Over the last year there have been several YA Adaptations brought to life on the big screen and every time I read an article about it I read the same thing over and over again: “WHAT IS GOING TO BE THE NEXT TWILIGHT?” “WILL THIS BE THE NEXT TWILIGHT?” I have an idea? SHUT UP AND STOP COMPARING EVERYTHING TO TWILIGHT BECAUSE THAT IS AS UNORIGINAL AS YOU CLAIM THE MOVIES YOU REVIEW ARE.
Here’s the thing, I’m not going to sit here and say Twilight didn’t set a standard for YA adaptations because it did. Just because I am not crazy over the series doesn’t mean I’m not going to give credit where credit is due. The Twilight craze took on the world by storm and it helped create the current set of YA Paranormal Romance books that are being written and adapted.
Essentially it did help introduce the YA genre to a wider, more adult audience. However, Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga is not the first Paranormal YA series to make its way to other mediums and it wont be the last. The latest slew of films that are based off of Young Adult books are original in their own way, but the only thing that causes them to fail are the people that constantly try to seek out the new Twilight.
Jesus—was a friend of mine, you Whovians are not a bunch to be reckoned with. So many Doctor Who fans have really surged in the U.S. as well as their cosplayers, so you get your own special post, especially special for you guys. Jerks.
But the Doctor Who cosplayers far surpassed those from last year and stepped it up, so take it away, maestro.
He even committed to David Tennant in the FACE. That’s true fandom.
Just off the night shift at the H&R Block, getting ready for some cocktails and John Coltrane records in his rec room.
I just liked his swagger.
Loved this sophisticate (adjective purely functioning in my mind) gentleman on the left who just had a certain air to him. As the next day, he was fully prepared…
…With another costume!
You can get it, girl.
Chill early-20s Aladdin professional seeks to share a 2 bedroom apartment above a dim sum restaurant or noise d.i.y. performance space. Must love cats.
Now I know people think jumping into photos like Gordo trying to get into every club picture in the school yearbook is cute (I made a Lizzie McGuire reference, handle it) but as a reporter, we want to murder you and every milkshake you ever intend to enjoy in your life. Yeah, that.
GORGEOUS, also had a missed connection before it was removed. Totally deserved.
This adorable young doctor had a sister with non-descript fuzzy cat ears who was mad that nobody wanted pictures of her, only her sibling.
Better to learn it now: We don’t want to see your cat costumes, ladies. Also learn, I have no guilt that warrants me to be nice to kids.
I guess they get My Little Pony in Heaven.
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Remember when you’d watch television and your favorite show came on? You’d be able to hear it from anywhere because that song would start to play, you know, the one you just couldn’t help but sing a long to? Well pardon me for a asking a lot of questions, but where the heck did that go?
I recall when I was younger being able to watch any show on TV and know exactly who was in it and the tone of the show as a whole just based on the opening credits. When I was younger and really into Smallville, I used to watch the opening credits over and over again and when a new season came out I was excited to see which scenes they would put into the opening title sequence for the new season, what order the cast would be in, how they would line up certain scenes to the lyrics, etc.
Lately, there seems to be less and less opening credits on television. I get why, mostly because it gives the show more room to pack actually story and a lot of credits end up being cut when the episode is no longer due to ad space and other circumstances. However, there some shows out there that you have to ask yourself “WHY DON’T YOU HAVE OPENING CREDITS?” One such show was LOST, I mean the show was full of plane crashes, sadness and “WE HAVE TO GO BACK!” but ABC even felt the same way I did because back in 2009 they had a theme song contest for the show.
One of the essential qualities of a good theme or opening credits sequence for a show is that it tells the story without actually telling the story. A good theme song can have you singing all day, and just like Jack Shepherd it will make you want to go back; watch the show over and over again.
It’s a lot different these days, shows seem to incorporate opening credits less and less through the years and have replaced them with simple title cards and just watching actors names appear while you sit through a scene which if fine and all but I want to hum a tune, I want to be able to get pumped when I see my favorite actors on the scene. It’s an adrenaline rush at time and a great piece of nostalgia.
