Nothing beside remains
Round the decay of that colossal wreck
Boundless and bare
The lone and level sands
Stretch far away
Well, here it is, folks. The movie that nobody thought would work, the movie that really shouldn’t have worked, and the movie that comic book fans around the world never thought would ever happen.
Yet here we are, 2014, with a freaking Guardians of the Galaxy movie. And you know what? It’s not all half bad either.
Here’s the thing you all need to know about me: I’m what many would call a Marvel “fanboy.” I appreciate DC for Batman and The Flash, but I’ve made mine Marvel since day one. So going into all of Marvel’s “Phase 1” films, there was a level of expectation on my end. Iron Man’s origin story needed be include A, B, and C; Captain America had to act this way or that way. The characters were like family members to me, and it was super important to me that the studio got important details right.
However, the Guardians of the Galaxy? I knew diddly squat about them, so I was able to waltz into the theater with delightful abandon. I didn’t have to worry about director James Gunn ruining my favorite characters, and you know what? It was an absolute delight. I felt like I was 12 years old again watching Raimi’s first Spidey flick. I was carefully being introduced to these amazing characters, and I immediately wanted to know more about them.
Guardians tells the story of criminal Peter Quill (who insists on being called Star-Lord by the authorities because it’s his “outlaw name”), who begins the film by stealing an ancient artifact to sell to the highest bidder.. However, after a violent third party attacks him, he finds himself arrested by the Nova Corp (the galaxy’s police department) and tossed into prison, along with a group of rag-tag misfits who are interested in the same treasure for their own personal reasons.
After discovering that the orb McGuffin is a weapon that could be used to wipe out entire planets, this band of thieves and criminals decide to band together and save the galaxy (so they may steal from it another day, of course).
Chris Pratt continues to amaze. His Star-Lord is one of Marvel’s most anti of anti-heroes, brash, rude, wisecracking, and charming enough until you’ve served your purpose. I’m already imagining him and Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark exchanging one-liners in the inevitable crossover, and I’m drooling.
However, Pratt is also able to really nail the emotional scenes. Though many will call Vin Diesel’s Groot the emotional center of the film, I still think that Pratt sells it a lot better than a giant tree.
Basically, if Chris Pratt isn’t already on your radar, he will be after Guardians.
Zoe Saldana does what she can with her role as Gamora, adopted daughter of the movie’s big bad. While her dialogue was easily the weakest of the main cast, it still at least seems as if she had fun as the no-nonsense assassin. Still, we already have a no-nonsense assassin in Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, and though Saldana was able to make the role more her own, I’m excited for a lot more diversity among Marvel’s leading ladies in the future.
Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer was the real surprise of the film, in my opinion. He’s a bloodthirsty, yet naive, warrior with a hilariously one-track mind, and most of the best lines in the movie were his (Rocket says “Sarcasm goes right over his head”, to which Drax responds “Nothing goes over my head! My reflexes are too quick”). It’s hard not to root for him, as well, especially as you see his character become less hardened by his newfound allies.
Vin Diesel lends his voice to Groot, and it’s practically impossible to avoid comparisons between this character and the gentle giant he played in the 1999 classic, The Iron Giant. Unlike everyone else on his team, Groot immediately sees the good in everyone…until they give him reason not to. Most of the laughs came from Groot’s actions, and it was nice hearing an audience react to good old-fashioned physical comedy.
And then, of course, there’s the guy nobody will be able to stop talking about: Bradley Cooper’s Rocket. This bionic, anthropomorphic raccoon is a complete spitfire, talking a mile a minute, and usually saying the crassest of things. So many of his lines are instantly quotable, and yet his character is also remarkably fascinating. Gunn wisely avoided giving up too much of his backstory, relying on hints dropped by Rocket throughout, giving us a hint at his twisted, horrific past.
Unfortunately, the villains of the film were the weakest aspect, and they may have been the weakest villains in any Marvel film (with the possible exception of Malekith from the Thor sequel). While Ronan (Lee Pace) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) are dangerous foes who rack up an impressive body count, they’re also impossibly bland. Pace does nothing with Ronan, making him out to be another stereotypical, brooding baddie with a hunger for power. Gillan does a tiny bit more as Gamora’s jealous half-sister, but not nearly enough to make her memorable.
In fact, I was more interested in Michael Rooker’s Yondu, head of Quill’s adoptive family of outlaws. At least he had personality and a visually stunning weapon.
