So. Much. Screaming.Right. Now. Okay that’s a lie. I really didn’t scream. Maybe just like the Doctor, there was a bit of licking things (also a lie unless you count spoons). This is short but explosive piece this weekend because if I type too much, it may just degrade into actual screaming and thus readers you would be subjected to LINE AFTER LINE OF CAPS LOCK. That’s another lie, I can control myself (no I can’t). Truthfully I am sort of dead, this is blogging from beyond the grave (also a lie, I just made spiced plum and berry compote and am contemplating having to make an Easter cake for it).
Case study of all the excitement:
This Saturday was, to put it lightly, a sweet double whammy for Who fans. Double team. Oh god now it’s getting dirty. To put it simply, not only has the Doctor come back with Clara now officially in tow in a solid new episode, but they did it wonderfully and the Doctor’s back….more ways than one too! Spoilers ahead (sweetie).
The Bells of Saint John was pretty fantastic with many, many new plot threads and mysteries that have sparked lots of attention and speculation. Loving nuggets of affection and possibly more in regards to the now deceased but presumably well known children’s author Amelia Williams, the mysterious shopgirl who gave Clara the Doctor’s number (River are you causing problems?). Clara’s puntastic sandwich layer name “Os-win”. Her missing ages. What’s with the number twenty-three? Curiouser and curiouser. Above all it was nice to see a relatively less sad Doctor, acting boyish and enthralled and taking charge while not delving into the dark sad place that the Ponds unfortunately sent him. The new energy is very much appreciated. Jenna is pretty solid as Clara, who dared to try to keep her cup of tea upright as they attempted to land a plane and that my friends is enough to like her (for me). The Doctor’s doting on her while setting up her recovery bed after being downloaded and then put back into her body was rather sweet. There are LOTS of questions. UNIT? Oh god. Moffat what are you doing?
In all the episode was rather well done, it felt a bit more old school, a bit less fairytale than Moffat’s usual tendencies but there is still the Moffat touch with the personification of Amy’s book heroine in her vintage dress and his tendency to I dunno, be able to create or revisit things that are so utterly terrifying you pretty much want to cry. Family show? Moffat you really want to scare kids. Spoonheads. That is ALL. While the episode was good it does have it’s faults, it was touted as a big James Bond action adventure and while certainly it reveled in that entire genre it wasn’t quite as swanky and smashing as I thought it would be but I love big stylization so I’m rather picky. The next episode screams of Lucasfilm-style Star Wars and Indiana Jones meets Classic Who (and has a gorgeous red color palette) type storyline and aesthetic and for the first time more or less in Eleven’s run we are I think exploring a new (or revisted) alien race and civilization, something Moffat very much cut down on; we’ve seen aliens but haven’t been really immersed in a culture as we have in the past under his direction. And as a lover of Indiana Jones and child-centric episodes, I am about to punch a hole in reality just to get to it sooner. (Oh god that wasn’t funny. I’m not very funny today – I really do need to make a cake.)
So yes. Great job Who crew and Moffat, the series is steering in an interesting direction, I’m intrigued to see where this and Clara goes.
AND NOW the second part that made Jen scream and myself smile; simply, this:
The return of David Tennant and Billie Piper are officially confirmed for the 50th Anniversary Who Special. In an official statement announced prior to the series 7 part 2 premiere the BBC finally, after months of speculation, confirmed their involvement as co-stars to Matt and Jenna in the special (alongside many more I reckon):
David Tennant and Billie Piper will join current Doctor and companion, Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman, while John Hurt (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Alien, Harry Potter) will also co-star.
Yes, now both Billie and David’s awful and unconvincing attempts at lying can be exposed as…well unconvincing attempts at lying. Rose Tyler and I’m going to assume Ten-Two will be featured! Whether their involvement will be a meaty supporting role or more of a cameo, it’s in the air, I’d like to think it’s somewhere in between. Let’s cross our fingers shall we?
In the meantime I really need to find baking powder if I’m going to make this cake….
Happy Easter (if you celebrate!)
Staff Writer/The Doctor
I started the first book in the series so I could be properly acquainted with the universe Hunter Gamble lives in and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Atticus for the Undead dealt with Hunter’s issues as he attempts to secure the freedom of a young zombie accused of murder. Does it give the reader a “happy ending”? Well, you’ll have to check it out to get that answer, just be prepared for the spark of lust that inflames in your chest as you claw your clothing, wishing you had the second book.