True story: I was watching Pete and Pete a few years ago and I hadn’t seen the show in YEARS, the moment the opening credits came on I almost cried, I felt like a child again and it brought me back to those Saturday nights when I would watch the show on my couch. I could watch episodes of the series but without the sound of that theme song I don’t think I would have felt for it as much as I did. A great theme song can bring back memories like no other. To those of us who remember our lives through the shows that we watched the opening credits bring us back, whenever we hear them we grow entranced, it’s just something that happens. So why can’t all shows just bring them back?
In honor of my love for this art I thought I’d share some of my favorite opening credits of all time. Agree, disagree, I couldn’t fit them all into one place so maybe a second part of this essay will be in the works soon enough.
So without further ado in no particular order…
****NO SPOILERS. JUST A BLOG ABOUT MY LADY BONER FOR PACIFIC RIM. NOTHING TO SEE HERE. ****
I first heard of the highly anticipiated Pacific Rim at a live taping of a Nerdist Podcast I went to back in October during New York Comic Con where director Guillermo Del Toro was a guest. I mean, I’ve heard that it was Del Toro’s newest movie but I wasn’t sure what the hell was happening or who was in it, or what it was even about. Once I did further research I saw it was a Robots VS Monsters movie and immediately said to myself: “Oh boy! Here comes the backlash!” Despite the early rumblings of nay and people quickly comparing it to Evangelion, the trailer for this movie was really damn good. I don’t go gung-ho over IMAX 3D but that trailer was just WOWZERS. Imagine my luck when my friend Jess sent me at text Saturday night that said “Hey want to see Pacific Rim the Monday before it comes out?” What does one say to something like that except,“HELL YES!”
As of late it’s been rare to find a movie that has both heart and is aesthetically pleasing. The premises of Pacific Rim is simple—Alien monsters attack earth, they live somewhere under the Pacific and are named Kaiju which is Japanese for “strange beast” although Japanese Science Fiction has made us adopt it to mean Monster, as it’s English Translation. These bad boys are categorized the same way a natural disaster would be (category 1, category 2, so on and so forth…)
At first we didn’t have much to fight them with until the world created Jaegers—robots that are super bad ass and are initially operated by solo pilots, that is until they find out the radiation and the neural damage could kill them. After the failure of the initial Jaegers operation with the solo pilots, the project figured out having dual pilots that forge a drift together would be more efficient and the success of the program helped fight the Kaiju for a good period of time. The pilots themselves would mostly be relatives, siblings, parents and children, lovers, etc. The plot essentially deals with the world getting together to stop another force, but there is still no real peace because we are still fighting. Humanity is at a cross roads, fight or be destroyed.
Upon first glance Pacific Rim can seem like any Robot movie, lots of cool effects and not a lot of plot. Pacific Rim defies that and not only has a compelling story to accompany all of its action, it also delivers on three aspects that help make a movie solid for any type of movie goer: action, drama, and heart. I know I might be the wrong person to say this but I would totally see this movie as a date night type of thing, or even a girl’s night out which is what I did the night I saw this movie.
Pacific Rim was beautifully directed, wonderfully written, amazingly acted and definitely one of the best movies of the summer thus far. Everyone in this cast sold this movie from beginning to end. There isn’t a moment through out this film that your jaw isn’t on the floor, don’t even bother picking it up because it’ll be right back in a few minutes. Also expect to clap a lot, because watching those fight scenes are brutal and perfect. I wish I could come up it more words about how much I love it, but I can’t. It’s solid from beginning to end I think I’ll just let my tweets from last night do the rest of the talking because I can’t even fathom how else to describe my love for this movie. I am anticipating a lot of people comparing it to pretty much every alien/monster movie in the universe, but probably won’t be able to understand any hate that I see for it, because man-oh man, it was just off the charts FUN.
Pacific Rim hits theaters this Friday, July 12th. See it, you wont regret it. I swear it.
With the merger between Random House and Penguin Group complete, I thought this would make a good opportunity to talk about the lasting impression BEA left us with in 2013. BEA 2013 was buzzing with energy and excitement. On the outside, one would never know that something major was taking place in the backdrop to change the face of publishing forever. At BEA, authors were enjoying rockstar treatment; lines and crowds were everywhere.
