Monthly Archives: November 2013

Catching Fire

Hello, I’m a unicorn. The Hunger Games book series is extremely popular with adults and kids my age. What is my opinion of it? It’s okay. It has been a while since I read the books, but I remember that they were entertaining, even the third one, aka the first book that actually got me angry. I really liked the first book. I almost wish Suzanne Collins had stopped right there because the climax of the second book is essentially a rehash of the first book, albeit done somewhat better. The third book is another beast entirely, and a rant for another day. Now let’s talk about the first movie really quickly. I liked it better than the book, but it had its flaws. For example, they overused the shaky cam, even in scenes where there wasn’t any action. It got to a point where the viewer had trouble telling what was happening. Other than that, it was a really good adaptation with great acting and a scene that actually made me tear up. I don’t usually cry at movies, so I consider it a feat when a movie makes me get choked up. Now, it’s time to get to the point. Catching Fire was wonderful, much better than the first movie and the book. Since there isn’t anything awful in this, I’m going to break it down to the good and the meh. Also, beware of spoilers.

The Good: Oh great Krypton, where to begin? This movie takes the plot, which, like I said, is a rehash of the first with a few new twists, and makes it much more interesting than the first movie. The acting was excellent, especially Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. One of the things that bothered me about the character in the book was that she sometimes came off as annoying. Why I found her annoying can be summed up in four words: I don’t do angst.

Technically, that’s five words.

Not if it’s a contraction. Anyway, the casting of  Lawrence as Katniss was perfect, because she is talented enough to pull off  all of the conflicting emotions our heroine has without coming off as overly angsty. Donald Sutherland was perfect as the creepy President Snow. The scene between the two in her house was chilling. Josh Hutcherson was great as Peeta, and given much more to work with than in the first movie. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy and Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket were entertaining as always.  The stakes were much higher in this movie than in the first, with her family and friends threatened by the president and a revolution brewing.

You say you want a revolution, baby, well, you know, we all want to change the world.

Thank you, Textbox. That was necessary.

Always at you service.

As I was saying, I really have to applaud the director, Francis Lawrence. Er… no relation to Jennifer from what I can find. I guess it’s just another one of those weird coincidences between director and the film he’s directing. Kind of like how The Amazing Spider-Man’s director is named Marc Webb.

Was there a point to your rambling?

Right, sorry. He did a brilliant job, and ended the film perfectly with a shot of Katniss going through an insane range of emotions before ending on her determined face. This got me hyped up for the third movie, which is no small feat. I was seriously considering skipping the third installment, but not anymore. I now believe that he can improve upon the book I liked the least. I hope that Mockingjay can be a great movie.

The Meh: Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence had no chemistry. They’ve only shared a few scenes in the movie, and we are expected to believe that they are in love. This could be problematic in the third movie because the focus of the third book is the love triangle between Katniss, Gale, and Peeta. To be honest, though, in this movie, I don’t mind that the two spend so little time together. I usually can’t stand love triangles, especially when it takes up the majority of the plot. This love triangle, along with Katniss’s constant (but completely justifiable) angsting made me dislike Mockingjay.

Overall, this is definitely worth a watch and much better than the original books and movie. The acting was excellent, the cinematography vastly improved, and the stakes much higher than the first. So what are you waiting for? Watch it now and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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Thor 2: The Dark World

Hello, I’m a unicorn. *Sigh* Chris Hemsworth…

Hey, you might want to wipe that drool off your chin.

What? Oh-heh…heh…I mean– Thor 2.  I really enjoyed this movie because–

You have a crush on Chris Hemsworth.

What? No, I–

Admit it, you have a crush on him. Kirin’s got a boyfriend!  Kirin’s got a boyfriend!

Well, at least I don’t have an unhealthy obsession with Bea Arthur!

You take that back. Bea Arthur was an amazing woman!

I’m not disputing that. I’m just pointing out that didn’t search for the Golden Girls on Google images without safe search.

Don’t you have a review to do?

Right, sorry. Thor 2 was a really enjoyable movie, but every movie has its flaws, so I’m going to break it down to what I liked and didn’t like, while trying not to spoil it.

The Good:

Other than Chris Hemsworth?

