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Fan Film Friday: ‘Red Shirt Blues’ (Star Trek)

Happy birthday to Star Trek, which celebrated 50 years of sci-fi excellence this week!

That’s more than half a century of some of the most quotable movie lines, emotional television moments (I can not even cite just one! Just watch every episode of every series! Ugh! My heart!), page turning books and comics, out of this world conventions, and shareable memes! So in tribute to all things Trek, we decided to watch and review David O. Rogers’ Star Trek inspired fan film titled Redshirt Blues.

redshirts2The short, which goes by way too fast at just nine minutes long, originally screened on the Sci Fi Channel‘s Exposure in 2001 and has been around a respectable 15 years itself! Don’t let the aged image and sound quality deter you from watching this oldie but goodie: there is a solid story there that stands the test of time!

Redshirt Blues tells the tale of Averson (Jack P. Dempsey) and Leeds (Erik Hill), two “hapless” security officers on the Enterprise. Averson is sick and tired of Kirk, the Federation, and the ridiculous red shirt he must wear every day. This guy is one bad day away from transporting himself to another planet! While patrolling, he meets Leeds, an enthusiastic, crimson clad new recruit who learns the horrid truth about what it means to be a “redshirt” the hard way (Spoiler alert: if you’re wearing a red shirt, you’re on Death Duty! R.I.P.).

Redshirt Blues is funny and self aware! It pokes fun at all the things Star Trek is teased for—often by Star Wars fans— including broken props and Shatner’s bad acting. But at the same time, it embraces and showcases everything that makes the fandom great: interesting dialogue, character driven stories, and just enough action/adventure/effects to feel like a “proper” sci-fi story.

This comedic spoof definitely made me smile, and I recommend Redshirt Blues to you, GeekGirl World!

Watch Redshirt Blues below:

What did YOU think GeekGirl World? Let us know in the comments section!

Want more Fan Film Friday fun, darling cinephiles? Be sure to check out our other FFF reviews here!

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Movie Review: “The 9th Life of Louis Drax”

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The 9th Life of Louis Drax

Synopsis: A psychologist who begins working with a young boy who has suffered a near-fatal fall finds himself drawn into a mystery that tests the boundaries of fantasy and reality.
Director: Alexandre Aja
Screenplay written by: Max Minghella
Based on the the novel of the same name by: Liz Jensen
Stars: Jamie Dornan, Aiden Longworth, Sarah Gadon
Release date: September 2, 2016

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Mystery. Thriller. Tragedy. The Supernatural.

This story of the troubled, accident prone child Louis Drax weaves these genres masterfully. Director Alexandre Aja (Horns, Maniac) creates a film that plunges the viewer in to an alternate realm where we are led to investigate the motivations of a powerful force – the subconscious mind. The film is adapted by actor, filmmaker and screenwriter Max Minghella (Agora, The Two Faces of January) from the novel by best-selling author Liz Jensen and produced by Minghella and his partners, including Aja. The creative team executes this adaptation of Jensen’s thriller novel very well, amplifying the scary inherent in the story.

Little Louis Drax (Aiden Longworth) appears fragile and ethereal, apt for a boy who has survived eight near death experiences. He clings to his beautiful mother, Natalie Drax (Sarah Gadon), a pale porcelain doll whose wistful blue eyes contain secrets. Troubled stepfather Peter Drax (Aaron Paul) provides tension and suspense throughout the film, always simmering and ready to boil over. An odd love triangle is created by the introduction of Dr. Pascal (Jamie Dornan) a brilliant pediatric neurologist with his own tension: a dissolving marriage. The intricacies of human emotional life, the interplay of desires and the enthralling leap in to psychosis ultimately hooks the viewer as we plunge in to the murky abyss of Louis Drax’s mind.

What power the brain holds, and how much cerebral ability still remains undiscovered and unexplained by modern science; these mysteries lay a strong foundation for the willing suspension of disbelief. The 9th Life of Louis Drax gains this suspension, granting the viewer a way to journey in to the layers of irrational, nonsensical human behavior; of actions wrapped in enigma, characters’ banter tied up with riddles… answers ultimately revealed through the inherently dumb cruelty of the antagonist, doing what leads so many criminals to get caught: leaving clues.

Rapport is established immediately with young Louis, who has survived so much just to reach his ninth birthday, and truly we want him to be okay. That Murphy’s Law seems to be in full effect in Louis daily life creates the logical conclusion that all is not well with the adults around him, that a powerful psychosis is at work in the Drax household. This intensifies the tension of what would otherwise be mundane and normal interaction between his parents. Natalie is a vision of loveliness, however her Stepford wife exterior conflicts with her personality. She oscillates between having the absent gaze of the “deer in headlights” and the intense emotional ferocity of a vixen intent on eroding her husband’s sanity until he is compliant. Aaron Paul is brilliantly cast as Peter Drax, we assume malice from his character even without evidence just by merit of his sharp eyed visage.

