No words

just

The excitement is real. 

March 30th, here we go!

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Please stop

I’ve been reading/watching reviews of The Fifth Wave (most of which are highly negative) and I’ve got say Hollywood, please stop adapting YA novels into films. And I’m saying this as a big YA fan. 

You’re making us all look bad.

The Problem?

Hollywood is adapting older YA books that focus on dystopias and love triangles and insta-love into films when, more and more in the YA, these trends are moving out of favor.

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It’s all about timing and honestly, you missed the boat when it came to adapting books like the Fifth Wave into a movie. The Hungers Games: that was good timing, Twilight that was good timing but now–now is not the time to be releasing adaptations of generic dystopian YA. 

Get with the times. Right now in YA, people are talking about diversity, from stories about minorities, LGBTQ characters to characters with disabilities. 

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Freeform’s Recovery Road is a great example of a newly adapted YA book done right. Where in shows like Shadowhunters (by Freeform again but a different team), the diversity stinks of studio heads wanting to slip in token minority characters to appeal to audiences (at least they know what’s up), in Recovery Road the changes genuinely work to bring more life and breath to the work and characters themselves, and that’s what makes the show so great. 

Studio heads should be wise to the changes going on in TV and the YA scene. Instead of optioning the same generic stories that have come and went within the YA scene, they should look at the books being written by diverse authors and about diversity, and make them into one of their next blockbuster films.

Diversity in YA isn’t a trend, but if you’re in the profession of chasing them, I would suggest not missing out on the diverse stories being released in YA today, because if you do then you aren’t  just missing the boat–you’re missing out on a movement.

Repost: Jungle Book Trailer Review

(tumblr was acting weird and was sourcing this post as belonging to youtube. Ummmm I’m pretty sure I wrote this review.)

Trailer Review: The Jungle Book (2015)

This is a good trailer, but I’m confused.

What I like:

Scarlett Johansson’s voice over: I love her voice

the color palette of the movie: like the dark greens and golds

the voice over with the cuts: fits nicely

Lupita’s in it. Yayayayaya

What I don’t like:

Scarlett Johansson’s voice over with the snake: I’m guessing her character is the snake in this movie??? but like, it felt off for some reason

The dark tone: is this a children’s movie? because it doesn’t feel like a children’s movie. It feels your generic post Dark Night superhero trailer with the dark undertones and the unsettling origin story but like…for kids???

 isn’t the jungle book supposed to be about some happy kid with his tiger friend (or something like that?) who sings with him and stuff. I mean, that’s what I remember from vaguely watching it as a kid (I’ve always hated movies where animals talk-except for the Lion king which I adore, and finding nemo and a few others–basically the movies where they don’t just feel like talking animals)

I’m confused by what this movie is trying to do. Who is it trying to appeal to? Adults? to their nostalgia? to kids? to action movie watchers?? Who?

Summary: this trailer, while good, confuses me. It’s not an action movie, not children’s movie not really anything, especially since no plot of any sort was revealed in the trailer.

Final Score:

3 Confused Cosmos: make this movie into a musical.

Playthrough: Life is Strange

I started playing Life is Strange. I’d watched a play through of the first and second episode like a year before, and I’ve been wanting to get my hands on it every since so, last night, I took the plunge and bought if off of Steam. I’ve got to say, I’m really enjoying it right now.

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Choice

Watching the playthroughs, it was always so frustrating not being able to whisper into the commentary’s ear what to do. Playing it is so different because I’m finally making the choices that I think will progress the story and effect the characters in a unique way. I think that’s the main thing that makes storytelling in choice driven games so different. A friend of mine recently wrote an interesting article about this issue of choice and narrative. In it she writes,

“the point of dialogue choices are to try and understand what the character’s
motivations are, and then to play them accurately….Character development and empathy for the protagonist make us care about changes in story value. This isn’t “meaningful choice” as defined earlier but it is storytelling, and strong storytelling at that.

You can read the full article here, and you should because it really makes your rethink how player choice can and should impact narrative.

In Life is Strange for instance, the way time travel works might not be conventionally considered as “meaningful choice”, but it is used as a compelling narrative tool to add another dimension to player choice.

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(I’m looking at you Squall)

Where in more old school games, you might save and turn off your console (sorry I’m a console gamer at heart) and start up the save again, in Life is Strange you don’t have to and its presenting itself as a really unique and interesting method of storytelling.

It really makes the act of decision making much more poignant to the player, because not only must you make a choice, but after rewinding time and seeing the potential outcome that choice has, you have to decide how you want the scene to play out and stick with it–and that’s the hardest choice to make after all.

Playing through the first episode, I wasn’t  as focused on changing the story as I was in changing how Max developed. In fact, that’s why I found myself enjoying the smaller conversations with different characters so much. I loved being able to change Max’s relationship with them based off   dialogue responses. I loved watching the interaction unfold and rewinding, and responding to them. Oh, and don’t get me started about the soundtrack and the art and directing. It’s stunning, haunting and gripping. I just had to say that before I signed off.

I’m looking forward to having my characters, and my relationships change and develop over time.

Life is Strange Episode 1 gets four golden ponyboys.

 

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Trailer Review:  Suicide Squad Trailer 2

It started with Dark Knight of course, but then you had Man of Steel which was essentially a bore fest, and Avengers Age of Ultron with it brooding prepubescent “everything sucks, I can’t trust anyone” plot. 

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(I see you Hulk and Black Widow)

With that in mind, I’m really enjoying the different direction the Suicide Squad Trailer  is taking with its tone.

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Unlike Guardians (which I enjoyed) which was almost straight a narrow on the comedy side and Ant Man (which I haven’s seen but god help me I’ve seen the trailers) which (at least in its trailers) seemed on the campy gags side, Suicide Squad’s new trailer seemed to be having all the fun a good super hero movie needs to be at least somewhat enjoyable while maintain the dark and complexities of its characters.  

The choice of Bohemian Rhapsody really worked to convey the dual tones potentially working in this film. It’s fun, but it’s also very twisted and tragic at the same time.

I haven’t been excited for a super hero villain movie in a while, but this it’s shaping up to be something great. Fingers crossed and four and a half teenage suicides (don’t do it) to this trailer.

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Check out the new trailer in all its glory