ellestra: (muppets)
I saw Zootopia yesterday. It is as beautiful, funny and moving as everyone else says. The animation is great. The animals are very anthropomorphised but at the same time all the little movements - like the nose twitches - are so very animal like. And the ideas behind the world design were beautifully realised too. All the climate zones and different sizes of habitats and equipment for different sizes of animals. You can just get lost in the designs.

But the best part is the story.

Everyone talks about how great this film is about showcasing different kinds of prejudice (from bunnies to predators to sloths) and how even if you are discriminate against doesn't mean you don't hold preconceptions and aren't a subject to confirmation bias. It was heartbreaking to see Judy fell into it when she was always saying to everyone it is a wrong thing to do. But this is also the best part.

She tells her parents not all foxes are bad and they shouldn't believe in stereotypes but their warnings and prejudices do get to her. Like a little voice in the back of her head that makes her doubt the very things she says she believes in. So she took that fox repellent, told all about predators not being able to help their DNA, got scared of Nick. Because even if you try to not let the prejudices get to you if something is said often enough you internalise it eventually. Especially if you also fight the stereotypes about yourself.

But just like their words got to her so her words got to them. Her parents tried to follow her see beyond their prejudice and work with Gideon and see not all foxes are bad even if they were bullies as kids. So even if she cannot always stick to her ideals it still matters to say it. Even when you fail at them others can keep them going and that spreads around too.

It matter that she believes those things - both because when she treats others with care and respect it gets back to her (saves her life really) and it lets her s keep trying even when others (even her parents) don't believe in her. It's important that Judy recognises her mistakes and realises the horrible consequences of her prejudice. But for me it was even more important to see the positive ideas she believed in change the people around her. Because nobody can do it alone. And that cooperation how she managed to solve the case.

Oh, and my favourite in joke - was the ad for Moana (one of the not yet released movies Duke Weaselton was selling was Zootopia version).
ellestra: (sunrise)
Despite pouring rain I managed to get to the cinema and see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Everyone have already analysed every second of it so here are just the observations that stood out to me the most.

It was funny. Much funnier than I expected and it was mostly based on great interactions between characters. The chemistry between main characters is instant and great and you don't mind that they became BFFs (or fall in love) basically at first look (only Han is a little grumpy but that just adds to his charm). There is a lot of shout outs to the original movies both inside the story and just for the viewers. And the story is pretty classical peasant boy finds out his destiny is to save the world but she's actually a girl so she even gets to save herself and that was great. She does rescue her love interest just like it always happens in these stories. But even the tropes in the story were mostly done in a fun and enjoyable way and the interplay of the old and new elements and beautiful visuals to make this great film to watch.

There were few moments they were a little too obvious. I went in completely unspoiled but I still knew exactly what the fate of Han Solo will be the moment Leia mentioned trying to talk their son out of being on Dark Side (like he went and joined Scientology or something). So when went on that bridge I knew the only way he'll comes out of it was down. But the "dying of the light" behind him and the lightsaber through the heart were so over the top symbolic I just spent that whole thing rolling my eyes. Still, it was sad to let Han go - he was always my favourite (like most people) and incredibly fun in this film (not to mention the crazy stunts with hyperspace jumping). But I was also expecting they are going to kill all the old cast so the new generation can take over (and just like old film did with Obi-wan and Yoda) so I'm also glad we still have Leia and Luke.

The First Order flags and looks (and the Empire before that) had distinctly Nazi looks but I thought they went a little overboard with Domhnall Gleeson's character basically going full Hitler on that speech. This was not a comedic scene but it made me giggle because they managed to combine to ultimate movie evils - posh British accent and Hitler (and he's ginger). And that guy doesn't even use Force. But I loved him because he was such a wonderful prick to Kylo Ren about everything (tattling on him to Supreme Leader and enjoying his every misstep). I can imagine these two in an office type comedy (only with more dead planets).

