Posts Tagged ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Underworld Hunters – A Disney Crossover Story

April 24, 2021

The room was not very inviting when they arrived. A very large table sat in the middle of it. Many of them would have called it a dining table but who would make a dining table out of stone? It was so cold despite all of the blue flames in the room. There were exactly enough chairs for all of them which meant that the room had been staged just for them. Cruella was smart enough to be unnerved by that but she did not think the others noticed. They did not strike her as very bright. They reminded her of the Baddun brothers. Fairly stupid but also arrogant.

She was not a fool so she knew where she was. She remembered her death and her arrival in what could only be the Underworld. It was different than she had suspected. She had expected pearly gates but after a lot of reflection in this place, she realized that she probably could have been nicer to those dogs. She probably could have been nicer to a lot of people. The moment had passed and now she was stuck in this hole. However, this room was new and it certainly broke the monotony.

Suddenly, one of the others spoke up. It was a big oaf with his feet propped up on the table.

“When are we going to find out why we’re here?” the man said loudly. “This is boring!” The man was wearing a tight red shirt and even tighter pants. His dark black hair was in a ponytail.

“Shut your mouth, you fool,” Cruella said almost in a hiss. “Don’t you know where you are?”

“I could care less,” the man said. “Don’t you know who I am? I am the great Gaston! I fear nothing!”

“Empty bravado,” Cruella said. “you really are a fool.”

“I’m afraid I’m going to have to agree with the lady,” a man in a wide-brimmed hat said. “We have to keep one eye open here. McLeach is the name, by the way.” He tipped his hat and somehow the gesture was not polite but threatening. The man had skin like leather from being out in the sun too much and his words were thick with what Cruella guessed was an Australian accent.

“At least there’s a little intelligence in this room,” Cruella said.

“What’s your name, lady?” McLeach asked.

“Cruella de Ville,” Cruella said with a flourish. “Certainly you’ve heard of me.”

“Nobody’s heard of you,” the third and final man said. “Neither have I heard of Gaston or McLeach. All nonsense names. I hardly expect you to know my name either even though it is known in many circles.” The man looked absolutely put together with slicked-back hair and a thin pencil mustache.

“What is your name then?” Cruella asked.

“William Clayton,” the man said. “Greatest hunter that ever lived.”

McLeach and Gaston laughed at that, each in their own way.

“Noone hunts like Gaston!” Gaston cried out. “I doubt you could match me kill for kill.”

“Calm down there, Frenchie,” McLeach said. “I know I’m a better hunter than you but I’m not about to get into a pissing contest. Where have you hunted, Clayton?”

“Africa mostly,” Clayton said. “The most dangerous continent.”

“Doesn’t hold a candle to Australia,” McLeach said with a chuckle.

“I thought we weren’t engaging in pissing contests,” Cruella said with a smirk that caused McLeach to frown.

“Is your name really devil,” Gaston asked suddenly.

“Shut up,” Cruella said simply.

“How about we all shut up?” a voice said as the doors opened. A gaunt man with blue flames for hair and a smirk on his face walked in. “How about we all just settle down and play nice for the moment, huh?”

“Who are you?” Gaston asked indignantly.

“What are you?” Clayton asked, aghast at the supernatural figure before him.

“Hades,” the man said. “Lord of the Underworld. You’re in my house so you play by my rules. Capiche? Great. Now I’ve invited you four because I have a bit of a problem and you’re just ruthless enough to solve it. Two days ago, a coven of witches escaped from the Underworld. Now, I’m the boss around here but I have to deal with my brothers who are big pains in the keister. Frankly, I love to send chaos up there but these were unauthorized. I need you to go up there and take them out. The hard way.”

Before anybody could say anything, Cruella raised her hand. “We accept,” she said simply. “Give us weapons and we’ll bag these witches for you. If it means getting out of here ourselves for even a moment, we accept.” She glared at the others and they all nodded.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Atlantica Pt. 1

April 18, 2020

Belle saw the sword raising up, ready to swing at her for a final time and there was little she could do. She had twisted her ankle and her head was spinning from a brutal blow. The mindless men and women who had her cornered showed no signs of giving her any mercy. She took a deep breath and made a wish but when the sword came down, it clanged against another sword. Standing there was a beautiful, young woman wearing a pink, green, and blue armored outfit. She whirled around and slammed the hilt of her sword into the side of the attacker’s head, dropping him instantly. She turned on the others and her sword clashed again. She used her leg to sweep a woman off of her feet and then ducked a sword swipe from another man and elbowed him hard in the back of the head.

