Enola Holmes is a Better Mulan movie than Mulan 2020 (a Review)

Sherlock Holmes might be one of the most perfect properties in the public domain ever created. The skills of deduction, crime solving, and wit can be used, rearranged, deconstructed, reconstructed, parodied, and everything in between. That makes anything after the original stories more an exercise in expanding the scope of what a Sherlock story can be (you know, like secret sisters and my favorite story being turned into a dog and not a secret society of people with red hair). This leads to a varying range in the quality of said stories too.

This preamble takes us to the Millie Bobby Brown star vehicle, Enola Holmes. She too is a secret (or more surprise to us the audience) sister to Sherlock and Mycroft, only this time left abandoned with her mother after the death of their father and her brothers leaving. She was then raised to be strikingly independent by her mother. Teaching her life lessons and skills over a classical education. It was a good life that is thrown off course when her mother disappears leaving only a box of coloring utensils and book of flowers. When the Holmes brothers return Mycroft threatens to send Enola away. Enola, in turn, realizes the secret message her mother was trying to send and runs off in search of her. Upon her travel she runs into the son of a nobleman, next in like for the House of Lords whose life is in danger. It is then up to Enola to find out what her mother is up to, save the life of the young lord and evade capture from her brother. The game is truly afoot.

The film is surprisingly good. Not shockingly good. It’s not an amazing film or anything, but when all the trailers painted the film as a cringe fest it was a nice surprise to get a smarter film than that. A film that is actually about something, seeks to use its protagonist in a compelling way, make an actual role model for young girls, and when watching those same clips in the film are clearly more to be cheeky jokes than taken absolutely seriously.

Cheeky is often the tone of the film. It does have some far more hard boiled moments that are reminiscent of the Guy Ritchie films, but is often far poppier, lighter, and closer in tone to a mid-90s Disney live action film. The world can pop but is often rather basic in terms of sets and world design. Not a visionary style, but works.

It is more of a detective story than it seems on the surface. It takes quite a while for the plot to fully reach the surface, but when it does it is satisfying enough. You could put the clues together easily, feels fresh for a Holmesian mystery, and focuses on the stories main theme.

That is right, a movie about Sherlock Holmes having a smart, strong willed sister who must go out on an adventure alone in and use the skills she acquired by her feminist mother to save a white man does far more than dress the part. The film is expressly about the future and the power women have in that future. It uses the strict Victorian setting well in that respect. Enola gives a strong contrast to the rest of the women she runs into, and is shown to be competent but still make mistakes (even though no one would complain if it was Sherlock who did the exact same things but made no mistakes). It is helped that Millie Bobby Brown is a phenomenal actor.

Millie Bobby Brown seems to be the Emma Watson to Finn Wolfhard’s Daniel Radcliffe. As in to say (the internet ruined me because I know there are creeps who are waiting for her to turn 18 and proclaim how attractive she is in gross ways. Just like Selena Gomez Ariana Grande, or the Jenner Sisters) she is certainly a far stronger screen presence that can flow from emotion to emotion with ease. Can adapt well to any scenario she is in all while still feeling like a kid. She is truly a standout in the film and by far the best part in it. She turns what should be cringey dialogue into believable phrases that feel almost iconic. Some of her 4th wall breaking chats do get gratting, and the she can’t make the opening and closing voiceover work to save her life (no one could), but she does great.

The only other standout is Henry “The Chin” Cavill as Sherlock. It is no secret that British men were often incredibly withdrawn folks. Cavill plays him that way and forgoes the excentric weirdos of Rober Downey Jr and Benedic Cumberbatch and focuses on that. His Sherlock seems to have a lot more going on under the hood. Refined, but still ever observant, sharp, and quick with hints of that outgoing nature. An interesting take that, along with the lack of a Watson, makes it feel like he’s still early in his career.

This film shares an odd amount in common with the 2020 crime Mulan. Both have highly competent women going out into the wider world in search of a cause connected to family, and deal with larger political themes around a less interesting male. They also are saved from being stabbed by the trapping they hide themselves in. difference, of many, is framing and character. Enola works hard, is shown to be outgoing and easy to like. She is shown struggle and works through it, and deals with the political issues directly as a example of why they work. The future is women not because they sometimes have super powers to help the totalitarian government, but because they are just as capable when given the proper education and challenges. They will rise (also the mother, played by Helena Bonnem Carter, because of course, is kind of dropped with no follow up which is weird but not movie breaking).

