistently ignored performance by Andy Serkis, who's taken us through Ceaser's life from childhood to the grizzled leader of an army. It's been a hell of a ride, and War delivers pretty much all that you'd want from it. Maybe it could've done with a better ending, maybe certain characters weren't needed, and maybe the villain isn't as compelling as Koba from Dawn, but it's still a fucking excellent slice of blockbuster cinema, and proof that you can remake films and make them not only great, but also completely distinct from the originals in the best possible ways.
LARRY – GET OUT
To be frank, I haven’t watched this film in about 11 months, so its placement as #4 is incredibly susceptible to change. But I think it says a lot that a movie from February had such an impact on me that it stayed in my head all year. GET OUT is a breakout masterwork from Jordan Peele, who lends his fresh voice to a political state that couldn’t be more in need of it. Its dissection of racism in the post-Obama era of American culture is one that is so intelligently thought-provoking, but to dress in a horror film’s clothing makes for a visceral, truly chilling experience, propelled by excellent performances, smart cinematography, and writing that feels all too real. There’s a reason people are still talking about this film; it’s breaking into the collective consciousness is undeniable, and GET OUT deserves every bit of that praise.
MADHERO: I don't think any movie captured the zeitgeist quite like Get Out did. That movie IS 2017
STICKMAN: Heeyyy, I've seen all of these and liked them. Nice.
LARRY: And so have I! I would like to point out that Get Out is a great film even without the zeitgeist factor.
MADHERO : Get Out was suuuuuuuuper close, but Coco just edged it. Same goes for War, which I liked more than I loved
STICKMAN: I feel Get Out was a tad overrated, I get why people were so on board with it, but I think maybe in the future the response won't be as electric. It came out at the right time and captured people's imaginations in a big way, so I gotta give it credit for that.
LARRY: I see Get Out as a genrebender, more of a psychological thriller with comedic moments. That sunken place scene, man. Incredible. That could've easily been in our best scene of the year discussion.
STICKMAN: As was Spider-Man Homecoming, easily the best Spidey we've had on the big screen, even if it's possibly not the best Spider-Man film.
MADHERO: God it was so good to like a Spidey film again
LARRY: I liked Homecoming, though probably not as much as everyone else did.
STICKMAN: I think how much you love Homecoming depends on how attached you are to the character and how relieving it was to have a good portrayal of him. And how about my movie, ahh...AHH? Mine had apes in it.
MADHERO: I liked how that was a much more intimate affair than that title would assume. And a great showcase for Andy Serkis once again
STICKMAN: He is amazing, and the special effects were beyond incredible. And used to tell a compelling story, which is the most important part.
LARRY: WftPotA was an excellent film as well. Takes Caesar to some incredible places dramatically. I feel like it maybe tries to incorporate one idea too many, but I'd be lying if I said they all weren't fascinating and great for world-building.
MADHERO: I think when we look back, that trilogy will be seen as one of the best blockbuster trilogies out there.
MADHERO – BABY DRIVER
Edgar Wright has consistently proven himself as one of the best comedy directors working in the industry, but Baby Driver might just prove him to be one of the best working directors PERIOD. A stunningly original piece of direction, playing almost more like an album than a film, capturing so many different moods and able to carry you throughout. No film has used music quite like this. Oh, and the action is pretty spectacular too tied to that music, from the opening getaway set to Bellbotoms, immediately telling you what you're in for, to the footchase set to Hocus Pocus (by Focus). Its so fun that not even the recent revelations around Kevin Spacey can sink it.
STICKMAN – DUNKIRK
Nummberr threeeeeee is going to please all the Nolanites out there, because it's a little film called Dunkirk. I'm not sure how big a deal this was outside of the UK but it's definitely one of the most talked about films of the summer round these parts. And for good reason. After a couple of big, ambitious but very messy epics in the form of TDKR and Interstellar, it was fair to say Christopher Nolan and his various movie tropes were wearing a little thin. Along comes Dunkirk and reminds us why he's so well loved, because fucking CHRIST, what a movie this is. A non-stop thrillride from the get-go, with a soundtrack engineered to make you increasingly tense. It's visually stunning, the cold, silent atmosphere even during the heat of the more intense scenes is unique and refreshing for a war movie, and just...wow. It all gets pretty powerful towards the end. Featuring the Nolan polish and cinematic flair you'd expect, but applied to his most stripped back, simple, yet deeply engrossing film in years. It's really great stuff, and there's a reason why it's one of the few summer blockbusters genuinely in contention for big awards in the coming months..maybe.
LARRY – DUNKIRK
Alright this is where we get to my true, cemented favorites of the year. At #3, we have DUNKIRK, the only film I saw this year that I can truly call a wholly unique experience, and that’s not just because of the stellar 70mm IMAX screening I went to. Dunkirk has Christopher Nolan playing at his strengths, that being tone, atmosphere, and emotion. Right from the very first gunshot, the film grabs you by the throat and doesn’t even slightly loosen its grip, what with its ear-piercing sound design, impressive score from genius Hans Zimmer, and gorgeous cinematic beach landscapes. With grounded performances from everyone in the cast, genuine but thankfully minimal dialogue, and an ending that will make you want to stand up and cheer, Nolan has created a movie completely its own. Will I ever watch Dunkirk again? I’m not sure to be honest, but I’m sure as HELL glad I watched it once, and in the proper way.
STICKMAN: Me and Larry are Dunkirk bros, what are you, Mad? Baby Driver? HAH. FUCK THAT MOVIE, Y'KNOOOW?
LARRY: Baby Driver would've easily been in my Top 10. Loved watching that film.
MADHERO: So while I think Dunkirk is a stunning achievement in filmmaking and a return to from from Nolan, I didn't put it in my Top 5. I didn't quite love it enough. Its in the Top 10 for sure though
STICKMAN: It was a fucking experience in IMAX I gotta tell you, I wish 70mm had been an option here.
LARRY: But that sheppard tone thooooo. THAT SHEPPARD TOOOOONE. Every now and again Hans Zimmer proves why he's one of the best in the business. He's not all just BWAAAAAAAAAHS
MADHERO: I couldn't really connect with it the way you guys did it. The Zimmer soundtrack was great though. Will agree completely
STICKMAN: I heard a lot of people say it lacked an emotional connection but towards the end I was getting pretty fucking into it. The 'Home' moment was up there for me with the best scenes of the year.
LARRY: It wasn't meant to be personally emotional, but it was meant to just put you in the war. Obviously I didn't connect with the characters as much as other movies, but that wasn't the point.
MADHERO: The ending does do a good job delivering the emotion, and before that it was a real thrillride. That scene in the stranded boat? Oof
STICKMAN: Oh god, what a great film Dunkirk is. And I mean Baby Driver's okay I guesssss.
LARRY: That ending had me FUCKED. With Churchill's speech? Amazing. I did really love Baby Driver. The music was its own character, and I'm a sucker for that shit.
GOTTA TAKE A NUMBER TWO
MADHERO – OKJA
Sometimes there are those movies that just......stick with you in a way that you don't really expect. You watch it, you think "yeah, that was pretty good" and then you think about it some more and go "o wait, I actually loved that." I experienced that with Last Jedi, but even more so, I experienced that with Okja: The South Korean Netflix Original from Bong Joon Ho. Okja is a weird movie right from the off, with a jarring tone that never really lets go. Sometimes its a fun boy and his dog type story (or in this case girl and her superpig), then its a Amblin style adventure, and then it can delve in straight up horror territory that will make you never want to eat meat again. The more I thought about it, the more I admired its boldness and direction, even if that didn't work out (I did not care for Jake Gyllenhaal in this). Its a good time to remember that for every Bright, Netflix also provides oppurtunities like Beast of No Nation and Okja, my 2nd favorite film of the year
STICKMAN – BABY DRIVER
So my number 2...after a lot of soul searching, because this has been one of the hardest selection of films to rank in years....is Baby Driver. Baby Driver is a fucking delight, showcasing the amazing talents of Edgar Wright as both a director and a visionary. On a basic note it's just your standard crime drama, partially innocent guy gets caught up in crime, falls in love, wants to get out, but they keep pulling him back in. It's been done, and done really well. But what sets Baby Driver apart is just how warm the whole film is, oh...and yeah, the music...the editing, the action scenes. It's like a glorious cinematic ballet of burnt rubber, featuring a coffee collection scene that the film students of the future will be forced to rewatch time and time again for just the sheer number of brilliant little touches. Beyond the obvious, it's a sweet, funny and charming experience from start to finish, and one of the most memorable crime capers for a long time. Edgar Wright has always been an amazing director, but this is him at the height of his cinematic powers.
LARRY – THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Sometimes, you just sit down in a movie theatre, and you know a movie is gonna be your #1 favorite of the year. Well, this movie didn’t exactly score that luxury in the end, though it got damn close. THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI is Martin McDonagh at his best, with sharp and witty retorts in spades but strong, emotionally riveting characters at the forefront. Frances McDormand hasn’t been this good since FARGO, and Sam Rockwell hasn’t been this good since ever, and the two of them together makes for one of the most fascinating on-screen pairs of the year. Its discussion about the relationship between the police and the public is striking, and some of the most multi-dimensional work to come from McDonagh. However, what I love most is how it takes an immediate tension and consistently pushes the envelope with every new twist and turn, with some moments leaving my mouth wide open. I was almost about to miss this one, and thank fuck I didn’t because it was some of the most fun I’ve had in a movie theatre.
STICKMAN: God damnit LARRY THAT FILM ISN'T OUT HERE YEEETTT.
LARRY: WELL GET TO IT WHEN IT DOES COME. AND I LOVED OKJA TOO
STICKMAN: I was not big on Ojka, it was sweet and looked nice, but I didn't get into it really.
MADHERO: As a big fan of In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths, I know I'll probably love Three Billboards, but I have to wait till next year for that.
LARRY:You guys gotta get back to me THE SECOND you finish.