The woman walked back towards Belle, barely breathing hard. She had a regal bearing that spoke of charm classes and high birth. Belle did not have the best history with other women her age. The woman offered her hand and helped Belle to her feet. Belle’s ankle held her weight but it really hurt.

“You really can’t be this close to the water especially at night,” the woman said. “You’re lucky that I was on patrol in the area. What’s your name?”

“Sorry. My name’s Belle,” she said. “Who are you?”

“Really?” the woman asked, her eyes going wide. “It’s been so long since somebody didn’t know who I was. I guess that’s humbling. My name is Aurora. Queen Aurora.”

“Nice to meet you,” Belle said. “Um, I’m technically a princess.”

“Technically?” Aurora asked, confusion swirling in her eyes.

“It’s a long story,” Belle said.

“Why don’t you tell me while I walk you toward safety?” Aurora asked. “Where can I take you? Where’s your home?”

“I don’t even know where I am,” Belle said. “None of this looks familiar. One minute I am being chased by some creature outside of the castle and then there was a loud cracking sound, a flash of green light and then I was suddenly here.”

“Like magic?” Aurora asked. “What did it feel like?”

“It felt like being swept up in a snowstorm but also like being dunked underwater,” Belle said. “It felt like magic. I have a little experience with magic but not like this.”

Aurora looked surprised again. “You’re one of the lost like me!” she shouted. “We have to get you to the castle. You’re with us.”

“Lead the way,” Belle said and they started to walk. “Thank you for saving me back there. I’m not much of a fighter. I’m more of a reader and my protector is missing.”

“I wasn’t much of a fighter either,” Aurora said. “but after my husband, Phillip, faced down a dragon for me, I never wanted to be defenseless again.”

“You mentioned being ‘lost’,” Belle said. “What does that mean? What’s going on?”

“This is not my kingdom,” Aurora said. “I come from another world. As far as we can tell, when all of this started, something broke and people started ending up in new places. I wasn’t in my kingdom anymore with Phillip but I was here instead.”

“Where is here?” Belle asked.

“This is Queen Ariel and King Eric’s kingdom,” Aurora said. “They faced down an evil sea witch named Ursula. Somehow she was resurrected along with the woman who terrorized me, Maleficent. They teamed up with some other baddies to take over all of the realms.”

“Sounds absolutely nasty,” Belle said.

“Ursula is here in this realm,” Aurora said. “She somehow stole the will of people near the harbor and are using them as her private army against us. Ariel calls them the Poor Unfortunate Souls or The Unfortunate for short.”

“What are we supposed to do?” Belle asked.

“We’re getting close to figuring out how to travel to the realms like our wicked opponents,” Aurora said. “Maybe you could help us.”

“Me?” Belle asked. “What can I do?”

“You said you’re a reader,” Aurora said. “Maybe you could help with the research.”

“Yeah!” Belle said. “I can definitely do that. Anything to get back home.”

Top 11 Favorite Disney Villains Pt. 1

September 22, 2018

Top 11

Obviously, I am adding a SPOILER WARNING here but for eleven movies that you should have seen by now. There are still a few Disney animated films that I have not seen but these are my favorite based on how important I think they are but mostly how much I enjoyed them. Some, like the Evil Queen and Malificent, have become more iconic to me in later materials but this is based solely on their appearances in Disney films.

11 Syndrome (The Incredibles 2004)

Syndrome did not start out as a villain. He used to just be Buddy Pine, a boy who was a huge fan of Mr. Incredible. He geeked out over his favorite superhero but his fandom started to become unhealthy when he started to take it farther. He tried to convince Mr. Incredible to accept him as a sidekick and in the process, endangers himself, others, and causes trouble for Mr. Incredible. As a result, Incredible gets frustrated and has Buddy taken away from the police and rejects him. As a result, Buddy grows resentful and bitter and changes into the super villain Syndrome. Since he could not become a hero, he decides to kill all heroes so that he can finally be the only hero. Whether intentionally or not, Syndrome represents the worst parts of fandom. First, he becomes such a fan that he tries to insert himself in Mr. Incredible’s life and career. He is rightly rejected because his sudden appearance causes complications. Second, he becomes bitter by being rejected instead of just going off and doing his own thing. He could have forged himself as an impressive hero and earned respect as Mr. Incredible’s peer eventually. Third, he grows to hate the thing he loved because it is not how he envisioned it. He is played with annoying perfection by Jason Lee as a sociopathic, toxic young man.


