2016 Movie Ranking

Hello Everyone,

Movies can be amazing or absolutely horrible. Below is the list of movies that came out this year that I saw and how I rank them. As usual, there are a lot more that I want to see.

My rankings are a combination of how much I liked the movie and if I’d be willing to rewatch it.

  1. Zootopia
  2. Moana (A by-the-numbers Hero’s Journey that hits every note perfectly. The music was fantastic.)
  3. Finding Dory
  4. Deadpool
  5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  6. Kubo and the Two Strings (A by-the-numbers Hero’s Journey that hits every note perfectly. The music was fantastic. The only reason it isn’t higher is the awkward pseudo-Japanese flavour that rings a little false without any main characters, writers, or directors being from the culture.)
  7. Ghostbusters (I really enjoyed this. So much so I saw it twice. I like it better then the original.)
  8. Star Trek Beyond (Best of the trilogy and the one that felt most like Star Trek.)
  9. The Jungle Book (Way better than the animated one with one of the best performances I’ve seen.)
  10. Hail, Caesar! (Loved this movie but I wish I had a list of movies it was referencing so I could get all the jokes.)
  11. Captain America: Civil War (This was fun, but for a movie called Captain America, it had very little Captain America. There’s a reason people call it Avengers 2.5)
  12. Doctor Strange (A solid Marvel origin story for another white, snarky, male hero. But let’s be honest, we’ve seen this movie before.)
  13. Rogue One (This was an okay movie but wasn’t all that good. Mostly just meh)
  14. X-Men: Apocalypse (So much money spent on big battles. I find I don’t really care about these movies anymore.)
  15. Suicide Squad (Trainwreck but kinda fun. I talked about it here)
  16. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (I saw the theatrical version and it was one of the worst things I’ve seen.)

Do you disagree? Let me know what your favourite movie was.

Éric

Dear Ghostbusters Haters: GET OVER IT!

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Let’s talk about stories. We as a species have been telling each other tales, probably as long as we’ve had language to tell them.

In school you most likely learned that there are only 3 kinds of narrative conflicts:

  • Person Vs Person;
  • Person Vs Self; or
  • Person Vs Nature.

Theoreticians, specifically Christopher Booker, have said that there are a limited amount of stories that can be told (Seven if you’re interested). A lot of those that don’t agree with Christopher Booker, agree that we have told every story that can be told. That brilliant concept you have for a novel? It’s been done. That cool hook for a D&D game? Done! That awesome 3 cord progression for a pop song? Done, Done, Done!

If it has all been done, what’s the point?

Every human being is different. Everyone sees the world through a completely different lens. What I understand isn’t what you understand.

When we write, we’re writing about our hopes, dreams, fears, and realities. This means that even if 100 people wrote a variation of Robin Hood, they would all be completely different. They would reflect the person, bias, and society they live in. (Side note: it’s quite possible that 100 is an understatement for Robin Hood.)

Combining and building stories is a form of entertainment but it’s also a way to re-enforce morals, express ideas, and explain difficult concepts.

Writing or telling a story is never a wasted exercise, it’s a form of expression.

Attachment and Emotion (AKA: My Precious!)

To Gollum, the One Ring was his purpose for life, it was everything to him. To Bilbo and Frodo, it was a security blanket; to Sauron, it was a Horcrux and means to power; but to Sam it was just a burden.

Like the Ring, people get attached to stories. They can illicit memories and emotions of a better, or perceived better, time and place. Attributing more value to a story is a form of nostalgia and often clouds peoples judgement as to the quality of the story.

What you get from a story isn’t what someone else gets. One person might find the love story between Buffy and Angel as romantic and another might find it disturbing. The reason is that we filter everything we experience through our own bias, lens, and ideals.

Precious

Don’t be Gollum

Once you accept that everyone already has their own version of stories, you have the choice to either open up your mind and learn from others, or be a Gollum and cling angrily to your version. This gets even worse with re-tellings, re-imaginings, or remakes.

The important thing to remember is that your Precious isn’t going anywhere. No one is going to burn all the other versions, no one is going to erase them, they’re still there for you to enjoy.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS RUINING YOUR CHILDHOOD!

I’ve heard this phrase a lot and the memories you have of your favourite Precious, cannot and should not be tarnished by a new version.

The only way something can be ruined for you is if you re-watch it and realize that it was crap all along. But that doesn’t negate your emotions or the enjoyment you had watching it for the first time.

Ghostbusters

It’s officially the most hated movie trailer on Youtube. You’ll find more anger towards it in internet comments sections than any other human endeavor. There are conspiracy theories that anyone who liked it was paid to say so by Sony.

The hate for the movie is completely unjustified. It is a re-telling of a movie that was a re-telling of other myths. (Frankly it would be easy enough to map the journey of the heroes with the traditional Hero’s Journey, or more specifically, a rip off of Beowulf.)

I realize that most of the hate for this movie is misogyny veiled as nostalgia, but that’s a whole other post.

Ghostbusters

Conclusion: Get Over It!

Stories will be told and re-told ad nauseum, either get over it or stop consuming anything new. It’s not your place to dictate what others create or consume. If you believe it is, you’re wrong.

 

Myths, Legends, and Stories will continue to be explored. It’s human nature to explore our existence through stories. What better way to explore themes of humanity than by re-telling our favourite stories?