Needless to say I was excited at the prospect of not having to wait so I dove in headfirst. Identity Theft begins with a standard crime set up: a man walks into the Texas Capitol. Shots ring out. A young aide lies dead. The killer’s excuse? He was under a spell.
Sounds like a job for Hunter Gamble, right?
Wrong. After his “victory” in the trial of Samuel Pollard, Hunter has turned his back on defending oppressed supernatural clients and instead accepted a position at his father’s giant litigation firm. As Hunter plots his exit strategy, he finds himself inexorably drawn to the case of the Capitol shooter, who happens to be an old friend from law school. As he works to clear his friend, Hunter discovers that there is much more at stake in this case than whether one man was under a spell. Before long, he finds himself pulled into a magical conspiracy with a singularly cold-blooded wizard at its heart.
The story is a quick read, perfect for someone who wants a well thought out story while they are at jury duty or maybe even waiting in line somewhere. It’s not too quick that you can enjoy it over your daily lunch break, so plan accordingly. On my Kindle, it contains three hundred pages of a well crafted story with my favorite scenes revolving around Hunter’s dad. A gruff sort of character, a reveal I was NOT EXPECTING took me by complete surprise by chapter 9, something I applaud Mr. Abramowitz at achieving. He left no bread crumbs, no hints and I’m pleased to say this was also the case as I read Atticus for the Dead.
Characters are fleshed out further in Identity Theft, and thankfully one of them was Sabrina. 19 years old and her life is defined by the fact she’s a witch. For me, it felt almost sad and when her relationship with Flynn began to blossom and led to a first date straight out of hell, I laughed out of sheer awkwardness and at how real everything played out. Well, as real as you can get when you’re on a date with a witch!
Although I felt the ending was a bit quick with the final verdict and cases being laid out, that ending…I make noises akin to “ARGH!” to the author because now I have to wait for the third book!
I will also echo a sentiment found on several reviews (although they were about Atticus for the Undead): even though this is technically “legal fiction”, something that can get boring very quickly, not once did it feel that way. This is a tale of the supernatural at its core and begs to be given a chance. The cover does not grasp me and at no point during a foray into a bookstore would it cause me to pick it up for a quick perusal. This is literally my only complaint.
Overall, I’d give the book 8/10 because I do judge a book by its cover, even if I end up loving it!
My name is Ashly and I have shipped non-canon pairings.
I’ve probably been doing it since before you were in fandom. I know I’ve been doing it since before talking about fandom was a thing you did without the safety of hiding behind a fake username. I’ve discussed “wouldn’t it be great/hot if…” scenarios and, yeah, let’s just go all out here, I’ve written fanfic involving couples who were never, ever, ever getting together. Ever.
I am here to prove to you that I have survived. And that, somehow, you will as well.
Shipping non-canon couples is fine. I wanna make sure you know that. If you wanted to see Kirk and Spock all over each other, that’s your call and I’m not gonna judge you. Though, to be fair, I did at one point pretty heavily judge anyone in the Final Fantasy X fandom who shipped Auron/Rikku because he is a) too old for her and b) DEAD, OKAY? SPOILER ALERT.
It’s not like something not actually coming true in the source media somehow invalidates what you’d like to see. When a creator puts something out there, they are at the whims of their audience, and a large portion of the fun of fanworks is exploring “what if” scenarios, so if you wondered what it would be like if Barbara Gordon and Dinah Lance were more than just friends, then FANWORKS ARE YOUR FRIEND. And there is likely someone out there who has had the same thought and will want to talk about it with you and compare notes and it can be so. damn. much. fun.
But for some reason that I will never quite understand, some people seem to feel that if their pairing isn’t approved in the source material, you have somehow managed to time travel into the future and take a huge shit on their grave.
The most infamous incident I can think of was while the Harry Potter series was still being released. Notably, it was when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince came out.
So much happens in Half-Blood Prince. There was a lot to get emotional over and things that were sure to cause a ton of fan outrage. And do you know what I saw the most outrageous anger over?
Dumbledor’s death? Psh, no, old dude gets killed whatever.
Snape turning traitor? WHO CARES?
