Girl Vs. Monster – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2012 film Girl Vs. Monster.

Story

This is a fairly simple story about facing your fears. It’s surprisingly well thought out with lots of fun throughout. It has aged much better than I expected.

Score: 1

Charaters

When I first watched it I really liked the assistant and the main character. Watching it now, the best friend is seriously the most awesome character. The parents are annoying but understandable and most of the characters are good but a little shallow. The movie could have done with less secondary charters.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue is often a little bit too much on point and is interestingly already dated. It has some nice layers but its mostly just okay.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The movie uses its sets, cinematography, and special effects very well. The special effects are cheesy, but the sets are well done and I was impressed with the camera work.

The music was good. It was obvious that they had 2 songs and a small score, but it worked and helped move the plot forward instead of just taking time.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I liked this movie the first time I saw it and still liked it this time. I had both kids snuggling into me during the scary parts and both really liked it. They both got really excited at the big music scene. It also kept both of them interested the whole time without snacks. The day after, the 2 year old asked, “Watch Scary Movie?” which is super cute.

Score: 1

Overall

A good intro to horror adventure movies for kids, few scares but no trauma. With it’s strong message and wonderful soundtrack it’s a great cheesy Disney scary movie.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Do you live in fear?

Hello Readers,

Let me me start by saying I’m tired. Tired of people being jackasses to each other and then turning around and blaming someone else.

I’ve been accused of living in fear for the past six months. Apparently being afraid of a virus that has killed nearly 3/4 of a million people and following health and safety guidelines is living in fear.

Fear is a natural reaction, it’s an instinct that keeps us alive. Fear isn’t a bad thing. I can hear the embodiment of internet comment sections sections screaming, “BUT IT CONTROLS YOU!” Fear can be used to control, and yes it can go to unhealthy levels, but self isolating, wearing a mask, and avoiding risky behaviour is not unhealthy (it’s the opposite).

Tempting… https://leasticoulddo.com/comic/20200813

I understand that some people have legitimate reasons to not wear a mask, that’s fine and I’ll never challenge someone who isn’t wearing one, but I’ll give them a wide berth. However, if you’re refusing to wear a mask on principle, you are being selfish, inconsiderate, and ridiculous. What’s the worst that happens? You do something in hopes that it’ll benefit others and it doesn’t work?

More recently I’m seeing a lot of memes about how more children are stolen and sold than died of Covid, or how this one kid died because someone shot him but it’s not getting the same media attention.

One travesty doesn’t mean another isn’t important. People can, and do care about more than one thing. It’s unfair and reductive to compare them. Only a fool says “Car accidents kill more people than cancer.” Same applies here.

In an article in Science Mag, they describe the “sheer breadth of complications linked to COVID-19 is mind-boggling“. Over and over again, science has said that this virus is dangerous and I will treat it that way.

Another argument that’s been passing around is that “the flu kills people every year, should we take the same precautions for it?” My answer is yes. Wear a mask during flu season or if you feel sick. If you have a choice, don’t go to work sick. We should be pushing for mandatory sick days.

We as a society need to overcome the foolish notion that taking sick days is a sign of weakness or laziness.

Wear a mask, wash your hands, and be safe,

Éric

Dear Pegasus and Dragon – Pandemic 2020

Hello My Mythical Brood,

It’s the twentieth of April and we’ve been in a quarantine for a little over a month. I’m hoping that you’re not too scared, and that you’re enjoying all the family time. Your Mum and I have been trying to make this comfortable for you.

I’ll be completely honest, it’s been hard for me. Not spending time with you, that’s been awesome; exhausting but a lot of fun. The worry is what’s been hard. I’m hoping you’re not feeling it too much, but I’m terrified for family and friends.

I’m also worried by a lot of foolish people who might cause a new wave of infections. There are more conspiracy theories than you can shake a stick at.