Shut up. Anyway, unlike *ahem* some  superhero movies that came out this summer, this movie was a lot of fun *cough* Man of Steel *cough*. There were plenty of good jokes, especially from Loki (no shock there) and the set pieces were really cool. Asgard was gorgeous and the Dark World really interesting to look at. The designs for the dark elf Stormtroopers themselves were very creepy. I especially liked the climactic fight between Thor and Malekith where they were jumping in portals between worlds. The pseudoscience behind it might be a little shaky, but what do you expect from a movie with a god-like entity that wields a hammer forged from a dying sun? The film added depth to Thor’s character, showing him to be an intelligent competent leader, as opposed to the brash frat boy in the first film. I do like that they subverted Loki’s inevitable betrayal of  Thor. I’m not going into how that plot point was subverted because it plays into a pretty huge triple plot twist. I don’t usually comment on cinematography, but I would like to point out that the film makers were wise enough not to overuse shaky cam. Since I saw the movie two weeks ago, I had to ask my mom and sister if they remembered any instances of shaky camera syndrome. They both said that they didn’t remember any shaky cam, so it was either barely noticeable or practically nonexistent, unlike other superhero movies that came out this year. Looking at you Zack Snyder.

Verily I say unto thee, thou art making many insults towards Man Of Steel in thy post.

You’re right. Maybe I should change the subject.

The Bad: Malekith was very under developed. Unlike Loki in the first Thor movie, I was able to understand Malekith’s motivations, but he just didn’t feel very fleshed out. Malekith was just another blank slated villain bent on destruction. Loki was a far more interesting antagonist. He steals every scene (again, no big shock there). Speaking of scene stealers, Darcy, Jane Foster’s assistant, had a tendency to get on my nerves. She is less annoying than she was in the first Thor movie, but the audience’s patience for her attempt at comedy wears thin after a while. The other comic relief characters were fine, but they tended to melt into the background. Unfortunately, Thor, Jane, and the Warriors Three were sometimes swallowed up by the large cast.  Besides being infected by the maguffin, Jane wasn’t given much to do except techno-babble and make goo goo eyes at Thor. Lady Sif and the Warriors Three weren’t given a huge part. That was slightly disappointing because there was an implied love triangle between Thor, Sif, and Jane, but most of it was obviously cut out. On the other hand, this is probably for the best, because I really don’t want to see a competent warrior and a competent scientist get catty over a guy, even if that guy is Thor. I just wish that they were given more to do than the meager scenes they were in. One final note: Odin is a bad parent. That is all.

Overall, this movie is a worthy sequel to the Thor franchise and a perfectly tides you over until the next Avengers movie. It was larger in scope, and the stakes are much higher than the first movie. In fact, I liked this movie the most out of all the superhero movies that came out this year. This is definitely worth a watch for fans and non-fans of the God of  Thunder alike. So, what are you waiting for get thee hence creature and watch it now. Also, next month is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Month, where I look at the various incarnations of my favorite ninja team.

I SAY THEE NAY!!!!

Excuse me?

Thou must revieweth one more current film before thou mayest discuss these talking Turtles thou loves so much.

Really? And what would that be?

Catching Fire.

Okay, no need to get your metaphorical panties in a twist. I’ll review it.

But–but dost thou not loathe it?

No. I like the first two books. I just hated the third one.

*sigh* You’re no fun, you know that?

Yes, yes I do. Hunger Games: Catching Fire next post everybody!

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TMNT: The Haunted Pizza

“It’s a long story,” Lilly said.

“I’ve got time,” Kirin replied, her arms crossed. Textbox cleared his metaphorical throat.

“Actually, you don’t. You have to do a review before the exposition fest,” he explained. Kirin rolled her eyes.

“Really? Right now? But I want answers,” she complained.

“That’s the rules,” Textbox answered cheerfully. Kirin groaned.

“Says who?”

“Says me.”

“Who made you the boss of my blog?” Kirin asked. Lilly and Eli slowly began to back away. “Don’t move a muscle. We’re not finished here,” she told them.

“But first you do a review. Otherwise I’ll keep pestering you.” Kirin sighed.

