Top Ten Most Relatable Characters 2016

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Courtesy of Google Images

So it has been a long time since I had another top list of characters I relate to.  This list does not replace the past two, it is an addition.  The first two came out relatively close together though.  Anyway, here are ten characters I strongly relate to at all in no particular order.

  1. Ana from Frozen: Shocking I know, I hate Frozen and I think Ana is annoying.  Also, most people relate to Elsa more, and you’d think I would considering how long I hid in my own prison (the closet), but I am more like Ana because I am awkward, I’m rash, and earnest.  Still hate her though.
  2. Luke Danes from Gilmore Girls: My former list had Lorelai, but I think I have some Luke in me too.  I’m grumpy, a realist, I over analyze things most people do not worry about, and I help people who do not always take it, but I keep doing it.
  3. Merriweather from Sleeping Beauty: She is the smaller, dumpy, fairy, I’m all those but the fairy part.  She is sarcastic and hates big headed people.  And her short stature and plumpness make her adorable and hard to take seriously, self-loathing I do.
  4. Lalita Bakshi from Bride and Prejudice: I have Elizabeth Bennet who Lalita is based on on a past list, but the deviation is that Lalita is more a charicature of the composed Lizzie Bennet.  So that is more me.
  5. Andy Sachs from the Devil Wears Prada: I do not care about fashion and I am a fly in the conforming and trendy milk.  I also feel like people do not appreciate what I do, yet I do surprise people sometimes.
  6. Olive Penderghast from Easy A: I did not start a rumor of her proportion, but I have been just as invisible, awkward, and we have similar ways of talking.
  7. Frank Chambers from The Postman Always Rings Twice: A more controversial choice.  I do not like staying in one place and although I have never been in a murder rap, my ex was a lot like Cora and I got fooled by her and screwed over.  This is a pretty personal one.
  8. Stephanie Plum from Janet Evanovich Books: I am sassy and have had a lot of failures, but I persevere.  A sassy screwball with a love of New Jersey.
  9. Allison Reynolds from Breakfast Club: People find me off putting and I am very strange.  If I were less inhibited I may be like her outside of my head.
  10. Seeley Booth from Bones: One would think it would be Bones herself.  But as much as I love anthropology, I am not her otherwise.  I am a gut person who speaks from the heart.  What I am not is religious.

There you have it.

Then and Now: Antz (1998)

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Courtesy of Google Images

Z, is a undervalued worker ant in a colony of ants and wishes he mattered more.  The colony is split into the two factions of worker and soldier and governed by the Queen ant who is often a puppet to the General ant.  Bala is the beautiful princess betrothed to the General who wishes she not so much mattered the way Z doesn’t, but that it mattered what she wanted.  The two are brought together by fate one night and then torn apart.  That sends Z on a journey to be worthy of Bala.  Meanwhile the General has a secret plan for a mass ant extermination.

See what I did there, I could have said genocide but they are bugs so I used Orkin Man parlance!  Yea I know you didn’t need me to explain but I am a reveler.  This film despite being animated, is not really for children or family viewing.  It’s not up there with South Park or Family Guy, but its not all audiences.  My parents got me this movie when I was young under the assumption that it was kid friendly for its format.  Luckily I was young enough that I didn’t even notice it wasn’t and I liked it regardless.  My first Woody Allen movie technically.  It has to be animated because how else do you make a film entirely populated with insects who talk.  They even walk only on their back legs.

This film is about a totalitarian society that muses about Utopia.  What kid would get that?  I knew something was wrong with how the colony worked, regardless of the fact that they were insects and in my world (especially mine because I lived in “Bug Heaven” Mississippi), ants were not worth much and I did not want them around.  I knew the Orkin Man by first name there.  However, this film was still too subtle for children, yet I loved it.

The system in the colony of designating worker or solider jobs based on alternating between the two with each ant that came up for inspection was very unfair.  They were freshly born larvae!  You can’t tell what they are meant for then!  But actual worth was not the point, they just used it to easily organize the split society and went on their merry way.  Z and Bala are clearly proof that the colony was organized wrong.  Z was brought up to be lesser as a worker but he had big dreams.  Bala had no interest being queen or marrying a man she did not love yet would not  last a day as either of the two factions’ many automotons because she was sheltered.  Only the General really was in the right place, however not in his right mind.

This film is full of puns and satire.  The ants and other insects aside from the termites were anthropomorphic more so than any family film talking non-human.  I still like the animation, film, and story as I did before.  I’m a bit ambivalent considering I disapprove of the colony’s thesis though.  So like the film my paradigm has shifted.  This film is not for kids really and I think today’s kids would not like it anyway.  Or maybe my generation did not either (I’m just special maybe).  Then again we love Dystopia/Utopia books and films these days in YA culture.  Anyway back to the point, I recommend the film to anyone else.