Worse, this disease seems to have become politicized, with one side wanting to protect lives and the other to protect the economy. Both are worried for humanity, but have different priorities. If our society doesn’t change and we don’t worry about the economy then we’ll have problems that will last a long time and will kill people. If we just let a huge amount of people die, the economy won’t do well. What we need is change. We need to reorder society to prioritize lives. Not just monetizable lives, but all lives. I hope that by the time you read this, we have a better solution.

The next month will tell us a lot about what’s going to happen. I’m hoping those in power do the right thing.

This is obviously coming from a place of privilege, but I hope when you hear about this time in the future, your memories are happy and joyful. I hope that we have insulated you from the worst of it while still helping you understand what is happening.

We’re at the beginning of this thing still and I’m not sure what will happen.

I know that I will love you and do my best to protect you.

I love you both so much.

Your worried Papa

Long Haul

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Trump said something about having everything open by Easter. Even before that, people were talking about returning to normal.

I heard about the Virus in the end of January while on vacation at Disney. I’m ashamed to say that I thought people were overreacting. Then I got sick.

Baby Pegasus got something at the end of our trip to Florida and then sneezed into my mouth. Yum. I’m not sure if it was the virus or another Covid that’s flying around there, but it matched all the symptoms. Who knows. Either way, it was the worst sickness I’ve had outside of severe food poisoning.

By the end of February, I was starting to get worried. By the time the lockdowns started, I realized this was going to be a while.

Every week, news sources are talking about when things will go back to normal. People who saw the horrifying inequality in our society want us to do better then normal.

I’m convinced this will be a long haul. This will become our normal for a while. I’m hoping that by Christmas we will have a viable cure or vaccine. But I don’t expect the threat to go away until the end of 2020.

Now just because the Virus is still around, doesn’t mean that those who have their own best interest in mind aren’t going to push to reopen society. We will see those that believe humans are a commodity pushing for a return to capitalist normal.

We will see things normalized that should horrify us before this is over. Governments will push too far, corporations will push eugenics, or immunity cards, and worst, our friends and neighbours will start to believe the arguments.

My greatest fear is going to be having to choose between the health of my family, friends, and myself, over having to go back to work. I’m really hoping it doesn’t come to that.

Now let me be positive. At least in the short term this will mean a greater respect for those that are working hard everyday. Those that work at grocery stores, hospitals, restaurants, sanitation, and all the other essentials services.

In the long run, I expect better respect for the importance of health care and minimum wage. The need to make internet an essential and affordable service and the need for being prepared for this in the future. I also really hope we see the quick death of the anti-vaccine movement.

 Uncertain future. Illustration: Chris Riddell

We have lived through 3 major viral pandemics in the past twenty years (5 if you count Ebola and HIV); this is going to happen again. If we’re lucky, it’ll be a strain of something we have a vaccine for and can adapt fast but I predict this isn’t the last major shutdown of our times.

In these darker times, it’s important for us to remember three things:

  1. All life has value; no one should be defined by the amount of money they can make for others.
  2. Don’t give in to hate.
  3. Life will change after this and it’s up to us to make sure it’s for the better.

Stay home, wash your hands, and be kind to one another.

Éric

Covid-19 and Me

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’ve been pretty silent about the state of the world the past few weeks. Part of that was being overwhelmed and part of that was being busy.

Ottawa called for people to start self-isolating and working from home starting March 16th. My first day of work after just over eight months of parental leave was the 18th of March. I work for the government in a communications area so I’m considered essential.

I’ve been dealing with going back to work (although I do enjoy working from home), a baby that is teething (AKA not sleeping well), the pandemic, and everything that entails.

My family is in a good place. We have a house, I have a job that will continue to pay me (barring some sort of pheonix crap), and we’re all pretty used to being at home. Our house is filled with movies, games, books, and comfy furniture.

The kids are still too young for school and like I said, I just finished ~8 months of parental leave so we’re all kind of used to being at home. I do miss having people over for D&D, movies, and to chat. I miss going to the cinema, and going for walks with the kids to Walmart or the park. My daughter and wife miss church and we all miss our conventions.