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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Hot 100 Review: Savage Love (Laxed-Siren Beat) by Jason Derulo and Jawsh 685

Watch the video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gUci-tsiU4I

Jason Derulo is a really interesting artist. He’s been around quite a while for someone whose songs are usually maligned. I always found him fun, but misusing his powers of a great voice to make really dumb songs. Not all bad. Wiggle is one of my favorite songs for its utter stupidly and silliness (kind of like WAP in that regard).

Savage Love, this remix with Jawsh 685, might be the best single he’s ever had. Part of that comes from the new, Laxed-Siren beat. It gives it just enough life to feel emotionally impactful without being too bare like the original or animated like the remix with BTS of all people. It pairs well with his voice, Derulo’s secret weapon. Together they give an enjoyable mix that’s easy to get lost in.

Lost would be the operative word for the lyrics. Theyre not incoherent or seeming nonsequiters like FRANCHISE. They all make sense and pair well together. But the problem is the use of the titular words “savage love.”

The context around the title line all works. Narrator finds himself in a relationship he didn’t expect to fall hard for only to find out the person got with him to spite an ex. Unfortunately more feeling develope into the savage love.

From the lines in the song it should be straightforward. “Savage love/Did somebody, did somebody/Break your heart?,” “But your savage love/When you kiss me/ I know you don’t give two fucks,” and “You could use me
‘Cause I still want that (Your savage),” all feel like they explicitly say she is a tough heartbreaker who can hold her own but will drop a guy in a second. Only the framing is confusing. The narrator plays that as a good thing since he’s fallen for her, hence the upbeat music. The seems discordant to what the intentions of the song should be. Savage love doesn’t sound like love but lust. That’s fine too, but doesn’t make sense. In fact, the original, more low key, version of the song would work better in that regard because as the song is now it feels more like Jason is hooking up with someone who just got out of a long term relationship and sees them as his end goal. All of that being done under the influence of party supplies. That’s not bad, but seems misguided.

The video is of Jason recording the song, drinking and brooding with his dog. It’s a simple video that supports the more inebriated nature I mentioned above, and brings a far more conflicted nature up to the surface. The song alone feels celebratory while the video makes it seem like he’s so unsure of if he should be with the woman. She is using him but that is also what makes him like her… I think? It’s a very simple but effective video. I am also a sucker for high contrast neon along dark rooms (Hence why I contributed to half the view count on Starboy by The Weeknd).

For all the talk of confusion over the title and it’s meaning I find that to be so little of the song. That’s the downfall of writing as I think. I spend so much time of stuff that doesn’t matter because it’s more interesting. I find the song a lot of fun. It’s not as grating, dude-bro, and faux-player as his previous hits. His voice work is amazing even if he uses voice manipulation too much for effect, and love the beat. The opening bars are seared into my brain. It’s a really fun song that has a word combination that confuses me.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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It’s Official: The Good Place is One of my Favorite Shows Ever

Since season one I saw the Good Place as something special. A series with an almost perfect concept to let wacky hijinx, fun characters, heartfelt scenes, and strong thought provoking ideas come up and play out naturally. All of this taken to the next logical extreme with the now famous season one twist. A twist so obvious but well constructed that it changes the game in a fresh way. However it also caused the very first feeling of FOGO (see that post for more details). Every season and season finale kept pushing that feeling of FOGO.

In retrospect, season one feels too safe. In other words it keeps up the facade of the bad things happening in paradise for too long to be effective. Playing off the audience’s knowledge of sitcom formula and structure to hide it is genius, even using Friends as the example to build off of is strong association, but considering how the other seasons go it lasts too long.

Season two is broken into really three sections… actually I’ll say every season after the first is. The first section (or last in season four’s case) is setting up the new status quo. Michael constantly failing and joining the Cockroaches starts season two and Michael making sure the gang gets back together in the real world in season three set up what happens later. Following that, each season has its own focus but has a similar end goal. They try to find the truth and become better only to realize they must travel somewhere else and outsmart the Bad Place in order to do it. Season two takes them to The Judge and Season three takes them to accounting. In both they find out the problem they’re seeking to solve is beyond the problem in front of them, but is instead, systemic.

