Posts Tagged ‘Neil Gaiman’

Media Update 19.6.13

June 13, 2019


Good Omens

I am a big Neil Gaiman fan but unfortunately, I have only read one Terry Pratchett book so far and it was the first Discworld book. I have not read Good Omens yet but I figured I would watch the show first to get a feel for it. I love the world-building of both authors. Gaiman also has a knack for taking mythical figures and making them very accessible (I was going to say human but no). This is the tale of an angel and a demon who are trying to stop Armageddon. David Tennant plays Crowley, the fallen angel who never really meant to fall. Michael Sheen plays Aziraphale, a pleasant but subversive angel. Both of them have been stuck on Earth since Adam and Eve’s expulsion from Eden and they have adjusted to human life. They have struggled to work as agents of their respective sides while trying to maintain a friendship as well. The strength of the show is the chemistry between these two and it is so great. I really also like the performances by John Hamm, Michael McKean, and Adria Arjona. Adria Arjona, in particular, is funny and gorgeous. This show almost qualifies for Pride if the shippers got their way. I definitely recommend it.


Siempre Brujo

This is an interesting show. It is a Spanish-language show produced in Colombia. It is set in Cartagena, Colombia during two different eras. One era is during the late 1600s and the other is in our present. A young slave (who is also a pureblood witch) is sent on a mission to the future and must navigate 2019 without knowledge of all of our technology but with magic powers. Thankfully, she can speak Spanish well enough to adjust to modern society. The show is incredibly interesting in that it shows the inherent difficulties of time travel that I did not even think about. For example, to accomplish her mission in 2019, she has to find somebody within a geographic region. The travel alone would have taken weeks in her time but could take her hours if she could figure it out. The show seems really smart to me so far in how it deals with Fantasy but also race relations and class warfare. We get to see Carmen (the lead) on her mission in the present but we also see many flashbacks which inform us about who she is. It is a similar structure to Once Upon a Time. Angely Gavira plays the lead and she has such a great innocence to her but also a quiet strength that will be fun to watch. I definitely recommend it in the original Spanish and not the dub.


Season of the Witch

I am a fan of Nicolas Cage movies because even when they are bad, his performance is memorable and either interesting or insane. He puts his all into every movie role he has ever had and it shows. In addition, this movie has Ron Perlman in it. I will just about watch anything he is in after loving him in Blade 2 and the Hellboy franchise. In this movie, they are even best friends and comrades in arms so a lot of the movie is basically a medieval buddy cop film starring those two. Except it is also about a group of men transporting an accused witch to lift a curse. It allows both men to interact with a lot of people and really, that was all I wanted. It is a simple story told in a simple way and that is perfectly fine. Its main purpose is to explore the relationship between those who worship God and the Church and the conflict between the two. It is nothing special but I recommend it as a good movie to watch in the background.

Music of the Week:
The Marías – Baby One More Time

Oliver Tree – Miracle Man

Avril Lavigne feat. Nicki Minaj – Dumb Blonde

Young M.A “Bake Freestyle”

Wind Rose – Diggy Diggy Hole

 

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Witches”
– Yes, this post is late but it is still Thursday.
– I finished Tuca and Bertie Season 1
– I started Game of Thrones Season 3
– I watched more Arrow Season 7
– I watched more The Flash Season 5
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more Legends of Tomorrow Season 4
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3

Media Update 8/6/2015

August 6, 2015


Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

I remember walking out of the Senator Theater after seeing Mission: Impossible in 1996 with my family. My mother didn’t understand the plot but I was sure that I understood every twist and turn and it turned out I was pretty much on point. I never really watched the show but I felt at the time that M:I was a great movie with plenty of action and suspense. I still feel that way about most of the franchise. Ghost Protocol renewed my interest by including Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg and injected a little more comedy in with the drama, not much but enough to lighten it up a bit. I felt they did even better with Rogue Nation. From beginning to end I loved the fast pace and mystery. They got the band back together from Rogue Nation and added Ving Rhames back in from the original trilogy. Say what you will about Tom Cruise but I think he plays a really good action star and he does a lot of his own stunts. The movie pretty much hit all of the right notes and there was never a moment where I wasn’t invested. I definitely recommend it. I’ll probably be seeing it a second time.


Trainwreck

Speaking of the Senator Theater, my Dad and I drove off to watch Trainwreck at what is the best movie theater in Baltimore. My Dad insisted that we go see Trainwreck based on articles he had read about the movie about the writer/star Amy Schumer. I was a bit surprised at this because my Dad has never really expressed interest in romantic comedies before. From the trailers, that was what I thought Trainwreck was. I thought it was a Netflix watch at best but Dad pushed for it so I relented. Afterall, he had often relented when I pushed for comic book movies. I completely underestimated the movie. Whoever made the trailer I saw should be fired. The movie is not just a romantic comedy. It’s also a great movie about a person (Amy) who is forced to come to terms with who she is and who she wants to be. It’s a story about personal growth and expanding your boundaries and also about what love is. I highly reccomend everyone check it out. The only caveat I have is that there is a lot of pretty dirty language in it so be prepared. (Also John Cena is in it!)

