I know it’s been a while for me but I’ve been thinking a lot about what I wanted to do with this blog and how to go about it. I know I wanted this to be focused on QPOC but I don’t always have things to say and I think I’ve always gotten self-conscious about not being very articulate when it comes to writing out my thoughts.
But I’m letting go of that and I’ll be allowing myself to ramble if need be. So I’ll be widening my own personal scope a bit to POC, LGBTQ people, and QPOC.
I plan to do more reading this year as well as watching more fun stuff. As for this blog, I’ll make sure I’ll post something here once every two weeks (I have two jobs I gotta be realistic) about something, anything really.
Hey, everyone who reads this site, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately and I’ve come to a conclusion about myself.
I just can’t keep up.
Not with anything specific, just more so in the idea that there’s so much, I want to look into to, as well as I’m looking for a better job, and I’m trying my hand in pursuing an acting career that I don’t really have time to keep up with the latest…anything.
Then by the time I do check out things I want to look into I feel as though it’s too late. I’m not one who thinks my input might be all that special anyway so I always get stuck.
Well, today I’ve decided to just be…over that.
I don’t need to keep up with things. I can talk about them when I’m ready and touch on how they made me feel in that time. I don’t need to be up on trends or the latest curve, or anything like that. My pace is perfect for me and that’s how I’m going to roll from now on.
My depression is getting worse again, but I’m going to work with my therapist and try very hard to push forward through the winter. I don’t know when I’ll post next or what I’ll be posting about, but I haven’t abandoned this site.
So, the other day I watched Emara and I wanted to share some quick thoughts about the first episode.
First I just want to say that I won’t be talking about any possibilities of tracing or copying animation for the opening of the show. It’s only been some whispers but I haven’t found any sources or anything like that and I didn’t notice anything when watching the show itself. If this is something that would bother you or impede you from supporting the show I encourage you to look into it yourself and come to your own conclusion.
I’m a long time fan of the magical girl genre and all of the sub-genres within it, even some of the darker ones. So when I first heard about this show more than…I think it had been almost a year, I was looking forward to it. And after watching it…I think the first episode is okay.
First I will say that I love the music of the opening. It’s bouncy and catchy enough to get me pumped for what’s to come, but it’s not overbearing. I also really like the vocals, I’m not a vocalist, but I could listen to that person sing all day.
I think the animation is great, I don’t know anything about this show’s production but I truly think Eating Star Studios did a really good job. I generally think the movements of the characters are nice and smooth, especially when they’re fighting. The mouth movements on some of the characters look odd and not as smooth, but it’s not horribly distracting. Emara’s fight toward the end of the episode is especially great!
The voice acting is a mixed bag. I like Emara’s VA, Naomie Mercer, isn’t someone I’m familiar with but through her acting (as well as the animation) I get the sense that she’s a spitfire, perhaps a bit cocky and she made it a joy to watch. Dhabian, a character we don’t know much about yet, comes off as kinda flat in the VA department. I’m really sure what it is about Paul Poteet’s acting in this episode but I wasn’t really feeling it. The main villain of this episode’s voice isn’t something I’m a fan of at all, the actor did fine but the inflection and such just really put me off of him. I’m glad Emara kicked his but. All the other VAs were simply okay. I haven’t watched the episode in Arabic yet, though those versions are available so I won’t compare the two.
This leads me to the writing of the episode. Really nothing is explained in this episode, Emara is already a crime fighter it looks like and has a kind of established relationship with Dhabian, maybe not completely positive and open, but an established relationship none the less. As well as it looks like some government types have been trying to keep tabs on Emara as well.
I think this was the right move for the show to make with its eleven-minute length. There’s just not a lot of room for fluff or filler. Everything seems important and it did a good job of getting me interested in where the show will take its mysteries. Only time will tell if the short time length will continue to be a good thing for the show, but for the first episode, it helps the writing keep a nice pace.
All in all the episode was fun, cute, and had some nice action. Though there was nothing that particularly stood out to me this go around it’s certainly gotten me hooked.
(Note: This post may contain slight spoilers for the first 3 episodes of the show Siren)
After giving up on reading and doing chapter reviews I decided to actually sit down and watch some shows I had on hold for a little bit. One show of note is Freeform’s brand new drama-slash-fantasy show Siren!
I’ve only seen 3 episodes of this show (there are 6 out at the time of writing this) and the thing I would like to focus on in this post is the main relationship dynamic between Ben, Maddie, and the titular Siren (well Mermaid) Ryn. I’m talking about the show now since I live by the 3 episode rule and I want to discuss what grabbed me about the show in just these 3 episodes.
Ryn, played wonderfully by Eline Powell, is a truly alien presence. The way she moves, talks, and even the way she looks shows off a subtle but very real and tangible danger, while couple Ben and Maddie, played respectively by Alex Roe and Fola Evans-Akingbola, both come off as very down to earth science types, both respecting Ryn’s personhood as well as wanting to learn more about her kind and the like.