MADHERO: It's fine if you don't care for Okja, Sticky. Its a very acquired taste, and you have to be on board on some pretty major tonal shifts
STICKMAN: It is the very definition of an acquired taste, I can at least appreciate the appeal, even if I didn't dig it especially. The tonal shifts were very jarring, but I guess that was the point.
LARRY: I agree tonally it was a tad off but I liked how it sorta tackled so many different angles of the topic in question.
MADHERO: You will belief that a hippopigthing with floppy ears is destroying a mall
LARRY: Also, Jake. Fucking. Gyllenhaal. He gave his most polarizing performance and I couldn't help but love it.
STICKMAN: What was he doing in that film. And heeeyy, Baby Driver. Cars and such.
MADHERO: Yeah its neat I suppose. Only the 3rd best of the year if we're being honest
STICKMAN: Oh shit. Discourse.
MADHERO – BLADE RUNNER 2049
I'm not even going to beat around the bush here: Blade Runner 2049 was the best film of the year and I can't believe I'm even saying that. Even now, revisiting Blade Runner is such a profoudly bad idea that you have to wonder what spurred then to do it other than to make a cashgrab now thet the film is seen as this important touchstone. But leave it to Denis Villerneuve (making my favorite film for the 2nd time in a row after Arrival) to not only match the quality, but in some ways exceed the original. 2049 is an absolute treat from beginnning to end. Unapologetically high-concept and artistic, a slow burn that you keep watching just to take in more of the world. Great acting from everyone involved, and sequences that will take your breath away with its beauty. Its a shame a lot of the conversation has been how it disappointed at the boxoffice, but give it a decade and it will rightly regarded as a science fiction masterpiece, and one that we'll talk about for a very long time.
STICKMAN – BLADE RUNNER 2049
Okay so...this has been a tricky one to decide. Baby Driver is great, I've rewatched it...but my number 1 pick I've only seen once...but man, what an amazing time I had. We were all hoping and praying this film wouldn't let us down, it had so much promise in its director, cast....legacy. But at the same time could a sequel to Blade Runner, a somewhat rough, flawed movie that's developed one of the biggest legacies of any sci-fi film in history...could that really work? Well, it did, it did more than work, it surpassed the original quite easily, I feel personally. It took what was great about the original, the world, the feel...the music, the tone....the premise, and it just....made it all so much better, far more engrossing, interesting and fucking beautiful. This is one of the most beautiful films ever made, and I do mean that just beyond the basic visuals..it's a beautiful film in its characters, and the sequences and concepts it explores. It's not afraid to go to dark, dark places, but it's also not afraid to revel in the beauty of the world and the good that can be found within it. I had to wait 30 minutes for this film to screen properly after an IMAX malfunction and I still sat wide eyed and open-mouthed for almost 3 hours as I sat through this masterpiece of a cyberpunk neo-noir delight. Easily the best I've had in 2017 at the cinema.
LARRY – I, TONYA
Just mere days ago, this film was #2. But the more I kept thinking about it, the more I, TONYA represents what I love about storytelling and the art of filmmaking. Let’s forget the fact that it’s superbly acted (Margot Robbie deserves to win best actress, as does Allison Janney for best supporting actress), kinetically shot, perfectly soundtracked, tightly written, excellently edited, and hilarious from start to finish. What really makes I, TONYA my favorite film of the year is that how it tells its story and what it has to say about public outrage and scandals. The film is told through multiple, contradictory perspectives. This initially just sounds like a way to be funny, but it is actually a larger comment about how everyone has a side to the story, and no one in particular is right or wrong. We think we know everything about the stories that circulate around the media, but unless we were actually there, none of us really now what went down, And even then, with those involved, different perspectives muddy the waters. This is an idea I strongly resonate with, and to see a film tackle it was such strong direction and direct consequence is staggering in the best way possible. This film is about to make a big splash as it releases more widely thanks to its inevitable awards buzz, so you better go see it when it does. It is, without a doubt, my favorite film of the year.
LARRY: Well now I just feel left out...
STICKMAN: God damnit Larry, we coulda had something special, a SHARED BOND.
LARRY: I loved Blade Runner 2049. That is also in my Top 10. The length was a bit of an issue for me though. Just a taaaaaaaaad too long. But damn does it make every second of those three hours visually STUNNING
MADHERO: I probably could've sat there for 4 hours and still not feel like it was too long. I wanted more of that shitshow of a world
STICKMAN: I could've climbed through the screen and spent a week in that world, honestly. I was absorbed for the entire running time in a way a nearly 3 hour movie very rarely accomplishes.
LARRY: Roger Deakins better win a FUCKING OSCAR.
MADHERO: Yeah. It a slow burn, but I honestly never felt like it was too long. And yeah, GIVE THE DEAKS HIS DUES!
LARRY: Shame we can’t really talk about my film.
MADHERO: I wish I could say something about your nr. 1, Larry, but I haven't seen it. Going to be a 2018 watch for me
STICKMAN: You'll never believe it Larry but it's not out here yet.
LARRY: I KNOW OKAY BUT THESE ARE MY FEELINGS SO SUCK IT UP
STICKMAN: MY FEEELIINNGS ARE IT'S PROBABLY GOOD BUT I AIN'T SEE SO WHOOPSEEE.
MADHERO: Its a fascinating piece of history, and its interesting to hear about the conflicting narratives in the film. I imagine you're all in on Robbie and Janney being Oscar contenders
LARRY: Fuck yes I am, though I’d be happy to see McDormand get it too. I am ALL IN FOR JANNEY THO. Believe me when I say it; every line out of her mouth is comedy gold.
STICKMAN: I have my hesitations about 2049's legs as an intensely watchable film in re-views, but for now...hooweee. The best.
MADHERO: I think that about wraps up our awardsshow. Don't want the afterparty shrimp to go bad.
LARRY: Ooooh shrimp.
STICKMAN: Are we eating the shrimp or fucking it...because it's still 2017 as we're writing...and...well...
MADHERO: Happy New Year everyone. May your 2018 be good
STICKMAN: FUCK. ANOTHER YEAR OR SUFFERING. SEE YOU THEN.
LARRY: HAPPY 2018 EVERYONE. Please start it right and keep spirits high!
6 months agoFiskJr KevinEverett
I got some amazing news.
Over this past year I had been waitlisted for my #1 school of choice (Emerson College) in April. Over the summer I had gotten declined acceptance. Directly afterward I scrambled to decide if I was going to stay here in Massachusetts at Community College or go to LA to go to Columbia College Hollywood.
I ended up choosing Community College in Boston. I commuted 50 miles a day by car to attend school. For the past 4 months community college has been harder than I thought it would be, but I have good grades at the moment and my finals are next week.
Over the past two weeks I put my deposit down for Bridgewater State University. I was planning to go to this school and major in Secondary Education, but something just happened as of yesterday.
Yesterday I was filming with some of my really good friends when I received an email from Emerson College with an update on my status. (I had reapplied for Spring 2018). I opened it while I was with my friends and I GOT ACCEPTED!!! I got accepted into my #1 school that I had been persistent with... It is acclaimed to be the #1 school for Journalism, #9 Film School, and #4 for Career Services in the United States. The school is really important to film makers in East coast because the other big one is NYU. -- Im so excited to have the opportunity to attend this incredible school.
I worked so hard and I am beyond proud of myself... I put so much effort into this school.
Emerson College ’21 || Media Arts Production, Film Production
- Kevin Everett
6 months agoGiraffePanda That Odd Kid Out
This is the most excited I've been for Christmas because all the gifts I'm getting for my family/friends, are ones that I know will make them excited. Like, usually, I just kind of guess on what to get them, but this is the first time I'm like, yes, THIS is gonna get them to smile, and honestly that's the best representation of "good cheer" ever.
Because I know that they're never gonna see this, here are what I'm getting my family.
Mom: A birdhouse in the shape of a caravan
Brother #1: Actually, I'm unsure on his gift. probably like beer glass, or something.
Brother #2: Oh. Ma, I don't know his either. Something Star Wars themed.
Sister: THIS. I'm getting her this nice poster of an old movie she loves, and the new book from the guy who wrote the Martian. The book is about black markets, SPACE, and SPACE.
Cousin #1: An Off Topic poster, he likes the podcast.
Cousin #2: A behind-the-scenes book about the Princess Bride. He loves that shit.
Cousin #3: A SP7 Hoodie and a poster of the X-files duo.
Brother #1's fiancé: a little eos kit with lip balm and lotion
Cousin #1's wife: A mug that says "Mommy needs her coffee"
Cousin #2's girlfriend/my friend: A poster of Audrey Hepburn and an eos kit.
B: We don't like to get each other expensive gifts, but she's getting this awesome cartoon looking poster that I also have, so we're matching.
6 months agoJadeTiger what?
So as some of you might know, probably not, but anyhow. I work in a hospital.
Not a nurse or doctor or anything like that but I AM the most welcome person to almost any room in the building.
I am the 'FOOD SERVICE WORKER'!!
That special person who brings you food 3-6 times a day! No its not a high paying job, and we are rarely included in any hospital events other then catering the event. We are even kinda looked down upon because we 'just bring food'. Which is seen as simple and not stressful job by those who haven't even stepped foot in a kitchen in their lives, but that is a rant for anther day.
Today I am here to talk about Monty Burns.
Yes The Simpsons should be the first thing that comes to mind, as it was for me.
So is after supper and a a ticked prints out for Monty Burns. I assemble the try and the ticket reads 4Nhal1 that means 4th floor, north wing, hallway space #1. simple right?
well.... as someone who has been working there sense 2011, I know there IS NO 4Nhal1 !!!
But I bring the tray up anyway because stranger things have happened. It's a hospital after all. I get to the wing and ask the nurse at the desk where Monty Burns is and yes get a strange look like my head is on backwards. We have a laugh at the name and I take the tray to 4East because she doesn't have anyone by that name and doesn't even have a hallspace 1.
The nurse on 4E is nice and I am fairly familiar with. We again have a laugh at the name but she doesn't have anyone on her wing with that name either. no luck.
