Archive for the ‘film’ Category

That GamerGate inspired episode of Law and Order is out…and just as awful as expected.

February 12, 2015

Zoe Quinn/Brianna Wu Proxy-“These guys, they just can’t stand women in gaming!”
-Detective-“What did they do to you?”
Zoe Quinn/Brianna Wu Proxy- “They leveled up”

Wow, I really don’t know what better word to describe the cringe fest of an episode Law and Order: SVU’s “Intimidation Game” was. It has everything from Ice-T using gamer jargon, awkward pale white dudes  as gamers, First person shooter dissing, damsel(s) in distress and of course a guy in a fedora wearing a bow-tie( I kid you not).

Screenshot 2015-02-12 15.07.24

I mean, really I’m not making this stuff up. From Ice-T spouting explanations for “camping” and what “FPS” meant to how bewildered Mariska hargitay looked the whole episode. it’s totally difficult to keep yourself from laughing at first. However, the laughter turns to consternation and shock when things quickly escalate and the Anita Sarkeesian Proxy, Raina Punjabi, is at first threatened, doxxed ,swatted and eventually kidnapped by a mysterious group of individuals that are an obvious analogy to the real world internet  group “Anonymous”.

Screenshot 2015-02-12 14.00.42

Except that Anonymous has never kidnapped, beaten or sexually assaulted anyone. The “Intimidation Game” is a macabre perspective on the current headlining issues in the gaming media. Since the producers of Special Victims Unit know that making an episode that centered around the very real but online threats that people like Zoe Quinn or Anita Sarkeesian have received would not be as gripping for their audience, they just  went ahead and portrayed these issues in a much darker and EXTREME light. I mean seriously, The episode ends in a Mexican standoff on a rooftop between the police and  two “Gamers” who go off on how women and “social justice warriors” are ruining video games while the camera literally switches to a first person perspective like it was a scene from a low budget Call of Duty clone. It looks as ridiculous as it sounds, trust me.

Screenshot 2015-02-12 13.35.53

There are some saying that they can not wait to see “GamerGater tears” over this episode as if this something to be championing as a “blow” to GamerGate. What people like that don’t realize,  is that this episode of Law and Order has set ALL of us and our favorite hobby back to almost mid 90’s level of mockery. Be you Anti, Pro or whatever side of GamerGate you’re on, no one has won and we’ve all come out of this looking exactly how the media has always portrayed us as, losers.

If you can’t bear to watch the full episode (I can’t blame you) you can watch a supercut version posted below. Let me know what you think.

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Star Wars is here to stay and here’s why.

January 15, 2015

Not too long ago,I posted an article on my personal facebook that was written by an obviously die hard Whovian stating ten reasons as to why Dr Who is superior to ‘Star Wars’. Throughout the article, the author goes on to list several inane reasons like “Dr. Who is more mature” “Dr Who has better aliens” “Dr Who has an overall message” etc. At one point the author even writes,

“Time has shown that Doctor Who is the franchise with staying power. Even with the upcoming trilogy of new Star Wars films due begin Star Wars mania all over again in December 2015, it isn’t hard to imagine SF fans in 2050 saying, “Star What? You mean that thing my grandparents watched? Excuse me, I’m trying to watch the latest series of Doctor Who.”

When I read that part of the author’s article, I couldn’t help but wince, It’s been 37 years since the initial release of the first film and there are still many more fans being introduced into the universe of ‘Star Wars’ with every generation. The statement is absolutely absurd and speaks volumes of the author and his assumption that ‘Star Wars‘ can simply “forgotten”. Star Wars isn’t ‘Lost in Space’, Star Wars isn’t ‘Seaquest: DSV’  and it’s certainly not ‘Andromeda’ unlike those, Star Wars is a force (pun intended) to be reckoned with.

I’ll use my own introduction to that story that happened long ago in a galaxy far far away.Back in 1997, I wasn’t into ‘Star Wars’ because I literally knew nothing about it. I just remembered there being a lot of talk and noise about the films coming back to theaters. In fact, I distinctly remember having a strong dislike for the films because it was ALL people were talking about. You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about them. I recall my mother taking me out to our local shopping mall, we passed by a stand full of Star Wars figurines and starship models, I remember my mother turning to me and asking “Would you like any of these?” and my young ignorant self replying “No, I don’t like Star Wars’.

That all changed relatively quickly.

I was in middle school, the holidays were right around the corner and an embattled teacher decided to sooth her rowdy class by choosing a video for us to watch. There were two choices, either we could all watch ‘Barney the dinosaur’ or ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. With a thunderous roar, the kids in my class, including yours truly all shouted EMPIRE STRIKES BACK!(with a few dissenting grumbles from a few of the girls in the class who would have rather watched Barney.That day will always be ingrained in my memories because it was the day that my life changed forever.

From watching Rogue Squadron battle Imperial forces on Hoth to witnessing the ever amazing Han Solo maneuver the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid while avoiding Imperial Tie Fighters, I was glued to the screen. By the time Luke finally confronted Darth Vader on Cloud City and got his ass kicked by his own father, I was hooked. I had fallen in love, the adventure, the excitement, to this day I still remember the feeling of it all. The amazing score by John Williams, the tension between the characters and the introduction of Lando Calrissian. It was simply just amazing! I just could NOT get enough of that universe. So after watching The Empire Strikes Back I basically dove right in!