10 Ernesto de La Cruz (Coco 2017)

Ernesto was a famous musician in Mexico who became an Elvis-level celebrity, with elaborate stage shows, costumes, and backup singers. He died in a stage accident and he is still mourned and practically worshiped at least by the people of his hometown of St. Cecilia and probably the rest of Mexico. However, like a lot of celebrities, the public does not know the whole story. In truth, Ernesto does have a lot of talent for performing but had little imagination. He dreamed to become a celebrity for the fame and fortune and not at all for the love of music. Fortunately for him, he was able to convince his friend Hector to join him on the road to stardom. Hector was truly gifted and was able to write many beautiful and popular songs. When a homesick Hector wanted to go back home, Ernesto killed him and took his songbook for his own. This is especially despicable because, if Ernesto asked, Hector might have given him permission to play his songs as Hector had given up on being a star. In the afterlife, Ernesto remains a big celebrity but he still only plays the songs Hector wrote. When he meets Miguel, Hector’s great-great-grandson, he sees another Hector he can exploit. However, when Miguel proves as difficult as his ancestor, he tries to take him out too. Ernesto is arrogant and uncaring but deep inside he is also afraid of his secret getting out, desperate for fame, and jealous of men like Hector. He is willing to ruin or kill anybody who opposes him and thinks nothing of exploiting the people around him. He is played by Benjamin Bratt with Antonio Sol doing the singing. His performances makes him smarmy but it makes you believe that he could convince others to love him.


9 Scar (Lion King 1994)

Scar is the brother to Mufasa, the ruler of the Pride Lands which is an area around Pride Rock which is somewhere in the African wilderness. They both belong to a pride of lions who have passed down the title of ‘king’ from father to son for generations. In the event that his brother were to die, he would become king but that was changed when Mufasa and He observed the birth and early childhood of his brother’s son Simba with obvious displeasure. Scar always wanted to be king and resented that his brother became the monarch of the area. He was forced to resort to the lesser role of adviser to the king. This is a role he is obviously not satisfied with. He befriends some of the scavengers of the land and stages a coup by murdering his brother and convincing his nephew that it was his fault. In Simba’s absence, Scar rules over the Pride Lands as a cruel dictator instead of the benevolent monarch that his brother was. Scar is largely based on Claudius from the play Hamlet who envied his brother’s life and killed him and took it over. Scar is much like any bad bureaucrat who believes they know what is best but do not actually have any good ideas. Scar and his cronies over hunt the Pride Lands and the environment suffers and a once thriving area suffers. Scar holds no illusions that he is what the Pride Lands need. He is gleeful about being cruel to get what he wants and uses fear to control his subjects. Jeremy Irons is really good at being unapologetically evil and slimy which became kind of a theme for his career around that time.

8 Gaston (Beauty and the Beast 1991)

Gaston is the most handsome alpha male in the small town where the heroine Belle lives with her father. It is never explicitly mentioned but he is a town hunter who provides meat for the town. As a result, he seems to be idle often and he also seems to be independently wealthy as well. He is accompanied by his assistant LeFou who he treats horribly. However, he seems to treat everybody in town pretty horribly.  Gaston gets it into his head that he is the town’s most eligible bachelor, an idea that is reinforced as many women in town pursue him and flirt with him. As the most eligible bachelor, he believes that he deserves Belle as his wife. To get this clear, he believes that he <deserves> Belle as an award for being the most handsome and the strongest guy in town like she is some award. When Belle repeatedly turns him down, he cannot accept it and remains in denial as if it was some sort of game she is playing. Instead, she is not interested because Gaston is a pig and has no chemistry with her because she is a dreamer and an intellectual and he is shallow. When Gaston finds out that Belle might be falling for somebody else, somebody ‘unattractive’, he flips out and lets toxic masculinity completely take over. He tries to blackmail her into marrying him but when that does not work, he decides to kill her potential suitor. When he is defeated in combat, he is granted mercy but he still refuses to believe that he has lost his chance at Belle and attacks only to be accidentally killed by the man he was trying to kill. He is the patriarchy made flesh and he dies, still raging about not being the winner for the first time in his life. He would have lived if he had just accepted that one girl in town did not want to kiss him.