The last scene was also a little ridiculous. I know it was supposed to be moving but they just stare at each other silently for so long it started being funny (it also felt like the whole thing was in the film only to have Luke in the film). Also he was gone for years but he knew where he was going (left a map) and it was close enough that Ray just flew there to get him so it's not like searching for that place took him years. It looked like he failed at Jedi school so he left home and abandoned everyone to brood in Ireland and stare at sea (and Han went to have fun adventures in shipping). While Leia did all the actual hard work of fighting the bad guys and maintaining alliances. Way to go guys - abandon the work for fun and side projects while woman takes care of everything.

The current most popular theory is that Rey is Luke's daughter. I can see that too. Someone did abandon her on Jakku and never came back and Luke did that basically to everyone so why not her too. And as everyone points out she is a tech genius on a desert world with strong connection to the Force. Just like Anakin and Luke. But thorough the film I also wondered if she might be Leia and Han's. Rey and Han were shown to be so similar - literally thinking the same thing and understanding each other without words and then she basically takes inherits his ship. Also the way they often show Ray and Kylo Ren mirroring each other - identical but opposite. She is the daughter Han didn’t know but who wants to be just like him and Ben is the son who knew him and rejects him. It’s very mythological. I’m fine with her being Luke’s daughter but the foreshadowing here that he was Han’s and Ben’s sister was pretty heavy. (I’m not the only one who thinks so.) But no matter whose daughter she is it seems implied pretty hard she is a Skywalker (that suspicious cut when Leia asks Han who the girl is made me wonder if they know) and that makes the whole epic story about battle between Light and Dark Side of the Force a family affair. Again.

I know these may seem like I didn't like it but I did. It is great entertainment and Rey was awesome, Finn was precious, Poe was likeable (limited screen time he had) and the old guard characters were great to see again. I saw a lot of complains about Kylo Ren - that he isn't as competent nor as scary as Vader but I thought he perfectly captured brooding and anger issues of young Anakin (both also slayers of children) so he seemed a lot like his grandfather actually. And I would like to see more Maz Kanata. She was great. I also don't care about the scenes that were in trailers that weren't in the film (partly because I stopped watching trailers few weeks ago - there were so many of them) but I'm sorry that the changes in story for final cut meant all Maisie Richardson-Sellers had left is one staring scene before being blown up.
ellestra: (sunrise)
This is the week when they tease us with the incoming attractions but we al know that not all that looks good in trailers fulfils the hype. We are grown ups well acquainted with disappointment. We can manage our expectations. We can... Oh, fuck it. So let's just allow ourselves enjoy it.

Jessica Jones full trailer is finally here and it's awesome (we don't even see much of him and I'm already revolted by the Purple Man)

And here's another thing that will premiere on 20 November - Amazon's The Man in High Castle. I loved the pilot (you can see the first 2 episodes here for free) and this makes it look even better than I hoped. I want it to succeed so badly it hurts.

All the Star Wars trailers put together in one - looks pretty epic, doesn't it?
ellestra: (skye daisy johnson)
Marvel has delayed Captain Marvel once again. This time it's to make space for the Ant-Man sequel. At least it will be Ant-Man and The Wasp this time. Also the Internet is buzzing with Kevin Feige comments about fan-casting, especially in the context of casting Carol Danvers. Many think it means he wants Ronda Rousey to play the role but I think he just means the they like to look at what fan propose for ideas but it daoesn't mean they will agree. They do sometimes (Chris Evans was a massive favourite for Cap) but in the end they will pick whoever they like (and even if that's not going to be your favourite it's going to be fine - most actors are going to be fine in those roles).

The Charity DubsmashWars between Team Carter and Team SHIELD has posted it's last round. It's all about group effort and I'm sorry to say that it looks like SHIELD is still being infiltrated by HYDRA. Team Carter on the other hand is backed by Disney. We all know who has the better chance at world domination (All Hail the Mouse).

Here is Jessica Jones' day from waking up till working till early. In teaser trailers.

ellestra: (cosima)
So the rumour has it Tatiana Maslany has been cast in a lead role in the next Star Wars standalone spin-off movie. It still hasn't been officially announced but all the signs and unofficial sources confirm it's true. I wish her all the success she deserves but I hope she'll keep doing Orphan Black. Being Human never really recovered from Mitchell's death. For now we have all the Clone Wars jokes you can think off.

