yukipri · 2 days
So, I binged The Acolyte last night.
I had a mental block and couldn't get myself to start while it was coming out, and I also haven't touched any High Republic era media before which made me hesitant. But the spoilers/gifs/fanart etc I saw convinced me I should give it a try.
I'm not a huge fan of binging, I like sitting and thinking with each episode, so I expected to just watch an episode or two, give it a day or so, then continue if I liked it.
But, to my great surprise, once I started, I couldn't really stop (aaand stayed up till 7 AM, oops).
I think it had several things going for it:
-The acting was genuinely phenomenal. I feel like I would have felt completely differently about the show if different actors had been involved, and i mean that more strongly than I usually do. Their delivery in certain moments really sold me.
-It's not your usual Star Wars genre. I'd consider it mystery/suspense with a touch of horror, and it really does come together. Some of the characters are experience a more stereotypical Star Wars action/adventure story, but are jerked out of their genre at certain moments. It's pretty neat, and makes the twists fun and interesting (even if you were completely spoiled beforehand, like me lol)
-The costumes were gorgeous and unique.
-Some truly gorgeous cinematography, shots that have beautiful composition and lighting.
-It was rich in lore and references, some from Legends that I caught, many from the High Republic that I didn't catch but appreciated nonetheless. It felt deeply connected to the SW Universe.
-While cynical, the writing says things that I've thought about but never really thought Star Wars would have the guts to say. The writing is also Tight, meaning that little moments of character interactions bring up things that will be necessary/helpful to the plot later, and I appreciated that. There felt like very little waste.
-There are genuinely no "good" or "bad" guys. Every character makes mistakes or has horrible qualities, yet also positive ones. We see and understand motives, even if we don't agree with them, and see the fallout of those actions. This made almost everyone compelling. The narrative and writing gives the audience space to think.
Things that I wasn't as much a fan of:
-I felt like most of the sets felt kind of generic and Earth-like, especially in comparison to the rich costumes and alien characters.
-There are some fantastic fight scenes and emotional scenes, where the acting and cinematography was fantastic, but I wish the music had been a bit more memorable. I can't really recall any of it, and I feel like there were scenes that could have been truly iconic had the music resounded more with me.
Now, some more specific thoughts, SPOILERS below:
On Sol:
Sol is a character who, I believe in most cases, I would have absolutely despised. But holy shit, Lee Jung-jae. I am not exaggerating when I say that his performance is perhaps one of the best, if not THE best performances I've ever seen in live action Star Wars. He played this character so tenderly, so genuinely.
Despite being misguided, having made terrible decisions, and making mistakes that even he acknowledges, Sol himself always truly thought he was doing what was right, and loved Osha with his whole being even at the end, and it Shows. The way he looks at Osha was so sincere.
This is why I can't get myself to hate Sol as a character. It makes me feel so conflicted, like how can a guy with so much love and genuine desire to help and do good go so wrong? And that, I think, is one of the major points of the show, and Lee Jung-jae absolutely sells it. What a phenomenal actor. You could genuinely watch this show for him alone.
On Osha/Mae:
When the first info/promos for Acolyte came out and Amandla Stenberg was announced as the main character, I admit I was a bit confused. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't that I thought she couldn't act, but it's just that her face is so kind. She looks so warm (and gosh, she's so beautiful), but it made me go hmm, she looks like a Good Guy Protag, a Hero, so I was a bit confused as to how she was going to lead "the Acolyte," which from the title, I assumed she'd be Dark Side. Even with the early promo scenes of Mae fighting Indara, I wasn't really sold on her being "Dark."
And it turns out, that was exactly the point of the casting.
Amandla was perfect, and was brilliant at portraying two characters who not only have different and distinct personalities, but also both shift and change throughout the show. Mae never came off as "Dark" to me, because she isn't. Osha's not necessarily Light OR Dark, but she's independent. They are balanced, yet cycling, reminiscent of that little palm-to-palm circling ritual that the girls do. Amandla's portrayal of them was poetry, and made me so very invested in them.
I think if there's one thing I really wish the show had included more of, it's both Osha and Mae's pasts between their tragic separation and their reunion in the present. What was Osha's Padawan-ship actually like? I feel like the exact reason for the timing of her leaving the Order was ambiguous, and I wanted to know more. And was Mae with "the Master" the entire time?
I truly wish Osha could have heard the full story from Sol, because of his many crimes, ironically, killing her mother really was a genuine accident. There are things I wish he could have apologized to her for, or that she could have understood about him, such as how that night at the coven was largely driven by how Sol felt connected to her. This is one part where, while I get how the writers went this way, I do wish I could have felt more closure to their relationship.
I found it so tragic that Qimir erased Mae's memories and they had to be separated so soon after finally understanding each other. I really hope that if there's a season 2, they can be reunited.
On Qimir:
Preface by saying I was spoiled regarding his identity long before I started, by all those thirsty posts/tweets. And man, I GET IT.
But thirst magnet aside, I found him a genuinely fascinating character. For one thing, he's kind of an ironic character to *be* a Darksider. He seems so chill and laid-back, is honorable (or at least keeps his word), and despite his words about using emotions to harness energy, we don't really see him passionately mad/anything really. In contrast, the Jedi we see around him are furious, scared, sad. It's interesting that he almost seems more calm, but not necessarily because he's trying: he just doesn't care.
Manny Jacinto's portrayal of the character made him so damn Likable. Which, is pretty hard to reconcile with the fact that I genuinely liked Jecki and Yord, but a lot of his lines make me just go, y'know he's got a point. Like the whole, "She was a child," "You brought her here." Like yeah. Honestly, fair. His little quips, the delivery, the I'm-just-a-chill-dude attitude, actually keeps his word, and on the flip side, undeniable ruthless skill and viciousness that took down a whole team of Jedi single-handedly. It's a very BRRRRRR combo.
In general, I don't really get too attached to "Dark Side" characters, and don't really have a favorite Sith. Or at least, I didn't, but I think Qimir (or whatever his actually name is) might claim that spot now. Truly peak character, I truly hope we get to see more with him.
And this is kind of an aside, but can I just say, it felt unreal to have entire fight sequences focussing on just two Asian actors, with the other protagonist we see a black girl, for huge chunks of the show? No white people except comparatively brief side characters? In a Star Wars show?!?? All of them unique and well fleshed out and phenomenally written and acted?? None of it felt like "forced diversity," it's all so natural, that when I step back and thought about it in these terms it just...again, feels unreal. I'm so grateful for these characters, and hope we get more like them.
On Jecki and Yord:
Honestly given what I saw about Yord before hand, I was expecting him to be far more annoying than he was. Sure, he was a little stiff, but he felt like a young Jedi Knight who was trying to prove himself and do his best, and I think he very clearly did care for Osha.
Jecki, gosh I loved her. She felt very similar to Ahsoka, if a bit more by the book. She was very wise for her youth. I loved the budding friendship between her and Osha, how they helped each other and weren't jealous.
The thing about both of these characters, which I think the writers did so well, is that they felt like protagonists. In another story, they would have been the main characters, the heroes. Both of them were so young, so early in their training/careers. They could have become Obi-Wans, Ahsokas. Jecki especially was bursting with so much potential.
But alas, this was not that story. It makes it that much shocking when their lives are cut so abruptly short. We were given time to get to know these characters, to care for them, and then without much fanfare, boom. Gone.
On one hand, I sorta Hate That. On the other, I deeply respect the writers for going there, because I think it did have an Impact on the story and show.
On the Witches/Mother Aniseya:
Admittedly I was a little ehhhhh on some of the world-building regarding the witches, just the use of the words "witch" and "coven" and some of the chanting with gasping cackling women etc felt a bit caricature. I do get that they wanted us to have a vibe for this group and to get one with limited screentime, and sometimes stereotypes are the way to do that. I didn't love it, but also didn't mind it too much.
I actually really loved Mother Aniseya. For one thing, the actress is Gorgeous, her costume stunning, and she really sold the whole otherworldly ethereal immortal goddess vibe well, in a way that still felt Star Wars. For the other, I liked how she was the soft, empathetic one, it kinda contrasted with expectation of her position.