“Fine.” She turned to the trench coat wearing couple. “I’ll be right back.” Kirin grabbed the first comic she saw and scanned over it.

Hello, I’m a unicorn. This comic is very good. Happy?

No. You need to do an actual review.

Fine. I’ll be frank, this is a weird one. An evil, alien, sentient fungus that had wiped out the dinosaurs is accidentally made into cheese 65 million years later and just so happens to be put on a pizza that the Turtles ordered. Seriously.

Um…what were they smoking?

No idea. Anyway, once you get past the bizarre premise, the comic isn’t so bad. Sure, it’s very strange, but there isn’t anything particularly offensive about it. The artwork is decent, the Turtles (for the most part) aren’t idiots and they come up with a clever plan to defeat the cheese monster.  My one question is this: why is the story called the haunted pizza? It’s made explicitly clear that the pizza isn’t possessed by ghosts. It’s made from an alien fungus, so why isn’t it called the Alien Pizza? It would be just as strange a title, and be exactly what it says on the tin. Overall, it’s a fun read for any Turtles fan.

“Are you happy now?” Kirin asked Textbox.

“Yep. Now you can get your answers.”

“Thank you. Lilly, Eli, this is your cue,” she said, turning to the two. She gestured for them to sit down at the kitchen table. Lilly sighed.

“First of all, we’re not of this world,” Lilly began, “We’re from–“

“An alternate dimension?” Kirin guessed. Lilly nodded.

“Yes, we come from a world very different from yours. Compared to our home world, this world is primitive. The guns we used to fight off the Graron, we had to build ourselves. You see, in that world, we were scientists, studying alternate dimensions.”

“So you accidentally ended up on this backwater planet during an experiment gone wrong, and now you’re chasing those monsters in order to find a way home?” Kirin asked.

“Good guess, but wrong. You couldn’t pay us to go back,” Eli replied. “Our world is ruled with an iron fist, and bent on taking over other worlds. The Graron? He’s just the beginning. Our world is amassing an army, and we’re the only two in the way.”

“You mentioned something about letting innocents die. What was that about?” Kirin asked.

“Well,” Lilly answered,”You were right about the fact that we discovered this world accidentally. When we ended up here, we left all of our notes behind. They’re using those notes to send scouts. They probably haven’t figured out how to send in an army yet.”

“But why hasn’t anyone else discovered these scouts?”

“Oh, they have, but just haven’t realized it. Have you watched the news lately?” Eli answered.

“”I’ve been kinda busy with the monster in my closet,” Kirin replied coolly.

“Well, there’s been a rash of disappearances that have baffled the police. All that was found of the victims was a little blood. A lot of the saner ones suggested Bigfoot,” he said. Textbox and Kirin laughed, but stopped after a sharp look from Lilly.

“He’s serious?” Textbox asked. Kirin and Lilly nodded. So, what about that deus ex machina? If you don’t need that coin, why do they?”

“The coin must be how your world monitors the Grarons. If the connection is broken, then they’re sent back home. Eli mentioned that the creature had telepathy, and that’s how he controlled you. I guess that the coin also allowed him to be invisible to us. When Lilly shot the Graron, it must have damaged the coin enough to make it visible,” Kirin suggested.

“Exactly, and there are more where that came from,” Lilly said.

“Okay, one more question. What’s with your names?” she asked.

“Our names are nearly impossible for humans to pronounce. When we arrived, we ended up at a psychiatrists convention. We picked the first two names we saw, and they stuck. Unfortunately, we can no longer stick around. It was a pleasure meeting you,” Lilly said. She and Eli got up and headed for the door.

“Wait, I want to help you,” Kirin said.

“Help us?” Eli echoed incredulously. He glanced at Lilly.

“Well, she did hold her own against the Graron while he was invisible. She could be an asset,” Lilly said.

“So that’s a yes?” Kirin asked.

“It’s a definite maybe,” Eli replied. He tossed her a small device that resembled an old iPod. “If you need help, or see anything strange call us. Otherwise, we’ll call you.” Kirin smiled.

“See you later, and good luck,” she said as they left.