I think maybe they meant 3th floor so off i go again with this tray of food for a cartoon character.
WELL!!! The nurse there called admitting and there is no one registered in the hospital with that name and the ID number is registered to someone else, but in a different hospital! ok?
Back down to the kitchen with the tray after my wild goose chase and my supervisor thinks that one of the new dietitians was practicing putting in tickets in the system and just using a random fake name and number and then it got stuck in the system.
so yes. the other day i ran around a Hospital trying to find Monty Burns.
7 months agoChelsea RT Community Manager
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks since the RWBY: Combat Ready Kickstarter Campaign launched on September 27th. Thanks to all the Backers and vocal supporters, the game and campaign have taken off faster than we could imagine.
It’s only been 30 days, but the game has changed drastically since launch due to the unlocking of Stretch Goals. Those unlocked goals offered game component upgrades, additional content in the game, or additional content to be purchased!
For those of you who haven’t been following along (or those who have but really want to know what you’re getting... ) here is a brief “The Road So Far” of RWBY: Combat Ready.
September 27: RWBY: Combat Ready was launched!
September 29: We clarified that shipping is INCLUDED for people who live in the USA, EU, AU, or NZ!
September 30: We’re funded!
After being funded, it becomes a whirlwind of updates nearly every day as we started unlocking items. Here’s the quick low down with some links to their specific updates (as necessary).
Items that are added to RWBY: Combat Ready - for all versions!
- 6 Additional Objective Cards
- The Rulebook was upgraded in Quality
- +4 Additional Pages with a “Making of RWBY: Combat Ready” Chapter
- The playing cards were upgraded to a high quality Black Core
- MINIATURES! Miniatures replaced the cardboard player pieces of Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang!
- Player Tracker Scrolls were upgraded to be double-backed with recessed squares to hold player cubes securely
- Vacuum Trays were included in all game boxes to hold all the game components
- Semblance Tokens were upgraded to be 3D printed pieces
- Adam Taurus was added as a Villain into RWBY: Combat Ready (36 Card Deck, plus the White Fang Minion Deck with 18 cards and 1 Objective Card)
- Game Box was upgraded to have UV Printing on the outside
- Player Cubes upgraded from wood to colored transparent plastic
- Cinder was added as a Villain into RWBY: Combat Ready
- PENNY Is Included! (She comes with a 30 card deck, 1 player tracker scroll, 1 miniature, and 1 semblance token.)
Backer Included Items - Free of charge to Kickstarter Backers at all Pledge Levels!
The 30 Card Heroine Booster Deck - a pack of 6 cards for each of the 5 heroines (Ruby, Weiss, Blake, Yang, and Penny)
Neopolitan’s Sub-Boss Deck - a deck of 18 cards and 1 Objective Card
The 30 Card Villain Booster Deck - a pack of 10 cards for each of the 3 Villains (Roman Torchwick, Cinder Fall, and Adam Taurus)
Add-On Items Available to Add To Your Pledge (Here’s How you do it!)
Villain Miniatures for USD$20.00 (Includes a 30mm tall mini of Cinder, Adam, and Torchwick - Collectible Items Only, Not Integral to Gameplay)
Additional Copies of the Game for USD$45.00 (Each additional copy purchased through the Kickstarter will have all the Backer Included Items)
Emerald and Mercury’s Sub Boss Deck for USD$10.00 (Includes an 18 card deck and 1 objective card)
RWBY Starter Pack #1 for USD$60.00 (Includes the first four volumes of RWBY on either Blu-Ray or DVD.)
RWBY Starter Pack #2 for USD$40.00 (Includes the first four soundtrack CDs of RWBY)
New RWBY Character for USD$10.00 (An unknown new RWBY Character that will be premiering in RWBY: Combat Ready before they appear in the show, RWBY!)
Developer Updates Explaining the Game:
#3 - Combos and Assists
#4 - Experience
I know, a lot of information to take in at once. Take a deep breath. Take a look. RWBY: Combat Ready has grown drastically since we launched it only 30 days ago. We’ve got just about four days left in the campaign so now is the time if you have interest.
We’re expected to ship this game to Backers in July 2018 and then ideally it will go into the RT Store after the Backers have it in their hands. But remember - there are certain items here that Backers have included for their pledges that will be separate items when it's in the Store!
We hope you’re as excited as we are to get our hands on it and play it with our friends!
8 months agobloodcal-cal7 Im Callam Hi
So I thought it would be nice to share my thoughts on why I play certain games cause someone asked me the other day: "Callam why do you always play world of warcraft?" This being my 7 year old sister asking me this. And it actually got me thinking as to why I actually play it. So through some thought I decided to make some fo these journals sharing my feelings about these kind of games. First off: World Of Warcraft.
Subject #1: The Story
Yes I know, the story is the least of anyone's thoughts when playing this game, but honestly I love it! The story progression throughout WoW's world is flawless (to a certain degree) as there are some genuinely fascinating things involved in some of the quests, such as questing with Rexar on Draenor, or Sylvanas and Jaina in Icecrown, hell even Pandaria as a whole hade very interesting characters such as The Klaxxi. But as a whole, I love the world that Blizzard has made cause it really shows in the story development in each zone, like when you do The Siege of Ogrimmar raid there is some sense of grief for killing General Nazgrim. Why? Well cause he was a hero, you quested with him throughout Cataclysm and Pandaria, the same can be said with the Klaxxi. I honestly felt bad killing them cause they were so interesting, mainly because we got to see the perspective of the "bad side", the bad side being the old gods. And with the way that Legion has been going lately, there is no end to the amazing story progression that Blizzard has created.
Subject #2: Collectibles
Yeah I have to say, one of the most fun things to do in this game is to collect stuff. Whether it be mounts, pets (I'll get to that later), hell even just outfits and toys, WoW has an abundance of things for you to do and goals to achieve. At most, mount collecting is almost everyone's goal in WoW, cause whats more amazing than transforming into a dragon and carrying your mate to the next raid! Blizzard even made two very unique ways to get mounts, The Riddler's Mind Worm which requires you to piece together 9 different pages that contain clues on the mount's where abouts, and the Lucid Nightmare which had the same concept but had a series of fun little puzzles to solve in order to find it, my favorite one being the endless random maze in Kung-Lai summit, easily took me three days to figure out. Even raiding has the goal of getting a mount through achievements, this of course encourages players to work together (ok to be fair, thats a bitch of a chore to do). Not to mention there are some pretty cool outfits for specific classes, even Blizzard made an mini event for it!
Subject #3: PETS!!!
I really didnt get too into pet battling when I first started playing way back in 2012 (I replayed Warcraft 3 multiple times before realizing there was an online world), but after a while I realized "Holy Shit its pokemon!" and it clearly shows that someone fought to have that concept in this game, and I LOVE IT!! Cause whats more fun than fighting with a mini-demon or a puppy covered in green magic? I just love it,
Subject #4: PvP and PvE
Yep, I enjoy slaying the Alliance in my free time. Do I gain anything from it? Not Really. Is there a reason? Nah its just fun! PvP can be annoying sometimes, but I enjoy it cause it gives you a sense of challenge. Cause I love hard shit in games, the more difficult the better (as long as the game is designed to be hard and isnt hard due to shitty mechanics. LOOKING AT YOU SONIC UNLEASHED!)
So yeah thats why I play world of warcraft. Its fun, kills some time, story is interesting, killing shit is fun, and due to a certain level of nostalgia.
Not sure if I'll make more journals like this one, but really felt like sharing this just because.
8 months agoCaButler
Hello everybody and welcome to the penultimate episode of Symphogear G. Where characters switch sides just so that we have an excuse to have them fight each other.
In our last episode, Shirabe is shown to be in the custody of the SDRTST while we're informed that both Shenshoujin and Gungnir were destroyed by Miku's battle with Hibiki. This is treated as a good thing, since it means Hibiki is no longer in danger of burning up and possibly killing them all in a fiery explosion. However, this means they're short two power armored magical girls, as Chris has defected for some unknown reason, leaving Tsubasa behind to deal with the situation on her own. So, basically, standard operating procedure.
But it gets worse. Frontier is actually a floating island, and it proceeds to do just that by grabbing hold of the Moon and using that as an anchor. But physics still exists in this world, so the act of moving such a mass means the Moon is going to hit the Earth Sooner. Something that Maria is against, since they haven't started preparations to rescue people. I suspect Dr. Ver doesn't really care at this point, since he used some of the Nephilim's cells to transform his arm into a Nephilim, which gives him control rights over Frontier. And he had such a trustworthy face, too.
Realizing that Tsubasa has a difficult task ahead of her, Hibiki, all loving hero who has a charisma stat so high it makes Paladins want to roll her stats, convinces Shirabe to help them in their hour of need. She accepts, because of Hibiki, and off she goes into battle, with Hibiki bumming a ride off of her. And this is why, when you want Hibiki to stay somewhere, you put her on a short leash.
This leads to our two battles, the first between Kiri and Shirabe, and the second between Chris and Tsubasa. And these aren't "holding back as much as you can" fights. No, except for the FIS fight, they're out for blood. This means that Hibiki, powerless, must make her way to the control center alone to stop this once and for all. Will she succeed? Let's tune in and find out.
-Our episode begins with Frontier rising into the sky as we go right into the SDRTST fight. Tsubasa wants to know why Chris is fighting her, but she doesn't answer. Though I do notice something flashing around her neck. I don't recall noticing that last episode. Was that new or always there? I'll have to check it out. Anyway, I'm guessing bomb or another mind control device. The battle continues as Tsubasa does her best to keep the fight to her range. Oh, and I think I see why we didn't see the neck thing before. It's mostly covered up by her collar. That may also explain why Tsubasa hasn't noticed it yet, given how observant she is about these things.