I also loved Mother Koril, and how again, she was designed as a character foil to Mother Aniseya. I love how we didn't see too much of them, but could still see that they were partners who loved and respected each other (I hesitate to say "wives," because I feel like their society may not exactly have the same concept of marriage, but partners was undeniable). I think it was a neat Oh moment when they stated that Mother Koril is the one who carried the twins. Love them.
I know I'll have more thoughts, but yeah, to sum it up, I enjoyed Acolyte a ton more than I thought i would, and am so glad I gave it a chance.
Other things:
-Mentioned earlier that I love "little moments of character interactions bring up things that will be necessary/helpful to the plot later." Some actual examples of this: When we see Sol noticing Osha's tattoo and Osha saying he must hate it, which in the moment, shows the kind of guardian-student relationship they have, and how little seems to have changed for them in the time they've been a part. Later, it's shown to clearly identify Osha after Mae steals her clothes. Another is the rolly polly moth things, which at first seem just like a way to show This Forest Dangerous, but then are a plot point to temporarily escape from Qimir, and later on, to show Vernestra's connection to the Force (and also her light whip). Stuff like that, I really like.
-I so appreciated Qimir's Cortosis helmet. For one thing, it's neat that it's not just cool-looking or a disguise, but actually is Force-blocking. I think an official SW account factoid said that this is also how beskar works, though beskar is stronger. The two effects this has: when the user is wearing it, they're forced to confront what's inside of them. The other, is that it hides the wearer's identity from Force users who would otherwise recognize them. The latter is my personal headcanon for beskar helmets, so it's very gratifying to see it in canon! The former has some interesting implications for Force-users who wear beskar.
-The cynical view of the Jedi Order as an Institution, and all the politics, corruption, and obscuring of dirt that that entails. Admittedly this may be because of my own increasingly cynical perspective on the Order, but it felt honest and I agreed with most of it. The fact that individuals are trying their best to do "good" does not negate the fact that they are pretty much acting as Space Cops. This line by Senator Rayencourt felt especially raw:
"I think the Jedi are a massive system of unchecked power, posing as a religion, a delusional cult that claims to claim the uncontrollable. [] Your emotions."
Framed as a religion having unchecked power—that feels uncomfortably realistic! And also zeroing in on how for all their power, the Jedi are still people, and just as fallible (and therefore, must necessarily be held just as accountable).
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I can see how this portrayal of the Jedi may make some folks uncomfortable, especially if you love the Jedi, but I long hold that the Jedi as an organization are deeply flawed. It's part of why I personally like the "fall of the Republic" era; both the Galactic Republic and Jedi Order have deep, fatal flaws, and this is an era where that all comes to a head—one where they must fall, or fix themselves.
So in conclusion, my favorite parts: the characters, and the moral grayness of almost everyone. Many stories may claim there's no good/evil dichotomy, but few ever truly show it, but this one did.
I'm not sure yet if I want to "fandom" over this or if I'm pretty satisfied with having just watched it, but it was definitely worth the watch and I'm glad I gave it a try!
I also kept a lil document of live reaction notes as I was watching, which I'll copy below:
Episode 1
UEDA?? The planet is just, UEDA?? A pretty common Japanese surname?? That's like. Naming a planet Johnson or somethin...
Loving the costumes 'n set
Oh wait I recognize this scene, it's the one they played as a preview at the AMC Star Wars marathon
Idk how to feel about the Space Generic T-Shirt
Ooh Neimoidians (thank you for no horrendously exaggerated Evil Japanese Accent TM), and interesting Jedi ship shape
Oh interesting interesting they intentionally paralleling TPM eh
Hrmn not a positive first impression of Master Vernestra, her lines are so mechanical
Very cool pilot chair droids and tentacle alien
Osha says practice vehicle safety and wear seatbelts and protect your head!
Oh Osha has Trauma I see. Girl ain't getting good sleep
Oh wow Sol Loves Osha, oh no is this going to lead to Padawan Jealousy Trauma between Osha and Jecki. How much are we heavily paralleling TPM here
Kill the dream eh?
Episode 2
Oh there are multiple Jedi temples, that's nice
Jedi Temple using same security system as Jabba is...uh
Mae tips, good for her
Master Torbin just sittin' there, lookin like some random youtuber. why tabi socks
Man I dig Mae's patchwork cloak with massive princess hood.
It's pronounced KAI-meer??? My Chinese ass thought it was Chee-mir
Barash Vow
Ohhh so Mae doesn't know that Qimir...? (was spoiled)
Episode 3
ooh i like the fairy clione things
Ohhh village all women??
Mother Aniseya is stunning
Oh she and Koril blatantly lesbian, fantastic
Oh gosh the Jedi are NOT looking good here. They don't have the right to train children?? WTF
You must let the children take the test?? And if they pass the Jedi will take them away??? That does NOT sound very consensual!!
Oh gosh, selling "you are special" to a child, after separating her from her community...
Really feel like "how does taking a child away affect their community" should be factored into jedi stuff
Mae that is...sudden and violent wtf
Kinda not trusting Sol here
Episode 4
Wow Kelnacca looks...mentally stable
Ohhh Qimir's ship? Looks suspiciously Kylo Ren-ish
Qimir really suspicious eh
Oh wow not using the Force or anything, just using a sniffy guy
They're really doing a Fellowship of the Ring walk huh
Look I absolutely adore Mae's long gorgeous cloak but that is going to drag half the forest floor with her
Not liking those tree bulbs. looks spider eggy
Osha don't Touch the Thing, that's such a Pippin move
oh no, not spider eggs...rolly polly moth vampire thing
Really enjoying Osha and Jecki's friendship, I'm so glad it's not former Padawan jealousy
Oh, Mae, oh no....knowing spoilers...oh...
The red lightsaber igniting next to Osha's head...dang what fantastic composition
The lil hand twitch and head snap. I Get It.
I remember when "Darth Teeth" was trending
And wow that's a Cliffhanger
Episode 5
Oh no Osha knocked out that doesn't bode well
How many against one is that damn
The double spear through then hidden head lop...wow
holy shit booma-saber
Oooooh the cut treeeeees damn
all that death before even the opening title
Honestly GO JECKI, that's very impressive, her win against Mae AND double saber against Darth Teeth, Anakin level spinning and drama
Holy shit Jecki's death was brutal...
She was a child - You brought her here - FAIR
Why risk discovery - I did wear a mask LMAO
Damn did he just casually break Mae's leg
I don't make the rules - the Jedi do
The Jedi say I can't exist...wow
Holy shit Yord's death
Damn full on brawl
I've accepted my darkness, what have you done with yours
Damn really yeeted Qimir from the fight by sticking a light on his back
Pip tho ;_; killin droids feels like killin pets...
They've turned you against me - really Anakin quotin
Wow Sol, not even going to see Jecki????
And wtf how can Sol not tell that Mae's switched them??? Has fandom been grossly misunderstanding how the Jedi use the Force....how the fuck can any Jedi tell apart any clones eh...
While not exactly subtle, I appreciate how lil details in character interactions have had pay offs. Like the tree bugs and Osha's tattoo being a way to identify her
Episode 6
He really just makin a hot pot
his lair kinda looks like sequels Luke's island
Not sure how I feel about the elephant rock bird things
Honestly glad we get to see Sol upset and affected by everyone's deaths. Might explain part of why he can't tell apart the twins?
Oh he's really wearing hakama hakama
Wow Qimir really just getting in buck naked eh. Is this the scene that Manny froze his balls off for
His line about it being fine in a fight but vengeance a few hours later
Oh he brought a change of clothes
Damn the Jedi are taught "it fades"???
Aww Osha, u aren't tempted by the soup??
Oh wow we revisiting bodies, that feels...u usual for SW. Oh there's a Kel Dor... (why are there no flies buzzing yet. or are there no flies yet)
Mae wakes up so peacefully compared to Osha
Oooh sensory deprivation mask, all dark, nothing but breathing, evocative of Darth Vader even if breathing is not similar
Episode 7
Sol, stalking lil kids is creepy af
Oh my god you're just gonna break in???
See - You cannot deny the Jedi have a right to test potential Padawans - Why the fuck not???? You don't have the right to stalk, spy on, break into random people's homes, and talk directly to their children without permission from guardians??
Guh Sol....
Interrogation after isolation from guardians....
Oh, the Jedi Council is right for once??