Season four is different. Season four has the same three sections but broken up so that the ending is more of an epilogue and final statement about people instead of setting up a new status quo. This ends up being a double edged sword. On one hand it makes for a really strong ending. On the other is makes the first half of the season kind of uneven. To be fair they set up a hard scenario. It’s like season seven Buffy. The experiment must take place to see if people can get better, but we also can’t cut away from our original group and their growth as people either. In the end I think they pick the better option of focusing on Eleanor and the Soul Squad, but it does lead me to having questions of how much better did the four participants get in the experiment. For even as it is a weaker season overall it is still good because the show is more than its plot.

A show is made up of characters and there have been few so well drawn, written, and realized as Elanor Shellstrop, Chidi Anagonye, Michael, Janet, Jason Mendoza, and Tahani Al-Jamil. These six characters are easily some of the best TV has to offer. Part of it comes from how most sitcom characters have to be well defined in order for the comedy to happen. The comedic duo or trio is an archetype for a reason. This show goes beyond that, though, by having to constantly restart the characters, right them from different perspectives in their own lives and growths and still make them sound like them. Having to balance writing a character who learns about the afterlife, grows, goes back to the land of the living, must grow again, get her memories from past lives she forgot back, and then still keep working to be fully enlightened is no easy task for any writer. Yet, this show has to do it for a minimum of six people. Add onto that how everyone around them reacts to the changes and keep those consistent to the characters while being funny. It’s masterful work all by itself.

It goes further than good character writing. The team knows those characters so well that even in death they still find really honest ways for them to grow and change. By the end the team knows what each one of them wants to get out of life and when they’re satisfied. It just feels like the team really studied and thought about what those six would want while being honest with who they were.

Being honest about who the characters are is great, but the fact it is always so funny makes it better. A show like this could be, and is, very thoughtful about the concepts of being a good person, but it’s also a very good comedy. The use of the afterlife is a perfect setting for letting every kind of joke run wild. Subtle banter paired with sights gags, more developed skits, and absurdism allows for any number of jokes. All of which they succeed at hitting. The show’s setting is on a cosmic scale and they do everything they can with that. Of course with such a broad swathe of comedy not every joke lands. The Judge and Derek specifically feel like good ideas that don’t fully work. They still follow those characters wants and needs to comedic effect, but the performances never help fully sell them. But every show has weaknesses, comedy most of all.

The show also does way more than their budget seems to allow. I more respect the attempt than anything else, but the use of CGI in places does look really tacky when compared to the amazing sets they do build. The sets and how, even with the spotty CG, the show constantly looks amazing astounds me. The subtle muting and contract of the afterlife with the real world always works. Even the changes that come when the real world is changed by the new afterlife it all works and is well thought out.

But, aside from the comedy, great acting and characters, and great sets and presentation the reason I love the show is because it’s honest about what it wants and goes to the best, most logical places in that search. The show is about the quest to be a good person. It says that a journey like that is incredibly hard, but not impossible. It says that flawed systems that used to work need to be updated and changed to reflect the new world and needs we have. The show says that the world is hard and complicated. We face impossible solutions we can never hope to fully grasp. We are not all given a fair hand in life but that doesn’t mean we don’t have the possibility to grow. We do. Other might just need more time and practice.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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Vampires vs The Bronx is on the Neck (a Review)

It’s finally spooky season. Yes I am late. Writing for 5 days a week is kind of draining so I needed a recharge (still do probably), but the movies stop for no one (not even a plague). That takes us to the first really horror film out, and it’s a throwback no less, Vampire vs The Bronx.

Vampires vs The Bronx is a throwback to the kids vs monster sub-genre of horror movies popular in the 80s and 90s. This one updated to follow Miguel and his friends Luis and Bobby. They are middle schoolers growing up in the Bronx and see it changing. Business going from small time owners to fancier white people brands all headed by one real estate company. When Miguel finds out that the company is run by vampires trying to buy out the Bronx and use everyone left as their meal ticket he teams up with his friends, the owner of a local bodega, and crush, Rita, to slay the vampires and keep everyone safe.