-After an exchange, Chris finally speaks, saying that she can't let anyone else bear her cross. Tsubasa is confused by this, but that's when she sees the pulsing neck collar of doomy death. But she doesn't get a lot of time to think on it as a bullet sends her back a bit. Who knew Chris' projectiles had that much force behind them?
-At the FIS fight, Shirabe is asking Kiri what she meant by "while you're still you". That's when Kiri reveals that Finé's soul is inside her and is close to awakening. She knew this would be a possibility, but this only strengthens Shirabe's resolve to save her. With her blades spinning menacingly, like she's the villain, she will protect the Kiri she loves and will stop her. I imagine some limbs will be lost as a result. Kiri seems a bit insulted by this declaration of love, because she loves Shirabe more, so she's going to protect the world in which the people she loves will live. Girls, can you wait until after the battle to have this "I love you more" battle?
-With this, Shirabe turns her spinning saw blades into helicopter blades, allowing her some flight, which is a skill called Emergency Type Phi Twin Moon Karma. In response, Kiri unleashes a few more scythes in a skill called Sealed Slash: Pinocchio. I'm sure there's some hidden meaning here. The two girls then attack one another, both declaring their love for one another. What an unusual way of expressing it.
-Oh, I should add that the opening was skipped today, but the song was playing in the background of these fights. We need all the time allowed for this episode, and dammit, we're going to find ways to make that happen. We then cut to the beached SDRTST sub as we get tonight's episode title, Striking Spear. Inside the cargo hold, we see Genjuro and Ogawa enter in a jeep, because of course they would have one, preparing to enter the field of battle on their own. I should note that Ogawa is taking the time to buckle his seat belt while Genjuro sits there, hands crossed. Should we tell him to put on his seat belt, or does gravity and physics fear Genjuro that much?
-Apparently the reason they're entering the field is because of Genjuro's troublesome student. Ogawa responds that they should be happy she gave them the chance. As long as the Noise isn't involved, you know having these two enter the field of battle will end things rather quickly. Before they can leave, though, Sakuya shows them a video of Maria addressing the world. Oh, this is going to get interesting.
-In the video, Maria introduces herself and admits to falsely claiming the name Finé. As she goes on about the plan, Aoi tells Genjuro that the video data is being sent from Frontier and is being broadcast all over the world. You think there's a way we can hope on that kind of broadband service? Because the internet would become so much better with that kind of bandwidth. Or worse, depending on what part of the internet you frequent.
-This announcement only confuses Ogawa. At this point, what is FIS after? Given how fractured the group is at this point, the answer is probably something along the lines of potatoes. During the video, Maria explains that the evidence of the Moon's decaying orbit was concealed by the US, the Security Council, and the Bavarian Illuminati. I assume she means the UN Security Council. The reason for the cover up was that the truth was very inconvenient to an elite class that exclusively controls a portion of the political and economic spheres. Damn you, capitalism!
-We briefly pan Frontier, showing just the building itself, before we get a flashback to Nastassja secretly communicating with Maria about how her songs will save them all. Turns out, the Moon was an observation device set up by the Custodians to strip humanity of its mutual understanding. ...Wait... wait a minute. Do you mean to tell me that Finé was right all along and that the Moon was actually causing the Curse of Babel? So maybe she wasn't all that insane after all. No, actually, she was still insane. Just because she was right doesn't mean she wasn't nuttier than a nut.
-Nastassja explains that the Lunar Attack did shut down some of its functionality, but if the Moon can be restarted, it can be returned to its original orbit. You know, I'd question the science of this more, but given that we basically have a magical girl that can punch a tornado rainbow, I think that's the last thing I should worry about. What Nastassja should be worried about is that red background, as she coughs up a heavy dose of blood. Yup, I think she's at the end here.
-Maria calls out to her, but Nastassja tells her diva to save the world with her songs, which leads to the present and Maria addressing the world about FIS and their plans. Oh, and she did get the evil makeover, since her jacket is black and purple instead of whatever color it was earlier. Anyway, she admits to lying about everything thus far and realizes that her words may not reach them, but there is one thing she wants them to believe in. It is the fact that songs can become power! She then sings her activation key, activating Gungnir, complete with her transformation sequence. You do realize you gave the world quite a show there, right?
-Maria continues, saying that her power alone isn't enough to handle the falling Moon. So she calls on the people of the world to give her their songs, and soon enough she's singing into the control panel. Yeah, I'm sure the world is going to get right on that, you terrorist scum. As she sings, Gungnir starts to blow, with her wishing to use the live that Serena save for a greater purpose. And thanks to the video, Ogawa and Genjuro know exactly where to go. And off they go to live out their own action movie scene.
-Speaking of action movie scenes, we check in on Hibiki, who's making her way up the stairs as random explosions happen around her. She knows somebody is trying to do their best, so she needs to do the same. For her, there is no answer except to go forward! Good thing you had that stair climbing training recently.
-Back in the SDRTST fight, that's still in a stalemate, but we get a quick shot of Dr. Ver cradling the Staff of Solomon like a baby. Yeah, like we need further proof of the doctor's insanity. He does tell Chris that if she doesn't hurry, she won't get the toy she wants. Like you can trust him to honor any sort of agreement. Though for Chris, her goal is to destroy the staff, so she'll do that by any means necessary. Tsubasa wonders, then, if Dr. Ver is using the collar of doomy death to make Chris obey him. Realizing that the fight isn't going to get them anyway, the pop idol takes another option.
-Tsubasa goes into a wider stance, asking Chris what she wants so much that she's willing to wear a dog collar? Chris replies that those without homes always do the dirty work. This gets Tsubasa to smile, saying that she is going to take the Death Metal Goth Magical Girl home, even if she was to drag her by the neck. Because there is a home waiting for her. Chris looks away, uncertain how to react to the statement, but Tsubasa says that no matter how strongly she refuses, she will help her. And while she knows that having only one wing won't help her fly, making the wind blow is her duty. She then thinks of Kanade, because she needs a paycheck, before flying off to the ether once more.
-As for Chris, she tells at Tsubasa because of those mixed emotions, but Dr. Ver reminds her of the time limit she has before the Dog Collar of Doomy Death goes off. With this, Chris will end the battle in the next attack, using a combination attack she's been working on. Of course is that she called Tsubasa "senpai", which catches the pop idol off guard. Tsubasa smiles, saying that she'll show her junior the killing side of her blade. If you guys were speaking in code, then I think you lost me with that last exchange.
-The two girls gear up with exchange of skills, which includes the Mega Deth Party and the Thousand Falling Tears skills. The exchange results in a massive explosion that engulfs the two girls, seemingly killing them. Dr. Ver, ever the onlooker, cheers in joy, as this was exactly what she was hoping for. But it may not have been faked, because Aoi reports that she lost the signals for Ame no Habakiri and Ichaival. Of course, this could mean that they're depowered, but we're meant to think that they're dead. So, basically, just like last season, which used the penultimate episode to "kill" them off, too. So I'm sure they'll be back for the finale... maybe.
-Meanwhile, for the FIS fights, Shirabe takes over singing duties as she engages with Kiri, and after an exchange of attacks, Kiri takes over for her verse. Shirabe uses her skill Emergency Type Sigma Forbidden Moon Wheel to launch herself at Kiri, who activates her skill Dual-Slash Cinderella. Given how little we know of their gears, I suspect that they're just making up names at this point. The two girls quickly start singing together as they go all out against one another, and like the SDRTST fight, they're also stuck in a stalemate. And I don't think they're talking in code, either.
-During a break in battle, Shirabe asks Kiri if she really can't stop. She responds by saying that if Shirabe really wants her to stop, then she has to try harder. She throws her a vial of LiNKER to her friend. Shirabe is confused by this, but that's because Kiri has her own vial that she uses on herself. Shirabe follows suit, and soon enough, they're singing their Climax Songs. Their respective gears get a massive upgrade, something we didn't get to see before thanks to Hibiki, and we see Kiri become a flying Dark Magician Witch, using her scythe as a rocket powered broom. As for Shirabe, she basically uses her gear to become a giant mech. At this point, I'm like "sure, why not?"
-After a quick exchange of blows, showing how Kiri gained mobility while Shirabe lost it, Kiri says that she will do everything to protect Shirabe, even if her soul is erased by Finé. She then starts powering up her scythe and turns it into a giant energy wheel. I think Ruby might be a little jealous here. Shirabe, however, counters that the people Dr. Ver will save will lose those they love, just like her. There's another exchange of strikes that results in Shirabe losing one of her mech arms, but that doesn't weaken her resolve. She tells Kiri that, even if she survives in a world like that, she would never be able to sing again. And we all know how important singing is in this world.
-Kiri, however, is just as stubborn as Shirabe, and will continue, even if she is hated by her best friend. She attacks, destroying the other Shirabe mech arm, which only seems to make her worried for Kiri. She asks her friend not to fight anymore, to not let the Kiri she loves be taken from her. But Kiri will not relent and she goes in for the kill, only for Shirabe to produce the same shield that Kiri did a few episodes earlier, just like the one Finé made last season. Uh... okay, what?
-Kiri immediately gets depressed, going right away that it's Shirabe who is the vessel for Finé's soul and not her. Though given her statement, it seems like she already knew that Shirabe was the vessel? I don't know why, but the wording seems to imply that. Kiri sends her scythe away, calling herself an awful girl and wants to disappear. That's when we see that the scythe is coming right for Kiri. Shirabe rushes over, probably looking to move Kiri out of the way, but it's too late as she takes the stab meant for her friend. You know, given how big that scythe is, you'd think it'd do more. In a darker series, maybe, but not in this one!
-The first half of the episode ends, not on that, but on Frontier, glowing a light rainbow shadow, as Hibiki reaches the top of the stairs, ready for the final battle. When we return, we're in the control room as Maria finishes her song, but she's clearly tired. That's when the glow fades from Frontier. And that video feed is still going, showing the world how serious she was. Also giving them a free concert, too! however, it was all for naught as Nastassja reports that the Moon remains silent. It's as if it doesn't want to talk to anybody!