Do not alter this little girl's destiny because you have formed an emotional attachment to her
Gosh I thought Indara was the most innocent in this buuuuut
Episode 8
I'm surprised they never added Darth Teeth's mask to the front credits
"See you in hell" Oh I know Han mentioned Hell like once but I thought they were avoiding mentioning it in newer media
Holy shit Rayencourt: I think the Jedi are a massive system of unchecked power, posing as a religion, a delusional cult that claims to claim the uncontrollable. - Kinda uncomfortably real!!
-We don't control the Force - no, your emotions - OOF
I didn't realize till this ep how the cool Brendok eclipse got that line, it's the comet ring. super neat
oof Mae climbing out of the scene of Trauma...
Oh that is some Wu Xia shit
"I will destroy you if i must" really??
Nice dagger saber
Okay Sol that is Cool
oh gosh, the plot-relevant inversion of clothes resulting in it reflecting how they swapped light/dark is SO cool
very yin yang fighting
Damn it keeps coming down to the unarmed opponent thing
Damn, Mae going the justice route
Damn, just Damn
Gosh the thing about Sol is that he is SO well acted, so sincere in his love and devotion, it's hard to hate him
I'm glad the helmets block the Force identity like that tho, fits headcanon
Glad Basil continues to shine
Oh no. Vernestra...I thought you were doing the right thing revealing the truth, but instead you're continuing the cycle of covering up crimes
Oh...use Mae to find Vernestra's former Padawan...that's a cycle alright
And ends with Yoda okay
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“Hot Take” on Prison of Plastic
(!! Spoilers !!)
This isn’t actually a hot take, more so something I don’t think many people have noticed — but I understand if people don’t really understand/agree with what I’m saying at first.
There are many issues in Lorelai and Molly’s relationship that makes them unable to find common ground. One of them is Lori’s cruel demeanor, but not in the way most of the community thinks.
A character detail that I think changed from the webseries is Molly’s pushover mindset. She seems to accept her family’s neglect because she is too afraid to fight back at all (key word: “at all”). But after Giovanni’s influence, she makes multiple attempts to get her family to help, Lorelai specifically.
(I believe the reason why nobody tries to ‘fix’ Martin is because everyone knows he’s a lost cause — and Molly seeking support from Lori is her subconsciously thinking the opposite; there’s still hope for her sister. That also applies to her outburst in chapter 7, it was her last shot at trying to alter Lori or else she’d view her the same way she sees Martin; beyond help)
But of course, Molly’s anxiety didn’t cure overnight. She’s stepping in the right direction, but still can’t find the courage to act stern, which is pretty much what Lorelai needs (it isn’t as simple as it sounds, but we do know that Martin’s lack of care and Molly’s lack of emotional power only fuels her).
As a result of not wanting to comply, Lorelai acts very spiteful to put up a wall that most people can’t break down. This wall seems to derive from many things; grief, fear, immaturity, isolation, Martin’s neglect, and likely more. In other words, there isn’t a concrete reason as to why she chooses this persona. However, what’s even more interesting is how Molly reacts to it throughout the book.
Molly doesn’t take Lorelai’s words personally. Her breakdown/monologue in chapter 7 didn’t start because Lori was being too mean, it was because Molly realized she truly couldn’t get through to her. Lori’s wall doesn’t hurt Molly, it’s just very hard to enter the other side. As long as her sister keeps it up, Molly can’t do much.
Unless she stops looking for secret entries and takes a wrecking ball to knock it down.
But she can’t guarantee Lorelai won’t get hurt if so.
(I needed to get this off my chest idk why)
Last thing! I know Molly got really sad in the beginning of the book when Lorelai said Martin didn’t like her, but I can’t help but view that as a rare occurrence when Lori crosses a line. She was very rude to her sis throughout the rest of the book but Molly was clearly not upset over what Lorelai was saying, rather how she wasn’t willing to stop.
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thequeenwechoose · 3 days
Hotd 2x06 My Thoughts
Lets start with Daemon. Can someone please get him out of this castle? He is so helpless now haunted by his visions. Him clawing at the door was really heartbreaking to watch. And in his paranoia he attacks Simon. Who really wishes him no harm.
The scene with Viserys standing next to a dead Aemma could almost count as an deleted scene. Except that Daemon wasn't there in ep 1.
Daemon was always someone who had problems comforting people who are sad. But he was never runnig away like Alys said. He went to Dragonstone because he was exiled and didnt want to return to his wife. He went with Corlys to war because he got nothing else to loose and to prove himself. He went to Pentos with Laena because he could not marry Rhaenyra and his brother exiled him again. Viserys had his reasons but he always pushed him away. Mostly under influence from Otto but still. He went to Harrenhal to recruit an army, he didnt run away. At this point i dont understand why he is framed bad for everything he has done. Also the show suffers a The Woman Are Always Right Complex.
Seeing him crying really touched me and it made me sad. Bonus Point for Caraxes for calling to him in the Alys scene to get the hell out of there. I had hoped the plot would speed up but it did not. They are pressing too much in the last two episodes i think. The peacing is too slow. It's not that nothing happens but it is not particulary interesting. For example the scenes with the small folk were not really necesary. It would have been enough to show them attacking Alicent and Haelena. It worked in Thrones too. With Joffrey and Cercei in Season 2.
The dragon claiming scene with Steffon Darkling was very stupid in my opinon. He didnt have to die. Rhaenyra successfully robbed herself of another kingsguard and a formidable protector and swordsman (How many kingsguards has she left?). And she showed zero remorse about it.
Another episode of Jace asking his mother to do something, Rhaena sitting around and pittying herself because she has no dragon and Baela was somehow nowehere to be found.
Rhaenyra is getting on my nerves. Does she ever stop whining? She is becoming paranoid. Which is a bit early. Why would she trust Mysaria of all people she has known her for like a week. The writers say she is looking for a woman to get close to. That could have been Baela. Also slapping her council members for telling her that she has made a mistake is just a no go. She said you have forgotten to fear me but i cant remember when they have ever feared her in the first place. It's Daemon they fear which is why she needs him. He is her sword that was part of the reason why she was marrying him. But i guess that doesnt matter now because she is an independent girlboss who doesnt need anyone and is always right.
Aegon and Haelena have my sympathies. And it was kinda delicous that Alicent got stripped of her council position by her own son. (You reap wat you sow.) Daeron gets mentioned a lot theese days i wonder if he and tessarion will make an appearance.
Crispy is of to Harrenhall and will not return. (Unless they change that too.)
The Addam Seasmoke claiming scen was very strange. It might be the first time that a dragon chases his future rider. But if we had got a ordinary dragon claiming scene with first patting and then a flight it would have been just boring. Also seasmoke looks a lot like drogon.
This episode might be the worst of the season for me(yet). It was just boring.
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newx-menfan · 17 hours
NYX # 1 Review
After weeks of waiting, spoilers, comic leaks , and “The Krakoan’s” identity being very brutally obvious…it’s FINALLY HERE guys! The CLOSEST we will probably EVER get the a NXM book!! JK!!😆
The issue starts with Kamala monologuing about her recent acceptance to an after school program in NY to Bruno, who is currently in Amsterdam. (I’ll fully forewarn everyone and be transparent that I only read Kamala when G Willow Wilson was writing the book 😬…so Kamala fans MAY need to help me out a bit, lol) 
Kamala literally runs into Sophie and they go to Prodigy’s lecture…(no offense to Prodigy…but Sofia’s a bit right…the lecture COULD use a little more finessing, lol…)
Sophie gives him shit and Kamala realizes she’s friends with the “cool kids” now, who pointedly go out of their way to embarrass and humiliate their teachers (not that Bruno or Miles isn’t cool, Kamala…)
It’s interesting that in some ways DAVID is going the academic, “through proper channels” route…but it also makes sense considering some of his characterization during NXM: AX…(and why a certain character is the PERFECT FOIL for him, in this storyline!…)
David- who, while calling out characters like Josh…was also a bit of a “rule follower” in a way that certain OTHER characters DEFINITELY weren’t…
Any, Sophie convinces Kamala to go clubbing with her and they run into Anole bartending. Anole gets accosted by some patrons screaming about a mutant “terrorist”. (Also…I really LOVE Sophie swearing all the time 😂🤣…I guess her polite way of sassing has changed after “Riot at Xavier’s” and being dead lol)
Kamala and Sophie get kicked out of the club while defending Anole (I guess they’re not having a “brat” summer….☹️). Kamala then dons her Ms Marvel suit and calls David…sorry… Professor Alleyne… to help unlock a phone (the interaction IS super adorable!) and we learn that the guys at the club are committing crimes and pinning it on mutants. (Or so it would SEEM! Foreshadowing!!)