The thing I’ve noticed about Marvel films is that they all seem very cookie cutter in every aspect except character. Almost every movie since Iron Man followed a very basic formula: origin story, learn your powers, all hope is lost, heroic sacrifice that isn’t a sacrifice, happy ending. While it’s a formula that’s earned the studio hundreds upon millions of dollars, the wear and tear is beginning to show.
Fortunately, those weak points only show up a few times in Guardians, mostly due to Gunn’s script. He has a knack for writing hilarious, relatable, sympathetic, and interesting characters. We want to root for these criminals because we believe in what they’re saying, we believe their character arcs and motives. The banter the Guardians all share isn’t just funny, but it strengthens them all as a team.When they finally come together as a team for the first time, we believe it. It makes sense for the heroes, and the audience, and very little of it seems like forced exposition.
As fun as this movie is (and trust me, it’s a blast), it’s not without its faults. As I said, the story is very by-the-numbers, and not nearly as intelligent as Marvel’s other 2014 winner, Winter Soldier. The villains are bland, and none of the secondary characters particularly stick out, either. Heavy-hitters like Glenn Close, John C. Reilly, Benicio Del Toro, and Peter Serafinowicz come and go, none of which giving performances that we’re used to seeing from them. The weakest aspects of the script come from Ronan’s scenes, which are heavy on Marvel’s classic gibberish exposition. Frankly, I didn’t care if that was all leading up to Avengers 3; I wanted to see more of the Guardians being awesome!
Gunn’s script is strongest when he’s working with his team of outlaws, and he doesn’t mind throwing in a bit of his trademark sense of humor, either. Pop culture references, from Footloose to Indiana Jones, abound, and he’s not afraid to allow Rocket to curse up a storm while drunk. If Marvel just let him make his movie, I’m convinced that it would’ve been even better.
By the way, I need to applaud Gunn’s choice of using classic pop rock over his scenes. While most other summer blockbusters would’ve used orchestral swellings in their action sequences, Gunn wisely uses songs from Quill’s “Awesome Mix” tape. Instead of suiting up to a dramatic horn section, the Guardians suit up to “Cherry Bomb” by the Runaways. Instead of exploring a dangerous planet to the sound of suspenseful strings, Quill dances through booby traps to the Raspberries’ “Go All the Way.” Not only does it serve as a brilliant look into Quill’s character, but it gives the film a feeling of fun and excitement. Yes, the stakes are high, but it’s also a movie starring a gun-toting raccoon. Gunn wants us to lighten up and enjoy the ride, and for the most part, we’re completely on board.
Guardians of the Galaxy is not without its problems, but it still stands as another phenomenal outing by the House of Ideas. Despite the lackluster story and pitiful villains, the characters and Gunn’s unique voice are more than enough to carry this hilarious, action-packed, and thoroughly enjoyable adventure.
Hard Candy is, to this day, one of the most gut-wrenching, terrifying, and downright disturbing films I’ve ever seen.
And I’ve really been meaning to watch it lately..
I’ve been on Tumblr for much longer than any sane person would care to admit. I’ve seen a lot of things that would make other grown men either give up on humanity as a whole or just go downright insane.
But if there’s one thing that I can give Tumblr credit for, it’s the ability to allow inspiring messages to reach hundreds of thousands of people across the globe.
I’ve never had a post of mine go viral, despite the fact that I write about such fascinating topics as cereal boxes and Steelbook cases. As I grew older, however, I realized that having a post with that many notes wasn’t even achievable by a Tumblr street rat like myself, and decided instead to just post things that I enjoyed.
And then, one day, this happened.
At first, accumulating over 10,000 notes on a stupid photoset seemed pretty cool. However, I quickly remembered that this is Tumblr, and unless your post dies a hero, it will live long enough to be shat upon by hundreds of bitter people. Here are three things I learned the hard way about Tumblr posts going viral.
LET THE BUTTHURT BEGIN!
3.) Nobody Realizes That it Went Viral on Accident
One of my pet peeves is when stupid posts get a million notes. There are people who spend hours crafting a perfectly constructed and well-thought post, only to watch it sit there and gather dust like a PS Vita on a GameStop shelf.
Meanwhile, “do penguins have knees” will continue being reblogged until the end of time eternal.
However, I can’t fault the person who originally made the silly post. I mean, hell, that’s what Tumblr is for. People should be able to write what they want and express how they feel without fear of judgement or ridicule.
(For the record, yes, they do have knees, the little scamps.)