Awesome Links of my Week:
Neil Gaiman Storytime
NSP and Steel Panther live on stage (NSFW)
Starbomb – Luigi’s Ballad (NSFW)
Deadpool Trailer (NSFW – I’m sensing a theme)

Updates:
– Bob’s Burgers just gets better in the third season
– Bojack Horseman’s second season was so painfully good
– I think I gave up on Chuck, it’s just not for me
– My plan was to watch Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp next week
– I caught up on Supernatural up to the end of the 9th season. It’s great

LAIKA Studios Box Set

March 2, 2015

Animation is a brilliant art form. I have been fascinated by it from a very young age which evolved from Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry to watching Saturday morning cartoons to Nicktoons and beyond. For a long time, Pixar was my God of Animation starting with the premiere of Toy Story. I saw Toy Story five times in theater and, at the age of 13, I seriously considered studying animation so I could get into the business. I got lessons on how to use the program Raydream Design Studio so I could develop my own CGI. I went so far as to take a class on Saturdays at the Maryland Institute College of Art where I learned stop-motion animation. I never really cared about stop-motion too much since I didn’t know at the time that it was used for stuff like Star Wars. I just saw it as the artform that brought us kind of lame things like Gumby and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. That would soon change.

First I discovered Aardman studios and fell in love with Wallace and Grommit and I was impressed (and depressed) by Creature Comforts. Then a movie was released that blew my mind and changed my life forever and that’s no exaggeration. Of course, I’m talking about The Nightmare Before Christmas which was a brilliant film. It is often attributed to Tim Burton but it was directed and developed by Henry Selick. It felt like they took a slice of my life and transplanted it into a very spooky yet playful garden. It’s my go to movie when I’m depressed around the holidays.

I recently got a collection of all of the Laika Studios films and I decided to watch two of them over again and check out the newest selection.


Coraline

I am a huge fan of Neil Gaiman but I got on the fandom boat a little later than a lot of people. I actually started reading Gaiman with the introduction of The Graveyard Book and I am working on steadily consuming his work. One of the more recent things I got was Coraline because the movie was wildly popular and I wanted to read the book and watch the movie. I eventually broke down and watched the movie first and I was captivated by the glorious return of Henry Selick’s direction and the simple, relateable story. While the movie is different from the book, everyone involved took great pains to capture the spirit of the story and hit all of the key points. Coraline is a tale told about being careful what you wish for, not being so critical of what you have and appreciating those around you even though they’re not perfect. It’s also about monsters and interdimensional travel. It’s a really excellent movie that I’m glad to have in my collection to watch over again.


Paranorman

I will be honest here, I went into this movie with near zero expectations and I didn’t even realize it was from the same studio as Coraline until I looked it up afterward. It was a positively reviewed movie on Netflix and, as previously covered, I like spooky stuff. I remembered the trailer had zombies and ghosts and not much else. What I got was actually a pretty touching story about finding your place in the world and acceptance of who you are and the mistakes others make. At least, that’s what I took away from it. Also, the movie’s pretty funny even if it has a kind of mournful undertone through a lot of it. The trailers made this one look silly and fun and full of action but there is also a lot of emotion here. I definitely recommend it even though I probably just raised your expectations. It should meet them.


The Boxtrolls

Finally, I got to see the Boxtrolls and I soaked in the experience on full, glorious DVD on a spectacular 32″ television. Exquisite. All joking aside, I always want to go see animated films in theaters but pretty much nobody else I know wants to go see them. Also going to the movie theater is a crapshoot on the kind of crowd you’re going to get. Animated movies tend to be populated by families which can mean children who don’t understand the etiquette of a movie theater yet. I’d rather use Netflix or buy a DVD than attend the theater with that risk present. Though, I usually have a rule that I don’t buy DVDs of movies I haven’t seen yet so I don’t end up with a clunker taking up space. However, I make exceptions for movies that got enough good buzz or whose creators have good track records. So I took a chance on LAIKA studios because of Coraline and Paranorman being so good.

I didn’t really know what to expect because strangely enough, I never saw a trailer like I had for the previous two films. I knew a little bit because I had seen fleeting images on the internet and because I’m a fan of Kate Leth. So I had mixed expecations due to so many unknown unknowns. The first thing I noticed was that the studio really stepped up their game on the animation and the movie was even more beautiful than the previous two films. You know, as beautiful as the industrial age/steampunk world could be with all of the really grimy details. I can not say enough about the brilliant art direction since, because of the textures and detail, I often forgot the sets were models. The characters were all just as well-crafted and extremely expressive. It’s an amazing thing when animators or puppeteers can imbue an inanimate object with a soul.

The souls they put in were great too. I was really impressed with a great cast of performers who helped to breathe life into their characters. The characters were weird when they should be weird and touching when they should be touching. I was genuinely happy to meet the good guys and hated the bad guys with a passion. Except that it wasn’t always so black and white (a point that is brought up by some side characters throughout). Elle Fanning and a relatively unknown Isaac Hempstead Wright are brilliant as two children out of their element in a childish adult world. Among the adults are Nick Frost, Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg, Dee Bradely Baker and plenty of other great actors.

The movie is about a lot of things but there are several themes that pop into my mind. I like how the movie points out how ridiculous normal society looks from the outside and that goes for both societies in the story. There was a definite focus on family and how important those closest to you are even if you don’t always like them. Social status is only as important as you make it and don’t try to be something you’re not. Good and evil are sometimes a matter of perspective and you can’t let yourself get blinded by the lies other people tell.

I whole-heartedly endorse watching this movie as I really had a good time watching it. I laughed, I felt and I had a lot of thought-provoking, philosophical moments. So the next time you think all animated movies are “just for kids”, think again.


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