“Star Trek Beyond” Movie Review

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Courtesy of Google Images

Deep into their five year mission in deep space, the crew of the Starship Enterprise have gotten into routines and have forgotten what it was like not with constant momentum without feeling like they have gone anywhere.  After landing at a new space station they get a distress call to save a abandoned ship in a nebula.  The attempted rescue mission lands then on an unknown planet with some trapped by and the others at war with an federation enemy named Krall.  Kirk and his crew need to stop him from attacking the federation and ending countless lives.

I have to admit, I almost skipped this one.  I do like the new take on Star Trek, I have no qualms with it.  Yet the trailers and coverage did not really excite me.  All I could tell was that the Enterprise would be destroyed, again, the federation would be in danger, again, people would fall from many high heights, again.  And lastly, the same Beastie Boys song would be used as a theme, again!  I thought it would not be as good as the first reboot film or any better than the lackluster second film of the reboot. Well, I really need to not assume, because I was wrong.  This new Star Trek film was very good.

The humor was back to its original charm, the acting was up to par, the writing was decent enough, and the view was splendid.  This new series has have some derision, with re-doing Khan and the death by radiation to save the crew plot point (all that was just the second reboot film). This new film did not try to re-do an old plot or character, the things that it did do the same are main themes to the Star Trek series, the whole point to it really.  So you cannot judge that.  If that bothers you than you might want to reconsider your Trekkie status (a scary thought for me).  My worry about this film’s lackluster-ness was all the blame of the trailers.  I think Justin Lin (a Fast and Furious director) did a very good job, that was an improvement all on its own, not having JJ Abrams behind the camera.  That guy is a hack, I’m sorry.  I haven’t forgiven him for calling Star Trek “too intellectual” (what should it be? dumb?).

This was a very good last film for Anton Yelchin, they gave tribute to him at the end.  I was glad to see a new main character introduced who was not from the original series.  After they bastardized my beloved Khan I did not want to see them bring anyone else back.  One spoiler I must let loose is that the two main characters to get kidnapped were the two minority characters, Sulu and Uhura. Leaving the away team completely Caucasian except for the new alien good guy.  Honestly, I’d rather any two of the other main crew members captured, or at least not both minorities.  Because clearly the choice in kidnap victims had nothing to do with what they offered, since they are all exemplary.  But if only misc. crew had been kidnapped we A). wouldn’t care that much and B) that would be too easy for the main crew.

There is too many other spoilers crucial to my critique that I will leave out, but I will say this much, Krall makes no sense.  Basically his motive is entirely illogical and dumb, and if I were him I would have gone a completely different way.  The rest of the film makes up for him though, if it weren’t for all the really great parts of the film I would say Krall ruins it.  Little Mr. Khanberbatch was worse though, his film could not save him.

It occurred to me that this film had the potential to be a Kobyashi Maru type mission, but the neutral or not zone aspect is not accurate.  And the 2nd film had a more impossible scenario than this new film. But I’d like to forget the 2nd film exists because aside from the really well represented good for the many versus the one plot, it wasn’t very good.

I give Star Trek Beyond an A-.

 

“Ghostbusters” (2016) Movie Review

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Courtesy of Google Images

Scientists Abby and Erin, and an engineer named Holtzmann get proof of a ghost, so they dedicate fully to the ghost catching endeavor.  They are joined by Patty who works for the NY subway system who knows New York best and wants to protect it.  They must protect New York from a cataclysmic event of the spirit world crossing over to the real world.

Based on this particular Ghostbuster movie description, it really is not all that interesting sounding.  Yet the special effects of the ghosts, the action and the humor, and the strong women make the film enjoyable.  The plot may be unoriginal, but the events are new. Although as an over thinker, this film gave me a lot of questions, to be asked later in this review.

I did not have any concern about this film’s reboot status.  Hollywood does this all of the time, we might as well accept it and enjoy the ride.  I honestly do not think the original Ghostbusters was some classic, all it did was come first.  It is still silly.  Yea, I just made a large group of people become butt hurt, but its true!  The original Ghostbusters is gross and dumb.  What the reboot has in common with it is the use of today’s top comedic actors and the storyline.  But I do feel they stand alone from each other.  Comic books create multiple universes in one series, why can’t Ghostbusters?