-Maria collapses in tears, thinking she isn't powerful enough to perform this task. The video feed is still going, and the three friends are seeing this. They can understand what she's doing, or at least, what she's doing now, so it looks like public opinion of her is changing. Maybe her career can be saved after all!
-What can't be saved is megalomaniac scientists. We don't need them. We enter a crystal cavern as Dr. Ver makes his way down, saying that, in the world he's looking to create, Symphogear-wielders are unnecessary. Which is why he brought them all together, in order for them to fight one another, but he didn't expect it to go this well. Okay, there's no way you could have planned this. You're just taking credit for something that happened pretty much by chance, like the good megalomaniac scientist you are.
-Oh, so this is the result of the explosion from the SDRTST fight. Dr. Ver is surprised to see Chris is still standing, and it's Tsubasa who's on the ground, depowered. Chris says that she took care of the pop idol, as promised, so she'd like the Staff of Solomon now. Pieces of Ichaival begin to break apart as she turns to face the doctor, demanding the staff. As expected, he wasn't going to keep his promise. He brings out a detonator and presses the button, but for some odd reason, there's no explosion. I know, right? In a show like this that loves random explosions, an intentional one doesn't happen? Shocking.
-Anyway, Dr. Ver is confused as to why there isn't an explosion, but Chris, being genre savvy, says the Dog Collar of Doomy Death is broken, ripping it off her neck. She knew he'd never hold up to his end of the bargain. Good thing Genjuro makes you watch all those movies, right? In response, Dr. Ver unleashes tons of Noise. Chris looks more annoyed than anything else, but she feels a sudden pain, and we find out why. Apparently the good doctor keeps smoke grenades filled with anti-LiNKER with him, and he threw one when she wasn't looking. But don't worry, Chris has a plan for that. And it's to violently depowered her Gear by performing an armor purge, which sends out chunks of her armor, hitting a bunch of Noise. Well, hopefully that didn't destroy Ichaival, because that would be a bad thing.
-Thanks to the smoke from the attack, Dr. Ver is unable to see a now naked Chris attack him, knocking the staff out of his hands. This wasn't part of the plan, but to make it worse, they're surrounded by Noise, and she has no way of fighting them. That's when she calls out for senpai, and suddenly, thousands of daggers appear, striking and destroying the Noise. Yup, Tsubasa was playing dead, and here she is, up and... wearing her season one colors? Dr. Ver explains it as her using a gear with a lesser phonic gain to ease the stress from the anti-LiNKER. He didn't think that was possible, but Chris smugly says that if it's Tsubasa, then she makes it possible.
-So I guess Ame no Habakiri and Ichaival we saw this season were upgrades to season one. Which would explain why they look different. But what about Hibiki's Gungnir? Is that just force of will on her part. Unfortunately we don't have time to discuss this as we're right into the action, with Tsubasa slicing her way through the Noise in classic season one style. And this is how you use those heel swords.
-We get a flashback of the final exchange between the SDRTST girls, showing that yes, they were speaking in code, so they knew how to attack one another and make it look convincing to anybody watching. We do get a shot of Tsubasa slicing the Dog Collar of Doomy Death, deactivating it so it doesn't go boom on the later. In the present, Tsubasa continues clean up duty, so Dr. Ver takes this time to run. Fortunately for him, Chris is surrounded by noise, so the pop idol prioritizes her friend over him, setting her sword ablaze and taking out the remaining Noise. Now, I know this will be disappointing for some people, but we don't get to keep a naked Chris for long, as apparently she can materialize her school uniform, so she won't be trying to hide behind rocks or use convenient censorship. And we see that Ichaival did survive, as Chris looks at the relic in her hand. I suspect that's something you don't want to do too often, because who knows what it does to Gears in the long run.
-Tsubasa herself powers down and hands over the Staff of Solomon to Chris. Mission complete! Now lets get drinks. But before they do that, Chris apologizes for running off on her own, but Tsubasa is a forgiving senpai, though she admits that she can't do anything on her own. Plus, she considers herself lucky to see Chris being a good girl. Chris goes a bit Tsundere on the pop idol, but then asks why she believed in what she said? It's because she called Tsubasa "senpai", so she couldn't ignore what she was about to say. And that's all that was needed. Now, before getting those drinks, they need to meet up with Hibiki, who's probably gotten herself in trouble again. She walks off, with Chris smiling, happy to have a home with them. Chris certainly got an increase in the adorable factor this season.
-We follow Dr. Ver in a long elevator shaft, pissed that he lost the Staff of Solomon. He'll need to send Maria after them, assuming she isn't tired from trying to sing the Moon awake. Speaking of getting people to wake up, Kiri is over Shirabe's barely alive body, pleading with her to wake up. In the all too familiar space between life and death, Shirabe sinks deeper into the abyss. She can hear Kiri call out for her, but she also sees the spirit of Finé floating over her. Turns out, Hibiki actually did purify her, as she planned to stay quite without erasing anyone's soul. The problem, however, is that after being hit a strike that splits the soul into two, she won't last that long. How very un-Finé of you.
-Shirabe asks why Finé took the blow for her. But it's because she needs a messenger, and Shirabe will do. She wants Shirabe to tell "her" something. She explains that, for a millennia, she's been the villain. Sometime, somewhere, and it's too late to pretend to be a hero. She, living in the present, must deal with it. Shirabe recognizes who the "her" Finé is referring to, as the priestess continues, saying that sometime in the future, people will be connected, and sharing that isn't the role for a ghost. And with that, she fades away into little specks of light, which also appear in the real world, coming from Shirabe. So... Kiri killed a ghost? Good for her.
-Oh, right, she's upset because she may have killed her friend. Kiri begs for Shirabe to open her eyes, who tells her that they're already open. She sits up as Kiri is having issues processing it, but after being stared at by Shirabe, Kiri just breaks down and wraps her friend up in a giant bear hug. She's all kinds of confused, so Shirabe explains it as best as she can. Something about Finé apparently not being evil and taking the metaphorical bullet for her. Kiri is just more confused, but that leaves her open for a bear hug from Shirabe. Hugs for everybody!
-Shirabe tells Kiri that everyone is helping her, so she needs her friend to help, too. They are going to save Maria together. Kiri can get behind that, and with that, her heel-face turn has been completed. I think, technically, that makes her the last of the FIS Magical Girls to switch sides.
-As for Maria, she's having her little break down as Nastassja asks her to try and reactivate eh lunar ruins again. Maria is being a defeatist, however, saying that her songs can't save the world. Eye-Patch Mom pleads her to help, but that's when Dr. Ver arrives. You have terrible timing, doctor. So, hey, you know how FIS' ultimate goal was to stop the Moon from falling? Yeah, apparently that wasn't Dr. Ver's plan. He hits Maria with a backfist. No, not a slap with the back of the hand, but a backfist, and berates Maria for trying to stop the Moon from falling. If it fails, he won't be able to do what he wants. And to think I called him a megalomaniac earlier as a joke.
-Dr. Ver hears Nastassja on the comms and gets right to work as Eye-Patch Mom begs him to use Frontier to reboot the ruins that control Balal's Curse. With that, they can return the Moon to its proper orbit. Okay, you want to do that? Then Dr. Ver will help you out by sending you straight to the Moon. And suddenly, the building that I'm guessing contains the engineering room Nastassja was in goes flying. Dr. Ver then says that the reason all the heroes throughout history have been unable to rule humanity is that humanity's numbers were too great! And so, he's going to reduce humanity to the point that he can rule them! Sounds like you were born in the wrong universe, doctor.
-So, let's see. We have psychopath, megalomanic, mass-murderer. Anything else to add? Oh, right, and egotist, as the good doctor says that only a genius like him could figure out how to rule humanity. He says he always wanted to be a hero, and now he'll be greater than one. Maria, pissed, brings out her spear and confronts Dr. Ver, but he reminds her that, if she kills him, she'd be killing all of humanity. Yeah, she stopped caring and attacks. Yeah, looks like the doctor didn't expect that and panics, but luckily, Hibiki comes in to save the day!
-Maria is upset that fusion-syndrome patient #1 is in the way. Lady, she has a name, and Hibiki gives it, along with her age, and that she is not some "fusion-syndrome patient." No anymore, that is. Anyway, Hibiki is here because she wanted to talk to Maria. But the diva already knows that allowing Hibiki to talk is the worst thing that can happen, so she tells the younger girl that, no, there is no need to talk. Dr. Ver killed Nastassja, so she's going to kill him. Well, she isn't exactly dead yet, is she? She's still got some time... possibly. Depends on how fast that building is going.
-Maria attacks, lunging straight for Dr. Ver, but Hibiki, showing why there will be a second law about sending her out on the field, grabs the spear and is able to keep the powered armored diva in check. All without a Gear... maybe. She tells the diva that she can look for a reason to kill Dr. Ver later, but for now, she can't give up on living. And that's when Hibiki sings the activation key for Gungnir, which causes Maria to depower, though she didn't get her clothes back, and for the entire place to be covered with specks of light and energy. Which leads to the reactions of everybody looking, because remember, the live streaming is still going on.
-We have Kiri and Shirabe, who's first thought is to save Maria. Then we have Chris and Tsubasa, who just kind of shrug, calling this typical Hibiki behavior. Then we have the world, showing that yes, Hibiki is a gear wielder. And the three friends looking on in surprise. They'll probably need to tell her about this later. We cut to Ogawa and Genjuro, looking at the video with neutral expressions. Well, he was going to punish her before, so it's not like that's changed. and then we're in the SDRTST command deck. Now, I know the looks of Aoi and Mike are suppose to be one of shock, but given the way their eyes are shadowed, it makes me think they're looking at something horrifying.
-Back at the bridge, Maria is confused. Apparently the fusion patient shouldn't be able to do this. Who told you that, Dr. Ver? Really, how often does the man lie to you? Even if he tells the truth, you can't trust what he says. Also, this is Hibiki we're talking about. She could rewrite the universe if she wanted to. With encouragement, Hibiki transforms into Gungnir, though I think she actually has a jewel on her chest this time, as she yells out her gear, called Strike Spear Gungnir. Cue credits! Good timing, too.
