[Sliver's Scrapbook of DOOM] Sketches, Chickens, and Wonder

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[Sliver's Scrapbook of DOOM] Sketches, Chickens, and Wonder

Postby Traverse on June 30th, 2013, 3:10 am

A Rant About a Movie
And a bit about Hollywood


I don't rant too often...and more out of exasperation than anger I felt the need to tonight. As a disclaimer my Father talks for too long and my Mother tells stories with no real endings. I happened to inherit a fun mix of both these traits...so please bear with me :D

So tonight I saw 'Now You See Me,' a movie I've been waiting for with anxious anticipation for months now. A fan of Woody Harrelson, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, et all, with the premise of awesomely advanced magicians...well, that stuff is right up my alley.

It was great. If you like flashy stuff, action, a bit of mystery, and some classic acting from all of the above actors, you're in for a blast.

So why the rant?

The rant originates form the actress that is one of the 'Four Horsemen' (Aka the magicians), played by Isla Fisher.

I don't know if you know Isla Fisher. She did some voice acting in Rango and Rise of the Guardians and was in Confessions of a Shopaholic (Never watch that movie...never), which is where I know her from. She plays...nearly leading roles but not quite, and seems to be sidelined by the bigger names in every film she crosses.

---SPOILERS ARE ABOUND FROM THIS POINT ON. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.---


Anyway, I was excited about her being one of the magicians. After all, everyone looked cool, so why shouldn't she be?

They introduce each of the four (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco) with little snippets showing their work and then afterward getting invited via a cool Tarot card to some mysterious rendezvous. Eisenberg is the flashy show person mocking the big names today, Harrelson is the mentalist, Franco is the crook-like con man with a knack for locks, and Fisher is the escape artist.

Except the scene they show in the beginning that gets her into the invite? Its the coolest thing she does...for the rest of the movie.

You soon learn that Fisher was formerly Eisenberg's assistant, and left to do her own thing, be all independent and her own woman, but for all intensive purposes she might as well be an assistant for the rest of the film. She acts as the pretty face and the occasional voice of all the Robin Hood like Wisdom that the Four Horsemen like to impart to their enraptured audiences.

Oh, and to top it all off her one major plot development in the entire movie is that she has feelings for Jesse Eisenberg and they sorta hook up at the end. That is her big character plot. Pretty great right?

Now I'm not saying that any of the magicians get a great back story, but boy oh boy do all the three males get to do some sweet stuff as the movie progresses. Harrelson and Eisenberg are the smooth talking sarcastic boys, playing everyone like fiddles, and though Franco is sidelined for most of the movie, he gets his time to shine, which was probably one of my favorite scenes in the whole thing.

It was a delayed bummer that sunk into me on the ride home. You get pumped up after a great flick, then think about it a little, and a little more, and I realized that all my excitement about seeing Isla Fisher kick some ass and take some names had been over run by all the awesome stuff all the guys got to do, and then realized I shouldn't even be surprised, and then felt even more bummed when I realized that. Books, Video Games, even Comics I have found are becoming quite progressive in their portrayal of women. Not always, and not often in a big way, but places that might surprise you. I understand the movie industry is a big place. Taking chances costs a lot of money, and there is something to be said for the formula that has worked for so long: AKA, stories about men, where men are the bad guys and men win the day with gradually more women thrown in as times have gone by, but man....I just was looking for a kick butt female magician with a little bit of connection to the audience as a character, and I did not get it.

Maybe she'll get a bigger name for herself and it won't be a problem anymore, maybe that wouldn't have mattered...in the end...well, that was my rant. Sometimes the world of women in fantasy and fiction just brings me down, the healers, the summoners, the archers, and in essence the support roles they play... sometimes I need to just let it out.

If you excuse me I have some Charoda to dissect and some axes that need sharpening.
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[Sliver's Scrapbook of DOOM] Sketches, Chickens, and Wonder

Postby Noblesse on July 1st, 2013, 5:34 pm


Reading through the first few paragraphs, I didn't think you'd end up talking about women's roles in media. This actually caught my attention since I'm taking a class regarding women in history this semester.

I'm not even wondering anymore how women don't often get the kickass, awesomesauce roles that men had ALWAYS got to bag throughout the history of movie industry. Most of the world had been living (and still does) within a patriarchal society since ancient times, and in them women are made to be the less important sex that we have been deemed invisible in history.

