Thus, this beautiful image of us together was born.
The girl and I actually spent most of the day together. Waking up relatively early to make breakfast (Bacon and eggs? Can’t go wrong), listening to internet videos while sitting on the couch doing homework/novel-writing and, of course, getting ourselves some of that classic soft-serve frozen milk.
In the process we also made some classic lols, including the most brilliant movie script doctoring ever imagined by anyone in the history of time.
Imagine Bee Movie but during the scene where that human lady is dating Jerry Seinfeld bee it plays “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin remixed to say “you’ve never had a friend like bees.” pic.twitter.com/O4Z1PkxO1D
I’ll be waiting on my check, DreamWorks. Because as soon as more than ~35 people see this Bee Movie joke pulled straight out of 2017, I’ll be raking in the followers and likes for sure.
Alright all joking aside, that’s just the kind of dumb humor that flows out when my sister and I spend some quality time together.
But because I’m a terrible human being that somehow still finds Bee Movie jokes humorous, I figured I would share that quality post with the world.
Consider me inspired by Nando v. Movies recently finishing his Man of Steel rewrite.
Obviously this whole post is a little lackluster, and that’s more or less because I actually did spend most of the day either cooking or working on my Senior Honors Project. Doesn’t give me too many interesting things to share, but I also didn’t want to just leave another blank day after losing March 1 to my all-out lazy afternoon.
So consider this a passover post of sorts. Just a real quick 300 words about my day to tide you all over in the hopes that I have something more substantial tomorrow.
In the meantime, I’m going to get back to eating fancy pasta and writing. Because very rarely does my Comm Law class give out no homework, offering me the opportunity to catch up on my novel.
I know all of my loyal readers pay intimate attention to each and every change on my blog, but in case you didn’t notice what happened I’ll fill you in.
Just last night I modified some minor elements over in the archive for my work with Gladeo. The biggest and most noticeable change was the shift from an internal photo showing the reporting team from when I first joined on:
To a much more recent image on Gladeo’s website showing myself with my title:
I assure you that the change isn’t some vain attempt to clear my blog of any pictures not featuring me, myself and I.
It’s more about the page where this new picture is found on Gladeo’s website.
The team photo is about a year-and-a-half old, and the Gladeo League itself has drastically changed since. For instance, I’m technically no longer just a part of the reporter-interns.
I’m the head of the League, the Managing Editor. The Superman to their Justice League. The Lex Luthor to their Legion of Doom.
Just not the Jesse Eisenberg one.
As a result you can this new-ish picture of me on the official staff page. Essentially where a bio would go, just without any text from me.
I wanted to bring things more up-to-date with this web development, as Michelle let me know she was setting it up yesterday.
Even if it isn’t technically that “up-to-date” due to my aforementioned lack of fur nowadays. In fact, when I was in a video conference with Michelle, it took her a long time to figure out why I looked younger until she realized we haven’t seen each other since I had foregone the follicles.
The visual change isn’t the only update I made to that Gladeo page on my blog, however.
Part of the reason I was in a video call with Michelle yesterday was that she needed to show me how to do some work on the inner-mechanisms of the website.
As I mentioned in my Homeless in the South Bay post, and many times before that, I’ve begun to accrue hours for my Internship class. The 120-hour goal will likely encourage me to go to more events or reach out to more possible interviewees, but at the same time it has encouraged me to take up as much extra work for Gladeo as I can.
Including now running the official website’s blog.
That’s right, I have a more traffic heavy outlet to shout my thoughts into now!
… Or I would, if that job wasn’t mostly about posting updates and such. The only assignment I’ve been given so far is copying off the last year’s worth of Facebook post updates onto the nonprofit’s website.
Once I see how that will come out in a tangible form, I’ll figure out the right place to point you all and flesh out my work portfolio with the PR-esque work.
Today I just wanted to relish in the increased responsibilities, expansion of my skill set and time sink for required Internship hours.
As always, great things should be coming soon enough!
I think so, anyway. Really the only reason I had the chance to finish this post so early in the afternoon is because my car crapped out on me.
You know, missing classes in the second week of the semester isn’t usually part of my game plan.
But my car battery has a vendetta against me apparently, so I guess that’s just how spring 2019 is going to go.
Originally I was planning on getting part two of my “old stuff from my desktop Mac” series out today (in spite of the fact that only 2 of you actually read the first one, come on guys I was proud of that). But then the unsung combination of homework, Super Smash Bros. and work meetings kind of distracted me from it.
The subject is kind of near and dear to my heart, so I want the post to look really solid before I put it out.
That being said, as a result I kind of didn’t have a post to put out for all of you. For most of the day I was totally fine with that, especially considering I put out that post last week talking about school stress and how I might fall behind on this blog stuff.
Except then I went to the gym, took a hot shower and realized that I would personally feel bad if I didn’t have ANYTHING to share with you all today.