With a show titled siren, there is, of course, the mystical allure of the mythical creature. When she first meets Ben she sings a song and just the look on his face has him hooked. There was even a moment later on where she almost kisses him. It’s a bit unclear why she did that. I didn’t get the sense that she’s particularly attracted to him, at least not in a way I recognize, maybe there’s some unique mermaid/siren thing going on.
Though something like that could get complicated since Ben is dating Maddie there’s also what’s going on between Ryn and Maddie to think about.
Maddie, much like Ben, finds Ryn alluring as well, but her introduction to the mermaid was decidedly different. Her first hint of Ryn was seeing scratches on Ben’s body, then she quickly learned about the fact that Maddie killed a man, and Ryn also flung her across a room. There’s a tension between them that sits a little uncomfortably between fear (which Ryn points out) and…something else much more…intimate, all played very well by Evans-Akingbola.
And that’s it right there, the central relationship between Ryn, Maddie, and Ben that has me the most interested. I will admit that the fact that there’s something between Maddie and Ryn as well as Ryn and Ben is really what sold it for me. It would have been so easy for the show to only focus on whatever is going between Ben and Ryn but it doesn’t do that. It’s a relatively small thing, considering the other plotlines running through the show at the moment, but it’s the thing that’s caught me.
Only time will tell if the Maddie/Ryn/Ben or if the show will only focus on one or the other. I certainly the three of them continue to develop the relationship. I also hope, in Maddie’s case, it’s just something supernatural related and that she’s actually bisexual. That would be nice as well. I’m excited to continue on with the show to see how everything plays out.
Siren airs on Freeform, Thursdays 8/7c. Check it out!
So…I’m not going to be finishing my chapter reviews of The Maze Runner series.
Unfortunately, I just find the books too uninteresting at this point in my life. The writing and character work is just too uncompelling to me and it’s a real chore to even try to read the books at this point. I’ve been trying to up it up, but really it’s just not working for me.
I apologize to anyone who enjoyed that kind of content, but I hope y’all will stick around for what coming up next.
So, recently I watched the movie Annihilation and while I feel very lukewarm on the film (I think it was trying to say something but I think it ultimately fell flat) but there’s one thing that has stuck with me.
Gina Rodriguez played Anya Thorensen, the standout performance as far as I’m concerned and it the medic of the team. She is also the only lesbian character in the movie.
A lot of people may wonder why this matters; some may even say that she’s a “good” example of how to write a lesbian character, or rather, “a character who just happens to be a lesbian”/ While my feelings on thoughts like that are complicated my main issue with Anya Thorensen is the framing, specifically, her death.
Yes, basically all of the characters die, but Thorensen’s death is the most brutal and that is where I take issue.
During the movie, we watch Thorensen get attacked by a kind of bear-monster. We watch as she tries to get away, dragged back by the creature, get tossed around a bit, and then we watch the monster rip her jaw off and watch her corpse lay in a pool of her own blood.
Tuva Novotny’s character, Cass Sheppard, is killed by the same creature as Thorensen, but she’s killed off screen. Tessa Thompson’s, Josie Radek, simply…walks off and vanishes, and Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Dr. Ventress…well I don’t know how I would describe her death but it nowhere near as brutal and violent as Thorensen’s death.
You see…when you have one queer character and then you go out and treat them with the most brutality…I’m going to side-eye you very hard.
No, I don’t think the director hates wlw or anything like that. I also don’t think that a queer character can never die on screen in a movie. But the brutality with which a queer character is treated is something I’m going to have to speak up.
I guess…I guess what I am trying to say is that creators need to be mindful of how they’re treating their queer characters. Pay attention to what you’re putting your queer characters through and how it stacks up to your straight characters.
Anyways…I hope I explained myself well enough in this post and I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long. Things have been very busy for me lately. But I’m going to try to be more regular with my post.
My chapter reviews will be coming back and, since I want to speed things along, doing multiple chapters in one post and going forward.
So more cool-down time, Thomas has a lot on his mind. He’s worried about Alby, worried about hat the Changing will do to him, still thinking about the girl, and the real weight of being trapped inside the Maze.
Night falls and the doors close, Thomas and Chuck talk. Thomas doesn’t seem too comfortable with all the praise her’s getting. A part of him feels proud of what he had accomplished but another part of him feels like shit.
Newt, who seems to be the new guy in charge, is having a rough time. We learn a bit more about the Changing and the fact that boys who go through it come out very unlikable.
Makes me wonder about Gally though. What was he like before and why was he in the Maze in the first place? I don’t think he was a Runner, in the beginning, he’s a Builder. Why did he go into the Maze?
But we know Thomas is going to be the subject of an upcoming Gathering which should be interesting at the very least.
Hey! Recently I just watched a movie called The Cloverfield Paradox and I wanted to write a review for it!
Some context: I am vaguely familiar with the Cloverfield franchise, I’ve seen the first one once a long time ago and I haven’t seen 10 Cloverfield Lane at all. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of the original movie since I barely remember what the actual movie was about so I’m coming to this relatively fresh.
