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December 2015

My Thoughts On: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star_Wars_The_Force_AwakensI finally managed to find a spare few hours to go and treat myself to the newest instalment in the Star Wars franchise, and I should tell you all straight from the off that I absolutely loved it.

I’m not going to post a review about it because frankly it wouldn’t really be necessary. I have no real critique for the film, I loved it that much. Therefore, I decided it’d just be easier if I shared my thoughts with you in a brief note form.

Fair warning. There will be plot spoilers below. Do not read any further if you don’t want it spoiled!

So, without further ado…

  • The iconic Star Wars rolling text kicked off the film, and was really useful in order to give more context about the plot. It was also a lovely link back to the older films.
  • The movie is very friendly to new viewers. I have seen the original Star Wars movies, however, I only remember key moments from them. It turns out that you don’t really need much knowledge of this universe at all to thoroughly enjoy this movie.
  • How adorable is the relationship between Poe and BB-8?
  • Actually- how adorable was BB-8 in general?
  • Rey is absolutely a fantastic hero. She was played to perfection by Daisy Ridley and is definitely the true hero of the story, despite how the ads make it look like John Boyega’s Finn is the main hero.
  • I love how Star Wars still has strong themes about family.
  • Chewbacca steals every scene he’s in.
  • Maz Kanata reminded me of a mix between Yoda and E.T.
  • The droids (C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8) share a couple of great, and strangely moving scenes together.
  • I would’ve liked to see more of Poe Dameron.
  • Kylo Ren was possibly my favourite character throughout. He was never wholly evil. I’m incredibly glad J J Abrams decided to keep this character alive because I’m very interested to see where they’re going to take him next.
  • The fateful scene between Kylo and Han Solo, in which Kylo kills him, was so tense that I’m 99% sure I stopped breathing at one point. Utterly breath-taking.
  • There are some very emotional scenes.
  • Unfortunately one of those scenes wasn’t Han’s death. I expected I would feel more emotional for that, but I didn’t. It didn’t feel like he got the send-off the character deserved. I wanted Leia blubbing and inconsolable, but instead she just looked a bit depressed. Rey was in floods of tears. It didn’t feel right that Rey was more visibly upset about Han’s death than Leia was.
  • I loved how the entire storyline revolved around finding Luke Skywalker and when Rey eventually finds him and offers him his lightsaber, the credits roll. It was incredibly impactful. Mark Hamill was only in the movie for one scene and doesn’t say a word, but his facial expression in that scene told a million words.
  • WATCH THE DAMN MOVIE! IT WAS SO GOOD!
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Gwenpool is coming back!

gwenpoolIt looks as though Marvel has found a new character they wish to milk for every penny.

Gwenpool, an alternate universe version of Gwen Stacy who just happens to be that universe’s Deadpool, will get her own ongoing comic series next spring. The series will be set in the main Marvel Universe, as Gwenpool finds herself there as a result of the events in Secret Wars.

It will be written by Christopher Hastings, and drawn by art team Gurihiru. This creative team have been involved in every Gwenpool story thus fur, and clearly that is going to continue come April-time.

When speaking to Entertainment Weekly, here’s what Hastings had to say about the series:  “So the series is a lot about her believing she’s in a fictional world with no consequences. She’s seen everyone come back to life at some point, and it sort of seems like she’s living in a video game. And then the book is going to be the universe fighting back at that. Like, ‘you can’t really get away with everything’ is kind of the struggle there. It’s also sort of, she just assumes, ‘I’m obviously a main character so I need to be a superhero‘ even though she has no powers. I really like all of these comics right now about these teen heroes sort of figuring out what they’re doing in this world. But they come at it from a much more altruistic viewpoint, and I think it’s really fun to have somebody take on the mercenary angle and sort of like, contrast her against someone like Kamala Khan, as we did in the holiday special.”

That does sound strangely intriguing to me.

Not to mention that I absolutely adore Gurihiru artwork. They have a style that I wholeheartedly love; which is a big factor in my interest in this Gwenpool ongoing.

I normally hate moves like these on the account of them feeling like a cash-grab from Marvel, but this one has peaked my interest. I’ll probably read the first arc and see how I’m feeling about the book then.

My Thoughts On: Hermione casting

Much controversy has surrounded the casting of  Noma Dumezweni, a black woman, as Hermione. Many people have complained that Hermione is a white character. Well, I think that’s utter rubbish, and JK Rowling clearly agrees, as she noted on Twitter how Hermione was never specified as white.

jk rowling

I could talk for a lot longer about this, but I don’t want to just repeat what everyone else has said. My feelings on the matter are summed-up perfectly by the post below from Mugglenet.

http://www.mugglenet.com/2015/12/the-hermione-of-cursed-child-is-a-woman-of-color/

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts; I’ve got tickets to see Harry Potter and The Cursed Child in August, and I cannot wait to see Noma smash it!