As far as one of these types of films go it is pretty solid. The cast is really good and has a real easy chemistry. Netflix consistently finds amazing kid actors for these roles. The side cast isn’t the best, but are memorable. The cinematography is great but it’s clear they are working on a limited budget. Some of the big action scenes feel lacking because of that limitation. It’s not bad, gives it some charm in fact, but does hold it back from being what the team probably envisioned it could be. A solid film that is way too on the neck-I mean nose.

The themes are what honestly set it apart and make it stand out. Vampires targeting marginalized groups is not new, neither is them choking out neighborhoods in order to get what they want, but the change in scenery to a minority heavy location makes everything more obvious. That clash between uptight, posh, European vampires acting like they’re in a classic film going against more grounded level crime and gangbangers is where the heart of the films fun and thoughts come from. Those moments lead to the best scenes. The film also uses those moments to help lift up what it considers good about those diverse communities while making it pointedly obvious what harms the communities… kind of.

The film is short. Just under 90 minutes and that is a shame because it could have used that time to better hone in on the central question the film poses. It sets up how siding with those who have money is better than giving into the dangerous criminals you know if it helps you escape. It sets up a gangsters vs vampires idea that it doesn’t follow through on. Instead it positions them as a secondary antagonists. That’s not wrong. It makes sense with the arc of one of our principle characters, but also feels it misses the point of its own movie. If both are supposed to be rejected then they need to be given a deeper dive. It gives some reading into how they’re the same but should do more.

It sounds like I want to change the movie. I do but don’t. The movie wants to be more fun, light, and a good early age horror film. It succeeds at that. But it clearly wants to be more and succeeds at that from time to time; it just could be more.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

If you enjoyed this: like, comment, and follow us here, and on Facebook & Twitter at Tower City Media! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Tower City Media and Submit to the suggestion box: TowerCityMedia@gmail.com!

Ratchet is a Horny Show (a Review)

Ryan Murphy is one of those creators that everyone seems to know, and is hyper-successful despite his mostly hit and miss nature. I assume all this based on reputation, looking over everything he has done I haven’t actually seen any of his series (I saw Nip/Tuck when I was too young, and I can’t say much more without utterly embracing myself and giving far too much TMI). He seems to be incredibly versatile which allows him to tackle multiple genres. Makes it surprising Netflix hasn’t gone to him early for a series (he also did that Hollywood show that came out this year). Odder still that they give him is a “slow-burn” prequel series about one character in a well known movie/book from decades ago.

Following the titular Nurse Mildred Ratchet, the story finds her years before whatever she’s doing in One Flew Over the Cucuoos Nest, inserting herself into a progressive mental health facility when she finds her brother sentenced their for evaluation after having killed four priests. Once inside she seeks to manipulate, undermine, and play everyone in order to save her brother, Edmund Tolleson, from the electric chair. All the while politicians, rich debutants, and private eyes all seek their own goals from within and outside the facility.

We will get to the title of this post later. For, even as that isn’t an obvious description of the show, it is obvious the amount of production and style the series has. It oozes that 1940s aesthetic its living in. It also goes further than just set design, but to have scenes and shots reminiscent of the crime stories that it’s pulling from for inspiration. This gives it a unique and incredibly colorful style that does often stumble accidentally into either absolute cartoonishness or flat melodrama.

The stumble into melodrama and cartoonish logic pervades every other aspect of that series in ways that are impossible to tell if they were done purposefully or not. A great example is the acting. Most of the acting is solid enough. Heck it is even moving from time to time. Other moments, even whole scenes, feel to be from a totally different show. Even some characters, like a drunken motel owner, the revenge filled countess with a limbless son, said limbless son, or Vincent D’Onofrio as the mayor of California don’t seem to line up with what so much of the show is trying to do. They feel far too exaggerated for the often grounded feel the show is going for. It is totally uneven.