While on the phone, Laura attacks and brakes Kamala’s phone, because Laura is kind of a dick, telling her she’s chasing “ghosts”. (This is why Laura doesn’t have consistent friends guys 😒🤣)
Laura’s characterization…isn’t great… (Laura you were LITERALLY ON a teen X-Men group…you LOST the right to call anyone “kids”!)
Kamala then tells Laura she needs to get a life (which is kind of TRUE…). 
FINALLY…after all the filler…we get to the STAR!…who people have been desperately WAITING FOR…
KRAKELLION! (Sorry @ thestomping-ground …but I’m stealing the name because “the Krakoan” sounds terrible lol)
In one of the COOLEST, MOST AWESOME panels ever (I am really NOT biased)…Krakellion ARISES…ready to enact revenge on the FLATSCANS!!
In HANDS DOWN, ONE OF THE BEST SCENERY CHEWING MONOLOGUES EVER WRITTEN (told you, I’m not biased!), Hellion more or less just calls into question Kamala’s movie to comic book mandated retcon… (Feel like he should have leaned more into the “Emma/Ms Marvel call out of 2006”…but I am not judging, Hellion…)
Kamala then saves the helpless flatscans on the subway- but is then forced to reckon with the fact that humans will ONLY support her because they don’t know she’s a mutant. The minute she’s outed- that hero worship will ultimately go away. ☹️
Kamala then meets up with Sophie and they talk and have coffee (Wait a minute… Kamala is an inhuman too? I thought that couldn’t happen and that’s why Quicksilver had such an identity crisis while married to Crystal??…I told you guys I’m kind of out of the loop on Schrödinger's newest mutant/inhuman…🐈‍⬛😬😂🤣); Kamala also having a mutant friend is adorable…
We transition to the Krakellion walking in some shadowy penthouse, giving Empath shit on the telecom (Brownoses shouldn’t throw stones, Empath! Also Hellion did LOTS of COOL stuff in NXM, OkAy Empath?!) and we see the new….Hellfire Club?…Hellions?…Council??…. Hopefully that gets cleared up in the next issue….
(Also…I bet you 100 bucks Empath FORCED Hellion to drop the name “Hellion” because he couldn’t stand being “Hellion and the Hellions” to Julian lol- Not Julian’s fault he picked the superior name! 😂🤣🤣)
(Also- can anyone tell me what the QR code is- it won’t scan on Kindle and I am waiting on my paper copies ☹️)
Obviously… I am biased; but this has been one of the few X-books I have been excited about in a while! 
I know people LOVED “Krakoa era” X-Men… but I am personally happy to see return to a more “Astonishing/Mutant Town/Morrison X-Men” type of story.
I am also happy to see a return to a more “Tom Taylor/Tamaki” street level Laura; as much as I whined about Taylor’s representation in the past… Laura really does work better when she’s more low key…
After years of sitting through “Wolverine and the X-Men” style books…it’s nice to see characters like Prodigy or Hellion being treated AS ADULTS and with narrative care.
The writing is fine; there are moments where I think it could be tighter, but I do think it definitely has its moments and will definitely get better as the writing team goes on and gets more used to the characters voices.
I KNOW people are going to complain that this seems more like a stealth Kamala solo…and while I DO think there’s some validity to that argument (it’s focus is DEFINITELY on Kamala and getting stubborn “Inhuman fans” like me to accept her as a mutant….); I am mostly fine with it, since that seems to be what it takes for fans to get a “New X-Men: Academy X” book.
The biggest complaint I have is unsurprisingly Laura- we’re still sadly in the “Talon-esque”/ “Laura written as Wolverine” representation. Hopefully this gets better the more they feature her…but I do fear this era
will be very disappointing for Laura fans (I haven’t heard much about the Gabby/Laura mini either!)….
More and more I am thinking Laura and Julian are in cahoots- possibly Laura didn’t want Kamala involved because of her emotional connection with Julian…. It may just be that she wants to try and reform him; to give him the same chance he gave her…but I think more than likely she’s using Julian to spy on Empath. (Also because I can’t envision Manuel and Julian standing each other for more than five minutes lol)
Is Tag helping Hellion? I feel like Tag SHOULD be helping him, since they’re bros and Tag literally got blown up in a school bus… (Also his powers are cool…)
The BIGGEST question is- Is Hellion blasting “brat” through AirPods under that helmet? Is he having a “brat summer”? Is “Mean Girls” his favorite song? …(someone needs to make a “Hellion/brat YouTube fan vid” like they used to in the 2000’s 😂🤣… @romulanslutempire …?)
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catchymemes · 2 years
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More BOSAS Reviews Pt 3 ⭐
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pricelesscinemas · 11 months
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wileycap · 5 months
So, uh, Netflix Avatar, huh? Yeah. I guess I'll make a really long post about it because ATLA brainrot has is a cornerstone of my personality at this point.
It's okay. B, maybe a C+.
That's it.
Now for the spoilers:
The biggest issue with the Netflix version is the pacing. Scenes come out of nowhere and many of the episodes are disjointed. Example: Aang escaping from Zuko's ship. We see him getting the key and going "aha!", and in the next scene he's in Zuko's room. And then he just runs out, no fun acrobatics or fights, and immediately they go to the Southern Air Temple where he sees Gyatso's corpse, goes into the Avatar state, and then sees Gyatso being really cheesy, comes out of it, and resolves that conflict. Nothing seems to lead into anything. The characters don't get to breathe.
The show's worst mistake (aside from Iroh fucking murdering Zhao) is its' first one: they start in the past. Instead of immediately introducing us to our main characters and dropping us into a world where we have a perfect dynamic where Aang doesn't know the current state of the world and Katara and Sokka don't know about the past, thus allowing for seamless and organic worldbuilding and exposition, they just... tell us. "Hey, this is what happened, ok, time for Aang!" There's no mystery, no intrigue, just a stream of information being shoved down the audience's throats and then onto the next set piece.
The visuals are for the most part great, but like with most Netflix productions, they just don't have great art direction. It feels like a video game cinematic, where everything is meant to be Maximum Cool - and none of the environments get to breathe. It's like they have tight indoor sets (with some great set design) and then they have a bunch of trailer shots. It's oozing with a kind of very superficial love.
Netflix still doesn't know how to do lighting, and with how disjointed the scenes are, the locations end up feeling like a parade of sets rather than actual cities or forests or temples. As for the costumes, Netflix still doesn't know how to do costumes that look like they're meant to be actually worn, so many of the characters seem weirdly uncomfortable, like they're afraid of creasing their pristine costumes.
The acting is decent to good, for the most part. I can't tell if the weaker moments come down to the actors or the direction and editing, but if I had to guess, I'd say the latter. Iroh and Katara are the weakest, Sokka is the most consistent, Zuko hits the mark most of the time, and Aang is okay. I liked Suki (though... she was weirdly horny? Like?) but Yue just fell kind of flat.
The tight fight choreography of the original is replaced with a bunch of spinny moves and Marvel fighting, though there are some moments of good choreography, like the Agni Kai between Ozai and Zuko (there's a million things I could say about how bad it was thematically, but this post is overly long already.) There's an actually hilarious moment in the first episode when Zuko is shooting down Aang, and he does jazz hands to charge up his attack.
Then there's the characters. Everybody feels very static - Zuko especially gets to have very little agency. A great example of that is the scene in which Iroh tells Lieutenant Jee the story of Zuko's scar.
In the original, it's a very intimate affair, and he doesn't lead the crew into any conclusions. Here, Iroh straight up tells the crew "you are the 41st, he saved your lives" and then the crew shows Zuko some love. A nice moment, but it feels unearned, when contrasted with the perfection of The Storm. In The Storm, Zuko's words and actions directly contradict each other, and Iroh's story gives the crew (and the audience) context as to why, which makes Zuko a compelling character. We get to piece it out along with them. Here - Iroh just flat out says it. He just says it, multiple times, to hammer in the point that hey, Zuko is Good Actually.