Review: Doctor Who: Hell Bent

doctorwho hell bent
The Doctor returns to Gallifrey with revenge on his mind

Hell Bent is a fantastic episode and a fitting ending to a superb season of Doctor Who.

SPOILERS AHOY!

As this is the final episode of the season, I would just like to take this opportunity to say how impressed I’ve been by series 9. I can wholeheartedly say that I’ve really enjoyed 11/12 of the episodes all series; Sleep No More being the only one that I found to be subpar. Yet, even though I didn’t like that episode, it still pleased me to see how the showrunners at Doctor Who were willing to make risky and unconventional television at a primetime slot. Series 9 has made me laugh, cry (poor Clara) and even made me pick my jaw up from the floor in awe. I cannot wait to see which direction Moffat takes us in the show’s tenth series.

As we’ve come to expect, Peter Capaldi delivers another acting masterclass, yet in a more understated way from Heaven Sent. Although, you would expect that to be the case considering how he’s not completely alone and isolated in this episode, in fact he spends most of his time in different areas of Gallifrey, and a very familiar diner. Capaldi also brilliantly portrays the extent The Doctor is willing to go to for Clara. He shoots the General in cold blood (albeit after making sure he has regenerations left) and inflicted the immense pain of regeneration onto him. You could really see the pain behind Capaldi’s eyes when he pulled the trigger, but it was also a cold-bloodedness that we rarely get to see from the violence-free Doctor.

We must also address how wonderful Jenna Coleman was in this episode. Yes you read that  right. Clara returned. The Doctor pulled Clara out of time, just one heartbeat before she died. Anyway, when The Doctor told her exactly what he had been through (4.5 billion years in a Confession Dial) the look on Clara’s face told all the story we could ever need; the bitter sadness of knowing the pain The Doctor went through for her, as well as the pure hatred and disgust she shows for the other Timelords for putting him through that.

Now, onto Gallifrey, director Rachel Talatay does a fabulous job of allowing the viewer optimum opportunities to explore Gallifrey through the use of semi-frequent establishing shots. Thus, allowing us to learn more about The Doctor’s homeland, by seeing the architecture and terrain of ever-elusive Gallifrey. However, surprising as it is, considering the struggle it took to get there, we actually don’t spend too much time on Gallifrey, minus the shed The Doctor housed-up in from Day of The Doctor. For me, this was a bit of a let-down, as I was really interested in further storylines involving Gallifrey; and judging on the terms The Doctor left there on, I don’t think that’ll be happening anytime soon.

Onto Clara and The Doctor now, in order to protect them both, Clara’s memory of The Doctor had to be erased, otherwise the Timelords would be able to trace them. Why are the Timelords after them I hear you cry? That’s because the Hybrid is them, as hypothesised by Ashildr. The combination of The Doctor and Clara Oswald will result in the end and destruction of Gallifrey.

By this point I was having some very depressing Donna Noble flashbacks! However, The Doctor and Clara came to the realisation that only one of them needed to wipe their memory, and they basically took a 50/50 chance each; resulting in The Doctor’s memories of Clara being eradicated. This was a deeply moving scene, with Clara weeping over The Doctor as he tries to give her some last minute advice before he forgets her ( “Don’t eat pears” ). I feel like we got a better ending for Clara here, as I didn’t what her to be Donna Noble-d and I also wanted her to live. Although, a slight quibble is that is kind of nullifies the emotional impact Face The Raven had on me, but in hindsight I prefer having Clara alive.

On a personal positive note for me- the sonic sunglasses are a goner, and we get a brand new, awesome Sonic Screwdriver! Throughout the whole of this series, the only thing I’ve consistently hated was the sonic sunglasses, so I am thrilled that they’re gone in favour of a timeless Sonic Screwdriver.

I also want to mention how Clara’s story ends. We see her and Ashildr flying away in their own TARDIS that the Doctor stole from Gallifrey. I really loved this. Ashildr finally got what she always wanted; the ability to time travel, whilst Clara got to really take on the role of The Doctor. All in favour of an Ashildr/ Clara spin-off please raise you hand!

Whilst Hell Bent doesn’t reach the dizzy heights of its predecessor, Heaven Sent (which is basically an impossible task!), it is an excellent round-up of a marvellous series of Doctor Who.

Bring on the Christmas special, and the return of River Song!

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