So here’s my brief sharing something with you all today. It won’t be long, but it is actually a nice update.
While that “Burnout” post I linked just two paragraphs ago was a huge laundry list of stressors to work through, it really did turn out to be a crazy in-the-moment explosion of my self-deprecating lack of confidence.
Since then I’ve done other things like talk about Superman comics (a post that Scott from NerdSync actually noticed because I was overenthusiastic about @ing him, but that made me feel super good), find cool stuff on my old computer and play Smash Bros.
So mentally I’m in a much better place.
That better place has facilitated actually working through some of the stuff I had on my plate to a much more productive degree. Now that I’m out of my own head and just ranting for the sake of it, I’d say the main stressors of the next two weeks boil down to six things:
Three big end-of-term essays and three final exams.
Except wait, no longer are there six things!
As of about an hour ago, I officially turned in my Visual Comm essay:
It also made me feel better enough to justify spending extra time getting into writing on the old blog here!
Which completely defeats the purpose of my giving myself the out yesterday… But hey. I did say I have messed up priorities there.
I would also argue that going to the gym tonight helped me burn off some of the stress. Which yes, I know makes this into just another post-gym posting for me.
Except this time the topic I wanted to delve into is only related to going to the gym.
While working out tonight I spent some time listening to the Nerdsync podcast. I’m positive I’ve talked about them before in one of my “YouTube Recommendations” posts, but in essence Nerdsync is a YouTube channel that I came across while getting more into the comic book scene over the summer which really thrives on intellectual takes on subjects in (mostly) superhero comics.
After getting through all of the video content there I discovered there was a podcast starring the channel’s main head Scott and his friends Chris and Bryce. Since then I’ve been listening through the ~130 episode backlog during my daily commutes.
Episode 89, which I happened to be listening to while lifting weights, was one of their recurring Trivia Challenge podcasts where the three guys make up quizzes for one another based on obscure comic book or pop culture stuff.
Through the episode I discovered something so hilarious that it not only killed off more of my stress, but also probably added a few years onto my lifespan.
In the golden age of DC Comics, around the 1950s, there was a series of stories under the title of “Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen.” It’s one of Scott’s favorite things and has become one of mine as well because it’s quite literally the goofiest stuff you’ve ever seen Superman involved with, to the point that most of it doesn’t even sound real.
That’s the case with this particular Jimmy Olsen comic, Volume 113 from June of 1956.
In essence, this was a story in which Superman tried to convince Jimmy he was in a dream after the reporter accidentally got a photo of Clark Kent changing into the superhero attire. He did so by doing ridiculous things like duplicating eggs.
If that wasn’t already wild enough, take a look at the cover in which everything is exactly the same… Except Superman is upside-down.
Yet even if that’s a trustworthy source, I still cannot believe that this is an actual thing that exists. Not only is it a ridiculous premise, but the fact that they decided Superman being upside-down was whacky enough to grace the cover of the book is astounding to me.
He flies! It’s not weird that he can turn upside down!
Everything is just… So good about this.
So, so good.
After hearing that this excited I needed to share it with the world. Because hopefully it can help you all feel better about life as it has for me.
While that may have become one of the downfalls of DC’s big crossover event, now that I’ve seen the new Mission Impossible… I think it was worth it to save this movie.
Fallout, the latest in the long-running Tom Cruise tentpole series of action-adventure spy thrillers, is a great movie. Action-packed, well-acted and full of some gorgeous cinematography.
Yet… The whole isn’t necessarily a sum of its parts. For all of the wonderful things within Fallout, it feels incredibly bloated at its two-and-a-half hour runtime.
Frankly that was the biggest complaint my family pretty much collectively came to after leaving the theatre. Each scene on its own was pretty wonderful, but a good chunk of them could have been easily left on the cutting room floor without losing anything. Making the film better, somewhat more concise in fact.
For instance, as the trailers show, much of the movie is set in Paris, France. However, the climax of the film takes place in Kashmir. There’s an entire sequence between those two locations that takes place in London, England which could have easily been cut down wildly and happen in Paris as well.
There are also far too many action scenes. The most prevalent ones in the trailers, a fight including Tom Cruise and Henry Cavill in a bathroom, happens early in the flick. It’s wonderfully choreographed and edge-of-your-seat intense.
But then there are easily six or seven massive action scenes throughout the rest of the film which all give the same rush without a break. It’s exhausting in practice, despite the fact that each fight or chase is memorable on its own.
Peter Rosenthal puts it best in his three-minute review of the film for the Onion honestly:
But action is what’s expected of a Mission Impossible movie. Tom Cruise will always be doing his own stunts. It’ll always, always be fun and exciting — even if slightly overdone this time around.