That uneven feel goes into the story and pacing. On one hand the closer to episodic story that drives a large narrative feels refreshing. Every episode is able to feel both distinct while telling a story. It’s the execution that’s lacking. That lacking coming from an abrupt change in story halfway through that shakes up the planned status quo, but the writers then seem to be unsure of where to go. Ratchet’s plan goes out the window (or front door), but then seems to change in a way that I am not sure the season realizes. This goes for many characters. The head doctor at the hospital, head nurse, aid to the governor, and more all seem to change motivation and ideas without that being conveyed well. It leads to arguments where I am unsure whose side I’m supposed to be on or what the point is. This also leads to characters writing off others intentions with ease for no real well described reason. This works better for some than other. The dutchess and son, work for create comedic comeuppance, but for the head doctor… it’s complicated.

Most of the series takes place and centers around a cutting edge psychiatric facility. This gives the writers time to show how old times cures were obviously ineffective. Like boiling lesbians (I’m sure there is a joke in there), or ice-pick lobotomies. It seems to be setting up that the doctor is incompetent and a blatant fraud, and to an extent the show is kind of right. The issue is how they also paint him as an altruistic, but flawed figure. On one hand noble, but other is greatly, greatly misinformed. An apt comparison to the handling of mental illness. I am not a mental health expert or played one on TV but even I can see the harm this show does. Though not all or even most patients are shown to be monsters, the two main antagonists end up being psychiatric people who need help. The series plays into that idea of damaged people being crazy and violent. It makes the end of the season really off putting.

That isn’t the only thing that makes it off putting. I am not familiar with the story this is a prequel to, I would even say most people watching this won’t be, that makes the seasons ending all the stranger. It ends with Mildred Ratchet on a mission. Maybe that mission is the One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest. I don’t know, but the way the show ends it doesn’t feel like it. Instead it makes her a vigilante going after a criminal hunting her. A move to clearly get more seasons than tell a story.

That story… Yeah, we’re finally circling back to that title. I am a sex positive person (my autocorrect completed that to police person which is weird and I hope doesn’t say anything about me). Sex is a good thing to explore and not keep in the bedroom (just be mindful of others). This is why I love Sex Education as a show so much. But when I say this show is horny… it’s horny. So much of the plotting would work if the world was populated by 20 somethings playing teenagers because they all seem to focus around sex. Who is having it, who isn’t, and who is having it with who are all the driving factors for the first half or more of the season. It is honestly shocking just how sexual it is. That might be why the show is so lopsided, all the story blood is rushing to the wrong muscles. I almost respect it for this if it wasn’t also trying to have a commentary on how psychiatric patients and criminal justice system is treated.

Much of this shows debate is on if it is good or not. I am not one to get into said debate because I honestly don’t care. I think it is too cartoonishly weird to be called simply bad. That might not be what someone wants in a show that’s marketed as a deep psychological thriller, and I don’t want that either to be clear; but for the one half noir story, one half heightened cartoonish drug trip, and (looking up average penis length) sized high school sex story it is kind of everything someone could want. Maybe. Possibly. It’s just so weird.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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Hot 100 Review: FRANCHISE by Travis Scott (Feat. Young Thug and MIA)

Watch the video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_VRyoaNF9sk

Travis Scott is partnering with McDonalds on a sandwich and to flex his brand. I don’t know what more information I could give on that other than it is strange and I read that on one of the worst New York Times articles ever written. It would make sense for him to release a song about franchises considering he’s teaming up with one of the biggest. Even if that is the case it was executed terribly.

FRANCHISE might be the hardest song for me to talk about by far. It is not all that complicated, but it also makes no sense. To quote one of the few lines I could coherently understand, “got’em bamboozled like I’m Spike Lee.” A line never so true was ever uttered in a rap song.

Some of this might be on purpose since the beat and production seem to be the focus on the song. It’s all a mood piece. An oppressive beat, warning signals and other sound effects create a very chaotic and violent soundscape. I think that’s that point. To be a soundscape.

Sure, the song has lyrics. The problem is that none of them feel like they really connect or make sense as anything other than give a sense of flow. There is some rhymes and schemes going on, but it overall feels like an addition to the beat. They all feel incredibly meaningless by themselves or put together. Instead they feel like words your only supposed to register in the fact they exist while the true work the song’s doing is being used as an incidental track during a robbery scene in a movie or in a trailer for a movie.