And then there's Iroh. You remember the kindly but powerful man who you can see gently nudging Zuko to his own conclusions? No, he's a pretty insecure dude who just tells Zuko that his daddy doesn't love him a lot and then he kills Zhao. Yeah. Iroh just plain kills Zhao dead. Why?
Iroh's characterization also makes Zuko come off as dumb - not just clueless and deluded, no, actually stupid. He constantly gets told that Iroh loves him and his dad doesn't, and he doesn't have any good answers for that, so he just... keeps on keeping on, I guess? This version of Zuko isn't conflicted and willfully ignorant like the OG, he's just... kind of stupid. He's not very compelling.
In the original, Zuko is well aware of Azula's status as the golden child. It motivates him - he twists it around to mean that he, through constant struggle, can become even stronger than her, than anyone. Here, Zhao tells him that "no, ur dad likes her better tee hee" and it's presented as some kind of a revelation. And then Iroh kills Zhao. I'm sorry I keep bringing that up, but it's just such an unforgiveable thematic fuckup that I have to. In the original, Zhao falls victim to his hubris, and Zuko gets to demonstrate his underlying compassion and nobility when he offers his hand to Zhao. Then we get some ambiguity in Zhao: does he refuse Zuko's hand because of his pride, or is it his final honorable action to not drag Zuko down with him? A mix of both? It's a great ending to his character. Here, he tries to backstab Zuko and then Iroh, who just sort of stood off to the side for five minutes, goes "oh well, it's murderin' time :)"
They mess with the worldbuilding in ways that didn't really need to be messed with. The Ice Moon "brings the spirit world and the mortal world closer together"? Give me a break. That's something you made up, as opposed to the millenia of cultural relevance that the Solstice has. That's bad, guys. You replaced something real with something you just hastily made up. There's a lot of that. We DID NOT need any backstory for Koh, for one. And Katara and Sokka certainly didn't need to be captured by Koh. I could go on and on, but again, this post is already way too long.
It's, um, very disappointing. A lot of telling and not very much showing, and I feel like all of the characters just... sort of end up in the same place they started out in. I feel like we don't see any of the characters grow: they're just told over and over again how they need to grow and what they need to do.
To sum it up: Netflix Avatar is a mile wide, but an inch deep.
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shencomix · 6 months
my review of serial experiments lain episode 1
hello everybody i just finished watching serial experiments lain episode 1 and wanted to write a review. okay i'm going to start with a plot synopsis so far:
plot synopsis:
the episode starts on a group of scientists all looking at each other in a circle. and one of them says "we have to do experiments on Lain.....in a series" and Lain happens to be passing by right at that moment.
and so another scientist is like "THERE SHE IS, FUCKING GET HER!!!" and they all start chasing after her and she starts running away. most of the episode is a chase sequence with the scientists trying to do the serial experiments and Lain.
at one point there are 2 workers carrying a big glass pane (or, implied to be, as it is totally see-through) and Lain runs right through it somehow but the scientists crash into it. i thought that was silly and liked it.
also at one point the scientists are all running together and they realize there's 1 more of them than there was before, and turns out it's Lain disguised in a labcoat and fake glasses/nose/mustache combo, and she goes "ehe" and does a big bead of sweat as her fake glasses/nose/mustache combo slips a bit. then she zooms away, leaving the labcoat and the fake glasses/nose/mustache combo hanging in the air.
finally, they catch her by throwing a brick at her head
i can see why this is a well regarded series. the gags are good, and i'm left wondering who the scientists are and why they want to do serial experiments on Lain. And I'm also left wondering what the experiments will be and who Lain is. i'm wondering a lot of things and that is a sign of a good series.
i so far give it a 7/10 but will adjust the score based on how funny the experiments are
the first experiment is they are making her run a ninja warrior style obstacle course. she has having trouble with the part where you gotta hang on to a swinging punching bag type thing, and keeps falling into the slime. i think i would do better on that part as i have greater upper body strength than a middle school girl
update 2:
they are seeing what the biggest animal is that Lain could beat in a fight
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wiptw · 4 days
Pokémon Stadium Series
Nintendo 64 - Nintendo - 2000 to 2001
You as a Pokémon fan are absolutely fucking spoiled these days. Aside from the mainline games you have spinoffs and fangames offering different experiences, you have entire websites dedicated to documenting everything down to the internal maths of the series, there's no end to the free content you can access with an internet connection between emulators and battle sites like 'Showdown!', and it's now socially acceptable in most circles to be older than 13 and have something with Pikachu's face plastered on it (especially if you're female presenting, especially if your friend group is also infected with the Pokémon hype). Back in my day™ you had almost none of this. You had the anime on Saturday mornings, you had the early run Pokémon licensed merch which WOULD get you called a baby if you continued buying past 10-12, and you had the games. Those sweet, sweet games that indoctrinated a generation of young people into being gamers and awoke a horde of JRPG addicts.
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Literally Me
So remember this when I tell you that Pokémon Stadium, both one and two, aren't great games because they do something back then that you can't get today; they're great for what they did back then. So Pokemon Stadium 1&2 were a duology of games from 2000 and 2001 respectively that allowed players to battle Pokemon in 3D, with the addition of some side content such as minigames included to prevent the game from being 100% Pokemon battles. Because otherwise, the game is in fact navigating a series of menus and completing Pokémon battles with 3D models.
Whether it's taking on the gym gauntlets, the marathon of battles in the Pokémon cups, or just free battles with friends and loved ones, 98% of the experience is either selecting Pokémon from a roster of pre-built 'rentals' or transferring them from a saved game using the Transfer Pak, then fighting them in a series of 3D environments. An experience which you can definitely do today using web apps but as I said earlier, we didn't have that.
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The peak of Pokémon battles in 2000
So if you're buying Pokémon Stadium (either version really) you're already probably a Pokémon fan right? So that means you have Red/Blue/Yellow/Gold/Silver/Crystal, so why not just play that game and get the full experience? The fun of exploring, talking to NPCs, discovering new and exotic locations? Simple, because in those games battles looked like this
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While in Stadium, battles looked like this
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If you grew up watching the anime while playing the Gameboy games, there was this special kind of dissonance where you might find yourself saying "Yeah, (for the time) these graphics are RADICAL but I wish I had something closer to these cool Pokémon Battles they had in the anime." As you hide under the covers with your Gameboy Color worm light, nestled in your Ash Ketchum pajamas while you attempt for the 100th time to capture a ditto. Pokémon Stadium was the answer to this dissonance, providing you with vibrant 3D graphics unlike anything you'd ever seen before; bringing Pokémon to life in a way that would be unmatched until Colosseum came out during the Gamecube era.
So, to actual mechanics, you play both games pretty similarly; by building a team of Pokémon (either on your handheld or by using the rental mons the game provides) and take part in a series of battles to become the ultimate battle master. To use your own Pokémon, you'd need to use the aforementioned 'Transfer Pak' to plug in a copy of Red/Blue/Yellow (for 1) or Gold/Silver/Crystal (for 2) with a game saved to the cartridge; otherwise the rental Pokémon covered all released Pokémon (except for some hidden ones) allowing you to build your dream team, sans a few caveats here and there.
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Evolved Pokémon have better stats but worse moves, while weaker Pokémon tend to have better moves to compensate
In terms of WHERE you can battle, there's two choices: Either in the Gym Leader Castle, or the Tournaments held in the center of the map on either game. Either way, the game will then have you battle through a series of 3v3 matches versus a set number of trainers who will also select 3 random mons from their full team of six.
A bit bare bones, but there's some spice to how things are run. For one, the rental system was a huge thing for us younger players back in the day. Even if you had the games some Pokémon were hard to catch, had evolution requirements some players couldn't complete (like the trade-mons), or were locked to a version you didn't have. The rental mons give you a list of every Pokémon (some exceptions, but not many) and then lets you build your dream team. Sure, you can't set their moves, EVs, IVs, and it's the era before abilities and natures but I CAN HAVE A MEOWTH/PERSIAN ON MY TEAM. Do you know what I had to do as a child to have this Pokémon outside of Stadium? I had to find someone in the American South who also enjoyed Pokémon, hoped they had Blue instead of Red, hoped they had a link cable, then get them to agree to a trade despite both of us being children (and therefore, objectively terrible) which likely meant giving away a rare Pokémon in exchange for what amounted to common garbage in their game because it was Version fucking Exclusivity™ and everyone seemed to know that meant you'd do anything to get that one fucking Pokémon you wanted.
