Posts Tagged ‘Teamwork’

Magical Earth Defenders 11

November 11, 2017

Magical Earth Defenders

Lennon rolled her wheelchair through the crowd in front of the school. She could not really see through the sea of fellow students but she knew the general direction of the school so she headed that way. Her mom had dropped her off and helped her out of the car and into her chair. Lennon had practically had to beg her to go to work and let Lennon roll in on her own. As much as she loved her mother, she wanted to feel as independent as possible. That is why she was rolling the chair manually instead of engaging the motorized system. She had especially rigged it so she could turn off that system to conserve the battery. The doctors approved as it gave her more exercise.

She suddenly realized that her mind was wandering and stopped just short of colliding with somebody’s shins. She found herself blushing.

“Excuse me,” She said gently. “I need to get by.” Lennon was trying to be more patient. It was not everybody else’s fault that she was in this bulky wheelchair.

“Lennon, it’s me,” A voice said and Lennon looked up and saw a smiling Kelsey. Kelsey was dressed in a casual button up shirt and corduroy pants. Lennon could not help but smile back. The day before had felt like such a dream and Lennon almost could not believe it had happened. The thought of being upright as the Red Defender was as bright in her mind as the flames she had wielded.

“Oh!” Lennon said and adjusted her glasses. “Sorry, Kelsey!”

Kelsey shook her head. “You don’t need to apologize. Just say good morning already.” She smiled and stuck her fist out toward Lennon.

Lennon smiled and banged her fist gently against Kelsey’s. “Good morning.”

Natia seemingly came from nowhere and bumped her hip into Kelsey’s to get her to move over. She had the hood of her sweatshirt up and it covered up the bulky headphones tucked in. She was wearing jeans which was a borderline violation of the dress code. “Move over, girl scout!” She said with a sleepy smile. “Mornin’ Glasses.”

“Good Morning, Natia,” Lennon said. The lively girl was amusing to Lennon, especially since Lennon herself had almost always been in her shell. Shy and smart often went hand in hand.

“There’s nothing good about morning, Lennon,” Natia said with a yawn. “But she dragged me here and I’m here and we’re a team and junk.”

“It’s nice to see you both,” Lennon said. “I don’t have a lot of…” She trailed off, not sure if she wanted to or even could talk about drifting away from her old friends.

“You do now,” Kelsey said. “We’re in this together.” Kelsey’s smile was kind and not a bit condescending. Natia treated everybody pretty much the same no matter what. Lennon had not realized how much she really needed that. She felt so much like a freak adjusting to her relatively new condition. It was nice to see two people who genuinely seemed to see her for what she was instead of who she had been.

There was a murmuring from the crowd and the whole feel of the area changed. The three girls looked confused and started to look around for the source of the crowd’s new excitement. Moving through the usual crowd of students were two familiar faces. Margaret walked as if she owned the place which was impossible since it was a public school. Maya was a bit more wary, her eyes trying to decide whether she should be looking all around or looking at the ground. She seemed grateful to lay her eyes on Lennon, Kelsey, and Natia.

Maya was dressed in a long black dress with little white accents, a little formal for school but pretty. Her rune tattoos were seemingly gone. Margaret was dressed in pricier clothes than anyone in the vicinity, possibly anybody in a two-mile radius. Her leather half-jacket was particularly expensive looking but all of her clothing was in a fairly conservative style.

“Whoa,” Natia said. “I wasn’t expecting you two. Looking sharp.”

“It is nothing special,” Maya said. “I like dresses but they’re not as easy to maintain on the run.” She reached down and smoothed her unwrinkled dress a little nervously.

“Where’d you get such a pretty one on short notice?” Kelsey asked.

“I pulled something from my own wardrobe last night and delivered it to the castle this morning,” Margaret said. “We’ll go shopping after school.” Maya made an embarrassed face as if they had already argued about that, an argument she had lost. “You deserve it, Maya, you lost so much.”

“Thank you, Margaret,” Maya said and smiled, shaking off the bad feeling.

“Can any of us come on this shopping trip, Mar?” Natia asked.

“Sure,” Margaret said. “We leave directly after school.”

“Cool,” Natia said and then noticed that Kelsey was giving her a curious look. “What? It’s not like I want something. I’m allowed to like clothes. I’m not that much of a tomboy!”

Kelsey smirked. “I didn’t say a thing.”

“So, Margaret,” Lennon said. “Were you just dropping off Maya?” It was a little odd to see Maya the magical refugee at school but somehow it was even stranger to see a private school student within spitting distance of Charrot High School.