Just read the history books we have now. There are so few women mentioned in them you'd be led to conclude that women must have wombs a hundred times bigger than their body size such that they can beget thousands of male children with one or two females only, which would explain the scarcity of females and the overwhelming presence of males in recorded history.

What's annoying, we're led to believe that women do nothing but watch while all those macho men single handedly make history as conquering heroes, national liberators, victorious generals, benevolent monarchs, wise lawgivers, etc.

Majority of text where women are mentioned only relate how their roles are to be assistants to men in history-making, where the greatest contributions they've given was using their feminine charm to ferret secrets from enemies. A few women though, on rare occasions, make history somehow. And that's because they're not truly women in the first place, but men in women's bodies. One example I think of is Joan of Arc who had to pretend she was a man to lead an army.

There are just so many documents in history that trivialize women it's frustrating. Plutarch, an ancient Greek historian, saw women as baby factories. He actually wrote:
(A)n honest man who had love for a married woman upon account of her modesty and the well-favouredness of her children, might, without formality, beg her company of her husband, that he might raise, as it were, from this plot of good ground, worthy and well-allied children for himself. And indeed, Lycurgus was of a persuasion that children were not so much the property of their parents as the whole commonwealth, and, therefore, would not have his citizens begot by the first-comers, but by the best men that could be found; the laws of other nations seemed to him very absurd and inconsistent, where people would be so solicitous for their dogs and horses as to exert interest and to pay money to procure fine breeding, and yet kept their wives shut up, to be made mothers only by themselves, who might be foolish, infirm, or diseased; as if it were not apparent that children of a bad breed would prove their bad qualities first upon those who kept and were rearing them, and well-born children, in like manner, their good qualities.


I'm sorry if this suddenly turned out into a rant/mini lecture, eheh. What I wanted to say was, this has been a man's world for too long. I'm not saying that it's every man's fault that movies/games with male protagonists are more favored than those with female ones. Sometimes, a female character wouldn't even get famous if she's not depicted as sexy. It sucks.

PS. Have you tried playing "Ib" before? It's a horror game for the PC, but the main character's a 9 year old girl. It's actually a nice game if you're looking for badass female protagonists, and it's quite funny how her male companion's a twenty year old sissy softie. If you don't mind a lot of scares and puzzles, I think it's a game worth trying out. :D
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[Sliver's Scrapbook of DOOM] Sketches, Chickens, and Wonder

Postby Traverse on July 15th, 2013, 2:58 am

NoblesseThank you for the rant, I most certainly don't mind, and thank you also for the game suggestion, I will most certainly look into it!

A look at

Pacific Rim

Image


  • Character Development 4/5
  • Script 3/5
  • Soundtrack 5/5
  • Story 4/5
  • Visuals 5/5


After doing a little rant on 'Now You See Me,' I figured I'd try actually throwing out a real movie review for you guys. I generally abhor spoilers so nothing even approaching them will be included here, the trailers for Pacific Rim give you very little in regards to precisely what happens in the movie aside from robots bashing monsters, and I rather liked it that way, so I'll keep the review to the basics in order to preserve that sense.

I came into this film knowing that I loved Guillermo Del Toro's monsters (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy II), and that the premise was an apocalyptic scenario of people controlling mech suits, fighting giant underwater baddies. This isn't the sort of film that's meant to enlighten, and I was entirely cool with this fact, so I braced myself for what could potentially be a horrible script and story line, to stick with what I knew were going to be awesome graphics and some sweet action scenes.

So I found myself happily surprised by what was a lovely cast of characters, from the crazy scientist (Charlie Day) to the taciturn military man, a wonderfully illustrated sci-fi premise to the monsters (and also to how humans found a way to fight them), and a roller coaster of laughs, drama, and building collapsing action sequences that pull at every mech trope in the book. Ron Perlman has a fun cameo, and the two main characters are actors with which I am not familiar, but I think both do a great job in their respective roles.

I am also a big fan of music so I keep an ear out for it in films, but Ramin Djawadi doesn't disappoint. A composer I first discovered watching Blade Trinity, he does a wonderful job setting the mood for each of the scenes which blend triumph and destruction in equal measure as the movie progresses.