In the handheld games, if you wanted to build your dream team then likely you'd have to put in some more effort than other games of the time would've required of you. With Stadium, your dreams come true, and if you already have that dream team you can just import them to fight in glorious 3D. Circumventing the fact that rental Pokémon are kinda terrible overall.
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Don't feel like building? The challenge cup mode that gives you randomized team comps that has it's own charm (for masochists)
Not to say all of them were bad but construct a normal distribution of 'Good' to 'Bad' picks then that graph is gonna skew left so hard you'd be forgiven for thinking it was just a straight line. To keep every choice 'viable' Pokémon rentals were balanced around stats and moves. More powerful evolved Pokémon and Pokémon with high Base Stat Totals (BST) were given weaker moves and first form and low BST Pokémon were given generally better moves. Charizard might have better stats than Charmeleon and Charmander but his only fire type move is going to be something like Fire Spin. Conversely, Charmander might have Fire Blast but his stats are gonna make him an easy target for the computer's pokemon, which are not bound to the same builds as the rental mons you're using.
Once your team is assembled, then you're off to battle trainer after trainer after trainer with beautifully scored (for the Nintendo 64) soundtracks giving you an unearned sense of importance every step of the way. Battles themselves are conducted with a weird, but functional control layout where A and B access sub menus you then check with the R button before finalizing with the c-buttons, which on original hardware or a USB N64 controller is fine but on emulation with a more modern controller like Logitech, can be a little nerve wracking as you worry about whether your 'up' input on the control stick was up enough for the game or if you accidentally drifted right or left using an unintended move.
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fun fact: the name of imported Pokémon affects their coloration in Stadium
Battles are also largely regulated by (at the time) tournament standard rules. Little and Pokecup have level restrictions, and all three non-random cups include clauses for sleep, held items, and repeat Pokémon. Additionally, in any cup if you win the round with all 3 Pokémon still in tact, you're granted a continue; meaning you can retry the battle if you lose. Additionally, there is no 'draw' outcome in these games. Use a move like Explosion or Selfdestruct and the game will register it as your loss on your final Pokémon, regardless of whether you took down the opposing fighter with you or not.
You'll be doing a LOT of back-to-back fights here against trainers with varied team comps, but even with over 246 Pokémon in the available potential lineup you'll get tired fast of fighting. This is, however, slightly mitigated by the 3v3 nature of the matches but even so be ready to here the same Pokémon noises, watch the same effects play out, and wait for the same health bars to tick down over and over as you claw your way to the spot of Pokémon Master.
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The art style of non-battle scenes like the main map and minigame plaza have that nice, 90's charm to them as well.
If you do get tired of battling it out, then Stadium 1 and 2 both offer minigames for players to partake in. Either in a tournament format or by using the free-play browser, players are able to take part in a multitude of different Mario Party-esque (without the hand burning) minigames featuring the Pokémon as stars. Minigames consist of stick twirling, button mashing, and point collecting all while controlling fan favorite Pokémon such as Togepi, Eevee, Scyther, and Pichu with no real rhyme or reason behind why these game exist aside from a amusement park theming the minigame zones have for their icons and menus.
You won't get a real explanation as to why you're racing Donphans, cutting logs as Scythers and Pinsirs, or playing Simon Says with a bunch of Clefairy, but you don't really need that either. The games are fun, the models are charming, and watching Clefairy get smacked in the head for each wrong input brings me a level of joy I should probably talk about with my therapist. You won't likely spend hours in this mode, but it's a nice breather from the onslaught of battles otherwise.
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fun fact: I still won't talk to some people because of the outcomes to Rampage Rollout over two decades ago. You know who you are.
Additionally there's a quiz minigame separate from the main selection of minigames with easy/normal/hard difficulty selections. Players compete to see who can be the first to get a number of questions correct before anyone else based on facts about the Pokémon (typing, size, silhouette, etc) or facts about the game (where you can find things in the game, names of routes and towns, names of figures in the game).
It's not the most challenging on easy or normal, but playing on hard the game will try to screw you with trick questions so playing with others becomes a balance of "do I let the question play out, or attempt to steal it before someone else can answer correctly?"
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Sometimes even playing the game won't prepare you for how out of pocket the questions can get
The real advantage of 2 over 1 is that, in addition to minigames, the game has the trainer academy; a kind of in-depth battle tutorial to teach players not only the basics of Pokémon fighting, but also some secrets as well
You can learn about held items, a feature new to the second generation, as well as participate in mock battles to demonstrate the materials you've been reading and quizzed on. Some of this information for the time too was obscure or hidden knowledge, like the fact that using Defense Curl before using Rollout would boost the damage significantly or that using Stomp on an opponent who used minimize would double the damage.
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Some type matchups just make sense, like Ground v Electric.
Overall though what really makes this game is the presentation. The soundtrack does a great job selling the feeling Nintendo wants you to experience, climbing the ladder in a tournament or the Gym Leaders Castle makes you feel powerful, and the little details on top of it all just tie it together in a nice package.
The fights, for example, are also narrated by "The Announcer". A bombastic voice shouting over every detail of a fight. When you score a crit, when you apply a status effect, even using certain moves will get the announcer loudly narrating each detail like a Pokémon prize fight. Seeing the ground rip apart when you use Earthquake is only half the charm, the other half comes from that man yelling in your ears "A DEVESTATING EARTHQUAKE ATTACK!". Clearing gyms or clearing opponents in one of the cups grants you gym badges, a dream for any child growing up on the handheld classics or watching the anime who wished they too could earn shiny bits of metal that gave them an inflated sense of importance.
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I would literally kill everyone I came across if it'd get me a real life Zephyr Badge.
Stadium 1 and 2 aren't evergreen classics. They're stuck in Gens 1 and 2 respectively, the roster of Pokémon while impressive is largely useless and makes collecting trophies way harder than it has to be, and the games were made before things like abilities and double battles were introduced, leading to the Pokémon battling game missing out on the generation of Pokémon that made battling more fun (Revolution doesn't count, Revolution is dead to me and disappoints me more than I disappoint myself.)
But for the time especially, it gave fans an opportunity to experience a form of Pokémon more advanced than what the handhelds could output. It was a window into a world of potential that wouldn't be truly fulfilled until arguably the 3DS era of Pokémon released, and gave fans a fun little romp handcrafted for them at every twist and turn. Whether you were a gamer or you enjoyed the anime, there was something here for you.
Overall: 7/10 Sound: 8/10 (for the time) Graphics: 9/10 (for the time) Memorable Moments: Stadium 1: Hearing about Mewtwo, thinking he was an urban legend, then finding out he wasn't Stadium 2: Finally beating the elite 4 using only rental mons.
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wernerherzoghaircut · 10 days
Longlegs has burrowed itself into my mind. It's a great movie. There's a lot of talk around it, of course, but what it does supremely well, at least for me, is depicting how trauma, especially childhood trauma, fucks with your memory, your understanding of the world, and your entire physiological response to everything. It's not "artsy," it's just well-crafted. It's not "scary," but it is unnerving and horribly close. Which is probably what was intended. Trauma has long legs.
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bucky’s “gimme a minute, baby” in that skin-on-skin drabble has me in such a chokehold i’m actually struggling to breath right now and oops i just died. building on that, how do you think bucky kind of balances that control while also being the absolute man of service he is? hard to imagine him struggling for dominance—that man is NOT a sub—but he’s definitely walking a line between calling the shots and being on his fucking knees.
Bucky wants skin on skin…
I blame it on Bucky’s tunnel vision and tenacity. He can’t help but go after what he wants. He can’t help but lose his pride over it. Can’t help but have you…
The breath that rushes from him is ragged and desperate. Your fingers curl in his slightly sweat-matted tresses, tugging his face up so his glistening chin tilts upward and his glossy eyes meet yours from between your legs. He wants to speak, but he’s struggling for words. It seems strange to be able to bring him to this state - not submission, but utter desperation.
“What is it, Bucky?” you ask him and his eyes flutter when you rake your nails over his scalp.
“Baby,” he rasps.