But I also doubt that people who write ridiculous, one-sentence posts like that intend for their posts to go viral. I can’t imagine that they have a team of comedy scientists working on the perfect grammatically-incorrect post to write that will instantaneously explode into viral-dom. It just kind of happens.
So I never wanted my photoset to go viral. Trust me, if I was able to choose a post to gain over 10,000 notes, I would’ve chosen one that doesn’t show my face three times in a damn row.
(Trust me, nobody needs to see that)
2.) You Feel Like a Damn Idiot
I don’t regularly go to the Renaissance Fair. The year I took these photos was maybe my third time going in my entire life. I don’t know the etiquette or the rule or anything. I honestly believed that it was a bunch of people just kind of wearing costumes and having fun.
I didn’t realize that it was a Disney World situation where everyone had to stay in character. Like, that’s some serious devotion, and I give mad props to everyone working there.
However, because I’m not an intelligent man, I get to be reminded of my idiocy on a daily basis:
This is actually very helpful information. It’s kind of like telling a joke to one of those guards in Great Britain who aren’t allowed to smile; it’s not that your joke sucks, it’s just that you’re presenting it to the wrong audience. And I understand that now.
Unfortunately, it’s far too late. Unless you’re a Tumblr celebrity and/or Wil Wheaton, you can’t undo a viral post. You can’t private message all 12,000 people and say “Well, actually, I was wrong, and I’ve been corrected, so could you please stop reblogging this now and go back to posting Doctor Who gifs or whatever?” My mistake will forever float around cyberspace until it fades into obscurity.
1.) People Will Straight Up Hate You
The people above who said “They got it, they just could’t acknowledge that they got it”? At least they were being helpful and pleasant.
However, the more reblogs a post gets, the wider of an audience it reaches. And while something can be safe and sound in a small, tight-knit fanbase, very few things survive once it becomes quote-unquote “popular.”
Because then you get people who use their hatred for you as a soapbox to voice their opposite opinions…
Or people just straight up being a dick…
The people who believe that they are doing good by taking a post and knocking it down a few pegs because “This offends me and shouldn’t have this many notes in the first place. How dare the original poster try to be funny!”
Look, I get it. You need to develop a tough shell if you’re going to be posting shit on the internet. It’s just strange that I was able to reach a large audience for the first time in my life, in an attempt to make people laugh, and instead got lectured and looked down upon.
Long story short, ladies and pronouns, is that I never intend for my posts to be seen by a ten-thousand people. I don’t even intend for them to be seen by a hundred people. If I had to constantly worry about censoring myself to please every single person on this crazy website, I wouldn’t even have a blog, and probably would’ve drank myself into an alcoholic coma by now.
So to all of you who think I’m an asshole based strictly on three photographs I took a year ago, just remember one thing:
RoboCop Knight is watching you.
Something I’ve noticed is that nobody gives a shit about depression until you try to hurt or kill yourself. Then, all of a sudden, it’s important. It’s real.
And you can’t help but sit there and shout at them. No shit it’s real. I’ve been begging you for help since day one and all you had to say was “Man up. Tough it out. Get over it.” Even sympathetic advice like “The best way to get over the blues is just tell yourself to be happy” is bullshit. Or, the toppings on the fucking cake, “Everyone goes through what you’re going through” and “I went through exactly the same thing at your age.”
And it’s not until you’re lying in a hospital bed or sobbing on the floor of the bathroom with a razor in your hand that they realize no, they didn’t go through the exact same thing at your age. And they’re fucking idiots for thinking that.
This is the most terrifying message to send anyone. “You don’t matter until you try to hurt yourself.” It’s no fucking wonder suicide rates have skyrocketed. There are people who are suffering, people who are dying slowly, being told that their problems aren’t real, their pain is all in their heads, only until they act on the tiny voice is their head saying “It’s not worth it.”
That’s like going up to a cancer patient vomiting after chemo and saying “Suck it up, man. Stop fishing for attention.” and then being shocked that he died of cancer.
I’ve had people yell at me, people sigh and roll their eyes, people give me unwanted and unhelpful “advice”, and people straight up chuckle after telling them recently that I’m feeling remarkably depressed. Like…members of my own fucking family. People who constantly try to tell me “No one in the world will care about you more than your family does.”
And if that’s fucking true? Then I’m in for a very long, very desolate, very lonely life.
With the release of Risky’s Revenge on PC I finally realized something that I’ve been pondering for awhile now.