The American remake of Broadchurch just died but that doesn't discourages them from trying again and again. Newest victim - Black Mirror. I have no idea how they plan to turn that into an American format TV series. Also Luther is getting Americanised. I don't really see it working as 20-something episode series but maybe the original creator do.

In Joss Whedon's Buzzfeed interview he elaborates on his words about his criticism on excuses for lack of female superheroes, not doing any more Avengers movies, maybe doing Captain Marvel and his own projects including a film about female Batman-like character. He's also sad that Fox has all the X-Men with all the coolest female characters and I agree. What is worst for me they really not doing much with them and there are so many good stories there. But we cannot know that Marvel/Disney would've really been better. Their female characters are still missing from merchandise.

I'm back

Dec. 7th, 2013 10:57 pm
ellestra: (tiger)
I'm not dead. I was just busy and tired and then I looked at the news and I that destroyed all my will to write. But it's the end of the first week of December now and it's time to change the month on my layout so here are some news.

The first photo showing confrontation between Sarah and Rachel Duncan and some of the information about the second season of Orphan Black has been shared during interview with the creators of the show. And the first trailer for the second season didn't show anything new but it let us know the show is coming back on 19th of April.

In film world they are casting new Sarah Connor in the Terminator remake (I'm starting to think there are meeting where the whole pitch for future film is "what haven't we remake yet?"). The most talked about choices are Emilia Clarke and Brie Larson but Tatiana Maslany's name also get mentioned. But what really got me was the news that there is also new Terminator TV series in development. It just made me so sad and angry because I still miss The Sarah Connor Chronicles and why can't we just have more of that? I know I didn't like the idea of T:TSCC and it turned out to be awesome so I probably shouldn't judge the show before I see it but I'm just so attached to the versions of characters from T:TSCC so much I can't imagine caring for the other incarnations as much. Also their exploration of AI sentience. I don't want to go back to just programmed to be good or evil robots. On the other hand this is produced by some of the same people who did T:TSCC so maybe it'll be all good.

Disney seems hellbent on owning every piece of our childhoods. And this time it's all the future adventures of Indiana Jones. Which means that there most likely will be future adventures of Indiana Jones which I don't mind per se, as I didn't hate The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as much as there rest of the Internets seems to, but I'm afraid that it'll just mean another reboot.

I know they did pretty well with what they got so far but we haven't seen any of the Lucasfilm properties yet and most of the rumours about Star Wars seems horrible. And Saving Mr. Banks is coming to remind us what horrible things they did to Mary Poppins (I love those books as a kid - read them over and over again). But then again they give us things like this:

This is how evil seduces you - it's just so much fun.
ellestra: (muppets)
The BBC miniseries based on Susanna Clarke's novel Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell has cast both of the titular characters. I never heard of Bertie Carvel but Eddie Marsan played pathetic friend in The World's End and the villain in Hancock and I can see him being Norrell.

The chart from Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer and illustrator Jeremy Zerfoss shows life cycle of a story. It has stories as some kind of weird amphibians and made me feel nostalgic all those ours spent memorising life cycles of amphibians (and other organisms - nothing beats fern).

Isaiah Stephens is posting a series of images showing Disney princesses dressed up as other characters - like this Mulan as Xena:

He is still adding more.
ellestra: (muppets)
When saw Wreck-It Ralph they've first treated us to a short, black and white, hand drawn animation. Here it is now - available to everyone:

The new Muppets movie is to be called The Muppets…Again! and the first official photos are out.

How LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy convinced J.J Abrams to direct the next movie and her plans for the Star Wars and work with Spielberg from Raiders of the Lost Ark to Lincoln. I'm going to wait and see before I have any comment on the new Star Wars movies because on one hand there is the last time we got new Star Wars but on the other Disney has done really nice things with Marvel.

Speaking of Marvel - as we all know SHIELD is coming to TV and Clark Gregg would be reprising his role as Agent Phil Coulson and it's not a prequel but sequel to Avengers. Is he a robot? Was he resurrected? Never died? Oh and Cobie Smulders might show up in it too from time to time.

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