That might be a bold statement. This song being created to only play during films and film trailers, but that’s the whole feeling the song gives off. Big starts that drown out the lyrics. Lyrics that are present enough to exist and register that they’re talking about thug stuff to give context to a scene, and then promptly disregarded. The literal only line I can pick out is MIA’s “Make’em get me Chippi Chippi (yeah).” Genius tells me this is a shout out to another rapper, and fair enough. But when you start yelling for chips like your five I’m going to laugh.

The video delivers on that moody, visuals over storytelling quality i assumed. Like each clip is less a connected story but instead a collage of short visuals that convey a meaning. Most of Travis Scott’s and Young Thug’s moments are far darker and classically gangster with MIA having a completely divergent location and color pallet. All of which comes together to have that mood piece but not really convey an idea.

I think…

I think there is no coherent idea being expressed. It could be how no matter how much stuff you have you aren’t happy. Hence why MIA’s parts are lighter. She’s out in a prairie with sheep living her best life while the two guys are stuck in a mansion with hot girls and cars and feeling sad. It almost works. It is just honestly hard to make heads of tails of the song. Partly because I think there is an idea.

The song, and lots of rap songs, constantly name drop brands. Rappers only feel accomplished with paired with brands. The brands give them meaning while being embewed with meaning by the people who get meaning from them. It’s an oroboros actually of culture. Think back to the McDonald’s example above. We all have our associations with the chain. Those associations are passed to the company which in turn tries to change or maintain said associations. It’s a vicious cycle that leads to “woke” and “cool” brands. That would mean a rap song skewering their obsession with brands and franchises would be amazing. Calling out how lambos and Rolex’s only mean anything because we give them said meaning. It’s a great idea that, due to the songs chaotic nature is lost in the swirling muck.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

If you enjoyed this: like, comment, and follow us here, and on Facebook & Twitter at Tower City Media! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Tower City Media and Submit to the suggestion box: TowerCityMedia@gmail.com!

It’s my Birthday; let’s talk about my Favorite Film (a look at Mean Girls)

On the day you’re reading this (assuming you’re reading it the day it came out or the anniversary of the day it came out) it is my birthday! So of all the things I could do to think to celebrate I wanted to watch my favorite film.

Mean Girls is a neigh-flawless film. Follow Cady, a new student to a high school, must navigate the trials, tribulations, and friendships of high school. This is harder than she realizes when she falls in with the popular girls, the Plastics, and must find out what is truly real and what is just for show in the student-eat-student world of public high school.

It might seem odd having this be my favorite film. For one I didn’t come to this film until college. For another it is considered a “teenage chick-flick.” Third, and finally it has Lindsay Lohan in it. None of these are necessarily bad traits, instead they are often symptoms of bad movies (maybe the college factor less so, but it’s an older film that I just didn’t experience until relatively later in life). This film instead uses those elements to their fullest.

For being my favorite film, even as it is well respected in its genre, is not a masterclass in filmic work. It didn’t define a generation like Kane, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or Jaws. It didn’t fill the zeitgeist with a whole new outlook on the world like The Matrix, and it’s not an intrenched classic like The Godfather, Forrest Gump, Toy Story. It’s just a teen comedy about a girl finding her place in high school. It uses incredibly standard filmic techniques to the absolute fullest. Every shot, though utterly normal, brims with life, color, and personality. When it does spice up the film with transitions, montage, or go big by using wide angle lenses they go hard. It gives the film a bigger impression than it really has. The school chaos scene still looks insanely good and complicated to have shot (also it seems like a point of inspiration for the final brawl in Cobra Kai season two).

Much of the film works, though, because it is a satire of high school comedies. Not a parody, but instead takes what seems like a relatively normal high school and ramp up the insanity by escalating petty drama with outrageous stakes. Having a friend go after your crush to be mean leading to a fight at the school because you made her fat and turned her friends against her with ease is all way too complicated for normal high school teenagers. On top of that, the terrible sex ed cutaways, commentary on teachers working extra jobs, and thin vineer of respectability that stops us from going fully primal is all talked about. Included in this is the incredible setup and payoffs the move has. So much of the early film is seameslessly integrated back in for either a good joke or emotional gut punch, or usually both.