I think Wayforward’s Shantae might be my most favorite character design of all time
Now both of her games, Shantae on the Game Boy Color and Risky’s Revenge are pretty rad. They’re metroidvania style platformer-adventure games in which you explore, find loot, use your special abilities to beat bosses and find treasures. It’s good stuff. There’s some annoying aspects to them but all around they’re pretty solid games.
But yes, the titular heroine. Out of all the comic books, cartoons, anime, manga, etc. I’ve ever seen I think she is one of the best designed characters I’ve ever come across.
For starters, she’s probably one of the only female characters I’ve ever seen who manages to perfectly mold cuteness and sexiness without going overboard on either front.
Ya see, in all official art she kind of got a bit of an anime thing going on; a small body with a slender frame, but with a big head and big expressive eyes with big eye lashes that give the character a lot of expressiveness.
Then you’ve got her sexy side.
A lot of the times in various artistic mediums like sequential art, animation, or video games artists will attempt to draw character with sex appeal through details of their cloth, or lack there of, in most cases.
Often times it can get pretty nonsensical due to a disconnect between the way the character is written, how the scenario she’s engaged in is written or just real life sense.
I’m not going to be one of those puritan types who says something like, oh say, bikini armor is bad because it’s unrealistic, and nobody would wear that. I know it’s completely idiotic, even if the writer tries to lampshade it in some clownish way. Cheesecake can be fine if you aren’t willing to take everything so seriously.
Yet that can be damaging to your narrative if you feel the need to forcibly include cheesecake to pander to a specific audience.
As for Shantae on the other hand, she totally gets away with it. I can really believe she runs around in basically a bra and poofy pants.
Because it all coincides with her character and that’s the big thing, everything about a character that we see and don’t have to end up reading on some wiki or something should all mesh together.
She looks like a genie (which she is) and a stereotypical Arabian Belly Dancer (which she also kind of is).
Going back to the whole cuteness thing for a minute, I always thought it was adorable when she crouches and wiggles her butt like a cat.
Anyway, my point is that even though she looks sexy, it’s not overpowering. It’s not the one thing I could use to describe her, and it’s not even the first thing I could use.
Probably because her design is so open with her sex appeal, and she moves around freely with no real reference to it that I don’t pay that much attention to that aspect of her character, particularly when I know she has other facets.
Besides, how could your attention be drawn away from this face?
Wayforward seem to have a knack for making female characters who can be both cute and sexy.
Moving away from heavily opinionated reasons over why I love Shantae’s character design, lets look at some technical aspects of why her design is the best.
Now, when you look at Shantae, what would you say are her primary colors?
Red, Purple, Brown, and Gold.
There are 2 things that are very important when designing a character; color and iconography.
In video games, when you think of a color, usually certain characters come to mind.
When you think of Red, you think of Mario.
when you think of Blue, you think of Sonic the Hedgehog or Mega Man
when you think of Green, you think of Luigi or the Master Chief
When you think of Pink, you think of Kirby.
Color is extremely important. It’s also important to have a good balance of color so the character is visually appealing.
Shantae’s balance of color is perfect. Absolutely perfect.
Even better that the colors are all placed in a way that help you to remember aspects about her character.
The red is on her clothes, dancer’s clothes.
The gold is on her bangles, hair tie, ear rings, and headband; this part is interesting because it infers a number of uses. Not only is gold considered to be a symbol of richness but it’s also a symbol of magic, and can also serve to remind of the bondage that comes with the territory of genies as well as her primary role as a guardian of the town she watches over.
Her brown skin, again, it lends to her sex appeal as girls with bronzed skin look ravishing but it also serves to remind us that she is from a tropical/desert region.
And finally, purple which is a highly dominant color for her because it’s the color of her most dominant and iconic feature, her hair.
As I was saying about iconography, it’s also important to give your character a recognizable icon or symbol that people can associate with them.
Superman has the S, his Kryptonian family symbol.
and Batman has the Bat symbol
If there’s one thing you’re probably drawn to when it comes to Shantae’s design, it’s her hair, something that also serves as her primary attack. Wayforward always seems to go to great lengths to make her hair stand out
and in fact, way back during her conception that was what they mainly wanted to focus on most.
Even fan art and fan animations focus most on her hair
In the end, that is all why I believe Shantae is one of the best designed characters ever made.
She has the perfect balance of cute and sexy that few female characters have obtained. The most likable features she has all mold well together and make sense for her character, her actions, and the setting she’s in. She has a superb and well balanced color scheme. And she has dominant characteristics and features that are unique to her and no other character.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed
A fantastic commentary on one of my all-time favorite video game characters.