Those are minor inconveniences and I know we are extremely lucky.

My wife asked me to cut her hair. This was right before.

It’s still been hard. I’ve felt like I was on high alert for the past three weeks. I’ve felt terrified while shopping and I’m scared for my friends and family.

I’m starting to calm down but I’m still teary and worried.

This will become normal and when things get better we’ll have hopefully spared much death and heartache.

The implications of what this will change in our world are staggering and a little scary. But that’s another post all together.

Stay home and wash your hands!

Éric

The Griswold Effect and Your Disney Vacation

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

Holidays and vacations are stressful. It’s one of the few times in life where you feel you need to be perfect and make everything perfect for everyone around you. That stress can turn to anger and depression.

The need to make everything perfect on holidays and vacations is colloquially known as The Griswold Effect. There’s only one result to expecting perfection in a holiday or vacation, and that’s disappointment.

My father in-law said on our second day at Magic Kingdom:

“They say this is the happiest place on earth but I keep hearing crying and people screaming at each other.”

I had noticed the same thing. From little kids on leashes screaming at their parents, to one uncool man swearing at a Haunted Mansion cast member, to parents yelling at their kids.

All Disney parks are huge, exhausting, and filled with people who think the whole park is there for them. There’s this image of the parks as perfect experiences of awesome, but they’re like every other vacation.

Don’t get me wrong, Disney is absolutely fantastic and I’m sure I’ll be going back (I’ve been to Disney World 4 times and Paris Disney once.)

The trick is to keep your expectations realistic. Rides break down, you wait for hours to get on, everything is overpriced and there’s more than you can do in one trip. You also have to account for down time and eating. Everything is bright, loud, and exciting which makes it really easy to get overstimulated. It’s also super easy to forget to eat. Use your eating time to decompress, plan, and most of all, adjust expectations.

The most important part of any holiday or vacation is being with those you love. Nothing will ever be perfect, so plan, set things up, prioritize what’s most important, and then hold on for dear life as the universe throws everything it can at you.

Good luck,

Éric

Disney Vacation Posts

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

For the next few weeks I’ll be writing articles on Disney Vacations. I’ve read horror stories and seen terrible things.

I’ll offer tips and tricks, tell you how I felt, and all kinds of other ridiculous stuff.

And don’t worry I’ll have cute pictures of the kids too.

Later Days,

Éric

Dear Pegasus – Fear of Cults

Dear Baby Pegasus,

You are on your way and I’m both excited and nervous. I wrote about my anxieties in my previous letter but I left one out.

I’m terrified because you are a perfect target for cults. When your Gramma was young, she joined a cult. They separated people from their families, fed them little, sleep deprived them, and made them believe that the central figure was faultless if not deific.

When I was young I noticed similar behaviour in school. In this case, it was a teacher with bad intentions who used all the same tricks to turn the class into his own private cult and he took advantage of select people. Even when he was caught, there were elements of the conditioning left in the class to make people want him to return.

You are growing up in a different age than your Gramma or I, and in some ways it’s wondrous. The entirety of human knowledge is available to you with little to no effort. As is the entirety of misinformation and hate that we as a race are capable of. It means that cults today don’t need a compound, they don’t need their old tricks. They have direct access to you through multiple channels and they prey on your fear, distrust, hurt, and pride.

Modern digital cults are cults of hate. They’re not new but they are much more far reaching. I’m scared I won’t have the ability to save you from them; I’m scared I won’t be able to prepare you to defend against them; and I’m scared they will steal you before you know what’s going on.

Your Mum and I do, and will do, our best to raise you and your sister to think rationally. To look at the evidence, opposing views, and make a critical decision based on that and your values.

I just hope it’s enough. I hope that in your darkest moments where you consider joining or participating in these things that you know you always have us to talk to.

I love you so much and I’ve yet to meet you,

Your Papa

P.S. This article explains a lot better what could happen.