What I hadn’t necessarily been expecting out of Fallout were the wonderful interactions between Cavill and Cruise, as well as some of the actually stunning shots in the film.
On the first point, watching Cavill come into the MI universe with such a robust, fun role actually made me mad. He is a great actor who really sells a complex (though somewhat predictable) character who fits right into an already well-established canon.
I really wish DC utilized him better. Because if I’m showing my cards, the DCEU Superman isn’t really that great in my opinion. But now I know that he could be fantastic if he was given a better set of circumstances to inhabit.
As a side note, when I mention Cavill’s character being predictable, the same could essentially be said for most of the movie. Many of the plot beats are set up well in advanced and fairly easy to read for anyone who has enjoyed their fair share of spy thrillers.
But I feel it’s a testament to Fallout’s screenplay that even when early film predictions one might have, do come out correct by the end, it’s still a wild ride getting there. A ride which takes those predictable ideas and does utilize them in ways which still have surprises and intriguing twists.
Honestly I think a good reason for that is the chemistry between Cruise and Cavill. While the other members of Ethan Hunt’s crew do still have significant roles, they take more of a backseat to Superman and he really steps it up.
The other thing I loved about Fallout were a number of the action set pieces throughout. As I mentioned, much of the movie takes place in Paris and boy do they make good use of that locale.
Fallout showcases a variety of things in Paris, from famous landmarks to smaller alleyways that paint a real picture of what can be seen.
Their use of landmarks in particular are very well done. Probably my favorite action scene in the film was a chase between a motorcycle-riding Cruise and the Parisian police. In it, there’s a long tracking shot of Cruise driving backwards through traffic in a circle around the Arc de Triomphe.
It’s a gorgeous shot and really well-paced within the scene to be exciting and cool without lasting too long as to lose its luster.
There are scenes like this all over the movie that are captivating… But like I mentioned before, falters in that there are arguably too many of them. There was enough content in Fallout to easily fill two movies, and a more hefty editor would have been appreciated.
The climax of the movie is especially bloated and honestly jumps the shark to a ridiculous degree. Which is saying something considering we’re discussing Mission Impossible.
I won’t give too much away. I’ll just say it was the clearest case of ‘they should not have survived this’ in the movie, which winds up highlighting how many times the characters should have died throughout the entire rest of the flick.
In spite of that, even the climax takes many clichés of the genre and presents them in a way that’s engaging. So I’ll give the filmmakers credit in that regard.
In all honesty, if the Mission Impossible franchise is something you enjoy, it’s likely you’ve already seen the movie. It’s certainly a re-watchable guilty pleasure of a series for my family. In that case, I’m sure you enjoyed this movie as much as we did.
Because in spite of its somewhat glaring issues, it’s still a fantastic Mission Impossible movie at heart. One with great action, stunning visuals, some well-crafted character moments and an intriguing collision of at least five-or-six different groups that doesn’t really lose focus or become confusion.
If you are new to Mission Impossible, however, just know that this particular entry in the series is very long and very draining to sit through. A good amount of it could have been cut out, even if it was great.
Basically the movie was too much of a good thing, but still good all the same.
Plus, as far as I was aware, it managed to have a number of beautiful female characters involved in pivotal action and character-driven scenes — and none of them got undressed once during the movie.
So good on you MI crew. Glad to see you had some restraint.
If I haven’t made it totally obvious around here, I like movies.
I like movies a lot. A good chunk of that love comes from my dad, who was a pretty serious actor for a while and continues to work in the movie industry, currently for Fandango as I’ve discussed in the past. Thanks to him I’ve seen all kinds of flicks from throughout cinema history.
As time has progressed, seeing movies with him (and the rest of my family by extension) has essentially become a fun exercise in script doctoring. While a ‘script doctor’ may be an actual industry term for someone who consults on a script before it is put into production, I mean it more in a post-viewing thought experiment sense. Being able to walk away from a movie and discuss what could have been done to improve upon it.
Granted there are elements of hindsight involved knowing everything that happens as a finished product rather than seeing it in its fledgling development. A development that may be plagued with other problems that lead to less than stellar end products.
But we discuss things with those points aside. We have no real qualms given that none of us have any intent to create our own movie anytime soon. It’s just fun talking about how we might have improved certain things.
Superhero movies have been an excellent source of that internal debate for the last few years. Especially thanks to the Marvel and DC cinematic universes attempting to create larger, cohesive universes. That kind of large-scale project opens up tons of opportunities to pull from previously established canon in both the comics and movies to determine what might be better ways of moving in the direction those studios are going toward.
DC movies are the obvious ‘easy target.’ You’ve probably heard all of the comments: They ruin a bunch of popular characters. They’re doing everything to catch up to Marvel in too much of a compressed timeline. The dark, gritty approach to superhero storytelling isn’t utilized well.