Meanwhile, two of the Big Six publishers were waiting for governments worldwide to clear one of the biggest mergers in publishing history. July 1st marks the official birth of Random House Penguin Group, a company consisting of Pearson’s trade divisions under the Penguin Group umbrella and all of Random House minus their Germany counterpart, Random House Verlagsgruppe. What does this mean? For publishing professionals, it means slightly less choice in your employer. The new powerhouse publishing group employs 10,000 employees worldwide and based upon their choices for the new upper management of both Random House and Penguin Group, I am sure the crew will be eager to slash 25% of their workforce to save money… because you know, #publishing. If publishing trends in the past are anything to make assumptions from, the new group will probably decide to merge like imprints and divisions, further reducing choices for publishing professionals.
Agents, authors, and readers will also be out of luck once a bidding model is decided upon – since Penguin and Random House have different rules on how imprints can bid on proposals, it is important to note that one company allows imprints to big against one another for a manuscript while the other company does not allow that practice of author acquisition. I think this means a lot of great books that would have had a better chance of finding a home will be pushed aside because big publishers don’t like to take chances on unknown writers. On the plus side, this may allow Random House Penguin Group to throw their weight at Amazon in who knows what capacity. This new company will probably reinforce Simon & Schuster’s desire to merge with Hachette Book Group, reducing the publishing pool even more.
While there are many things to worry about with this merger, I think this is a great opportunity for the mid-size publishers to step up and snap up unknown authors that may resort to self-publication to get notice. After all, it was Bloomsbury that discovered Harry Potter, not Scholastic. Mid-size publishers are always more willing to take chances on authors that wouldn’t get the time of day from the Big Six. Hopefully the smaller publishers will use this merger as an opportunity to fill some new voids created by Penguin and Random House turning into one.
So I’ve been meaning to write about this game for a while since it has been some time since I beat it. I’d like to get some bad flak out of the way for this game – it’s nice to see an Assassin’s Creed game on a handheld that is just as pretty as its home console counterpart; however, it seems like the character development skimps out a bit. I think that was a case for both installments of “Assassin’s Creed 3.”
It was exciting and fresh to see a female Assassin take the lead role in the franchise even if it was just for a portable on Vita. New Orleans was fun and I think the different personas added a nice twist to the combat system. At times it was annoying to have different levels of notoriety across different ‘costumes’, but it makes sense. There were a few things that just didn’t make sense to me that made this game really hard to play through at times: who is Aveline? I understand she is the daughter of a slaveholder who grants her freedom and she is also the adopted daughter of her father’s wife. How did she come to be an Assassin? Why did she share her activities so freely with her step-mother? Why is Aveline’s birthmother intent on keeping her distance? Just what is that damn disc everyone is so afraid of? I feel like these are important, pivotal questions which remained unanswered to the very end.
The gameplay is relatively intuitive – it plays a lot like its predecessors, although there are a few quirky things here and there ranging from stroking the back of the Vita to row a boat, to rubbing the backside
a certain way to pick-pocket someone. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to rub my handheld to steal some change! Hold triangle to steal, please! These extra ‘controls’ felt really gimmicky, like the mandatory sixaxis controls in Heavenly Sword (anyone remember that game!?) in which everything involved tilting the controller because.. sixaxis. I also couldn’t stand decoding maps or letters. I’m told to hold my vita to the light as if I am peeking at a real piece of paper, yet the damn camera controls are inverted for some reason and it’s actually the front camera that needs to be held to the light. Decoding maps and other riddles took forever because of this glitch that is NEVER FIXED. I suppose after the game breaking save glitch fix Ubisoft gave up on this game.
Onto other details: there is a trading system side mission(or quest.. or mini game?) where you could make a butt-load of money using Aveline’s company to buy and sell crops, linen, and supplies. It seems
to be the counterpart to the Homestead trading in Assassin’s Creed 3; however, the controls are so horrendous it often took me ten minutes or so to figure out how to select a ship and where to send it. Once I figured out how to do it, the controls are so NOT intuitive that I would forget almost immediately how to send out another ship. Let’s just say I didn’t bother playing this part of the game very much.