Summary from IMDb: Orbiting a planet on the brink of war, scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis, and end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality.
The Writing & Directing:
The story was written by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung, with Oren Uziel adapting the screenplay. I haven’t seen anything else either of these guys so…I can’t speak to the consistency of their work but…well Oren Uziel wrote the screenplay for 22 Jump Street which I’ve heard good things about so there is that.
Just from watching this movie I think both of them are good at creating an engaging story. From the beginning of the movie, I was very interested in what was going on. The writing kept my attention the entire time and made me ask questions and try to figure out where the story was headed. Pretty good for a movie classified as a Mystery I think.
I also think they did a good job setting up characterization for each character. It’s nothing deep but it’s enough to make each character distinct.
There’s a good balance of tone in this movie as well. The emotions flowed from one to another very well and at no point was I taken from the story by a jarring shift in tone or out of place line.
That takes me to the directing. The director of this movie is Julius Onah. Looking at his IMDb page he’s done a number of shorts I haven’t seen, but I think he handles things in this movie competently. According to IMDb, this movie falls under the genres of Horror, Sci-Fi, and Mystery. Onah handles the horror segments well, with interesting uses of body horror (my personal favorite) and I loved it!
I honestly don’t much about directing in all honesty, but nothing in this movie, from a directing standpoint, made me pause, but nothing stood out either.
Just a really sold job.
The Acting & Characters:
The acting in this movie is great across the board. I don’t think any of these people would be consider “A-lister” but terms like that doesn’t mean much to me, but I recongnize Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle and Beyong the Lights), David Oyelowo (Selma, A United Kingdom, and Star Wars: Rebels), Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Rush Hour 2, and Memoirs of a Geisha) and Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War) and can say that they give great performances.
The rest of the cast is great as well. As I stated above, none of the characters, with the exception of Hamilton (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw), get a lot of depth, but the actors do such a great job and have really believable chemistry.
Our main character Hamilton has to go through an arc of learning how to let go and move on from her past mistakes and Mbatha-Raw’s acting is really top notch. I can’t go into more without going into spoilers or just devolving into praise so please just know that I truly think it’s great!
As stated before, I’m coming in pretty fresh to this movie franchise, but I think The Cloverfield Paradox is a solid movie full of great performances. This Sci-Fi movie isn’t particularly deep on that end, but the horror aspects are equally scary and fun, while I think the mystery is interesting enough to keep you engaged. It’s fun!
It starts right where the last one left off. Thomas and Minho are standing at the cliff with Thomas crying his eyes out. It wasn’t emotionally effective to me, but for someone who found the previous chapter frightening I think this would work well as an opener.
Thomas managed to pull himself together and looked over the edge, trying to figure out where the Grievers vanished to. He doesn’t see anything and finds it impossible (as do I). I know where this is all leading up to, but I still find it ridiculous.
There’s some more talk about what they differently (Minho doesn’t know), and how none of the boys seemed to have any idea what the cliff is. Things like rocks don’t vanish from sight, but the Grievers appeared to.
It seems like all of the boys are hyper focused on solving the Maze, and while I understand that, with the way Thomas came in and asked all these questions and tried to put things together it seems like he’s the only one who is trying to find other solutions.
It’s possible that they all came up empty but it pushes Thomas into “The Special” category and not in an interesting way.
Minho and Thomas made it back to where Alby was put and found a search party looking for them, or, more likely, looking for their bodies. Everyone is surprised that they made it through the night and even more so that Alby can potentially still be saved.
Thomas and Minho are taken to get medical treatment and rest. Thomas has some fleeting thoughts about the girl (still don’t buy their connection) and then he falls asleep.
We end the chapter with confirmation that Alby is in fact alive and is going through the Changing.
It’s a fine chapter, slow, but that makes sense compared to the previous chapter. All in all it’s pretty okay.
In this chapter Thomas and Minho (yeah, he’s back) run from the Grievers and throw them off a Cliff.
These chapters really don’t need to be this short. Really.
I don’t have too much to say about this chapter, the writing is fine, the main issue still being that I don’t find the Grievers scary. Minho finding Thomas and pulling him along through the Maze.
I wonder where Minho had been in order for him to say.
“I just saw…the dive move you did…back there…gave me an idea…”
Was he just…around the corner? How?
Thomas does bring up a good question about how this Cliff can be there in the first place. Who put this Maze out there? It brings up the question without calling too much attention to it.
One thing that makes me pause is this line:
Dawn was beginning to make it’s Mark, the sky seeming to have lightened considerably…”
How long has Thomas and Minho been out there? It doesn’t seem to be that long. I don’t know how it takes for the sun to come up in this universe, but still. It doesn’t seem like they’ve been out there for hours.
Time is weird to keep track of.
Minho comes up with a good plan and Thomas pick it up quickly. It shows both of them as smart and quick thinkers. Minho is my fave so far.
Anyways, decent chapter over all. This book is mostly becoming “meh” as I read on.