My only real complaint is that you are introduced to quite a few mechs and the people that pilot them, but do not get to sink your teeth into their characters much, which was a bit of a shame, but hard to do in feature length film time. The script was had its moments, but wasn't a bowl you over deal, and this movie follows the predictable trail of all these types of action movies that have come before...but man, it was a petching fun trip.

If you are already gung ho about this movie, I would recommend the larger than life experience in theaters, and if you are on the fence in regards to this cinematic blast fest, if you enjoyed movies like the first Transformers (let us not talk of the others), Independence Day, or Hellboy, then this is the kind of flick you will enjoy.

I think that about covers it...as always Safe Travels!
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[Sliver's Scrapbook of DOOM] Sketches, Chickens, and Wonder

Postby Traverse on July 15th, 2013, 10:05 pm

Claudia Black should narrate, everything. Just sayin'

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[Sliver's Scrapbook of DOOM] Sketches, Chickens, and Wonder

Postby Gossamer on July 15th, 2013, 10:21 pm

The more I know you the more I realize you think about ALL the details in a scary smart way that is a bit intimidating. But I have to tell you that I was distracted with your comment about your mother in your huge rant. Mine tells stories without end too. I thought she was a unique creature in this world. I guess not. I do however want to say I make it a rule to never analyze movies or music. I feel then instead. Because I go to them or listen to them to loose myself in them and not to see the deeper meaning. Part of this comes from a cheap place. I want that five dollar entertainment to be worth it. Part of it comes from a jaded place where I will hear something... see something... read something and assign value and intrinsic lessons to it and later see an interview by the author composer or musician and find out it means nothing. They just channeled it after doing a crossword or stubbing their toe... no big over reaching meaning.

But I do love that you're post these.
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[Sliver's Scrapbook of DOOM] Sketches, Chickens, and Wonder

Postby Traverse on July 21st, 2013, 2:25 pm

I'm going to see Pacific Rim again today...in 3-D. Teehee.
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[Sliver's Scrapbook of DOOM] Sketches, Chickens, and Wonder

Postby Phoenix on July 22nd, 2013, 6:40 am

Traverse wrote:
I'm going to see Pacific Rim again today...in 3-D. Teehee.



TWINSIES!!!!! I AM GOIN TO GO SEE IT AGAIN AT THE DRIVE-IN! I'm going to re-rate it and we can have another discussion.

Stereotypical azn lead acrtress: Round Two.

Plus, my scenario mega wins. Drive-in > 3D
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[Sliver's Scrapbook of DOOM] Sketches, Chickens, and Wonder

Postby Traverse on July 22nd, 2013, 12:21 pm

So I noticed this time around that the first time he enters the mess hall you can see the two Russian pilots sitting down, and the female one puts her arms around the male one, adorable!

Other than that...I have to say I enjoyed it just as much the first time.

Also I have realized that now I literally cannot stop watching things with Ron Perlman in it. Watching Pacific Rim put me in the mood for Hellboy, I watched Tangled which also has him in it, and then I started the pilot of Sons of Anarchy to see what else Charlie Hunnan (The main dude) does, only to find Ron Perlman is ALSO IN THAT.

He was also Slade in Teen Titans and Fire Lord Sozzin in Avatar.

Also apparently Guillermo Del Toro is in the process of directing a movie that is going to have Benedict Cumberbacht in it called 'Crimson Peak.'

IMBD is a treasure trove of crazy info about movies.
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[Sliver's Scrapbook of DOOM] Sketches, Chickens, and Wonder

Postby Traverse on July 24th, 2013, 4:04 pm

A Look at

PREMIUM RUSH

Image

Joseph Gordon Levitt on bikes...crazy awesome or just crazy?


  • Story 3.5/5
  • Action Sequences 4/5
  • Acting 3.5/5

Merits: Props to the bad guy.


So I was ready to write this movie off without ever seeing it. Saw the brief trailer that JDL narrates about bikes and stuff, and getting some crazy package and blah blah, just another silly desperate attempt of Hollywood grabbing at money, and it fell through the cracks in my already leaky brain, ready to be forgotten in the depths of movie purgatory.

But when I found Premium Rush lying on the coffee table in our living room in its cozy little Netflix sleeve I figured, 'Well, if my Dad wants to get stupid movies that's his prerogative, but it does have JDL...and it is here...so I guess I'll watch it...'