“Come on,” he sighs. “Let me just- Just…”
You smile at him and slightly shift your hips, his eyes drifting down to watch the movement and his throat bobbing as he swallows. This is torture for him and you can’t fathom someone wanting you so badly. You’re almost scared of what he will do to you when you allow him to lower his mouth back onto you.
In truth, you needed him to stop for a second. Your orgasm came toward you way too quickly. It was too much and your thighs had been shaking like crazy.
“What do you want, Bucky?” you ask him before your disbelief overrules the euphoric feeling you get when this man wants you like this.
His fingers curl in the sheets, the metal whirring with the movement. This is the kind of restraint you’ve seen from him in battle, when he wants to attack, but is waiting for orders. This is a soldier. A soldier waiting for the order to attack. To kill.
“Wanna lick you,” he mutters and his cheek falls to your inner thigh, pupils growing as his eyes dart between your glistening cunt and your flushed face. “Want to see you come.”
You shake your head and tilt it at him. “You weren’t trying to make me come.”
His mouth curves up at the corner. Bastard. He has his own agenda.
His brow drops as he straightens his position. His hands slowly curl from the sheets and slide to your thighs, squeezing the outside and sliding to your inner thighs.
Your confidence falters. And his smirk fully comes out when he knows you’ve caught on, his hands pressing down to open your thighs as far as they go.
“Let me have what I want, sweetheart,” he mumbles and presses lazy kisses over your thighs, visibly depriving himself of what he really wants - taunting himself. His voice is soft, but you know better than to think you have the power. You’re talking to a man starving.
Something in your belly twists at the thought and Bucky snickers at your pussy convulsing. His finger darts out and traces over your folds.
“We want the same thing, don’t we?” he asks.
You nod, words lost.
“Good girl,” he says, lips fluttering against your clit with the words. You shudder. “You know I’d beg for it.”
Fuck, you do. He would. He has.
In defeat, you drop your head back between your shoulders with a long breath. You hear him laugh softly, feel his grip steady on your thighs.
Then you feel his mouth.
Oh no…
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artsekey · 8 months
Disney's Wish
Look, Disney's Wish has been universally panned across the internet, and for good reason.
It’s just…kind of okay.
 When we sit down to watch a Disney film—you know, from the company that dominated the animation industry from 1989 to (arguably) the mid 2010’s and defined the medium of animation for decades—we expect something magnificent. Now, I could sit here and tell you everything that I thought was wrong with Wish, but if you’re reading this review, then I imagine that you’ve already heard the most popular gripes from other users across the web. So, let me focus in:
The biggest problem with Wish—in fact, the only problem with Wish—is Magnifico.
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Whoa, that’s crazy! There’re so many things about Wish that could’ve been better! The original concept was stronger! The music was bad--
I hear you, I do. But stay with me here, okay? Take my hand. I studied under artists from the Disney renaissance. I teach an adapted model of Disney’s story pipeline at a University level. I spent a ridiculous amount of time getting degrees in this, and I am about to dissect this character and the narrative to a stupid degree.
First, we need to understand that a good story doesn’t start and end with what we see on the screen. Characters aren’t just fictional people; when used well, characters are tools the author uses (or in this case, the director) to convey their message to the audience. Each character’s struggle should in some way engage with the story’s message, and consequently, the story’s theme. Similarly, when we look at our protagonist and our antagonist, we should see their characters and their journeys reflected in one-another.
So, what went wrong between Asha & Magnifico in terms of narrative structure?
Act I
In Wish, we’re introduced to our hero not long into the runtime—Asha. She’s ambitious, caring, and community-oriented; in fact, Asha is truly introduced to the audience through her love of Rosas (in “Welcome to Rosas”).  She’s surrounded by a colorful cast of friends who act as servants in the palace, furthering her connection with the idea of community but also telling us that she’s not of status, and then she makes her way to meet Magnifico for her chance to become his next apprentice.
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Quick aside: I'm not going to harp on Asha as a character in the context of Disney's overall canon. Almost every review I've seen covers her as a new addition to Disney's ever-growing repertoire of "Cute Quirky Heroines", and I think to be fair to Asha as an actor in the narrative, it serves her best to be weighed within the context of the story she's part of.
As Asha heads upstairs for her interview, we're introduced to the man of the hour: Magnifico. He lives in a tower high above the population of Rosas, immediately showing us how he differs from Asha; he’s disconnected from his community. He lives above them. He has status. While the broader context of the narrative wants us to believe that this also represents a sense of superiority, I would argue that isn’t what Magnifico’s introduction conveys; he's isolated.
Despite this distance, he does connect with Asha in “At All Costs”. For a moment, their goals and values align. In fact, they align so well that Magnifico sees Asha as someone who cares as much about Rosas as he does, and almost offers her the position.
… Until she asks him to grant Saba’s wish.
This is framed by the narrative as a misstep. The resonance between their ideals snaps immediately, and Magnifico says something along the line of “Wow. Most people wait at least a year before asking for something.”
This disappointment isn't played as coming from a place of power or superiority. He was excited by the idea of working with someone who had the same values as he did, who viewed Rosas in the same way he does, and then learns that Asha’s motivations at least partially stem from a place of personal gain.
Well, wait, is that really Asha's goal?
While it's not wholistically her goal, it's very explicitly stated & implied that getting Saba's wish granted is at least a part of it. The audience learns (through Asha's conversation with her friends before the interview) that every apprentice Magnifico has ever had gets not only their wish granted, but the wishes of their family, too!  Asha doesn’t deny that this is a perk that she’s interested in, and I don't think this is a bad thing.
So, Is Asha’s commitment to Saba selfless, or selfish? I’m sure the director wanted it to seem selfless, wherein she believes her family member has waited long enough and deserves his wish granted, but we can’t ignore the broader context of Asha essentially trying to… skip the line.
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Then, we get our first point of tension. Magnifico reveals his “true colors” in snapping at Asha, telling her that he “decides what people deserve”. This is supposed to be the great motivator, it’s meant to incite anger in the audience—after all, no one gets to decide what you deserve, right? But unfortunately for the integrity of the film and the audience's suspension of disbelief, at least part of Magnifico’s argument is a little too sound to ignore:
Some wishes are too vague and dangerous to grant. Now, there’s visual irony here; he says this after looking at a 100 old man playing the lute. The idea that something so innocuous could be dangerous is absurd, and the audience is meant to agree.
... But we’ve also seen plenty of other wishes that might be chaotic—flying on a rocket to space, anyone? The use of the word vague is important, too—this implies wording matters, and that a wish can be misinterpreted or evolve into something that is dangerous even if the original intent was innocuous. His reasoning for people forgetting their wish (protecting them from the sadness of being unable to attain their dreams) is much weaker, but still justifiable (in the way an antagonist’s flawed views can be justified). The film even introduces a facet of Magnifico’s backstory that implies he has personal experience with the grief of losing a dream (in the destruction of his home), but that thread is never touched on again.
              What is the audience supposed to take from this encounter? If we’re looking at the director’s intent, I’d argue that we’ve been introduced to a well-meaning young girl and a king who’s locked away everyone’s greatest aspiration because he believes he deserves to have the power to decide who gets to be happy.
              But what are we shown? Our heroine, backed by her friends, strives to be Magnifico’s apprentice because she loves the city but also would really like to see her family's wishes granted. When this request is denied and she loses the opportunity to be his apprentice, she deems Magnifico’s judgement unfair & thus begins her journey to free the dreams of Rosas’ people.
              In fairness, Magnifico doesn’t exhibit sound judgement or kindness through this act of the film. He’s shown to be fickle, and once his composure cracks, he can be vindictive and sharp. He's not a good guy, but I'd argue he's not outright evil. He's just got the makings of a good villain, and those spikes of volatility do give us a foundation to work off of as he spirals, but as we’ll discuss in a bit, the foreshadowing established here isn’t used to the ends it implies.
              While I was watching this film, I was sure Magnifico was going to be a redeemable villain. He can’t connect with people because he's sure they value what he provides more than they value him (as seen in “At All Costs” and the aftermath), and Asha’s asking for more was going to be framed as a mistake. His flaw was keeping his people too safe and never giving them the chance to sink or swim, and he's too far removed from his citizens to see that he is appreciated. Asha does identify this, and the culmination of her journey is giving people the right to choose their path, but the way Magnifico becomes the “true” villain and his motivations for doing so are strangely divorced from what we’re shown in Act I.  