This not even mentioning how uproariously quick, funny, and instantly quotable the film is. Every character has a solid voice and given strong lines to reinforce that and often an arc all woven in through dialogue. This is shown in how some aspects are both oddly progressive and poorly aged.

On one hand the side characters and student body is incredibly diverse even if it does fall into some stereotypes for comedy. They also use lots of words that no longer fly. The “R” and “Q” words being top among them. What separates it though is how only the characters we are against use them. Regina and the Plastics use them. Cady starts to use them more when she transitions into being plastic, and she stops using them when she reaches the end of her arc. She’s learned her lesson and that’s shown in how she speaks. In how most everyone speaks and behaves.

Inspite (maybe despite, i don’t know), or maybe because of that it makes the empowering message about lifting people up hit all that harder. Being different is what makes us special and is important to celebrate. It says that everyone has something about them that makes them better and not to get caught up chasing trends because of shallow popularity.

Some, if not all, of this seems obvious to anyone that’s watched the film. It is deeper than it looks but not pretentious. It is a good time. You watch it cause it is a really funny movie that gets more and more dated as the years pass. But being dated doesn’t mean it’s not relavent. Being glossied up in pinks and sparkles doesn’t mean it’s girly and fake. It can look plastic but be real. It’s more than just a film. It’s a good time, and that’s what movies should be.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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A Volume-by-Volume Checkin of Eden Zero: Volume 9

Volume 8, which feels like it either just came out or I was far later and getting to than I realized, was fine. It was both better than some of the good stuff in Fairy Tail I read, but didn’t have the energy that book did. It seemed like Mashima was just going along with the flow. That was also the end of a long, for this series, story and that could have been the cause as well. This volume can be a whole new start for him. A fresh change that can really get the juices flowing.

Taking place shortly after the end of the previous volume, the Edens Zero crew is recovering and learning about Rebecca’s Ether Gear. After an accident cause Rebecca to pass out, she wakes up to discover Shiki and the rest of the ground team have gone to attack Drakken Joe before they strike them. This leads to multiple assaults, the Shining Stars revealing their true power, and one on one fights worn Drakken’s elite guard.

Though it seems strange to just jump right into another big showdown arc, the pacing does feel like it matches the adventure space-serial vibe the book is going for. Maybe having the inciting incident happen off screen when Rebecca is asleep, then revealed as a flashback later is a very over complicated method of tell the story, but also makes up so little of it. The only real issue this book has when it comes to stacking up against the previous is tht it jumps from a villain owning a planet-city to a villain owning spaceship-planet-city. Same exact setup and everything.

So far, though, the details have made the difference. Mainly the sets of fights, powers, and characters getting the spotlight. Firstly, the Shooting Stars back on the Eden Zero finally get some development and are shown as useful in combat, and have their own hobbies. The team healer, Sister, who is also a sadomasochistic/BDSM-torturer is a fun gag, and Witch being able to use multiple powers is fun. Secondly, onthe spaceship, the battles have so far been more inventive thanks to the powers of the villains. Having someone who can control water and make people turn into puddles when they cry is neat, a quick sniper showdown across the city feels different, and we finally get a brief space battle. None of these fights are ones that Shiki can just punch real good. He might use that power, but they seem to require more analysis and skill than that.

The character who gets the most focus emotionally is Pino, the fifth star (I think, it’s been so long), and emp andriod who meets her abuser outside of the planet. If you recall, I certainly didn’t, Pino was on a planet sent back 50 years in its past, she escaped along with Weisz, but the future selves exist out in the present. They run into the present, older, version of the villain from that arc. Pino is rightfully freaked out, but this older version of the man has clearly mellowed and wasn’t involved with any of those crimes against Pino. This is only a brief, and not focused on element, of the volume. But it is present and clearly building to something.

The rest of the arc seems to be building and circling back around to the early intrigue stuff around the adventure guild and the guy in charge. It reminds us that Drakken signed up to work with the man in charge, Noah, and is after the Eden Zero. They also clarify that they needed the Four Stars of the Demon King not because they were literal locks for a door, but because put together they were so powerful that breaching outside they cosmos would be easier with them.