On Friday, the finale. Until next time.
8 months agoErinM
Well, instead of pimping my existing ride, I got a new one. That still counts, right?
The reason I wanted to write about this is because we have this horrible habit of taking wonderful things for granted once they become the norm for us.
It happens with everything from relationships to technology to cars. We're really excited for this new thing at first, so we go out of our way to treat it nicely, and then by the six-month to one-year mark, the novelty has worn off and we return to how things were before.
I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that won't happen. No matter how much I want to hold onto this feeling of "oh my god this is awesomeeee!", it's going to happen eventually.
But at least I'll have this to refer back to.
How Awesome Is This Ride?
So, exactly how awesome is my new car? It's pretty awesome. Check out this setup:
The #1 criteria for my car search was the ability to sleep in it. Why? Because I don't want to just focus on traveling overseas. The U.S. is home to some pretty amazing places, and I figured having a car with me would be more practical than trying to rent one or Uber. And since I can sleep in it, I'm saving lots of money on lodging.
At first, I was kind of skeptical. I'm fairly tall, and a lot of the wagons and crossovers that were initially on my list seemed too small to fit me comfortably. Plus, telling salespeople that car camping was a goal of mine was met with some weird looks. Oh well.
What I ended up with - a Subaru Forester - wasn't even on my list because of how it had ballooned over the years. It used to be a short, boxy station wagon, and now it's essentially an SUV. However, the price point was right on target, I enjoyed how it drove, and I fell in love with the colors of the one I ended up getting.
Tell me I'm not pretty!
Why I'm Happy
I can safely say this is the first time I've ever been this excited about a vehicle, but I think that reflects where I'm at in life more than anything.
I was originally happy with my '02 Civic Coupe because it's adorable and sporty (and Honda's are great), but as the years went on, it was clear it wasn't very reliable to drive. That held me back more times than I realized. I didn't enjoy driving, and as a result, I stayed home more. (And without a commute, that can be dangerous.)
Contrast that with yesterday... I got home and became restless for the remainder of the day because I wanted to go on a road trip right then and there and put this baby to the test. (Unfortunately, it needs an inspection and real plates, so that didn't seem like a good idea.)
Instead, I took it for a spin at night to see what a difference having new lights made. It turns out, a world of difference. My eyesight is horrible and I'm usually not super comfortable driving at night. My old car had been in an accident (not by me =)) and as a result, the driver's side headlight was a bit wonky. The lights themselves weren't very bright, either. These were crazy bright, and I can tell the high-beams will do just fine on creepy back roads.
As I continue to drive it, I'm discovering all sorts of useful things about the car that I never had before. The biggest plus is heated seats (I'm cold 90% of the time), the extended sunroof, and the aux input for my phone + Spotify. (I had a lame ass cassette tape audio jack connection thing before.)
But nothing beat the excitement of blowing up an air mattress, laying down, and realizing how perfect everything had come together. (My face says everything.) I pictured myself turning on the overhead light and reading with a view of the nighttime sky through the sunroof, being curled up in the middle of nowhere with some music playing softly...it's just so cool to think my car can double as a hotel room.
Oh yeah, and it's AWD, so I don't have to worry about road conditions as much as before. My Civic was nimble, but horrible in the snow and rain.
Overall, while my heart may have dropped a few times thinking about how much I was spending on this, I can say that excitement won out in the end. Cars are a depreciating asset - I would never consider its worth in my total net worth (especially since I'm going to drive it forever) - but I can view it as an investment in the lifestyle I want.
It's another symbol for this new chapter in my life, and I can't wait to see where it will take me.
Here's a hint of it (more or less me being silly):
I fail at hiding.
Look at all this SPACE!! What is this even?!!?
Just sitting back here. Chillin. In my car. Because I'm a total nerd.
Do you have any car stories to share? Do you think I'm insane for being excited to sleep in my car? Let me know. =P
8 months agoCaButler
Hello everybody and welcome to our next episode of Symphogear G. Where missing friends can suddenly appear as arch-rivals.
In our previous episode, Miku is presumed killed in the Sky Tower explosion, leaving Hibiki to be a bit of a mess for a bit while Chris and Tsubasa handle cleanup. Through the efforts of the SDRTST, they get an idea as to what happened and how it went down. They also discover that Miku is not dead, but alive. Just missing in action. Still, they go based on the assumption that she was kidnapped, which is better than nothing at the moment. So they go off to train in a training montage that will be considered the greatest training montage to ever exist.
Meanwhile, Maria has had a bit of a change of heart, what with murdering US Soldiers, and decides that she likes Dr. Ver's ideas, which doesn't sit quite that well with Kiri and Shirabe. So she's looking to go full evil, but it's reluctant as she has issues with random murdering, which is what happens when Dr. Ver unleashes Noise on a US Patrol ship. Nastassja, too weak to do anything to stop it, is basically out of the picture, so Shirabe decides to take matters in her own hands and deals with the Noise threat.
Kiri, worried about her own potential loss of life, is afraid for Shirabe, so with some prompting from Dr. Ver, goes to help out, only to immediately betray Shirabe by hitting her with some Anti-LiNKER, forcing her to depower. Of course, we know hte reason why, because Kiri wants somebody to remember her, but her plea is cut off short by the arrival of Chris and Tsubasa, who make quick work of the two.
And that's when our twist comes in. For you see, Miku was indeed kidnapped when Maria accidentally ran into her during her escape. Then Dr. Ver had some alone time with her, which should not sit well for any of us, and suddenly, here she is, using Shenshoujin as her gear. Things are getting wild here. How will Hibiki react to seeing her friend on the wrong side? Will Shirabe ever forgive this sudden betrayal? And is Maria truly playing the long game? Let's tune in and find out.
-So our episode begins with Miku revealing herself as Shenshoujin's wielder, which catches everybody by surprise. Also, getting a better look at it, Miku's Gear form has this wierd head dress that makes it look like it's trying to eat her face. Anyway, it's a short teaser today as we're getting right into the opening.
-Tonight's episode is titled Countdown to Loss. Well, that isn't ominous at all, is it? The VTOL, having lost Shenshoujin, is in public few as we see several ships surrounding the US Patrol ship. Nastassja arrives on the cockpit, already aware of what's happening. Maria objects to her being there, but Eye-Patch Mom is all kinds of pissed off. They need Shenshoujin to break the seal, but it also has the power to deceive the heart. She gives a stare of anger at Dr. Ver, accusing him of doing this. Really, should you be surprised at this point?
-We get a flashback to Dr. Ver talking to Miku, offering to help her out and offering her Shenshoujin. And then we see her in a vat with tubes and some metallic object on the back of her head. Miku, did you honestly accept his offer while realizing that this man is a psychopath, who not only killed several people in front of you, but also tried to kill you and Hibiki on a separate occasion? There's no way you would have accepted his offer unless he did use some sort of mind control on you.
-Anyway, Dr. Ver wanted to use Miku because she's friends with "fusion-syndrome patient #1", aka, Hibiki. As we learned last season, all the girls who attend Lydian are potential Symphogear wielders, and Miku is no exception. But Nastassja isn't pleased, because Dr. Ver basically manipulated the poor girl, which is true. She accuses him of just injecting the girl with his LiNKER and turn her into a gear wilder. Dr. Ver denies such claims. Just because you give a person LiNKER, doesn't make them a Symphogear wielder. So how? Because of love, obviously! Nastassja has such a great expression to this reply, asking where did this come from to begin with?
-Dr. Ver explains it. The LiNKER that connected to Miku connected to her desire to prevent Hibiki from fighting anymore, which allowed her to connect to Shenshoujin. Dr. Ver calls it beautiful, because he loves these kinds of twists, given how twisted he is. Though I still think he's under mind control, because we're given a little extra time to the jewel on the back of her head. Anyway, Tsubasa and Chris are like "What?", so Shirabe, who has decided to switch sides, explains. Dr. Ver made Miku expendable, since her creation was faster than Shirabe and Kiri. As a result, she'll break more easily. As if we didn't have enough excuses to wish great pain on Dr. Ver.
-Tsubasa reports the situation, but given that the SDRTST is currently watching the event unfold, I think they're up to date on the situation. This also includes Hibiki, because she's got nothing better to do at the moment. We then get a long look at Miku's face before the jaw headdress comes down, showing it to be a visor, and she joins the fray. I do note that her eyes are very much different from the others, so I'm sticking with my "mind control" theory.
-Chris does Shirabe aside and engages Miku, using her skill Queen's Inferno, unleashing thousands of energy arrows, but Miku is able to dodge them and escapes into the ocean. Hoping to use this distraction to escape, Kiri makes a run for it, but doesn't even have enough time to turn around before Tsubasa has her back at her sword. This unfortunately makes the fight a one-on-one fight, which Tsubasa regrets, because they aren't just fighting an unknown Gear wielder, but one that is a close friend to all three girls. Stupid dramatic twists!
-Chris continues to attack Miku, who can apparently hover above the water. Shenshoujin seems a bit over powered, doesn't it? Chris keeps up by leaping from ship to ship, then decides that if arrows aren't going to work, bullets will. She uses her skill Billion Maiden, and while Miku does fight back, she is nailed a couple of times. When you fire enough bullets, some of them are going to hit. But still, Miku is holding her own surprisingly well despite being a new gear wielder. In the VTOL, we find out why. Shenshoujin is overriding Miku's will and is essentially running the fight for her. Nastassja points out that, with a fake will, she still won't be a match for experienced Gear wielders.
-This is showing in the SDRTST command deck, where Miku is getting nailed and is unable to actually attack properly. It's gotten so bad that Hibiki wants to go out there and help, but in a surprising twist on the cliche, does not go out to engage, even though it's quite painful for her. Genjuro, in another twist, pats her on the head, doing all he can to comfort his student. And this is why we need more Genjuro's running secret organizations. Things just go smoother when they have a party budget.