7 Judge Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1996)

Frollo is a judge and minister of justice in Paris, France. He presides over the Palace of Justice and he uses them to both keep the peace and further his personal agenda. Like a lot of the most misguided religious people, Frollo is prejudiced. He believes in a ‘natural order’ but that natural order involves Christianity and nothing else. If you are not Christian, then you are guilty in the eyes of Judge Claude Frollo. Specifically, he has a vendetta against gypsies because they are heathens in his eyes. They flaunt their non-Christian lifestyle and seem to make a mockery of society. In the beginning of the movie, he accidentally kills a gypsy woman and is shamed into adopting her baby. However, her baby grows up with a hunchback and a disfigured face so Frollo treats him like an abomination. Years later and his goal has become to discover the Court of Miracles, the Gypsy sanctuary, and destroy it and murder them all. Yes, this is a Disney film. When a Gypsy girl, Esmerelda, defies him in the middle of the city, it enrages him and his twisted mind fixates on her. He hates what she is but he finds that he also lusts after her and racism and bullshit guilt clash in his head. He pursues her across the city terrorizing, torturing, or murdering anybody who he thinks might be hiding her. When he is questioned by his captain of the guard, he sentences him to death for insubordination. When Esmerelda refuses to sleep with him, he tries to kill her too. When all of this fails, he tries to kill the young man who is supposed to be his son. He only dies because his religious mania makes him see the face of Satan which frightens him into death by falling. He is an unstable man who got further destabilized and twisted by his religion and it ultimately killed him.


6 Dr. Facilier (The Princess and the Frog 2009)

Dr. Facilier is a fortune teller and general voodoo practitioner for hire (also known as a bokor) on the streets of New Orleans. Bokor are usually supposed to serve the loa (or voodoo spirits) with ‘both hands’ meaning they work for good and for evil. However, Facilier apparently was somehow connected with dark loa who are much more proficient in dark magic. So, Facilier became accustomed to being in control of dark powers through his ‘friends from the other side’. Of course, he also seems to be indebted to these loa and trusting in them ultimately proves to be his undoing. While these dark powers may have influenced him into a wicked life, it seems that he did not start off so good anyway. He mentions being descended from royalty but he has obviously fallen on hard times as he tries to swindle tourists and locals on the streets of New Orleans. He has formed a grudge against the wealthy of the Big Easy and actively works against them, seeming to believe he is owed wealth and power. This is a direct contrast with Tiana who works hard for everything she has and is not looking for handouts. He built an infamous reputation around town and is left with the desperate and the ignorant to prey on. He shows that he is very willing to curse or kill to get what he wants and what he wants is to rule New Orleans. Facilier cannot grant himself boons through his magic and so he manipulates others by giving them gifts whether they want them or not. He does not care who gets hurt as long as he satisfies his own desires and pays his debt to his dark masters.

March Madness 1: Disney

April 14, 2018

Bracket

So March has come and gone but March Madness lives in people’s hearts forever, right? The thing about that is that I am not a basketball fan. While I played pickup games in middle school, I was never a fan because Baltimore does not have a team. If Baltimore does not have a team, I quickly lose interest in those sports. What I am a big fan of is Disney animated films and Pixar (before and after acquisition by Disney). I heard about this bracket and how it was driving everyone crazy and I thought it would be fun to fill it out and then explain my choices. Art is subjective and ranking things is absolutely just an exercise in examining your personal tastes. In other words, don’t get mad at me for my choices.

 

Lion King vs. Tarzan

This was an easy one to start of with. Tarzan has an interesting story about discovering one’s place in the world and also the evils of poaching. Lion King tells the story of a son’s love for his father and is basically Hamlet but with lions. While both are adaptations of established stories, Lion King has a lot more to say. Lion King also talks about duty vs. enjoyment and overcoming your fear to do what is right. It is a much more inspiring story. Lion King also has better music as Elton John and Tim Rice beat Phil Collins any day of the week, at least in my opinion. The Lion King also is funnier when it tries to be funny and more touching when it needs to be touching.

