Categories
Music

BlackPink in your area!

Hey WordPress, I know it’s been a long time but I’ve been working on an essay I want to post here but in the meantime here’s a post talking about a KPop Girl Group that I’ve been a big fan of since I first discovered them.

Now, I’m really big into KPop, not really into music for that matter. I do listen to it all the time, but I don’t follow artists or anything like that. I simply listen to whatever sounds nice to my ears and repeat it over and over again. But these ladies, Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé (pictured below in order) have managed to get into my heart. So here are their songs listed based on how they’re grouped in AZlyrics and what I think about them.

blackpink
From Variety.com courtesy of YG Entertainment

Whistle (휘파람): I’m not sure if this is the very first song they recorded but it’s the first song I ever heard and I fell in love. Listening to it now their voices sounds different, maybe younger in a way, but they’re still distinct and I this song spreads the song in equal measure really giving the girls to show off their stuff. I also really like the beat to this one, it does change in places but I still overall lowkey, it doesn’t get my heart beating very fast is what I mean, and the whistling in the bridge and at various places in the song really tie things together for me. This song comes off as sexy and seductive. I think it’s a great mixture of the “black” and the “pink”.

Boombayah (붐바야): Now this song does get my heart pumping and makes me what to dance. A quick look at the lyrics will let you that that is the point, this is definitely a party song. On this one I feel like it more so belongs to Jennie and Lisa. I think it’s because Jisoo and Rosé’s voices feel like they get a little lost with the beat they used for this song. Not that the music drowns out their voices per se, all the singing is great in this song, but both Jennie and Lisa rap in this song and the beat under the rap really feels like it places it front and center while the music surrounds all of the singing (if that makes sense). This is another good one from them for me.

Playing With Fire (불장난): I find this one more similar to Whistle with it’s pleasant beat though it doesn’t spur me on to get up and dance. I think the music here complements the singing in a way that it lets it shine and stand out so it’s not just the rap verses that stand of for me. This one isn’t among my favorites of theirs to be honest, not one I play on repeat over and over but still pleasant.

Stay: This song belongs to Rosé and Jisoo. The soft guitar for this love song with the hand claps really works for those two. Similar to how I felt the song arrangement bolstered Jennie and Lisa’s parts of Boombayah here the music and the arrangement really help bolster the qualities of both Jisoo and Rosé. This is a very “pink” song lol. Jennie and Lisa do well in this song, though Lisa does get the shorter end of the stick, but Rosé and Jisoo just…shine! I really like this one.

DDU-DU DDU-DU: So this isn’t a bad song but…it really just doesn’t grab me the way the other songs do. Like…I like the beat, the drop is nice, there’s this…bass drop in the song that’s nice. When Rosé and Jisoo the music on their parts help their parts stand out. Jennie and Lisa are both great. But ultimately this song doesn’t do it for me sad to say. I just don’t really like it.

Forever Young: This is a nice song. I don’t want to dance to it but the beat is so nice here it makes me bob my head. It’s a bop. I don’t really have a lot to say about this one since, for me, it’s something I put on in the background. Nothing about it really…stand out for me, but it’s still very nice to listen to and play.

(Also, Jennie has started most of these songs so far, she was the first in the group to get a Solo song but like…come on :P)

Really: This is pretty smooth. This song gets me swaying a long and I feel like everyone has an edge to their voice this time around. Jennie and Lisa generally have an edge to their voices in most songs, but here I feel like Rosé and Jisoo also have more of an edge here than they’ve had in previous songs. Maybe it’s the theme of the song, demanding someone to express their love for you with words. It’s great! I like this style from them.

See U Later: The build-up of this song from the start to the first chorus is great. I think the beat is steady and it builds and builds which can mirror the girls’ frustrations with this person they’re dumping. Jisoo and Rosé’s singing came off as very frank in this song, not with the same edge as they had in Really but it’s still there. Also, the drop to the chorus isn’t like, huge or anything like that, but it’s got enough punch that the buildup feels warranted. This is another one I really like.

As If It’s Your Last (마지막처럼): This is another bop, poppy love song. Very “pink” so much so that Lisa’s rap verse kinda doesn’t…fit. But you know, this one is fine. It’s not too bad but I don’t really care for it.