And I couldn't help but enjoy it. Once again, this isn't something that's going to change your life, but let me lay out the scoop.

Levitt is a bike courier. He explains proudly at the onset of the movie that when all the electronic stuff fails and you need to get something from point A to B by such and such a time, him and people like him are on the case. But he gets a package that an NYPD officer wants, who turns out to be this crooked cop, and so a merry chase around Manhattan ensues.

Now that was the part I knew about, and in the end, not enough to really grab me as a movie junky, but the whole thing is a bit more complex than this baseline premise.

First off you get to see the stories of several characters aside from Levitt, namely the crooked cop and the girl that gives Levitt the package in the first place. The story all takes place in a single day, but you are continuously shown the clock and it'll rewind you to show parts of the story you wouldn't get from Levitt's perspective, creating a nice out of sync linearity that I enjoyed.

That and the bike sequences are pretty great too. There's a bike rival for Levitt, that he is competing against most of the movie, and the entire scenario makes bike messengers sort of Akin to Svefra. No one likes to have them around too long, but they always stick together, living on the edge as they dodge traffic at lightning speeds.

Also, props to the guy who plays the crooked cop. Never seen him before in my life, but he was hilarious in his desperation, and has the funniest creepy laugh you ever heard.

So if you're looking for some non-violent again, some JDL, and an interesting take on the standard 'TIME IS RUNNING OUT' plotline, I would give Premium Rush a shot, you won't be disappointed.


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[Sliver's Scrapbook of DOOM] Sketches, Chickens, and Wonder

Postby Sliver on August 2nd, 2013, 1:30 am

Image

The Snake vs. The Wolverine


So how long has it been since I've posted in this thread, AS Sliver? SO LONG! August was my deadline. I could putter around, writing about the humid jungle on Tinnok until August, and then? It was time to free Sliver from the icy hold of Avanthal and shove her out into the frozen wastes to wander some more.

I realized one day that sadly, Tinnok was the character I meant to make when I first joined this site. She is the epitome of a druid, and while I would loathe to call her by such a title at her current XP level, it is what I am striving to achieve with her. I don't quite understand that TV trope site, its magnitude scares me so I won't go there, but she is the outcast meant to live her life always on the edge of civilization, and I have always enjoyed that loner character, especially when, as a phylonurist, she's one of the few individuals in Mizahar that can actually survive in that state.

But as I grew overjoyed with my half breed, what she was and where she could go, my poor Kelvic became buried in snow and forgotten. I could always picture her round ears and black eyes staring at me like a lost puppy.

Image

I mean look at them, you couldn't leave them to freeze in the Everwinter City, could you?!


Part of me thought that it was because the two characters were so similar, both strong and independent females that shirk the traditional roles of woman hood in favor of a good punch in the face, but I slowly realized that that wasn't precisely the case, for both my snake and wolverine are very different beasts.

To draw on some D&D info, Tinnok is Chaotic Neutral, while Sliver is Neutral Good. I have a tendency to enjoy making good characters because of their struggle, for Sliver it was being a guard in the Icewatch when events in the city were causing many citizens to die, she being helpless to stop it. But as anyone would be happy to tell you...the good guys can often be boring, and I got bored with Sliver. I wanted her to bond, and SHE wanted to bond more than anything, but I was unwilling to make an NPC for her to make a perhaps fun writing experience, but an ultimately hollow one for myself, mostly because I didn't want to kill them off and add a whole new level of angst to her as a character.

All potential PC bond mates were horrendously inactive or disappeared with little to no warning, and so slowly, I drifted away from Sliver, on the verge of retiring her...until I realized that I just simply couldn't give up. She is like and unlike the general persona that I tend to gravitate to as a writer and role player. She is the stubbornly good loner of a wolverine that finds herself constantly drawn to plight and those in need of help, which I like to think is how her need to bond manifested itself in a creature normally born to solitude.

And...I found a wonderful new character model for her from the amazing movie Centurion. lol. No more mohawk for the wolverine, no sir.

Wow, that turned out being longer than I wanted it to be, haha, but I have wanted to write that for a while. First this Kelvic needs a CS make over, then she'll be slowly making her way out of Taldera, looking for new places and people.

And I am pretty excited about it, even if she'll be grumbling the whole way.
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