“Waves of Change” – “Everything, Everything” Movie Review

With the vaguest of titles, Everything, Everything doesn’t offer a lot of promise by name alone. But is there ever going to be one that can explain the story of a teenager with an immune disorder, falling for the boy next door? Not really, but this very distant Little Prince reference will have to do. And with its mix of basic posters yet heavy load of trailers, this YA adaptation has quite the hill to climb – especially since its lead character can’t even go outside. But does all of that mean this film is a failure from the start? Well no, the case is quite the most lovely (though flawed) of opposites.

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Continue reading “Waves of Change” – “Everything, Everything” Movie Review

Best Worlds and Settings in Modern Sci-fi/Fantasy

Recently, I’ve been reading Literary Wonderlands: A Journey through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created by Laura Miller. It outlines literary works with the best world-building across history, from early myths to modern sci-fi/fantasy franchises. Inspired by this, I’d like to share with you some of the books with the most immersive settings I’ve ever read, books that had me walking their worlds long after I closed the pages. (I skipped the obvious ones like Harry Potter, which were of course featured in Literary Wonderlands.) Continue reading Best Worlds and Settings in Modern Sci-fi/Fantasy

American Gods 1×02, “The Secret of Spoons” and 1×03, ”Head Full of Snow”

It’s a double-post for American Gods! Episode 2’s Coming to America story introduced Anansi in a manner that doesn’t just strike a chord for black America, it’s the start of a symphony. It was raw, powerful, and true. The rest of the episode moved rather slowly, while Episode 3 had a bit more plot advancement and brought us deeper into the backstage world of the Gods.

Continue reading American Gods 1×02, “The Secret of Spoons” and 1×03, ”Head Full of Snow”

“The Prophecy” – “King Arthur” Movie Review

Guy Ritchie is a man with a particular set of filmmaking skills. With his smart dialogue, high energy action and distinct visuals, he’s one of those directors that stands out.  You know a Guy Ritchie movie when you see it. Sometimes this unique perspective works, while more recently it has resulted in some interesting flops. But do Ritchie’s sensibilities mix well with Camelot’s greatest hero? This is the question many a viewer will ponder while watching King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,  as it seems neither Guy Ritchie nor his fellow producers have such an answer.

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“Fox On The Run” – “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” Movie Review

The first Guardians of the Galaxy was a surprise that no one saw coming. A franchise built upon the shoulders of a talking raccoon, a giant tree alien, and other outer space ragamuffins wasn’t exactly the typical Marvel package at the time. But in the summer of 2014, the world was introduced to this crew, and audiences grew to love them, making the obvious sequel one of the most anticipated of Marvel’s quite action-packed release schedule. So does Vol. 2 of Star-Lord and company’s adventures hold up to Vol. 1? Well, if we’re talking mix tapes, this definitely seems like the kind made by a mature college student than a high schooler.

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Women of Shannara: A Feminist Look at Amberle and Eretria

 

I’ve mentioned the Shannara Chronicles by Terry Brooks several times before, and now with season two of the TV show tentatively predicted for Summer 2017, I decided it was time for a re-read. I chose to start with book 2 of the series, The Elfstones of Shannara, because that is where the TV show starts from. Published in the 1980s, Elfstones stands apart from many high fantasy epics by featuring two prominent female characters. Amberle and Eretria, while both involved in a love triangle with protagonist Wil Ohmsford, present two very different notions of femininity in a genre that often lacks any representation at all. But can they be said to be feminist characters? Continue reading Women of Shannara: A Feminist Look at Amberle and Eretria

American Gods 1×01: The Bone Orchard

Oh…my….Gods.

With its official premiere on Starz last night, it’s time to review the first episode of this much-anticipated series. For fans of the book and new worshippers at the boob tube, “The Bone Orchard” does NOT disappoint. I’ll be analyzing as someone who knew the book first, so some compare/contrast is inevitable. But I welcome comments from those who are experiencing this world through the show first.

Episode spoilers are a given. Best not to read if you haven’t watched!

Continue reading American Gods 1×01: The Bone Orchard

American Gods: The Women Will Rise

April 30th is almost here – the premiere of American Gods on Starz. I’ve been following the progress of the American Gods TV series since the first announcements about it. When I learned Bryan Fuller was attached to the project, I was excited, but cautiously concerned. Fuller’s NBC series Hannibal felt the ire of fans for poor treatment of its female characters. I feared that complex ladies like Laura Moon, Sam Crow, and Bilquis would be slotted into shallow stereotypes.

Instead, it looks like American Gods has taken the exact opposite road!

“Oh my god, guys, there’s this show that we’re doing and the women are allowed to be actual human beings, can you believe it?” – Emily Browning

 

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What Is This “New Adult” Genre and What Geeky Books Belong to It?

Perhaps your local bookstore has added a new shelf label or your favorite author has announced a new series under this mysterious category. In any case, you’ve found yourself wondering, what exactly does “new adult” mean, especially in terms of literature? New Adult is the next step up for those of us who love YA but have graduated into the next stage of our lives and want something that hits a little closer to home. Usually featuring protagonists aged 18–30, New Adult fiction engages with themes such as sexuality, developing independence, change, and embarking on a career. While Young Adult works are often set in high schools, New Adult is usually set in college or the early years beyond schooling. Continue reading What Is This “New Adult” Genre and What Geeky Books Belong to It?

Gender Neutral MTV Awards

1980: I WANT MY MTV !                      2017: I WANT MY MTV…GENDER-NEUTRAL!

Wow, turns out somebody was actually listening! In an interview with CNN, MTV’s president Chris McCarthy announced some changes to their annual Movie & TV Awards. Some new categories include “Best American Story” and “Best Fight Against the System”, but best of all, the show is doing away with gender-based categories, like “Best Actress”.

“[Today’s audience doesn’t] see those lines in the way that generations in the past have,” McCarthy said. “So we wanted to take those down. They felt really antiquated.”

And he’s right. Just recently, Billions star Asia Kate Dillon wrote to the Television Academy about such category names. Dillon articulately pointed out that if such categories mean ‘best performance by someone who identifies as this gender or that one’, then where is the room for nonbinary performers? How is someone like Dillon supposed to submit their work for Emmy consideration?

The Television Academy responded with surprising open-mindedness, saying “anyone can submit under either category for any reason.” Dillon opted for Best Actor, as the term historically refers to a performer regardless of gender. The MTV Awards is following suit:  they will use ‘actor’ to refer to all candidates in a category.

MTV Awards joins The Grammys and Britain’s National Television Awards by opting for non-gendered categories. But will this be the start of a larger conversation for Hollywood?

Catch MTV’s Movie and TV Awards on Sunday, May 7th.