(Wow, the two songs I called bops just aren’t for me huh. Maybe bops just aren’t blackpink’s thing or at least not what I like from them)

Kill This Love: Okay so, this is their new single and I love it to pieces. It’s got like a marching band beat, the horns in the beginning, and how it sounds at the end is amazing! I also really love Jennie’s “Brrram bah bah bah bah bah bah” she has, her voice kind of goes deep and it’s great! I also think this is another song that does a good job showing off Jisoo and Rosé’s talents. Jisoo here sounds so…like dark kind of while Rose sound’s a bit brighter but there’s still so much intensity in her voice. Everything is just so great here I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. Jennie and Lisa’s rap verse are great here as well, they do a little trade off for like four lines and they just work off each other very well. Everything about this song is amazing to me.

Don’t Know What To Do: This song has a light feeling to it. This song gets me dancing and feels popp-y to me. I also think that this is another song where Rosé and Jisoo’s vocals shine, especially Rosé’s voice. This song doesn’t have any rap verse so Jennie and Lisa’s vocals also shine here, more so for me than in other sings. I really feel like the girls have grown into their voices some more. It’s great. I could label this as a bop, one from them I really really like. Light, sweet, and very lovely.

Kick It: Hm…this is another song that isn’t back but it doesn’t really do anything for me. Maybe I find this particular beat too…same-y, low down without anything to really grab my attention. The singing here doesn’t even really do that for me either, they aren’t grabbing me like with their other sings. I don’t know.

Hope Not (아니길): This is a slow one, very pleasant to listen to. All of the voices hold a kind of sadness in them, it’s great. The slow guitar (I think) under the singing really brings out a melancholic tone for this one. It’s not one I listen to often but it’s still very good.

DDU-DU DDU-DU (Remix): I just like this one better than the original. I think the beat is better than the last one. Plus the chorus whined up is just more pleasing to listen to. Other than that I don’t have too much more to say.

Welp, there you have it, I didn’t talk about songs they were featured on or Jennie’s solo because I wanted to focus on the collective group’s work alone. If you’ve listened to BlackPink let be know what you like or dislike about them. What’s your favorite song? Why? What’s your least favorite? Why’s that?

I look forward to reading your comments! Thanks for reading!

Categories
Animation

Did The Dragon Prince really Bury their Gays?

Hey all! Long time no post, I know, but today I have something to actually write about.

Recently I had watched the second season of The Dragon Prince, a Netflix show I’ve been really enjoying. The first season was a lot of fun and the second season really hit me emotionally. I love it so much!

But there was one part of the show that seemed to…well it didn’t bother me, but it did give me pause for a moment.

There’s a long flashback story told by the chief antagonist/villain Viren (one of my favorite characters) where we see a pair of WLW (Women loving Women) Queens. We even give an on screen lip-to-lip kiss. But then, in a heroic fashion, they die; killed by a dragon.

I’ve seen some people call this an example of Bury Your Gays trope. For those who don’t know what this trope is referring to the simple version is when a queer character dies in the story or reaches another kind of tragic ending (really this is a very simplified explanation of the trope you can research more if youre interested). With that definition I can’t say that the Queens don’t fall into this pattern…

Or can I?

For me, this trope needs characters, and I don’t see the Queens as characters. They are simply props for Viren and the plan he’s trying to put into action. So when they died I didn’t find to too, for lack of a better term, problematic when that happened.

As the series goes on I would like for there to be more LGBTQ characters who are actual characters and have growth and a story, not just props used in another’s plan.

Now, this reading has its own problems, introducing your first LGBTQ characters being already dead isn’t a good look considering how people view queer rep, but I still don’t see this particular instance fall into the Bury Your Gays trope.

This is subject to change as the show goes from here, but these are my feelings about it as the moment.

Let me know what y’all think, about this trope or about the show as a whole.

Thanks for reading!

Categories
Something Quick

Happy New Year

Hey! Long time no post.

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.

Thanks for reading and I hope things work out!

Categories
Miscellaneous Something Quick

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.

I look forward to getting back out there.

Categories
Animation

Emara

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.

The episodes for Emara can be found here: Link

Categories
Television

Siren Song

(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!

Categories
Miscellaneous

Update

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.

Thanks for reading!

Categories
Movies Something Quick

Something Quick

Spoils for Annihilation

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.

Till next time~!

Categories
Book Readings

The Maze Runner Chapter 23

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.

Just an okay chapter.

Categories
Movies

Movie Review: The Cloverfield Paradox

Hey! Recently I just watched a movie called The Cloverfield Paradox and I wanted to write a review for it!

 

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Source: IMDb.com

 

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!

Final Thoughts:

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!

Final Score: 6.5/10