Éric

Influences on Reality

Fiction has had a lot of influence in our daily life. Just look at all the gadgets that Star Trek suggested would be the way of the future, that we actually have now in 2016! Tablets, communicators, cell phones, etc. But I’d like to look at the places that have been influenced by fiction.

1. Stargate Command

Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado is the base for NORAD, but there’s rumour that there is a door that has a sign saying “Stargate Command”. Unfortunately, since the US military moved back into the mountain, only tours with “a mission-critical rationale for visiting the mountain, where the tour is essential in performing their daily functions in defending the homelands” may enter the complex. Darn.

2. Platform 9 and 3/4

Any Harry Potter fan would enjoy visiting King’s Cross station, and they’ve even set up a trolley halfway through the wall between platforms 9 and 10. The station also has “Hogwarts Express” listed on their screens at 11 am on September 1st. I would love to show up on that day at that time, dressed as a witch. Anyone want to do that with me?

Image from www.cdn.collider.com/
Image from www.cdn.collider.com

3. 221b Baker Street

Although the Sherlock Holmes house doesn’t exist at this address, there is now a Sherlock Holmes Museum that you can go visit. When Doyle wrote the series, Baker St only went up to #85!

Image from www.res.cloudinary.com
Image from www.res.cloudinary.com

4. Ghostbusters Firestation, NY

There is a fire station in New York, Hook and Ladder Company 8, that was the setting for the Ghostbusters headquarters. They have some cute little nods to the movie, both inside and out.

Ghostbusters_Firehouse_2_(2007)
Inside the building. Image from wikimedia.

 

Outside the station. Image from bradstudios.

Let me help you plan your trip. You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

Wizard World at Sea

You may not have heard, but the popular convention Wizard World is hosting a 3-day convention on a cruise ship December 2-5, 2016. The Norwegian Sky will depart Miami and go to Nassau, Bahamas, but I’m sure you’d rather hear about the guests.

Wizard World logo. Image from wizardworld.com
Wizard World logo. Image from wizardworld.com

Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, “Spin City”), Sara Underwood (“Attack of the Show”), Billy Martin (lead guitarist/keyboardist, Good Charlotte; artist, “TMNT”), Phil Ortiz (animator, “The Simpsons,” “Muppet Babies”), cosplayers Jackie Craft, Abby Dark Star and Zen Dragon. Additional celebrities and creators to appear aboard Wizard World Cruise will be announced in the coming weeks. (source and source)

Tickets go on pre-sale April 19th at 12 noon EST, and general sale April 20th at 12 noon EST.

Prices start at $749.00 USD per person, not including airfare or a $299.00 USD per person booking charge from the cruise company. However, the base fare seems to include photos with the celebrities, all meals onboard as well as open bar, a special cruise-only gift item, and access to all Wizard World events on the ship. Here is the link to the official price list. Please note, the prices are in USD!

If you are interested in booking this cruise, please let me know, and I will get you registered in advance so that the tickets can be bought quickly. You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

Why I’m ok with Reboots and Remakes

Yes they are Rebooting Reboot. Lol

From Ghostbusters to Fantastic Four this week, we’ve seen plenty of trailers and announcements for Reboots or Remakes.

Yes they are Rebooting Reboot. Lol

Definitions

A Remake, if you don’t know, is a new version of the same story. It includes the same characters and often the same plot. Robin Hood and A Christmas Carol are probably two of the most remade stories as movies.

A Reboot/Reimagining keeps the general idea of the original but changes it and moves things around. A reboot would be for a series while a reimagining would be for a standalone movie.

Think of Mickey’s Christmas Carol as a Remake and Scrooged as a Reimagining.

Nothing New

It would seem that Hollywood has run out of ideas and that they are literally ripping stories from books or just remaking the same movies over and over again. It may even seem like this is a new phenomenon.

It isn’t. The Book Captain Blood published in 1922 was made into a movie in 1924, remade in 1935 with Errol Flynn, and then remade another 4 times before 1991. I guess it’s due.

If that isn’t enough of an example let’s go back to Robin Hood. The story is based off of 15th century ballads and was first written into a book in 1819 by Walter Scott. There have been, according to Wikipedia, 35+ books based off the legend and ballads.

From 1939 to 2013 there have been 67 versions of Robin Hood with at least one confirmed new version coming up.

Taking inspiration from myth’s, plays, and legends is a standard practice in any storytelling medium. Any writer who says they’ve written something completely original is lying.

Why’s it ok

Stories are ways for each of us to think about and see the world differently. There are stories that will always be iconic and why bother trying to dress up your sci-fi “Thief with a heart of gold that steals from the rich and gives to the poor” when you just call it Robin Hood in the 28th century.

Movies, and to a lesser extent books, are the myths that we tell each other. They are this century’s and the lasts way of exploring what it is to be alive and what it is to be a storyteller.

Whether your childhood Superman is from Action Comics, cartoons, George Reeves, Christopher Reeves, Dean Cain, Brandon Ruth, Tom Welling, Henry Cavill or Kirk Alyn. Having a new version doesn’t lessen the impact it had on you as a child.

I don’t know the percentage but for every crappy Remake/Reboot/Reimagining there is a chance for a great one.

That chance and hope of seeing something you love done well is worth the innumerable bad versions.

Doctor Who

Remember that the longest running Science Fiction show has 813 episodes over 61 years.

A big part of that is due to its ability to regenerate itself every few years.

 

What Reboot, Reimagining, Remake, Sequel, or Spinoff are you must looking forward to?

Éric