“I’m here to attend school,” Margaret said. Her words were deliberate and accompanied by a gentle, proud smile.

“You’re what?!” Natia asked loudly, nearly yelling the question. Kelsey instinctively covered her mouth with her hand, used to dealing with her younger sister. A series of muffled sounds issued from Natia’s mouth and Kelsey withdrew her hand and wiped it off with a tissue.

“What about the Academy?” Lennon asked. She knew the Academy’s reputation for rigorous education. In fact, her mother had applied for a scholarship there when it became clear that their daughter was exceptionally brilliant. In the end, she had been happy to stay at Charrot where the teachers had allowed her to design her own curriculum to challenge herself.

“Yesterday was such a life-changing experience,” Margaret said. “I assume it was for you ladies as well.” They all nodded and agreed. “We fit together so quickly yesterday, there is no way that I could hold you all at arm’s length. I would rather explore it. As it so happens, I have a good use for the tuition my parents were paying the Academy. It can do more good elsewhere and I am sure this school will do right by me.”

“Wow,” Kelsey and Lennon both said, almost in unison.

“School never did right by anyone but I guess it has its uses,” Natia said. “Welcome to Charrot, Mar.”

“Yeah,” Kelsey said with a smile. “Well, team, it looks like we have two new students to introduce to the office and our truant Natia has to throw herself on the mercy of the court. Follow me.” She started to walk and then turned to look at Lennon. “Are you coming too, Lennon?”

“Yeah,” Lennon said. “But I can push myself.”

“Of course you can,” Kelsey said with a smile before leading the way.

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Media Update 5/11/2017

May 11, 2017


Lego Batman

I am a huge fan of Batman and, with the exception of Batman v. Superman, I have seen pretty much every iteration of Batman that has been released. This movie is a spin off of The Lego Movie which was a surprise hit. The Lego Movie being a hit was a surprise to me as well because I was expecting crass commercialization but instead we got a really good story with fun characters. So, when they announced this movie, I knew it would probably be pretty good. Will Arnett’s Batman is a different animal from other Batman versions. He is flashy, brutally honest and a blowhard who is jealous of anyone who becomes more popular than him. We get Zach Galifianakis as the Joker and he is a perfect foil for Lego Batman because he is silly, cartoony and strangely sweet. This movie is the cure for the way the DC Cinematic universe has gone lately. It is not afraid to take chances and get silly. It is also one of the best Batman movies that I have seen. It references a lot of Batman and DC Comics history and acknowledges the past with reverence but too much reverence. It strikes the delicate balance of poking fun at its source material while also celebrating it. It also has the baddest woman on the planet Rosario Dawson as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl. I definitely recommend it but especially for fellow Batman fans.


Trolls

Dreamworks is a studio that is kind of hit or miss so I often let their movies pass by unless I hear some buzz. The first trailer I saw of this movie was a music video for the big original song and I was like ‘this song is good… oh it’s the Trolls movie’. This was a mistake. After watching two animated films, I decided to give this movie a shot. I remembered the trailer having good art and animation. I also found out that one of the movie’s stars is Justin Timberlake. While I was extremely anti-boy band in the nineties, I have become a fan of Timberlake in these times. He also executive produced the soundtrack which is a mix of covers of popular music and original music. Arguably the real star of the movie is Anna Kendrick whose movies I have never really seen (except Into the Woods) but she was great in this one. She and JT have great chemistry together and she is a obviously a great singer as well. There is a great supporting cast as well including Jeffery Tambor, Christine Baranski, Zooey Deschanel and Christopher Mintz-Plasse along with a great group of comedians and musicians. If you do not like pop music, then this one might not be for you but I love upbeat music so I might have to download the soundtrack at some point actually. The message of the movie was simple and some of the points were predictable but sometimes that is just the movie I want to watch. I definitely recommend it for those who love good animation, good dialogue and fun music.


Sing

I was never one for singing competitions. I love music but I never really got into declaring winners or losers because skill is not the only thing that makes a good musician. Sometimes a singer with a lot of heart beats a singer with impeccable talent. Which is kind of the message of this movie although they never really come out and say it. The movie follows a dying theater which puts on a singing competition in order to draw interest from the community and sell tickets. Of course, the movie being what it is, there are about eighty popular songs in it. For me, it becomes a bit much. Often, there is no rhyme or reason for what songs are bein sung. Somebody just looked up the last forty years or so of the Billboard listings and just had random animals singing them. There are also truly unlikable characters in the movie, chief among them is played by Seth McFarlane (of course). All that aside, there is actually a pretty sweet movie in there. Mostly because most of the main cast learns important lessons about life and show business. I was completely blown away by Taron Egerton’s musical skill but a lot of the main cast had really great performances. I recommend this one but you could probably fast forward through the Mike scenes and just be patient for the third act which is where the movie really shines.