No. No, the most terrible thing JK Rowling did in Half-Blood Prince, according to a very vocal section of the internet, was this:
THAT’S RIGHT. HARRY/GINNY. ROWLING, YOU UTTER BITCH.
See, there was this expectation that Harry was going to end up with HERMIONE and Ginny…let’s just not go there regarding their opinions of Ginny.
So, why do I bring this up now? Because, I have to confess, I’ve been sucked into the whirlpool that is Teen Wolf. Why, you ask? Well…
…for the plot. Totally for the plot.
Anyway, the most popular pairing in Teen Wolf is that of Stiles Stilinski (human best friend of the lead character) and Derek Hale (mysterious failure of a werewolf). The pairing is commonly known as “Sterek.” For the record, in a world where Final Fantasy 8 fandom gave us the namesmush “Squinoa,” I cannot laugh at “Sterek” as much as I want to.
Anyway, as for the pairing, I don’t get it, but I’ve gotta give them this: it is very pretty.
Please remember, I told you: I watch it for the plot.
Anyway, recently there was word that, sadly, Sterek will NOT become canon on the show. And from the internet there was a moment of silence.
And then? FIRE.
Okay, okay, exaggerating, but seriously. I can see why there was a certain amount of hope that it COULD happen: Teen Wolf has been pretty cool about normalizing homosexuality on the show, in fact we’ve been promised that the openly gay character of Danny will be getting a werewolf boyfriend and some on-screen loving in Season 3. Besides that, the show has done things such as holding a slash-friendly fanfiction contest where the winner got to meet members of the cast and the creator and, well, stuff like this.
FOR. THE. PLOT.
WHAT WAS I TALKING ABOUT?
Right, anyway. Sterek no happen.
Disappointment I can get. Especially in a case where you saw hope for it.
But the battle cry of STEREK EXISTS? Oh, folks.
Look, yes. Sterek exists and can continue to exist in fanart and fanfic and whatever else you wanna make. Obviously the cast and creator are COOL with it, in fact cast members may ship it (or they may be trolling, I don’t know, either way it is awesome). But it’s just NOT the direction the show is going.
That doesn’t mean you can’t still ship Sterek. You are TOTALLY allowed to. I’m sure most of the fandom would prefer you did (though there may be some people who would like to see a little more Stiles/Scott/Allison stuff. I mean, I assume so). But really, let’s all remember that it’s all in good fun, that life goes on, and we should pay attention to the important things.
Like the plot.
THE PLOT, DAMMIT.
- Ashly was a Sub Cultured contributing writer and, apparently, a creeper who is hoping you don’t kill her for saying any of this. She is glad to discuss the plot of Teen Wolf on her Twitter @newageamazon.
A truly wonderful movie makes you forget about budgetary limits and connects with you in a way that makes you feel not alone in this vast universe; that there are others who understand your specific warped sense of humor, horrible fashion choices, and odd choice of friends. These movies create a sense of location, meaning that you feel these places really exist outside of the theater or at least you could kill several afternoons daydreaming about the characters exploits that the movie carelessly forgot to mention. They help us remember how to love and that just because something is a cliché doesn’t make it any less powerful. Some movies make us love more is what I’m saying.
Oz The Great and Powerful is not one of these movies, despite its attempts to be one. It reaches for the stars and occasionally scoops a handful out of the sky and brings true wonder to the screen, but the majority of the time the movie is soaring on wax wings. As it grows closer to the stars its gimmicks melt away and what are left are some very plain performances by a few poorly cast actors/actresses.
The movie starts with James Franco (as Oz) and his disgustingly smarmy smile being put to good use; seducing naive women and putting on rather exceptional magic shows at a two-bit circus. Also it should be noted the movie starts in a 4:3 aspect ratio and in black and white, but this is simply a clever set up for the big reveal. Eventually Oz is chased by a not-so-happy body builder into the “safety” of his hot air balloon and, respectively, straight into the eye of a tornado, catapulting Oz into the wonderful land of Oz.
The movie then break the 4:3 aspect ratio, lets the colors pour out and you have to stop and go, “Wowwwwwwwww”. Unfortunately this wow-factor is ruined by some cheap looking CGI at times that were clearly meant for the 3-D audiences. I enjoy 3-D movies myself, but it’s a shame to see it comes at the expense of the regular showings. Soon he is greeted by Mila Kunis (the Wicked Witch of the West) and…. Well, I loved you in Black Swan and in Ted, but you just didn’t have the chops to pull off the Wicked Witch.