The Princess and the Frog vs. Lilo and Stitch

This one was a little harder. I like that Lilo and Stitch does not have a romantic subplot and it depicts Hawaii more as it actually is. It is a movie about sisters and misfits finding a family. It is honestly a really great movie. The Princess and the Frog is a movie about working hard for what you want but also trying to find the fun in life. The work/life balance message is something that is important to me. Also, The Princess and the Frog is a musical which uses great jazz tunes including a song actually sung by Dr. John. That definitely edges it ahead. It also does not hurt that Tiana is the first African American Disney Princess.

Tangled vs. Big Hero 6

It got difficult again. Big Hero 6 was a comic book series I read when it first came out. It was a charming and fun series with a lot of brand new heroes, Silver Samurai, and Sunfire. The movie version was really fun and had a different take on the character Baymax that knocked my socks off. It also did a great job with the theme of dealing with death. I also love superhero movies a lot. However, Tangled is an underrated movie that kind of paved the way for a new wave of Disney Princess. This new take on the Rapunzel story is really strengthened by the undeniable, bouncy energy of Rapunzel and the offbeat, goofy humor of the movie. This movie was a go to for a while when I was depressed to try and get me out of it.

Frozen vs. Moana

This was a totally unfair first round matchup. When I first saw Frozen, it blew me away. It was a total game changer when it came to Disney Princess animated movies. Setting aside that it had Kristen Bell in it, it also was the first of those movies that did not have a real romantic subplot. It was more about the love between sisters than the love between two people who had just met. Moana has even less of a romantic subplot and it is about being true to yourself and following your passion while staying true to your roots. It is a truly beautiful movie both visually and figuratively. It also has songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda who does so well that he ended up defeating the unstoppable catchiness of the songs of Frozen. That alone is saying something.

Aladdin vs. Hercules

Like most people, I love Hercules. It has a lot of snappy humor and is a great adaptation of various Greek myths with a slick modern style to it. The animation style is fun and it has an interestingly complex love story that comes second to a story about believing in yourself and becoming a hero. However, I have a big history with Aladdin. Back then I was a superfan of Robin Williams but the event that really cemented my love for the movie is when I watched it on drugs. To be fair, I watched it as I lay in the ICU after heart surgery in fifth grade. The movie has absolutely beautiful art and awesome voice talents. The story is also about believing in yourself but it is also about seeing people as they are and the power of friendship. The songs by Alan Menken are leagues above most Disney movies as well.

The Little Mermaid vs. Pocahontas

This one was easy. I really dislike Pocahontas. It is the only major release Disney Animated Movie that I dislike and that’s saying something. It is a historically inaccurate portrayal of a woman who was mistreated as a Native American by European colonists. The art style is also kind of off-putting to me for some reason. Also, I never liked the music very much. The Little Mermaid, on the other hand, is a really fun movie and a happier take on the Hans Christian Andersen tale. The music is all so fun to sing along to and the humor is cute and enjoyable. I love the theme of feeling like you are in the wrong place and yearning for a place that just feels right to you. It also has some interesting magic spells and supernatural powers go along way with me.

Mulan vs. Zootopia

This is a weird matchup. Zootopia is a really interesting movie that has a lot to say about racism and affirmative action. It disguises that message behind really well-animated animals living in a big city together. I love the world building involved in that and the story is a great roller coaster that has a lot of ups, downs, twists, and turns. Mulan is a great tale about the clash between following tradition and being who you feel you need to be. It also has the first Disney Princess who could fight. The animation is also really pretty with its own style that clearly illustrates that we are in China. What edges Mulan ahead as the clear winner is the music. Mulan has a lot of great, singable songs. Mostly I am thinking about I’ll Make a Man Out of You which was written by Donny Osmond of all people.