It’s been nearly 17 years since I first saw ‘The Empire Strikes’. 

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Seventeen years of reading novels like Micheal Stackpole’s ‘Rogue Squadron’ series or braving The Thrawn Trilogy (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command), Seventeen years of listening to radio drama reenactments , seventeen years of collecting figures,starship models and Seventeen years of playing various video games that had events either happen behind,during or even in between the films, games such as ‘Shadows of The Empire‘ ‘Dark Forces‘ and ‘Rogue Squadron‘,  Hell, by the time I turned 25, I had already gotten my first ‘Star Wars’ related tattoo!Seventeen years, that’s a lot of devotion to a franchise that began and ended before I was even born.

SW1
With a series of new films and media on the horizon, the first of which being Episode VII ‘The Force Awakens’, For someone to simply write off ‘Star Wars’ as merely a fad that will fade away into obscurity (not unlike what had happened with Dr. Who when it was canceled in 1989 and nearly forgotten until the BBC revived the series), reveals that the individual simply doesn’t understand what that galaxy, far far away, means to the people who have loved and adored it for nearly three decades. I was inspired to write this post after watching the above commercial for the first time since 1997. It brought back memories of how I had originally started my journey as a fan and how I continue that journey till this day.

Comic-Con 2011 Held In San Diego

Be it through the Original trilogy, Prequel trilogy,video games, comics,TV shows or novels. Star Wars has clearly proven that is has the staying power to be around for many more generations and to create many more stories for fans of old, young and those yet to be born to enjoy. I’m hoping those of you that read this will be open to sharing your story and experiences with ‘Star Wars’. I’m looking forward to your comments! take care and May The Force Be With You…Always.

Star-Wars-med

Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi is white washing? I don’t agree.

January 6, 2015

So it’s came to light that actress Scarlett Johansson will be playing the role of Cyborg heroine Motoko Kusanagi in a live action adaptation  of  Masamune Shirow’s anime ‘Ghost In The Shell’.  Besides the obvious, “Why Scarlett Johansson?” line of questioning, some folks on the internet have already started calling out Hollywood for “White Washing” the role of the character, who’s story takes place in Japan and who is of Japanese origin.

First off, I’m not too sure about the casting of Ms. Johansson as ‘The Major’ I honestly feel like the casting director saw her in ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Lucy’  and thought those two characters she portrayed aligned with what American audiences would perceive Motoko as. Which in my honest opinion, would be doing the character a great disservice. Besides that point  there are people calling Johansson’s casting as whitewashing are using ‘Dragonball:Evolution‘ and M.Night shyamalan ‘Avatar‘ as an examples of Hollywood’s need to cast white actors in place of “clearly” Japanese characters. While I do believe whitewashing does exist ( Justin chatwin as Goku?) in Hollyweird, I don’t believe the same ridicule can be applied to a character like Motoko Kusanagi.

I say this simply because of the background and setting of Ghost in the Shell. Which, when you really think about it, could technically take place in any part of the world.Public Security Section 9 (The outfit that the Motoko leads in Ghost In The Shell) is basically an anti-cyber terrorist response group established under the Japanese government at some-point in the future.  Every aspect of that part of the story can be adapted in so many ways that’s it’s almost self-explanatory.Public Security Section 9 can be placed under any nation or this time around, be a multi-national task force with it’s members coming from around the world. If you saw 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow , Hollywood’s adaptation of the Japanese manga ‘All you need is kill’,  you know American adaptations of Japanese works can play out well on the big screen, even if character’s ethnicity’s are changed.

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow

While Motoko’s nationality is Japanese, however she isn’t drawn to look like a Japanese woman.For example in, how she is portrayed in the anime ‘Stand Alone Complex‘ her character looks like a Caucasian woman with goofy colored hair and an athletic build. Honestly, most anime characters are drawn to look Caucasian in the first place, with a few anime deviating from that (‘Paranoia Agent‘ and ‘Bokurano‘ come to mind) where the characters look Japanese.

Motoko as she is drawn in ‘Stand Alone Complex’

The character’s background as a body switching cyborg also helps to drive the point home, since Motoko  can switch to different prosthetic body (which she has done when her original sustains significant damage) she could technically have a different body if the story called for it.Hell at one point in ‘Stand Alone Complex‘ her partner, Batou, asks her why she doesn’t switch out into a male prosthetic body instead of a female one. Implying that she can just as easily be of another gender if she wanted to. So why would her ethnicity matter either?

I don’t agree with the alleged “White Washing” of Motoko Kusanagi, I get some of the outrage but I honestly feel it’s been misplaced this time around. With the recent releases of ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings‘ and the noise THAT casting created, I don’t blame people for being wary of Hollywood’s trickery but in the case of ‘Ghost In The Shell‘, I’m going to look past the actresses ethnicity and  just hope Ms. Johansson will do The Major and ‘Ghost In The Shell‘ justice.