-Back in the battle, while Chris did jump in right away to attack, she did so reluctantly. She doesn't want to hurt Miku because of all she's done for them, but as they return to the US Patrol Ship, Chris unleashes her skill Mega Deth Party. And just to make sure they connect, Chris lays down fire to hit Miku, allowing the missiles to hit their target. And with that, the battle has ended. I'm trying to decide what Dr. Ver's plan was here? Was he hoping Hibiki would show up to cause something to happen? Was he hoping for some sort of miracle?
-Still, the doctor does have backup plans. Chris finds Miku, alive but unconscious. She goes for the Gear, but Dr. Ver tells her that if they try to forcefully remove it, it make cause damage to her brain. That's when Miku reveals she was playing dead or was running on autopilot, and unleashes a skill called Flash of Light, which is used with her weapon expanding to look like a satellite dish. Even though she was at point blank, Chris was able to dodge the attack. This world must operate on Xcom accuracy.
-Miku then prepares to unleash another attack, forming a metal circle around her. She's also aiming for everybody else, which Chris notes is a bad thing for a depowered Shirabe. Kiri then yells out Death for some reason as Miku starts her song. It's soft, somber, and sounds a bit robotic. Which, given the current situation, makes sense here. Chris decides that she's going to fight fire with fire and prepares her own skill, but Miku appears to get her's out first, which is called Shooting Star. Geez, I wonder why?
-Chris' skill, which is defense oriented, deflects the attack, but man, it does a number on the US Patrol Ship. However, the attack hasn't stopped, but Chris is tanking it like a champ. That's when Kiri calls out to Shirabe, telling her to run before they erase her. Tsubasa is confused by this. Who is going to erase who? Meanwhile, Chris continues to hold her own, saying that this shot is nothing compared to the one that tried to destroy the moon. Still, she wonders why she's being pushed back. Better than getting killed, which is exactly what Miku is trying to do here.
-Shirabe fills in, saying that it's innocent an fierce, a flood of power that wards off evil. That is the power of the Shenshoujin Symphogear. But it looks like Chris is reaching her limit. So you mean erased by the beam from Miku, who was forcefully turned into a gear wielder by a madman who forced Kiri to betray Shirabe and now put her in mortal danger? Tell me again why you want to keep working with him?
-Luckily, Tsubasa chooses now to step in to help, but since she's nowhere near as defense oriented as Chris or Hibiki, she keeps dropping giant swords while running with Chris and Shirabe in tow. She's barely staying ahead of the beam, and before you ask why she can't just move to the side, she states that if she did, she'd have to slow down. So Tsubasa decides to do a little outside of the box thinking. If she can't move to the side, she'll just move up. She drops a sword right in front of her and uses it as a ramp, allowing the three to escape the blast just in time. Well, that was fun, wasn't it?
-There's a pause in the battle as Miku is still ready to attack, but Kiri berates her. Shirabe is one of them, so how could you attack her like that? Dr. Ver, however, asks if Shirabe really is one of them? She did betray the group and helped the enemy, so could you really call Shirabe one of us? And Kiri starts breaking down, blaming herself for betraying Shirabe. But she seems to be taking it rather well, calling out to her friend and telling her that Dr. Ver's methods of doing things won't save the weak. Dr. Ver, who is somehow able to hear all of this, says yeah, that's true. As they are, they're far too powerless. While they don't have enough data on Symphogears and relics, they do have an advantage with the Staff of Solomon. Yeah, if the SDRTST is smart, they'll destroy that thing first chance they get.
-Dr. Ver then unleashes a wave of Noise on the other US ships, killing hundreds of sailors. Tsubasa is shocked by this, but at this point, I think Dr. Ver just looks for reason to use the staff. Chris, however, is concerned about something else. With the staff around, it means the Treasury of Babylonia is still open. That was mentioned once before, but that sounds like a very bad thing.
-Chris engages the Noise while Kiri and Tsubasa fight again. At this point, I'm just wondering how badly damaged Kiri is? Is it because of Finé and the mess that it's doing to her? Miku is still charging up, but then she stops the charge and leaves. How odd. But that's because the SDRTST sub surfaces, though it doesn't seem to be related. Did Dr. Ver call her back or is she looking for a different firing solution? In any case, Genjuro orders a rescue operation for the sailors and to let Chris handle the Noise, something she's very good at.
-As Tsubasa and Kiri lock weapons, the pop idol realizes that she could easily shake off Kiri easily, but that will leave Shirabe open. So Ogawa, being the faithful manager that he is, takes Shirabe out of the equation. He appears in a pillar of water, grabs Shirabe, tells Tsubasa to leave the resuce effort to them and orders her to follow Miku. And then he... shadow walks backwards with Shirabe in tow? Ogawa, are you actually a super powered ninja or something?
-With Shirabe no longer a factor, Tsubasa uses one of the plane launchers on the deck to send herself off. Kiri, uncertain of what to do, runs off screen in the same direction as Miku. Meanwhile, that comment about Ogawa? Yeah, we see him running on the water with Shirabe in hand. I had to stop for a few minutes to process this. So Genjuro is, like, a level twenty monk, so Ogawa is, what, a level twenty rogue/ninja or something?
-Kiri, in pursuit of Tsubasa, decides that she needs to leave her mark on the world. She ties up Tsubasa, leaving her open for a skill called Guillotine Jabberwock. I think the name speaks for itself, but Kiri is going for her own murder here. But just because Tsubasa is tied up doesn't mean she's helpless, as she uses her skill, Thousand Falling Tears, to escape her entrapment. Tsubasa has issues with her own near death, but Kiri goes on to say that she doesn't want Shirabe to forget. Yeah, she might have issues with you killing somebody. She won't forget that.
-Back in the command deck, they've finished analyzing Shenshoujin. Apparently it has the ability to degrade any power derived from relics. Which would explain how she was able to get through Chris' defenses. But this becomes another problem. They can't stop her with another gear. So how do they stop a relic-killer? Well, we have you, Genjuro, who proves to be more for a match for any Gear wielder. But don't worry, Hibiki has an idea. Which will likely involve her in some way, despite having a relic of her own.
-Dr. Ver, meanwhile, is enjoying this. He says that there's blood in Miku's songs, saying that the light of Shenshoujin is amplified by human phonic gain. He suspects that if they fire that at Frontier, it'll break the seal. Nastassja then starts coughing up more blood, so Maria asks the doctor for help. Well, he doesn't want to, since Nastassja has outlived her usefulness, but decides to do it anyway. And by help, I suspect he means kill. They leave, with Maria trying to keep herself in the game. This is the path she chose, but I can sense some regret in it.
-Back in the battle, Chris has dealt with the Noise, but she lands near the remains of some sailors. One is holding a pendant with a picture of himself and his daughter, which cuts at her deeply. She blames herself for letting this happen and is fully willing to accept this as her cross to bear. She renews her determination to see this through to the end, no matter watch.
-We then cut to Miku approaching the sub, where Hibiki stands, facing her. Hibiki calls out to her friend, saying they should go back, but Miku refuses, because she has something to do. She says that the light form Shenshoujin will shine upon a new world, and it's one without war, in which everyone can live in peace. And you honestly believe that Dr. Ver meant all of that, given what you've personally witnessed? Yup, has to be mind control. Even if Miku willingly did this for Hibiki, this just feels way too out of character for her without an outside influence clouding her judgement.
-Miku doesn't want to fight Hibiki, so she's going to make a world where she doesn't have to fight. Hibiki counters, though, asking if a world she makes in this way really be warm? This seems to get to her, so Hibiki keeps going, saying that the world she loves most is in the gentle sunlight, when Miku is with her. Miku counters that the world she'll create is one where she doesn't have to fight, but as Hibiki has issues with letting millions die, she will fight her best friend to prevent that from happening.
-With this resolve, Hibiki sings her activation key and we get her transformation sequence. And with that, the friends engage in their battle. In the command deck, Aoi reports that Hibiki has moved to Negotiation phase B. Hey, remember when I said that as a joke? Turns out it's an actual thing. They then start the clock, likely for how long Hibiki can stay transformed, and the limit is at two minutes and forty seconds. Plenty of time.
-Though it's possible they have less time than they think, because Hibiki is filling like her blood is about to boil over. We all knew you were hot headed, but we didn't mean literally. But this is part of the plan, as in a flashback, Hibiki tells Genjuro the plan. She'll use her energy wave to disable Miku's gear. What can possibly go wrong? Aside from dying and possibly exploding at the same time. I only add that because this show loves it's explosions.
-Genjuro has issues with this, refusing to let Hibiki go out there, but as Chris and Tsubasa are currently busy with other things, she's the only one available. And she's going to bring Miku back, even if it kills her. Genjuro refuses to let her die, so Hibiki will return alive, even if it kills her. Yup, she is certainly Genjuro's student. That's when Sakuya, looking to help, gives Genjuro an estimated time limit for Hibiki. Aoi joins in, saying that, with their support, Hibiki can succeed in their mission. Genjuro is still reluctant to do this, so he asks Hibiki if she has a plan? Her response is "You can't use numbers to describe something you just came up with!" So, no. Perfect. Let's rock!
-With that, we're back in the battle. Hibiki gets in a few good shots, but Miku lands a massive one, knocking Hibiki into the hall of the ship. She keeps laying on the attacks, knowing that her friend has endurance for days. Genjuro gets on the horn and reminds Hibiki about her time limit, so don't forget to not exceed that. I mean, I know we spoke about this just a few minutes ago, but I get this feeling that you need to be reminded of that.
-Hibiki seems worried about it at first, with the gear inside of her exploding like a spike ball, but this only increases her resolve. She breaks the furry of attacks and knocks Miku back, who counters with the Shooting Star. Hibiki, having scouted the attack well, dodges, but is unable to get closer from multiple laser attacks from Miku. Maria, watching from the VTOL, decides to help by launching a few missiles that are actually reflectors, allowing the attacks to bounce around more. You know, for something they just came up with, FIS is remarkably well prepared for this.