This volume still has problems. Rebecca is captured again. Even if she wasn’t captured recently, it still feels like she’s often captured every arc. That is also more disappointing because she is being setup to be incredibly important to the universe. Strong powers, possible visions of the future, etc, but then she is always easily beaten to be captured and talked to. The other issue is how flat the book still feels. Despite having cool powers and supposedly being fast pace, which it is only because it doesn’t take long to read a chapter, the book isn’t dynamic. Every panel is the most straightforward way to convey information, and none of the art is anything more than standard. It works, but when much more dynamic and energized work like Jujutsu Kaisen is out there, it can’t compare.

It is hard to see where the book is going. It has an overarching goal it is working too, but seems to be going at its own, almost casual pace, to get us there that trying to call where it is going to go feels impossible. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but also not a good thing. Maybe more will be revealed when this book hits the double digit mark.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

If you enjoyed this: like, comment, and follow us here, and on Facebook & Twitter at Tower City Media! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Tower City Media and Submit to the suggestion box: TowerCityMedia@gmail.com!

Hot 100 Review: Holy by Justin Bieber feat. Chance the Rapper

Watch the video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pvPsJFRGleA

I don’t hate Justin Bieber despite how I have dunked on all the songs he’s had this year. Even good artists make bad musical choices and songs from time to time. I also like Chance the Rapper. It’s strange paring them up on a track, but it’s also far stranger to have that track be a wedding ballad.

It’s easy to make fun of wedding ballads and songs made to be played at weddings, whether for slow dances or party tracks. They are often the most commercial, least thought about, and total ear worm of songs. A nice tasteless wafer everyone likes and can dance to, but no one cares about. There is a place for them to exist. They act less as a song and more a placeholder for an experience. Holy, this new song by J-Biebes is that to a T.

Holy is not a bad song. I would even argue it is pretty good. Not great. Not his best song. It is a wedding song after all. A very simple melody and tune driven by heartfelt lyrics to have a slow dance to.

In this song, holy feelings refers to Justin’s connection with his now-wife. The chorus and verses all center around how people tell him to take it slow, but the holy connection told him that he needed to rush to the alter. He needed to get married. It makes one of the few wedding songs to actually be about a wedding.

Despite being called Holy, Justin’s verses don’t make it all that religious. It uses the trappings of religious music but is very secular. Chance’s very 2010s feature makes it religious. Many allusions to a father in both a literal a sense, and spiritual one. Lots of going to the water imagery, and late 90s early 2000s rhymes. It feel charming in a way. Though he is talking about religion it doesn’t feel like I’m being prostalatized too. It’s used as a fact. It reminds me of those sweet wedding photos of a husband and wife praying before they get married behind a door. That is something strong with them as a family unit and that’s okay (outside of that context, and institutionally is where I find issues with religion and Christianity in particular).

The video has Justin and his girlfriend or love interest working blue collar jobs. Justin is an oil worker and love interest in an old person’s old home. The first half of the video shows them just working and being cute. That changes when they lose their jobs due to the “current economic political climate,” and become homeless. They get picked up by a random veteran driving by and get to stay with his family. A very strange choice for a video all things considered. Especially because Chance’s feature just has him rapping to the camera in a greenhouse.

The song is clearly playing on strong blue collar, pro-America, and classical country iconography (aside from the love interest being black). Part of that makes sense with the more religious approach, but since the most religious part of the song is a feature by another artist and is shot in a greenhouse, I would have to push back on that. It feels like a hot button take to get the video played over a vision to relate with the song. There is no marriage or allusion to marriage in the song. I do appreciate that Justin’s couple on screen don’t fight and argue, and that they don’t find a place to live right away at the end of the video. Both feel like easy tropes a song like this could have gotten away with. Not the take I would have done with this material. Feels shallow but looks really pretty.

This song isn’t easy to write about because it was simple and straightforward. There is not very much reading or dissection I can do. It’s blatantly obvious what the song is, and that means you either like that style or don’t. It’s better than I expected. Fine, Chance makes it pretty good, and that’s that.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

If you enjoyed this: like, comment, and follow us here, and on Facebook & Twitter at Tower City Media! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Tower City Media and Submit to the suggestion box: TowerCityMedia@gmail.com!