For the most part I can’t say I’d argue. There are plenty of recent DC movies that I thought I would love just based off trailers which wound up being disappointing. Suicide Squad and Batman V. Superman come to mind immediately.
However, there’s plenty of good things going on in the DC cinematic universe. Things that we all want to work out better in an overall context because of how iconic the characters are.
The Batman and Justice League animated series’ from the 90s/00s were huge parts of my childhood. I knew Batman and Superman and all of those characters growing up because of how iconic those shows were, given the fact that I was never much of a comic book reader.
Outside of the big characters like Spiderman or Hulk, I wouldn’t know anything about Marvel until they began their own cinematic universe. Though, to be fair, as amazing as that universe is there still are flaws. It just happens that the flaws are less noticeable due to how much is going well around them.
I would also say that the MCU has been a big thing to me because of how amazing an example it is of creating an extensive universe. Of crafting stories that all tie in together and create one giant experience.
For someone who wound up becoming a writer, it’s amazing to see.
But all of that aside, I feel like I’m getting too tangent-y with what should otherwise be a simple post. Basically, I love discussing the flaws and successes of each superhero movie with my family because of their merits as good cinema and because of the engaging universes they create.
That post-movie critique is frankly as important to me as the movies themselves.
This summer, I’ve taken those interests in post-critiques to a whole new level. My realm of consistent YouTube views has expanded into more analytical channels, rather than simply let’s plays and other video game stuff.
Some notable examples, because I’m honestly using this post as an excuse to promote these people include:
NerdSync — A channel focused on looking at not just obscure bits of comic book stories and trivia, but looking at them through the lens of the real world history that led to in-universe decisions. Great 10-minute watches which have taught me so much more about comics themselves that also often promote other comic book-related creators on YouTube.
Captain Midnight — More or less the same idea as NerdSync, examining decisions in comic books (primarily their movies) through the lens of real world decisions and general tropes surrounding them. Includes interludes on every video showing commercials and media properties from earlier decades related to modern-day cinematic counterparts that are very recognizably stylized and pretty cool.
Mother’s Basement — Kind of does for anime what channels like NerdSync do for comic books. Examining the problematic or successful underlying writing tropes and such which go into beloved shows. Loves to bash on Sword Art Online, which I find hilarious having never watched the show but knowing just how hated it is by anime fans.
Just Write — If you want to be a writer like I do, this channel is a good place to spend some time. They look at popular media (be it books, television, movies or some combination of the three) to pick apart specific traditional writing clichés or innovations. Some really notable pieces on shows like Westworld or the modern-day Star Wars trilogy that I love and have been able to use as some writing inspiration for my own novel.
These guys join a pantheon of other more analytic-focused channels that I now enjoy the catalogs of, amongst mainstays like Game Theory, Cinema Sins and Wisecrack.
None of these creators are the reason I decided to write this post in the first place, however. I found a brand new addition to this list today that really pushed me over the edge.
Nando v Movies is a channel that looks at all different movie genres (though primarily superhero flicks) through an analytical realm similar to the others I listed. Picking apart tropes and clichés to see what works and what doesn’t.
But Nando does something a little different to stand apart from the crowd.
He is, essentially, a very well-researched script doctor.
What my dad and I might do just based off knowledge of the cinematic universes we’re observing after watching a new DC movie, he does using a full breadth of comic book history to draw upon.
He quite literally acts out brand new scripts for scenes that either minutely or majorly change a film in a way that drastically changes things. I don’t think I’ve seen any videos of his that misses the mark in making both good and bad films better in some way, shape or form.
He doesn’t just look at the major cinematic universes too, though his work on lackluster DC flicks are pretty amazing. He also looks at the Marvel Netflix shows and other major blockbusters. Star Wars, Ready Player One, Jurassic World. All of which are given minor adjustments with so much heart that they feel like they could be easily canonical.
Even if he too acknowledges in part one of his Justice League rewrite that he has the benefit of hindsight and no movie-making pressure. That’s sort of where I stole my own earlier disclaimer from, as a disclaimer.
Side note, investigations and fan theories for the current Star Wars films have become some of my favorite things. Because I enjoyed the Last Jedi, but I’d almost say I enjoy fan-generated ideas for the Last Jedi better than what we got in theaters.
Now with all this said, I don’t always agree with the content of the creators I’ve mentioned here today. But I feel like that’s just as big a part of the magic behind watching them as the amazing theories and insight they’ve been able to cobble together for mediums I haven’t paid too much attention to.
The Internet, for as divisive as it can be, is an excellent place to pose ideas and invite civil debate. I love having the opportunity to compare my own ideas and headcanons to their own.
So that’s essentially my pitch for the day as I finish this post seeing I’ve somehow almost hit 1,500 words. Go out and find some analytical content for your favorite things.
It’s not only an excellent way to kill time, but an excellent way to kill it with engaging, thoughtful material.