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Tales of TMNT #16

“Where am I?” Kirin muttered as she sat up. “And did anyone get the license of that demonic entity?” She was in a small, stark white room that had no furniture.

“Hey, Kirin! I was wondering when you’d get here,” a familiar voice exclaimed excitedly.

“Dumbledore? Is that you?” she asked.

“Wow, you must have really hit your head hard.”

“Textbox?”

The one and only.”

“And you’re not possessed?”

“Yep.”

“What happened? Am I dead?”

“Nah, just knocked out.”

“Okay, so, where am I? What was that thing? How come you’re free?” she asked.

You are currently at the mercy of whatever’s been squatting in your house in the past week. This room is a dream. No, I don’t know what that thing is or how it has possessed me. And I’m not free yet. I need you to do that. The rest of your questions will be answered in this,” Textbox replied. A comic appeared right before Kirin’s eyes.

Hello, I’m a unicorn. So we’re back to another Tales of the TMNT. In this story, Donatello is visiting the Utrom home world with Professor Honeycutt, a scientist who, according to the 2003 series, accidentally had his brain implanted in a robot through magic lightning. They’re there to study ecosystems, but couldn’t pass up the chance for a joyride with their hosts. The group happens upon a distress signal in the middle of deep space. They go to investigate and find that the asteroid is inhabited by an old enemy of the Utroms.  Or are they an enemy? Perhaps they are misunderstood. You’ll have to read to find out.

Overall, this is a pretty good read. The artwork is much better than a lot of the other tales books I’ve seen, and the story really creates a slasher movie-esque atmosphere. We also learn that the Utroms aren’t just the peace loving alien race. They, like humans, have quite a few skeletons in their closet. I really only have two  criticisms. One, Donatello behaves out of character. He’s the good natured, quiet, intellectual type. He’s rarely as brash as he was in this story. His behavior is more what I’d expect out of Mikey or Raph. Two, why is he gritting his teeth so much? In nearly every panel, he’s gritting his teeth like a 1990’s antihero. Even so, I enjoyed this tale and would recommend it to any Turtles fan.

“So I did a review  of it. Now what? I still have no idea how to free you,” Kirin said.

I don’t know. I just wanted to see you review a Turtle’s comic without comparing it to the 2003 show,” Textbox replied. Kirin rolled her eyes.

“You mean to tell me you wasted my time?”

“Yep. Pretty much.”

“Why do I want to rescue you again?”

“Because you are a sucker.” 

“I thought so. Do you have any idea how I’m going to wake up?”

“I don’t know, slap yourself  or something. Do I look like I have all the answers?” Kirin sighed and closed her eyes. When they opened, she was back in her own house. She rolled just as an invisible claw tore open the carpet. The front door burst open and two people, a man and a woman wearing trench coats and fedoras entered. The woman pulled out a gun and shot right at Kirin’s head, but, instead of the inevitable splatter, a creature resembling Bigfoot appeared right before her eyes.

“Holy cr–” Kirin began, but was cut off by a razor sharp claw headed straight toward her head. She ducked and dove for her sword. The man pulled out his gun and aimed at the long armed, brown furred monstrosity. “Wait!” Kirin yelled.

“Wait? Are you insane?” the woman asked. Kirin dodged another slash from the beast.

“This thing, whatever it is, has possessed my friend. I need it alive until I can figure out how to free him,” she explained as she ducked behind the creature.

“You’re friend?” the man asked.

“Well, maybe friend is a strong word. He’s more like an annoying parrot super glued to my shoulder, but he’s grown on me,” she replied as she whacked the creature with the butt of her sword. It crumpled to the ground, unconscious.

“Eli, I’ve never heard of one of these possessing a person before. Maybe we should study it,” the woman said.

“Well, my friend’s not exactly human,” Kirin added.

“What do mean by not exactly human?” the man, Eli, asked.

“He’s the voice in the head of my favorite Marvel character, Deadpool. For some reason, he’s attached himself to me until I stop writing reviews,” she explained. The two looked at Kirin like she was crazy.

After a moment, the man said, “Well…that explains how you took the Graron so well.” He gestured to the unconscious creature.

“Yeah, about that– what the heck is it?” Kirin asked. Eli and the woman glanced at each other.