My fear of this film presenting ALL of its jokes in the trailer, nearly happened.  A lot of the jokes were in the trailers, but some were not. Usually the jokes not used in the trailers are not as good, but they were.  This film has so many jokes that they could get along just fine.  I was impressed with this film’s swear ratio, it was pretty clean.  The coming attractions were mostly family films, so I guess that justified it.  I personally found the Chris Hemsworth character the worst part.  I know we could blame the writing all day, but I do not think Hemsworth has any comedic skills, at least not as a purposely comedic character.

Here is one of my questions.  As we see in the trailers, Hemsworth is possessed at “some point” I’ll say.  The ghost inside him remarks on how this body is a great one to possess because it is so phyiscally strong.  Why would the human body matter?  Wouldn’t you think the ghost could do anything regardless?  When Abby gets possessed (that was in the trailers too, so not a spoiler), she can turn her head all the way around.  Clearly she couldn’t do it naturally  So there is a hole there.

While I’m at it I’ll include two more question as the rest are too spoiler-ish.  Why is every ghost malevolent?  They were once living right?  What is their deal?  They all hated life when they lived and they want to ruin it for everybody?  You only become a ghost if you are evil?  Were they all republicans?  What?!  That bothers me.  A next question that connects to this, why do they need a doorway between worlds if some ghosts are already still in the real world? Someone (ahem Paul Feig) did not think this through.  That is sort of spoiler ish but the trailers make the doorway plot device…transparent.  Oh I kill me.

This film was fun to see after an incredibly long work week.  The new cast members were great.  Chris Hemsworth bombed, but I really did not get why he picked this project anyway.  I want to know in the comments if anyone got the Ed Jr joke with Ed Begley Jr in the beginning of the film (did you even catch it?).

Anyway, I give the Ghostbusters reboot a C+.  I know, that may seem low but it feels right because this film was pretty silly and too busy (and Hemsworth brought it the grade down too as he was slackin’).

Pokemon GO Review and Info

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A Pidgey I caught in someone’s yard, who I first asked nicely if I could catch.

I have been playing Pokemon Go since it came out in the U.S.  I know, it is a shocker for me too.  I liked Pokemon as a kid, but was never die hard.  As such when I became an adult I only looked upon it as nostalgia and nothing more.  Then I dated a girl who was OBSESSED with Pokemon.  She tried to convert me but all she did was make me hate it.  One of the Pokemon related things she talked about was a app to be coming out called Pokemon GO.  When we broke up I thought nothing of this app until it came out and I realized how fun it could be.  So, now I play.

Perhaps I am a poser, for playing when I do not really like Pokemon (anymore).  I was never a die hard fan so I cannot claim that I came back to it or anything.  But I liked the other aspects to the game which is the geo-tagging, camera utilization, and competition/greed.  I play it every time I think to whip out my phone.  I have not covered much ground, but I do venture out as the game requires such as covering my neighborhood and using it when I am at a place with WiFi.  I find joy in finding Pokemon at home or at work when I am on break because I “barely have to try.”  My data ran out 10 days before my next renewal, so now I am at a stalemate.  I need WiFi to really play at all for now.

I have found that I catch multiples of the same Pokemon a lot more than I catch one I do not have every time.  But the benefit of that is gaining more food or “candy” for certain Pokemon and that allows me to evolve them.  I seem to own the stockpile on Pidgeys and Weedles.  My pride and joy is that I caught my first Pikachu today.  I thought that would be rare, but there is a medal for catching 3 Pikachus, so I guess not.  I have not caught any very large Pokemon, but I only worry about that for my eventual battles.

I hit Level 5 this morning and before I could hit a gym my data ran out.  The nearest one to me is near a Catholic Cathedral and there is no WiFi around.  I say near because the stamp actually places it across the street in front of someone’s house.  I feel awkward standing in front of it to battle.  I have learned that talking to the homeowner if they happen to be outside makes it easier to essentially trespass into their property to catch something though.

As much as I love the app, it is not as sophisticated as I would like.  It will not track your kilometers or alert you when you are near a Pokemon if the app is closed.  Which would be nice.  I have yet to see a case where you can try to nab the same Pokemon as someone else in the same place, they see a different one. It cannot always tell you are right up on a Pokestop or Gym, as I said the landmark Cathedral Gym is across the street in someone’s fricken yard (and that yard is a postage stamp mini hill btw).  And you do have to delete and redownload the app a lot when it malfunctions and the server is shit.  You may open the app and it appears all your Pokemon are gone, or images do not come up, or it does not receive that you are using a lure even if it is portrayed on screen (really mad about that).  Everything but the latter can be fixed by delete and redownload.  A cool thing is if you have a malfunction while you have a lure in use and you delete and redownload, I so far do not lose that lure access, just minutes and seconds on the clock.  But I have lost Pokemon I rightfully caught when the game effed up the moment I caught one.