Beauty and the Beast vs. Nightmare Before Christmas

This one is not even fair. Beauty and the Beast is a beautiful movie. The art is a shining example of what 2D animation can be and the art style was so unique. It also introduced us to a heroine who was smart, brave, and who would not back down. It also introduced a romantic couple who believably wanted nothing to do with each other who were also both questionable individuals. The story does a good job of showing two parallel character arcs with a satisfying conclusion. The songs are also among the best in Disney. Nightmare Before Christmas is a movie that I watch every year at some point between Halloween and Christmas. It is yet another movie that I have used to battle depression because the movie itself is about battling depression. It is also the only movie on this list that uses stop-motion animation which is done so well I sometimes thought of it as live action. On top of all of that, it has music from Danny Elfman at the peak of his abilities. Every song is awesome and portrays so much emotion that I cannot ever let this movie go.

Alright, this one is getting a bit too long so I will have to continue it at another time. Of course, part 2 will have to wait until sometime after April but I am excited to get back to it! In the meantime, feel free to offer your own opinions. As I said, art is subjective and I am not “right” and you are not “wrong”.

Media Update 4/5/18

April 5, 2018

<Just a note: This is not a part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge>


Edge of Tomorrow

Having a day repeat over and over for a character is not a new concept and it was not even a new concept when Groundhog Day did it. Nevertheless, it is definitely an interesting concept and, besides that one Xena episode, I have not really seen the concept applied to combat. Except, yes I have. In practically every video game I have ever played which is the inspiration for this movie. The premise is that Tom Cruise must live the same day over and over until he wins the war. However, the real star of this movie is Emily Blunt and the movie would have been better served with her as the main character. The movie we do get is very interesting. For a movie with a lot of death in it, there is a lot of comedy which is welcome. There is also a lot of depression and adventure as well. Tom Cruise is a great action actor and they even explain why he’s old in this one. Blunt gets to be the total badass that she apparently is in real life (look for her planche). The concepts of the movie are done really well and I was really sucked into the movie quickly. The movie also looks really good with the enemy aliens looking cool but their animation was the most intriguing part about them. I definitely recommend this one as it lives up to all the hype. I don’t want a sequel, though, I want a prequel starring Emily Blunt.


Devilman Crybaby

This is one of the newest anime series on Netflix in a flood of series since Netflix has stepped up their anime game. Since the premise reminded me a little of Blue Exorcist, I decided to check this out. The premise is that demons live among humans by forcing their way into their bodies and possessing them. The main character is offered up for possession by his best friend in order to combat the devils on Earth. So, he goes from sensitive “crybaby” to “devilman” in the course of one crazy night. The animation is very stylized and it reminds me kind of old rotoscope animation mixed with the kind of stuff that Superjail was doing. In fact, a lot of the insane designs of the demons would have been right at home in an episode of Superjail, Metalocalypse, or Liquid Television. This is a very adult anime. There is explicit nudity and the main character (and the audience by proxy) watches porn for a minute in the second episode. I love the concept but I’m curious to see if the show will settle into an actual storyline instead of just talking about sex so much for shock value. I don’t really recommend it because I’m not sure I like it yet and I think other people would not like it.


Beauty and the Beast (2012 TV Show)

This show has almost nothing to do with any version or adaptation of the Beauty and the Beast story. This is not a bad thing. The original story is about a young woman who is imprisoned by a beast who used to be a man and eventually sees beneath the surface and finds a good man. This show is a police procedural where a female cop is aided by a former special forces soldier who was experimented on and now has animal senses, super strength, and a great rage. He is not really physically a beast as much as he is mentally sometimes. He assists her with solving murders while they both try to unravel the government conspiracy that they are both wrapped up in. The show has a very likable lead in Kristin Kreuk and I like Jay Ryan when he’s not being an edgelord. The show has a weird mix of comedy and drama that don’t always naturally flow together. Still, it is a nice middle of the road procedural with a little bit of a sci-fi twinge to it. It is nothing special but it is not really bad. I recommend it for those looking for something to put on in the background.