Dear Pegasus – Being a Man

Dear Baby Pegasus,

As a parent, my goal is to help you be the best version of yourself you can be. That’s the goal, but on a daily basis I’m usually just trying to make sure you and your sister survive with limited trauma.

You’re on your way, two months now before you get here and I’m terrified. I feel like I just got used to having three members of the family. I have no idea what you’ll be like, or how you’ll get along with your sister and it scares me.

I also harbour a strange fear. I’m not sure how to raise a boy. I’ve spent most of my life surrounded by girls and when I made friends with boys it almost always ended poorly. I often have no idea what to say or how to act around other males. I can count on one hand the men I’m close to and feel comfortable with.

Gender is a social construct, but with it comes social constructs on behaviour and shared truths. I feel like I missed the “male” seminar and that means in groups of men I often feel like I’m missing something. Some subtext that I just don’t follow.

Yes I’m empathic, yes I’m a writer, and yes I am a man. But those are despite my anxieties, not because of them.

All that to say I have no idea how to raise you to be a good, great, or any sort of a man. Sorry.

What I do know is that I’m going to do my best to raise you as a caring, intelligent, and good person. It means I’m going to try and ask myself if I treat you differently than your sister and if it’s because you’re a boy. I want to make sure you don’t just respect others but have genuine compassion.

No matter what, know that your Mum and I love you and want what’s best for you,

Your Papa

I’m Fat and so is Trump

Hello Internet,

I’m fat. I’ve been considered morbidly obese since seventh grade. Here I am at my thinnest and best shape of 200lbs and 220lbs:

The left (200lbs) was taken in 2003 and the right (220lbs) in 2005. The difference in weight could have been mostly hair.

My entire life I have seen people like me be one of three things: Villain, Weirdo, and Dork. These were the roles I could play in society and my role models were comedians (John Candy).

There were three universal truths about being fat:

1. You were messy, smelly, or gross.

To this day I am obsessively clean about eating and hygiene. I’m struck with terror at the idea of being messy with food in front of people or having BO.

2. You Love fast food.

I watched my mother (who weighed 300-400lbs for most of my life) struggle with this constantly. She wanted to be healthy but being poor meant it was easier to buy frozen and fast food. I still marvel at the privilege inherent in people who hate veggies. Fresh veggies are better than candy to me and growing up they were a rare treat. Now I try to follow a diet from the keto pure diet reviews I found.

That being said I do love me some McDonalds and A&W.

3. You were lazy / it’s your fault

Oh this is the reason so many people have eating disorders, Yo-Yo diet, or try dangerous things. Sometimes you’re just fat and sometimes you need to balance the need to lose weight and the time/money it would take to lose.

Hey advice person, let me stop you right there. I am perfectly healthy. My blood glucose, cholesterol, etc are better than most men half my age. Other than arthritis, allergies, and IBS; I’m fine. Also keep your chia/coconut/superfood to yourself.

Trump

I don’t hate Trump; I loathe him. His entire being, especially his presidency, is an assault to common sense, humanity, and decency. His treatment of minorities, the economy, and the English language are horrifying.

He’s also fat and likes fast food. We have that in common.

The disgusting thing about Trump serving fast food to a bunch of athletes is that he served them 2-3 hour old, cold, fast food. He could have commissioned a bunch of fast food trucks to show up and it would have been quirky. Instead he pre-ordered a bunch of food and as it cooled he gave a nonsensical speech.

His weight, ass, belly, flab, etc. do not represent his worth, or lack thereof, as a human being. His actions and words represent his monstrosity.

Please stop making fun of him for his fatness. Every time you associate causation between his being fat and his repugnant behaviour you tell me, and children who look like me, that we’re no better than Trump.

Fat is not a representation of worth. I am not inherently bad because of a number on a scale.

Stop mocking and associating Trump’s weight with his worth.

The living personification of capitalism and hate has given you a plethora of material to mock.

I’m fat and so is Trump. Our size doesn’t make us twins and the fact that we have that in common means absolutely nothing.

Be kind,

Éric