-Miku continues forward and... actually, she isn't getting hit by the lasers. She's using them as jumping point. A Monk, a Ninja, magical girls, and now this? At this point, I'd be surprised if they didn't do something over the top. However, Hibiki is quickly running out of time. Less than thirty seconds before critical failure. Miku keeps firing her lasers, saying that fighting is wrong, and that not fighting is the only thing that truly promises a warm world. And... is that jewel on the back of her head breathing? Is that actually the Nephilim heart? It must be.
-Still, Miku wants to stop Hibiki from fighting, so she's going to release her from it. Just then, stones starts to protrude from Hibiki, which doesn't sit very well with Miku, who has her veins popping out. This breaks open her visor, distracting her long enough for Hibiki to get in and grab Miku. Despite her protests, Hibiki will not let her go, even if she's causing third degree burns. As she makes her way back to the sub, we see what hte reflectors were for. They were to redirect the Shenshoujin beams. On the way back, Hibiki and Miku are caught in the beam, doing heavy damage to the two and possibly destroying that jewel on Miku's head. Oh, the medical team won't be happy about this.
-But hte beam itself keeps going, right into the water. Everybody stares at the light, wondering if their mission was successful? Well, somebody's was, and it's Dr. Ver, who rejoins Maria in the cockpit, overjoyed that Frontier's seal is breaking. Cue credits!
-But we're not done yet! We have an after credit scene. The pillar of light fades away, but the shaking continues as a landmass comes from under water. Everybody stops fighting as a result, but htis allows for somebody to sneak up behind Tsubasa and shoot her in the back with what sounds like an actual gun, even if it does look like an NES Zapper.
-Who shot Tsubasa? Why, it's Chris? But why? Why would she do that? There's no answer, for our last shot is Chris staring down her fallen comrade and pulling the trigger one more time. End episode.
Yeah, we totally needed that cliffhanger, because it wasn't just enough to know if Hibiki and Miku are alive and what their conditions are. At hte very least, it looks like Shenshoujin was destroy, but what about Gungnir? That thing can take a lot of punishment, but could it withstand such a blast in her given condition?
And why did Chris suddenly turn against Chris? Is this also a long con, or is there something else going on here? And unfortunately there, we can't say mind control was involved.
Things are starting to look bad for our heroes. Frontier has arisen, and Dr. Ver's plans are nearing completion. We're entering the final stretch of hte season where all bets are off. Did Hibiki and Miku survive the laser blast? Why did Chris shoot Tsubasa? And what will Frontier do about the falling moon? Tune in on Friday to find out.
Until next time, remember, when hiring for a manger, make sure that they have skills that could also qualify them as a ninja, just in case you need to get out of tight situations.
8 months agoMololue That One Idiot
Hello RTMD Crabbies, we are pleased to present you with Monthly Update #1! In this update we are bringing you a reminder of October's meet up, more details for the Extra Life stream party, some cool new features, and a helping of comedy! (Please humour our jokes)
Mark Your Calendars
“RTMD Dies At the End” - Halloween Haunted Forest Meet Up:
There’s plenty to fall in love with this October—get it?—but one of the top is the chance to meet all new friends at our Halloween spooktacular meet up. Sure, there may be some terrifying monsters, maybe an axe murderer or two, but haunted forests are safe when you have a large group of Rooster Teeth fans to scream with you! Circle Saturday, October 21st on your calendars and join us at Markoff’s Haunted Forest in Dickerson, MD. Everyone will be meeting at admin Emily’s house at 9:00 PM to carpool. Address will be provided directly to all those who RSVP.
Please note there is a correction regarding ticket prices from last month’s update. Tickets for Oct 21st are $25 BEFORE Oct 1st, and $35 after. We apologize about the confusion y’all, but fear not, using code FRCO25 will save you 25% on your ticket! And remember, buy your tickets online for the TRAIL PASS only! Trails are where it’s at, yo.
After shitting our pants in fear, we will be camping in admin Emily’s backyard. This is optional and you absolutely need to RSVP for this, but the more the merrier! Remember to bring a sleeping bag and pillow. The slumber party is BYOS (bring your own snacks), but if you do want to bring enough for everyone double check with an admin so we can avoid any allergy-related deaths. Be warned, there will be alcohol present and no one under the age of 21 will be able to drink. Get ready for s’mores, shenanigans, and scary stories.
Spooky times for all!
Ain’t No Party Like An Extra Life Party:
It’s beginning to look a lot like Extra Life! It’s that magical time of the year when everyone in the Let’s Play family and beyond team up and lose their collective minds with wacky antics and no sleep to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Rooster Teeth’s Extra Life stream begins on Saturday, November 11th and goes on until the following morning. Were you planning on watching the stream live as it happens? Why not do so with all your favorite RTMD people? We will be throwing a live stream viewing party rife with good food, hijinks, and great company for the entire stream.
This event would not be possible without our gracious host, Bear, and we cannot thank him enough for letting us into his home. Our community is respectful, and we know we all will keep it that way during the stream. We will be together for 24 hours, so bear in mind the courtesies of both being a guest in someone else’s home and having a ton of temporary roommates. Assholes will be sent home on their own dime.
The party begins no earlier than 8:30 AM. The stream itself starts at 9:00 AM EST. Breakfast will be provided both mornings, but other meals and snackage are potluck-styled. Please keep in mind, there will be alcohol present and drinking laws apply. A form and sign-up sheet for bringing food will be sent out to those who RSVP. You must RSVP to either Emily, Hannah, or Bear if you will be attending, whether you want to come for the full 24 hours or can only make it for a short period of time. We are capping out at 15 people for those who wish to stay the entire 24 hours. More people are definitely welcome to come at different intervals; we would love to see you there!
The Bay Watch:
Got all that, but afraid you’ll forget? No worries, we now have a calendar for your viewing pleasure! Our RTMD calendar is sure to keep you updated with all the RT and RTMD events for the low, low price of $4.99! Kidding, it’s free, but we won’t say no to any...donations. (Disclaimer: this is another joke. The calendar was made out of love for ya’ll) You can find the calendar here.
We know, we know, you already did this survey. And we love you so much for that! You are our favorite child. But for everyone who missed the survey in last month’s update, or didn’t get a chance to fill it out yet, please take a couple of minutes to do so! It’s our census of the group and we’ll be using this information in a variety of colorful and interesting ways.
Please click here for the survey: Take me!
RTMD WANTS YOU to send us submissions so that we can showcase your talents. Do you draw, animate, play an instrument, bake, write, dance, be all around awesome? Do you want to show the community your skills, but don’t have a place to do so? Well you can count on us to make this wish come true! Fill out some questions, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll feature you in one of our monthly updates.
These questions are just a general idea of what we’re looking for; feel free to skip questions 2 and 5.
What would you like to showcase?
Can you recall what originally got you into (insert thing)?
What program, process, or equipment do you use?
Attach any pictures, videos, etc that you would like us to share!
Would you like to provide a link to where people can find your stuff? If so, please share!
We will take the information you submit, write up a blurb, and provide you with a preview before anything is posted. We will also accept blurbs from you if you wish to write your own. In the case that you submit, but change your mind, a request for withdrawal will be accepted up to 3 days before it is to be posted in the monthly update. We hope to see a variety of talents from our RTMD members!
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you!
A merry day of birth to these lovely members:
Jess (@jessty104) on October 4th
Chase (@CLMwolf) on October 13th
Join us in wishing them a wonderful birthday!
And Now...The Weather
Oh gosh, oh man, it’s the first official update. Last month was a test run with training wheels and a plastic bubble, but this here is the big leagues. How do I look? My palms are sweaty (knees weak, arms are heavy).
In all seriousness (that we can muster at the moment), we hope everyone has been enjoying what RTMD’s been offering so far. Can you smell what we’re cooking? Hint: it's a community of love, diversity, and Old Bay. The smell is mostly Old Bay. There’s so many wonderful things happening in the next few months! Our main goal is to keep everyone informed of all of the events and news, so we apologize in advance for all of the site, Facebook, Twitter, and Discord spam. If we could spam you on LinkedIn, we would.
Having in-person events is fantastic, especially for a group that barely met at all a few months ago, but with our state being so oddly-shaped and everyone having active lives, we aren’t able to have as many events as we would like. In our ideal world we would have one every weekend with no schedule conflicts or time constraints and there would be free food and balloons every time. (Hannah’s ideal world also includes roller skates as the main mode of transportation and a unicorn as mayor of DC, but. We digress). With the limitations of reality in mind, we can’t stay connected face to face as much as we want, but we have plenty of ways to keep in touch with all group members in between events. Twitter and Facebook are poppin’ but the real discussions, jokes, and ridiculousness occur on our Discord.
If you haven’t joined the RTMD Discord yet, we’d like to personally invite you to come on in. If you’ve joined but might be a little hesitant to chime in, no need to fear! We would love to hear what you have to say. We have so many people from so many different walks of life and varying senses of humor. Our community comes together for the ups, downs, and in-betweens and we want you to be a part of that. You’re part of our RTMD family.
Now that we are officially in autumn, we wish the best for everyone’s school and work endeavors! Enjoy the pretty leaves, the pumpkin flavored everything, and the season of change. Though some of us could do without the colder weather, we have to wear sweaters already (mom’s spaghetti).
Wishing you a happy Halloween!
Your Friendly Neighborhood Admins,
9 months agoBacrylic
'm not satisfied with my current tileset, but for all sake and purposes it gives my partner something to work with in the meantime. So to make sure we have what we need for the game I'm jumping back to working on our basic enemy character, the Inkling Pawn and concepting out it's close range attack. My partner says projectile attacks could have a lot more bugs to fix, so we're not gonna show the fireball just yet.
Here is a test for the Pawn's idle anim.
And here is the concept for close range.
Let me know what you think. I kind of like the arcing slam down hit for my taste (#1).