Music of the Week:
Pay Attention – by Pomplamoose

Hayley Kiyoko – Curious

Ludo – Love Me Dead

Babbletron – The Clock Song

Trainwreck – Brodeo

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Something Changed Him”
– I started Santa Clarita Diet Season 2
– I finished Season 1 of Peaky Blinders
– I watched more Glitter Force Doki Doki
– I watched more Freaks and Geeks
– I watched more The Pinkertons Season 1
– I watched more Fairy Tail

Media Update 7/13/17

July 13, 2017


American Gods

I read the original novel American Gods a couple of years ago. Written by Neil Gaiman, it was a page turner that I found hard to put down each day. It is a fantastic tale of gods and monsters but a lot of it is hidden just below the surface. These are copies of the old gods who migrated to the Americas with immigrants (and slaves). No culture is off limits which is fascinating to me because from my first exposure, I was a super fan of mythology. The various pantheons, demigods, heroes, and creatures are the stories folks told each other to explain how the world works or to impart morals. That is not lost here as we meet these mysterious beings of power. In addition to all of that, it is the story of Americana and traveling through our country and seeing both the good and the bad. Seeing how people who used to rely on the old gods are dealing with their life. It is also about grief and finding your place in the world. At the same time, it is also about the new world clashing with old tradition. There is a lot going on but each episode is pretty simple, only letting slip a few clues as to what is actually happening so you can digest them and wait eagerly for more. Everything about the show is fantastic but the acting and the artistic direction stand out ahead of everything. I definitely recommend it.


Beauty and the Beast (2017)

I was nine years old when Beauty and the Beast came out and I imagine I saw it pretty close to that date. Disney’s version fo the story has been burned into my mind by now. Of course, like most people, my favorite part was Jerry Orbach’s charming performance as Lumiere. As I grew up, I realized what a special character Belle was. She was a strong, confident, and smart female lead at a time when kids really needed to see that. Sure there were others but she stands out among the original line of Disney Princesses. This version was every bit as fun as the original and then some. We mostly got the original movie but they added bits here and bits there that added more depth to the characters. Overall, they added about forty extra minutes which is a lot but it did not feel like too much. It made me feel like I knew the characters more than the original animated version. Emma Watson and Dan Stevens were stronger leads than the original not only thanks to good acting but more to work with. Supporting actors like Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen. Emma Thompson and Audra McDonald really helped as well. I definitely recommend this new version even if you missed the fully animated version.


Power Rangers (2017)

I was a big fan of the first few seasons of Power Rangers. I was an older kid but at that point, I was already a fan of Sailor Moon and Ronin Warriors so another show about young transforming fighters was welcome. The first seasons were goofy affairs with the rare dramatic moment outside of life or death battles. It was a great show to watch bad dubbing over a Japanese actress, costumed martial arts, and cool robot versus kaiju battles. My mom had to go on a waitlist to get us Power Ranger action figures for Christmas but I treasured them. This movie borrows cues from the original seasons but it also delves more into character like later seasons of Power Rangers (I’m thinking RPM). This movie is basically the Breakfast Club meets a superhero origin movie. We actually get a good long bit of the movie before the supernatural stuff starts happening. It was actually kind of refreshing to get a good hard look at our heroes before they become heroes. Instead of the original origin, we get to see the Rangers train up and bond as a team instead of all of them instantly being friends. It made the inevitable victory through teamwork all the sweeter. Throw in some fun supporting roles by Elizabeth Banks, Bill Hader and Bryan Cranston and some shout outs to the original three seasons. By the way, Bryan Cranston did voiceover work for the original season of Power Rangers. I recommend it but it might not be up everybody’s alley.

Music of the Week:
From First To Last – Ride The Wings Of Pestilence

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand

Kimberly Korn – Bad Girl Good Boy

The Weeknd – I Feel It Coming ft. Daft Punk

Black Flag – Nervous Breakdown

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Transformation”
– I started watching iZombie Season 3
– I watched more Arrow Season 5
– I finished Flash Season 3
– I watched more Supergirl Season 2
– I finished Blue Bloods Season 8
– I watched more House of Cards Season 1


The Hidden Message

klaatu barada nikto

Growing a family

Im just trying to evolve

Panorama of the Mountains

Liam Sullivan's Ideas and Reflections

Boccob's Blessed Blog

A gaming blog with an emphasis on D&D 5e

wolfenoot.wordpress.com/

No Hate Only Snootboops

As Told By Carly

The Ramblings of a Geek Girl

Beyond the Flow

A Survivor's Philosophy of Life

Silvia Writes

Life is a story. Might as well write it.

An Artist’s Path

Art, Poetry, Prose, Spirituality & Whimsy

The Bloggess

Like Mother Teresa, only better.

Silence Killed The Dinosaurs

Comics, Stories, Dinosaurs, Cats

Damyanti Biswas

For lovers of reading, writing, travel, humanity

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