They quickly come across Zach Braff (playing a flying monkey) who is a delight the entire movie despite the fact that he is simply doing a Billy Crystal impersonation. At this point in the film Oz has decided that he will pretend to fulfill the prophecy of the great wizard as it entitles him to a snazzy throne, a city of emerald, and a vault filled with gold. The future Wicked Witch’s sister is played by Rachel Weisz and is called Evanora. I can only assume she is the witch that the house lands on in the Wizard of Oz. Her performance is dutiful, although a cheesy flying-wizard laser-battle ruined any chance of me taking her seriously.
The first act of the movie is rather pretty, but also rather inconsistent with its visual effects and rather lifeless in terms of acting, but the second act is really where this movie shines with a few great scenes in China Town (it’s a pretty funny pun) and the Dark Forest, all highlighted by a fantastic CGI character named China Girl. Sam Raimi (the director) really let loose during these scenes and indulged himself and the audience in his trademark, oddball sense of humor. These scenes fit into the expanded universe of The Wizard of Oz seamlessly and if the whole movie had followed this route it would have been a knockout. It paid off in spades and I only wish the scenes were longer and they had spent more time creating scenes like them instead of catering to the typical expectations of a Disney movie.
Where this movie suffers the most is the third act, much akin to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. It becomes a very predictable Hero vs Villain scenario where Oz tricks the witches and the power of goodness triumphs without much of a hitch. While this might please youngsters who haven’t seen this formula hundreds of times, I am doubtful it pleased anyone over the age of eight.
If Oz The Great and Powerful had cast more passionate people for the demanding roles this movie might have had more resonance, but even then it is hampered by a predictable story that takes away from the wonder of the land of Oz. As this isn’t a new movie I won’t be assigning a number score to it, but I would NOT recommend seeing it in theater and would only get it on DVD if you are watching this with your kids.
(Or: No, Seriously: Who Put Acid in My Pancakes This Morning?)
Baten Kaitos was one of a precious few RPGs released for the Nintendo GameCube, and it flew under the radar of most system owners. I only discovered the game for myself when my mother randomly presented me with it as a late Christmas present. The cover art was dubiously eclectic and gave the impression of a poorly funded acid trip, but it was the middle of summer and I was in desperate need of new games to occupy my attention. Thus, I gave the game a shot, and was instantly entranced.
|Kalas meets his Guardian Spirit! The ensuing memory blackouts and spreading wildfires are almost certainly unrelated.|
|Kalas performs a powerful special attack, inspired by Alfred Hitchcock|
|My guess is that Willy Wonka was on the development team.|
(Or: Inception meets Imagination Island)
Eternal Sonata is another offering from the development team behind Baten Kaitos, and you have to wonder what substances they’re taking to come up with the premises for these games. The story begins with renowned composer and pianist Frederic Chopin on the night of his death. Before long, the composer finds himself lost in a mysterious land, which he only assumes can be a dream world of his own creation. Other characters scoff at the idea that their world only exists in someone else’s dream, and Frederic is powerless to prove them otherwise. The story then shifts to Frederic joining a dying girl and her companions, who seek to right various injustices in their world. All the while, however, Frederic quietly struggles with separating dreams from reality. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a totem to occasionally spin.
|Here’s hoping you’re not a crazy shade of my dead wife!|
|The party finds itself in the beautiful frozen city of Baroque!|
|Frederic prepares to unleash a powerful special attack, and he only comes to battle in the finest formal wear.|
By now you should all be familiar about our Sucks to Be a N00b articles. They are proof that we, as IHOGeek writers, are fearless pioneers, willing to brave even the darkest and most unknown corners of geekdom to bring you the newcomer’s perspective. Basically, we’re metal as fuck.
Still, some new experiences do daunt us. Or me. Just me. My next mission is to take on the world of anime, with a smattering of every genre’s best of the best. So if you have a recommendation, shoot it over to the comments section and I’ll try to give it a whirl. Cute is cool, violent is better, and tails are ok.
First up on my list is Birdy, of which I’ve seen the first episode and it looks really interesting besides the leading lady’s stupid outfit.
So far I’ve seen:
Samurai Champloo, Black Butler, DBZ, and Cowboy BeBop
Give me your best!