Act II:
His song, “This is the Thanks I Get!?” furthers the idea that Magnifico’s ire—and tipping point—is the fact that he thinks the people he’s built a kingdom for still want more. Over the course of this 3:14 song, we suddenly learn that Magnifico sends other people to help his community and doesn’t personally get involved (we never see this outside of this song), and that he’s incredibly vain/narcissistic (he's definitely a narcissist). I think feeling under-appreciated is actually a very strong motivation for Magnifico as a character-turning-villain, and it works very well. It’s justified based on what we’ve seen on screen so far: he feels under-appreciated (even though he’s decidedly not—the town adores him), he snaps and acts irrationally under stress (as seen with his outburst with Asha), and he’s frustrated that people seem to want more from him (again, as seen with his conversation with Asha in Act I).
              But then… he opens the book.
Ah, the book. As an object on screen, we know that it's filled with ancient and evil magic, well-known to be cursed by every relevant character in the film, and kept well-secured under lock and key. But what does it stand for in the context of the narrative's structure? A quick path to power? We're never told that it has any redeeming qualities; Magnifico himself doesn't seem to know what he's looking for when he opens it. It feels... convenient.
I think it's also worth noting that he only turns to the book when he's alone; once again, the idea of connection and community rears it's ugly head! Earlier in the film, Amaya-- his wife-- is present and turns him away from taking that path. In her absence, he makes the wrong choice.
This decision could make sense; it contains powerful magic, and if it were framed in such a way that the people of Rosas were losing faith in Magnifico’s magic, as if what he can do might not be enough anymore after what they felt from Star, going for the book that we know contains spells that go above and beyond what he can already do would be logical. Along the lines of, “If they’re not happy with what I do for them, fine. I, ever the “martyr”, will do the unthinkable for you, because you want more.”
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            It would keeps with the idea that Magnifico believes he's still trying to help people, but his motivation has taken his self-imposed pity party and turned it into resentment and spite.
 But, that’s not the case. Instead he talks about reversing that “light”, which has had no real negative or tangible consequences on Rosas. Everyone had a warm feeling for a few seconds. Again, it’s meant to paint him as a vain control freak, but… he hasn’t lost any power. The citizens of Rosas even assume the great showing of magic was Magnifico.
              Then, we get to the consequences of opening the book (and perhaps my biggest qualm with this film). The book is established as being cursed. Magnifico knows it, Asha knows it, and Amaya—who is introduced as loyal-- knows it. The characters understand his behavior is a direct result of the book, and search for a way to save him. This is only the focus of the film for a few seconds, but if you think about it, the fact that his own wife cannot find a way to free him of the curse he’s been put under is unbelievably tragic. Worse still, upon discovering there is no way to reverse the curse, Magnifico—the king who built the city & “protected it” in his own flawed way for what seems to be centuries—is thrown out by his wife. You know, the wife who's stood loyal at his side for years?
              It’s played for laughs, but there’s something unsettling about a character who’s clearly and explicitly under the influence of a malevolent entity being left… unsaved. If you follow the idea of Magnifico being disconnected from community being a driving force behind his arc, the end of the film sees him in a worse situation he was in at the start: truly, fully alone.
              They bring in so many opportunities for Magnifico to be sympathetic and act as a foil for Asha; he’s jaded, she’s not. He’s overly cautious (even paranoid), she’s a risk-taker. He turns to power/magic at his lowest point, Asha turns to her friends at her lowest point. Because this dichotomy isn’t present, and Magnifico—who should be redeemable—isn’t, the film is so much weaker than it could’ve been. The lack of a strong core dynamic between the protagonist and antagonist echoes through every facet of the film from the music to the characterization to the pacing, and I believe if Magnifico had been more consistent, the film would’ve greatly improved across the board.
I mean, come on! Imagine if at the end of the film, Asha—who, if you remember, did resonate with Magnifico’s values at the start of the film—recognizes that he's twisted his original ideals and urges him to see the value in the people he’s helped, in their ingenuity, in their gratitude, & that what he was able to do before was enough. Going further, asking what his wish is or was—likely something he’s never been asked— and showing empathy! We’d come full circle to the start of the film where Asha asks him to grant her wish.
Pushing that further, if Magnifico’s wish is to see Rosas flourish or to be a good/beloved king, he'd have the the opportunity to see the value in failing and how pursuing the dream is its own complex and valuable journey, and how not even he is perfect.
 The curse and the book (which, for the purposes of this adjustment, would need to be established as representing the idea of stepping on others to further your own goals/the fast way to success), then serve as the final antagonist, that same curse taking root in the people of Rosas who’ve had their dreams destroyed, and Asha works with the community to quell it. Asha’s learned her lesson, so has Magnifico, and the true source of evil in the film—the book—is handled independently. Magnifico steps back from his role as King, Amaya still ends up as Queen, and Asha takes her place as the new wish-granter.
This route could even give us the true “Disney villain” everyone’s craving; giving the book sentience and having it lure Magnifico in during “This is the Thanks I Get!?” leaves it as its own chaotic evil entity.
All in all, Magnifico's introduction paved a road to redemption that the rest of the film aggressively refused to deliver on, instead doubling down on weaker motivations that seem to appear out of thin air. Once the audience thinks, hey, that bad guy might have a point, the protagonist has to do a little more heavy lifting to convince us they're wrong.
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Look at the big-bad-greats from Disney's library. There isn't a point in the Lion King where we pause and think, "Wait a second, maybe Scar should be the guy who rules the Pridelands." Ursula from the Little Mermaid, though motivated by her banishment from King Triton's Seas, never seems to be the right gal for the throne. Maybe Maleficent doesn't get invited to the princess's birthday party, but we don't watch her curse a baby and think, Yeah, go curse that baby, that's a reasonable response to getting left out.
What do they all have in common? Their motivation is simple, their goal is clear, and they don't care who they hurt in pursuit of what they want.
Magnifico simply doesn't fall into that category. He's motivated by the idea of losing power, which is never a clear or impactful threat. His goal at the start seems to be to protect Rosas, then it turns into protecting his own power, and then-- once he's corrupted-- he wants to capture Star. The problem is, there's no objective to put this power toward. Power for power's sake is useless. Scar craves power because he feels robbed of status. Ursula believes the throne is rightfully hers. Maleficent wanted to make a statement. Magnifico... well, I'm not really sure.
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literatureaesthetic · 3 months
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first read of may — a cup of sake beneath the cherry trees by yoshida kenkō
moonlight, sake, spring blossom, idle moments, a woman's hair. 'a cup of sake beneath the cherry trees' is a collection of fragments from the journal of a 13th-century monk, as he reflects on the pleasures of life and its passing moments. i think there's something in here for everyone to admire, with its reflective themes, philosophical undertones, and beautiful writing and imagery.
i definitely recommend!! 🌱
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crow-caller · 2 years
Tiktok sensation LightLark is the final boss of bad fantasy YA— a failure built on aesthetic boards and tropes, unable to pretend it has a heart
Tiktok sensation LightLark is the final boss of bad fantasy YA— a failure built on aesthetic boards and tropes, unable to pretend it has a heart
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View On WordPress (Includes audio version)
A full summary with spoilers, analysis, quotes- and so much more on the subject of a book you should never read. This is a long piece. Like ‘Youtube Video Essay’ long.
Lightlark is joyless, a husk beyond parody, a checklist of every Island of Blood and Bone and Glass and Hearts that has come out in the last five years, built and sold on tropes and aesthetic boards. This is a book written by an author who is not a writer. It would fit in on the dregs of an amateur writing site with eerie perfection.
But Lightlark is more than that. You see, Lightlark is… a TikTok book.
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Thanks :')
There's now a video version. I heard Tumblr likes video essay long watches on obscure very specific content... may I introduce you to:
I'm not making a dime on this, I have no horses, only like 70 hours of work looking at this mess of a book and I just want to make sure everyone knows how bad it is. Let's be bitter at this multimillionaires flop together.
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blumineck · 1 year
I got my hands on an Alibow Emperor! To see a full review of this gorgeous bow, head over to my youtube channel.
If you'd like to see a preview of some upcoming longer content, I've just put a draft up on Patreon
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