Review: Mulan pricing

I can’t review Disney’s live action Mulan because I haven’t seen it yet. But I have had several conversations with people and seen a good bit of commentary on the “they are charging $30 on TOP of the Disney+ sub to watch it” debate. I even know of people who are pirating it (or at least say they are) because of the “principle” of paying on top of a subscription to watch the movie. I am against piracy. If there is a legal means of attaining the property, even if you think it’s ridiculous and unreasonable… no. Just no. The word is piracy – and that is a bad thing people. Always. The only time I have “pirated” media was when I could not find it legally (this was also like 10 years ago, the internet has evolved a little since then). Literally, I tried to reach out to the publisher listed on an old CD (out of business). I

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Review: Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker

I finally went and saw this one. I didn’t want to fight opening-weekend-rush but I also wanted to avoid spoilers (I mostly did). So my Balance was waiting a week and going at 9:30 on Friday morning. Firstly, there’s a rumor Disney fired (or is about to fire) the head of Lucas Arts (the Star Wars division). GOOOD. I don’t know if this person just doesn’t understand multi-movie franchises (you’d think they could just go talk to some Marvel people about it…) or if they just don’t understand plot. Or character development. Or you know…. storytelling. That is my non-spoiler review of The Rise of Skywalker. You have been safely warned that the rest of this review is probably going to have spoilers. Because I am going to approach this a little differently than a normal review. And I might “spoil” something from this latest movie in the process. The plot between Kylo Ren and Rey make me wonder (like

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Review: Alita Battle Angel

I know I’m a little late to this – it’s been out for more than 3 days so if you were looking for a review I missed the “important” window for reviews. But to hell with that, I watched the movie and I have opinions and you were crazy enough to come read what I want to say. I enjoy anime for one big reason – they are far more likely to have interesting plot lines that the “weekly reset” shows like The Simpson or Family Guy. I like plot damnit. Alita has plot – and about the level I expected of a manga turned anime turned 2-hr movie. In other words, they try to cram a LOT of plot into a LITTLE time scale. Which leads to my personal biggest beef with the film: the time scale. I couldn’t tell you if (most) of this movie was over the course of a few days or few months. It’s rare

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Review: Aquaman

Let me begin by saying, this review WILL have spoilers. The non-spoiler review is that this a fun movie. If you like the Fast and Furious franchise, I think it’s safe to say you will enjoy this (James Wan, also directed F&F7). I didn’t know this going in, but when my husband told me afterwards, I could feel the similarities. It’s a fun rompy-action movie with great special effects. Ok, so everything after this might be spoilery. Fair warning. Let me begin with the good. The action scenes are GOOD. Not always great, some of them might have gone one a fraction too long for me, but it was VERY GOOD. They were well choreographed and well shot (no shaky cam or other shitty camera tricks). The characters styles fit their personality (I always hate when the “well training tiny dude takes on gianormous dude hand-to-hand”). The colors were spectacular. It felt like a comic book. Nolan’s Batman was good, but I am

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Anime: Subbed or Dubbed

Ah, the ageless debate of subtitles vs dubbing over with native voice actors.  I have an opinion (shocker!). I am going to focus on anime because I haven’t seen many/if any dubbed Bollywood or the like.  And I’m ignoring bad kung fu dubs.  Some of them are better for the cheesy words-don’t-match-mouth-moving (the soccer one comes to mind) and again, my depth isn’t so great. Anime however, that I feel I have some “authority.”  I’ve seen more than 2. My short opinion is that subtitles tend to be better, but dubbed versions are damn convenient. My best example of this definitely shows in Jubei-chan: The Ninja Girl. There is a single line in one episode where the dubbed version (when I first watch this is what I had available).  She said putting on the eye-patch that transforms her into an awesome warrior was like “a bad headache.”  My brother was around and had seen the subbed version and said, “Oh no, you

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Review: Trigun

I took vacation and re-watched Trigun for the bazillionth time.  It’s less than 10 hrs once you skip intros and credits on the episodes (26 episodes which run ~20m each). But this time, as with many things in my life I’ve been seeing things through a lens colored by the current world.  Even trying to avoid the news while off work (staying out of touch!), it filtered in from a hundred small sources. So I watched Vash the Stampede struggle in his world and grieved. If you’ve never seen this late-90’s anime, you should.  This is one of the series I’ve recommended as a good introduction to anime.  It is funny and dark and fun all intermixed. It is long enough to help someone figure out if they can stand a longer-than-2-hour story arc but not the 10,000 episodes of something like Inyuasha.   It seems like just a light-hearted twist and then it interweaves these little hints of something “bigger” going

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Review: Pride & Prejudice

I love this book.  I have it in at least 3 different forms and always have it loaded on my table and/or phone.  It’s one of the rare books I keep around to pick up and put down regularly. It isn’t a great love story.  Damn, I get mad about the women in the book and their manipulation and the toxic society they lived in that led to those machinations.  But it it is one my favorites nonetheless.  I love Jane, the sister who loves everyone and lives in her own idealized version of the world.  I love Charlotte, the ultimate pragmatist.  I even love Lydia, the sister who you love and dread.  And of course I love Elizabeth.  The woman who doesn’t want to compromise her ideals for pragmatism.  She wants love; even at the cost of fortune.  She isn’t willing to give into her society that says material wealth is the only option for her. I would love

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Writing: I want to write a TV Show

I have been re-listening to Ready Player One – and it has made me go from “dislike” to “UGH THE WORST” on the movie.  I have moved my dial from “well, you can tell it was “inspired by” to “were they even trying?!?” And I know, they probably had a ton of difficulty getting rights to stuff (stupid copyright holders probably being greedy, selfish, bastards). But part of the problem is containing that scale into a movie.  I have been tumbling through my Plex list of movies and IMDB to see if I can think of a single movie that gives a scale to the universe that RPO should have had and honestly, the closest I get is Star Wars IV A New Hope, but that is journey movie – they have 3 major locations (Tattoine, Death Star/Alderaan, and Yavin) and they are SO DIFFERENT it helps.  Now, it might also be that I grew up so entangled in all three of the orignal

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Review (SPOILERS) Ready Player One [Movie]

I can’t review Ready Player One without spoilers.  I might be able to, but I’d have to go watch the trailer a bunch to make sure what I talk about is only from the trailer.  Oh, but can I assume people HAVE read a book that’s been out for 7 years?  I generally have a ~1yr policy on not spoiling books so….  (1 year from when you learned about the book is my general rule.) So you have fair warning: I will be spoiling both book and movie if you haven’t consumed them yet… well, stop reading or don’t complain. I’ve done what I can to make sure everything that might preview on Twitter or Facebook or elsewhere has given you time to go “noooo, no spoilers!” I have been avoiding other reviews so everything I say is my own. I suspected from the trailer, but I have to say I think it’s disappointing that they (a) left out the whole D&D part of

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Review: A Wrinkle In Time (movie) Spoiler Free

I have cried during more movies in the past 12 months than I think I have the rest of my life.  A Wrinkle In Time did it to me again. I loved this movie for so many reasons.  I loved Meg and Charles Wallace.  I thought both of them were so well crafted, you didn’t need to read the books to understand them (I think, of course it’s impossible for me to be sure).  I thought the Mrs.’s were superb and even though it’s not exactly how I pictured them, it’s exactly how I could have pictured them. Madeline L’Engle is one of my all-time favorite authors; like so many others I grew up on this book and loved it.  When I felt like an outcast, I looked around for my Charles Wallaces & Calvins in my life.  When I looked for them, I often found them waiting for me with open arms; and this movie captured that love and acceptance and

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