I am going to be playing less for the next 10 days, but when my data is renewed (I’m on 1 GB plan), I will play more yet cautiously.  I will not play at work except on break, I could not even if I wanted to break rules, their WiFi is not great.  But that is not why, I swear!  I know I am getting addicted, but I know if I get tired of it I will stop because boredom trumps addiction.  I recommend this app with the caveat to be thinking of your data plan and phone battery, also human decency.  Do Not Trespass!  You do not need to enter all establishments to get the Pokemon (that goes for Police Stations and the Holocaust Museum respectively).  Do buy something if you are going to hunt in the establishment, at least!

I give Pokemon GO a B+.  Yes, even with all its flaws.  I may have docked it if I liked Pokemon more, but honestly I do not.  My ex as bad as she was gave me helpful know-how to play this game like I know anything, I have to thank her for that (just for nothing else but the rest isn’t your business).  Have fun catching them all!

Then and Now: Aladdin (1992)

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Courtesy of Google Images

Aladdin is a homeless boy who steals to survive.  Jasmine is a princess who feel like a captive in her own palace where she must marry a prince or else.  Jafar is the Sultan’s adviser who cons Aladdin into stealing a lamp that holds a genie.  But Aladdin gets a hold of it and becomes the genie’s master and wishes to be worthy of Jasmine.  But Jafar has other plans.

This Disney film came out my birth year, so I hold it to high esteem as kind of my sign, like Capricorn or being born the year of the monkey.  Yes it is full of Robin Williams hamming it up and chock full of outside references that distract from the actual plot.  Having two people from opposites sides form an attachment from similarities is nothing new.  But the film is entertaining, colorful, and has a pretty bad-ass climax.  So I like it very much.

This film spawned sequels that were awful, but so have all the Disney sequels been.  If you just focus on this first film and forget the others, it is a good story.  The film looks like it ends with their marriage and supposedly ruling Agrabah side by side, but the sequels prolong it with the plot line that Aladdin is afraid of ruling.  They went deep enough into that in this film and show that he earns the right and learns how to lead from his amazing experiences.  I do not think the sequels handled it at all well to really give a deeper look into his fears.  but anyway, this review is solely about the first (and in my mind, only) film.

Jafar is a twisted villain.  I still squirm and chuckle all at once when he says, “Only One May Enter,” insert dirtiness here.  In the original VHS print of the film, there is a hidden subliminal message.  Aladdin is trying to fend off Raja by soothing it.  As he is saying “nice kitty…” we hear him whisper, “good teenagers take  off their clothes.”  Once the fans discovered this it was a treasure on its own.  But my DVD print edited that part out.  If I listen closely I swear it is still there only muffled further, but I think I just imagine it.

Back to Jafar, he is a serious pun game in the climactic scene.  That scene is epic in the fine print prank Aladdin pulls to stop Jafar.  Of course the sequels and a crossover episode with Zeus show what happens to Jafar afterward, the Zeus video is the only one I tolerate because it is a non-canon scenario really.  I seemed to have blocked out the Jasmine-Jafar kiss as a child because as an adult I was surprised and horrified.  But I have to admire her bravery, I would not have done that to distract anyone.  No siree.

Aladdin is still a favorite of mine and it is my birth year Disney film.

“Waitress” (2007) Movie Review

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Jenna is in a loveless and controlling marriage and she wants to escape him.  Her only joy is making pies at her diner job and she wants to save enough money and win a pie making contest to have enough cash to leave.  But when she realize she is pregnant, escaping Earl is much harder.  She then meets her new doctor who is a handsome married man who she starts an affair with.

This film is intermixed with original pie scenarios that Jenna comes up with.  Whatever is going on at the particular time inspires the pies.  Like hating her husband or not wanting the baby, and other examples.  She is the only one who can get along with the curmudgeon diner owner, Joe.  Her friends have their own troubles but they do not wish to trade places with Jenna and her predicament.

Her husband is an emotional and semi abusive man, played extremely well by Jeremy Sisto who plays troubled people often.  Keri Russel is Jenna and she plays a beleaguered wife who can’t escape.  Most women without children can make a decision to leave a bad guy, but has has all the power and she would have nothing to support herself on and no one around to help her.  Her lover is a goofy and awkward man who is stunned by her and wants to be with her even though they are both married.  He could be her savior and help her get away, but she does not want saving.

The pies Jenna makes look delicious.  And it is makes you want to try making your own original pies.  It is a very entertaining film and give perspective on abusive relationships.  I give Waitress a B.