Connor: Everyone was looking forward to meeting and running through New Orleans with Aveline. Well, he’s really just eye candy – you can’t do anything with him and all he does is follow you around somewhat incompetently. I think he is in this short game for just a few minutes depending upon how quickly you clear the missions.
I think this game is worth it if you can find it in the bargain bin. It’s been almost a year since its release so that may be possible at this point in time. I got mine with the Assassin White Playstation Vita bundle which I think was a very good bargain. I’m glad I did not pay full price for this title. Unfortunately, I think I’ll be waiting for the bargain bin for Assassin’s Creed IV since I’m still not convinced that it’s worth being a day one purchase.
What is a convention without cosplayers!? There were a great deal of moonies who were not afraid to show off their lovely frocks:
What would be a con without vendors? I thought this needed its own post since the vendors at Senshi Matsuri were unique - they were independent artists, designers, or online stores catering to the fandom.
Everyone had really nice, high quality stuff!
Hitomi is a vendor specializing in colored contact lenses, eyelashes, bows, and fukus.
Lil Hevn was selling trinkets ranging from earrings to plush onigiri!
There was something for everyone!
This booth, Hikari wo Sagasu, had lots of japanese themed trinkets ranging from silver earrings to origami hair pins and clips. These girls were really sweet and I bought a pretty pair of earrings that remind me a bit of Sailor Pluto’s staff. Looking back, I wish I bought an origami hair pin as well.
All of their stuff is available online I’m told, so maybe I will eventually get an origami rose hair pin.
Did you buy anything interesting from any of the booths at Senshi Matsuri?
After New York Anime Fest was gobbled up alive by New York Comic Con, it is nice to see a small event focused on a specific fandom that was pulled together by real fans instead of some corporate machine. Senshi Matsuri, hosted on Usagi’s birthday (June 30th) brought together over 200 Moonies under the roof of the tiny event hall in the Amsterdamn Houses next to Lincoln Center. It wasn’t overcrowded and it was far from empty - the perfect combination because I really can’t stand the sweaty and rude crowds that plague most big conventions.
Senshi Matsuri 2013 opened up with Twinkle Twinkle Sailor Stars presented by Lilith Oya:
After which was followed by a Senshi Fashion Show by Lil Hevn. Unfortunately the participants walked by so quickly I couldn’t get any individual shots.
The fashion show was followed by Uncle Yo’s standup geek comedy routine. For any readers who are unfamilar with him - he is basically a normal person making normal jokes. No, actually his humor is quite topical - if you don’t play video games, watch anime, or engage in other ‘nerdy’ or ‘geeky’ activities I don’t think you’ll understand anything he’s talking about. Today he poked fun at Big Bang Theory (a show I happen to like) and how it’s a very poor representation of geek culture but allows ‘outsiders’ to claim they understand us because they laugh at us from a safe distance. Of course he was funnier and I’m just going all English degree on a comedy routine.
His comedy act was followed by an event titled, “So You Wanna Be a Starlight” where some brave moonies took to the stage to show off their skills. Various acts involved singing and dancing.
The event wrapped up with one last performance and a cosplay contest.
The panels were engaging and well thought (descriptions taken from Senshi Matsuri 2013 agenda):
Sailor Moon & Feminism: It’s no secret that Sailor Moon is all about “girl power”— but just how much does this beloved anime measure up to feminist ideals? This panel looks how Sailor Moon deals with female empowerment, LGBTQ issues, body image, and more!”
Sailor Moon Cosplay 101: Lilith Oya brings you info and DIY tips on making the perfect Senshi Cosplays.
Basic Guide to a Magical Girl’s Wardrobe: There is no question that the gifted have a specific style, this is also true for the heroines of manga * anime.
Overall, I am happy with how the event turned out. I really do hope the turnout this year will allow the event to continue on next year and perhaps outgrow the small event center so it can find a home at the Hilton on 57th street or another very nice place suitable for a small convention. There are a few things that I would change for next year - but hopefully the crew who made this event happen will send out a survey asking for suggestions and comments. As I stated previously, it is really nice to go to an event that is truly about the fandom and not about lining the pockets of huge corporations.