Music of the Week:
Elton John – I’m Still Standing

Logic – Everybody

Megadeth – Sweating Bullets

Rebel and a Basketcase – Oh Yeah

My Life as Eva – Literally My Life

Weekly Update:
– This Week’s Theme is “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work”
– I watched more of Don’t Trust the B in Apt 23 Season 2
– I watched more Fairy Tail
– I watched a lot more Legends of Tomorrow Season 2
– I finished Season 1 of MST3K: The Return
– I started Better Call Saul Season 2

Media Update 1/12/2016

January 12, 2017


Swiss Army Man

I am definitely a Daniel Radcliffe fan and I have loved everything I have seen him do. In 2015, I watched an independent movie called Horns which made me even more of a fan of his. His stances on feminism and humble interviews also really sold me. During one of those interviews, he mentioned working on this movie and I was intrigued. He does not seem to pick normal movies anymore and I am totally alright with that. This movie is absolutely surreal and I am pretty sure you are not expecting where it goes. Whatever you are thinking, you are probably wrong. I like being surprised by things and this was definitely a good surprise. The movie is definitely not a light subject but there is a great dark comedy to it. The movie is wonderfully shot. Just about every frame could be printed out and framed on a wall. There is not much dialogue in parts of the movie but body language and little sounds tell us all the story we need. There is a morbid, cartoon-like quality to the movie that I fell in love with almost immediately. Paul Dano is great as a half-crazed but optimistic survivor and Radcliffe is… well I do not want to spoil it. Let us just say that he is the title character and the trailer above will tell you. The movie has some of the best physical work that I have seen in a while and Radcliffe is growing by leaps and bounds in his acting skills. I definitely recommend this weird movie.


Crazyhead

I have watched a few shows from England but most of them have been from the BBC because the BBC is really good at partnering with American distribution methods. As Netflix grows more powerful, it seems to be reaching out to more foreign markets much to the benefit of subscribers. I have not watched any television across the bond since over twenty years ago so I had not heard of E4. This show is a supernatural comedy/adventure story about two women in their twenties trying to figure things out. Oh, and they can also see the demons that walk among us and have taken it upon themselves to act as demon hunters. I like the more relatable reactions to somebody telling you that you really can see demons and that you are not crazy. The show feels kind of like a blend of Shaun of the Dead and Being Human (the UK version) with the two female leads in way over their heads. I have only watched a bit of the show but I am intrigued by the way the demons work and how much magic actually exists in their world. The two actresses (Cara Theobold, Susan Wokoma) who are the leads play off each other really well as one is fully weird and somewhat crazy and the other is just trying to keep up. The main villain is played by Tony Curran who played Datak Tarr on Defiance and is great at playing an evil jerk who is still kind of charming and interesting. I definitely recommend this one as it is interesting and is not very long.


Travelers

A friend of mine from my game group suggested that I watch this and I was intrigued enough by her explanation of the show that I wanted to check it out. Basically, the future is apparently horrible enough for them to develop a form of time travel technology to try and change things for the better. They choose people who are about to die and they rewrite their brain with a consciousness from the future. These people take over their host bodies and carry out missions in tightly knit cells that have no idea what the mission is or what other teams are doing. It is weird. Most of the show is the team trying to complete missions while stumbling through their hosts’ normal lives. I am on episode five and the show is pretty interesting. Everybody is dealing with a lot of crap and they are all horrible at living in the 20th Century. The mystery of what is happening in the future and what this Traveler organization is actually doing is the driving force of the show. There are a lot of ethical dilemmas that spring from the time travel technology. Uploading your mind into somebody else’s life is confusing for everybody involved and you have no idea what that person’s life was really like if you are only going off historical documents and social media. I recommend the show but I do not know how long I will watch it myself.

Music of the Week:

Pere Ubu – Final Solution

Metalachi – Crazy Train

Aimee Allen – Revolution

Thy Art Is Murder – Reign Of Darkness

J Cole – Neighbors

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Teamwork”
– I watched more of season 2 of Dusk Till Dawn
– I finished Season 3 of Arrested Development
– I am halfway through Season 4 of Parks and Recreation
– I am halfway through Season 5 of The Office
– I loved Season 1 of The Magicians
– I watched more of Season 3 of The Following
– I attended King Ubu at Pointless Theater on Saturday


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