“Lilly, do you want to explain?” he asked uncomfortably.

“Yeah, I probably should. What’s your name?” she asked.

“Kirin.”

“Okay, Kirin, this is going to sound really strange–“

“That’s an understatement,” Eli muttered as he tied up the beast.

“As I was saying, there are certain places that attract things from other worlds. It’s our job to catch those things and keep them from hurting other people,” Lilly explained as though she was speaking to a small child.

“So you’re saying that, because the barriers between dimensions are weaker around my house, creatures from said dimensions can hide out here and I’d be none the wiser?” Kirin asked.  Lilly nodded. “Okay, I get that. I just don’t understand why you hunt down these creatures.” Lilly glanced at Eli, who was making a point of scanning the creature with what looked to be a flip phone.

“Well–I–we–uh… Eli you want to answer that one?”

“No. Working right now. Got to get finish before the birdwatchers show up.”

“Birdwatchers?” Kirin asked.

“Government agents,” Lilly  translated. Kirin nodded.

“Oh…wait, what? The government knows about these, what did you call them? Gargons?”

“Grarons, and as far as we know, they don’t, but better safe than sorry,” Lilly explained.

“You know, if I hadn’t seen what I just saw, I’d call you both crazy, but as far as I know, I’m the crazy one. So, will you please explain to me who you are and what’s going on so I’m on the same page?” Kirin asked, feeling a little exasperated.

“Sorry, how rude of us. I’m Lilly Rorschach and this is Eli Freud.” She gestured to Eli, who was staring intently at the flip phone.  “And we’re here because–” The Graron stirred. Eli and Lilly cocked their guns and Kirin held her sword at the ready.

“Be careful,” Eli warned, “These creatures are telekinetic and feed on fear.” The Graron opened its eyes and Kirin held her sword to its neck.

“Now, I know you can talk, so answer me this: how did you possess Textbox and how can I free him?” Kirin asked coolly.

“You are powerless against me. Only I can release him, but I won’t,” it said in Textbox’s voice. Kirin thought for a moment.

“Even if I found a way to send you back to your homeworld?” she offered. The Graron laughed.

“You think I care about about that putrid place?” 

“Well, then I suppose we could just kill you. That ought to release her friend,” Eli suggested. The creature laughed again.

“No it won’t. Killing me will also kill your friend,” it replied, seemingly amused at the whole situation.

“He’s probably lying,” Eli muttered, preparing to shoot.

“But what if he isn’t? Do you want another innocent to die because of us?” Lilly asked. Eli paused, then lowered his gun. It was then that Kirin noticed a golden object hidden between the mats of fur.

“What’s this?” she asked, yanking it out of the tangled mass. The object was a small coin that had an owl with a snake in its beak  on each side. Eli and Lilly’s faces lit up in surprise.

“Lilly, that’s–” Eli began.

“It’s nothing,” the creature interrupted too quickly. Kirin gave the Graron the grin a spider would give a fly caught in its web.

“Hmmm…it doesn’t seem like nothing. Right now, I have three guesses as to what this coin is: A, the thing that keeps you tethered to this world; B, the thing that allows you to control Textbox; or C, all of the above.” Her voice was dangerously low.

“No. No, it isn’t. It’s nothing. Now give it back,”  the Graron exclaimed nervously. Kirin’s spider smile grew bigger.

“If it really is nothing, then you won’t mind if I break it,” she snarled. Kirin set the coin on the ground and sliced it in half with her sword. The Graron shrieked and disappeared in a cloud of smoke. The three stood there, stunned.

“Wow, I was right,” Kirin muttered.

“How…how did you know that would happen,” Lilly asked. Kirin shrugged.

“I didn’t. Lucky guess,” she replied.

“I’ll say,” Eli muttered, scanning the coin with his phone.

“Wait… Textbox? You there?” Kirin yelled into the air.

“Yep. Through the power of deus ex machina, I’m back baby!” Textbox exclaimed, much to the surprise of Eli and Lilly. “So who are the X-Files rejects?” he asked.

“You know, that’s a good question. One that I’ve been trying to get answered myself. So, Lilly, Eli, what are you doing here?”

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