Hey Squall, how’d you like to write something for RoboFist’s Revenge? Your style definitely fits, and I’m always looking for guest writers.
Lo and behold, this milestone happened yesterday:
No, not the fact that my activity is declining; RoboFist’s Revenge officially has one-hundred followers!
Coincidentally, this milestone coincided with another landmark event in my life: my first ever midnight showing of the legendary vomit stain, The Room. Yeah, that The Room.
Instead of reviewing the movie itself, which has already been done by people far more hilarious than I am, I’m going to review the overall experience. Because you can’t go to one of these things without going through a bizarre metamorphosis. I felt like Neo at the beginning of The Matrix, going through those slimy pods all naked and hairless: I am a changed man because of last night.
First of all, the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak, MI is one of the coolest little art house cinemas I’ve ever been to. Every month, they show three or four films at midnight, ranging from classics to cult classics. I’ve been there many times before, but I’ve never in my life seen it this packed.
I stood in one of the longest lines I’ve ever seen for a good half hour before I realized that this wasn’t even the line to buy tickets. I found that a bit strange, so I left the line to purchase my ticket. At the register, I asked the most “I’m so stressed but dammit I’m gonna smile!” 20-something employee what the giant human centipede outside was for.
"Oh, that’s for the meet-and-greet."
Guys, he was there. The director, writer, producer, and star of The Room, Tommy Wiseau, is indeed a real person, and not the melting wax puppet that I thought he was! Look at him, in all his glory, signing autographs and wearing sunglasses at 11:45 at night.
I don’t mind telling you that it was kind of surreal. I’ve seen interviews, listened to podcasts, and read books about this guy, and he’s exactly as enigmatic, bizarre, and ridiculous as I’d hoped.
I didn’t have anything for him to sign, which was fine because the line was of biblical proportions and, to be frank, I really didn’t want a poster of Tommy Wiseau’s face hanging in my room, autographed or not.
The strangest thing was that people around me, waiting in line eagerly clutching their blu-ray copies of the worst movie ever made, is how they looked at Tommy. He was a messiah figure to them, a rock god or a douchey teen idol. There were girls who were literally screaming when they were next in line, as if I had teleported back to the 60s and was surrounded by people about to meet The Beatles. And this guy is grotesque in every sense of the word. His accent is so strange that you can really only make out every sixth word he says. He’s withdrawn, awkward, and downright eccentric. So…note to all of you “Nice Guys” out there, just be more like Tommy Wiseau and you’ll be golden.
So we all eventually sit down and patiently wait for the Q&A (because of course there is one). Once again, upon entering (“Oh hai errybawdy!”), he welcomed with cheers, whistles, and screams. However, he seems tired and annoyed (or maybe that’s just his personality, I couldn’t tell), and hurries the questions along.
The strangest thing about the Q&A was the quality of Wiseau’s answers. Some of them made no sense (in response to “What events inspired the story of The Room?” he said something about it originally being an 800 page novel…) but one or two were genuinely inspiring.
One individual asked him “Do you have any advice to give to aspiring filmmakers?” His response was “Don’t think you can do it all at once. One day, you’ll look at your life and see that you’re only 20% to your goal. And that will make you mad. But you keep going and eventually you’ll be at 40%, 60%, all the way up to 100% before you know it.” Like…that’s a damn locker room-level inspiration speech from the guy who wrote a movie that opens with two 4-minute sex scenes…within ten minutes of each other.
Then he left, the lights dimmed, and the most horribly-structured film I’ve ever seen in my life began.
I tell you, there was nothing like it. Half of the audience was drunk, the other half high, and everyone was just shitting on this movie. Loudly. At all the perfect moments. It was crude, offensive, not at all for the faint of heart, and easily the funniest movie-going experience I’ve ever had.
Footballs were passed, plastic spoons were thrown, quotes were shouted, scenes were reenacted. Everyone shouted “You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!” in unison, and everyone was laughing. Hey, Rocky Horror Picture Show? Eat my shorts.
The Room is the most bizarre cultural phenomenon in recent history (except for 50 Shades of Grey, but for a totally worse reason), and you’ll get no complaints from me. Is the film bad? Son, it’s worse than bad. Not even the Nostalgia Critic could fully explain just how terrible this movie is. I left the theater exhausted trying to keep up with its nonsensical plot. But is it worth seeing? If you’re going to a midnight show with a group of people who simply despise it, then I couldn’t recommend it enough.