As Louis is lost in a coma and Peter is estranged, the main plot turns to Natalie’s subtle manipulations of neurologist Dr. Pascal. Dornan’s sexually frustrated doctor character throws off his mantle of medical discipline and professionalism in the vicinity of the femme fatale Natalie. That he is so cavalier does not go unnoticed, and adds to both the status he holds in the coma ward as well as amongst his peers. Dr. Pascal is ultimately the most creatively developed of all the characters, alongside Louis. Both the boy and the doctor have delved in to one the most difficult aspects of human experience – loss of voluntary motion, loss of bodily control and function. Louis is in a coma. Dr. Pascal’s history with sleepwalking is well promoted as a basis for his TED Talk, a subject he has included in books he has authored; this history reasserts itself and twists into the story. Reality breaks apart as the stresses of dealing with Louis Drax’s situation multiply for the adults around him.

The supernatural realm, which Louis inhabits and interacts with in his comatose state, bears mention… no spoilers here though. Metaphorically charged visuals boost the recurring theme of drowning, again touching on primal fears that grip human consciousness. The opening title sequence and the use of clever sound design elements help solidify this theme. The use of the supernatural and the subconscious both provide fertile ground for a story that brings the viewer in to deep dark emotional waters. Watching this story left a powerful take away: when the rational mind cannot find a way through fear, when neither harmony nor logic is present in a situation, the primal resources of instinct and superior intuition will be all that is left to come to our aid – so listen to the small voice within, as Louis Drax does.

Will you be seeing The 9th Life of Louis Drax? Let us know in the comments!

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Dog Day Sunday: Dog Pokemon!

In honor of the continued success of Pokemon Go, this Dog Day Sunday we have decided to feature all of the dog-type Pokemon! Because digital animals are totally more interesting than real-life animals.

Though the original 151 features only two dog-type Pokemon (Arcanine and Growlith), subsequent generations of the Pokemon game and television series have given birth to a plethora of new adorable (and kind of scary) dog-type Pokemon.

Here’s the full list of dog-type Pokemon:

Arcanine

Species: Legendary
Type: Fire
Abilities: Flash Fire, Intimidate
Weakness: Ground, Rock, Water
Height (ft): 6′ 3″
Arcanine will always be the alpha male of the dog Pokemon. It doesn’t get much better than this, folks… trust us.

Electrike

Species: Lightning
Type: Electric
Abilities: Lightning Rod, Static
Weakness: Ground
It’s as if the creator of this Pokemon just said “fuck it.”

Furfrou

Species: Poodle
Type: Normal
Abilities: Fur Coat
Weakness: Fighting
Height (ft): 3′ 11″

 Its ability is fur coat. Really?

Growlith

Species: Puppy
Type: Fire
Abilities: Flash Fire, Intimidate
Weakness: Ground, Rock, Water
Height (ft): 2′ 4″
The O.G. dog Pokemon.

Granbull

Species: Fairy
Type: Fairy
Abilities: Quick Feet, Intimidate
Weakness: Steel, Poison
Height (ft): 4′ 7″
Is this a dog Pokemon or Space Jam villain? The world may never know.

Herdier

Species: Loyal Dog
Type: Normal
Abilities: Sand Rush, Intimidate
Weakness: Fighting
I can’t see this adorable pup intimidating anyone anytime soon.

Houndour

Species: Dark
Type: Dark, Fire
Abilities: Flash Fire, Early Bird
Weakness: Fighting, Ground, Rock, Water
You wouldn’t want to meet this hell hound in a dark alley, that’s for sure.

Houndoom

Species: Dark
Type: Dark, Fire
Abilities: Flash Fire, Early Bird
Weakness: Fighting, Ground, Rock, Water
Height (ft): 4′ 7″
…or this one. Yeah, definitely this one.

Lucario

Species: Aura
Type: Fighting, Steel
Abilities: Inner Focus, Steadfast
Weakness: Fighting, Ground, Fire
Anubis? Is that you?

Lillipup

Species: Puppy
Type: Normal
Abilities: Pickup, Vital Spirit
Weakness: Fighting
Height (ft): 1′ 4″
Bunny? Dog? Deformed stuffed animal? This Pokemon doesn’t know what the hell it is.

Manectric

Species: Discharge
Type: Electric
Abilities: Lightning Rod, Static
Weakness: Ground
A shocking combination of fur and fury. What? Too lame? Okay… :(

Mightyena

Species: Bite
Type: Dark
Abilities: Quick Feet, Intimidate
Weakness: Fighting, Bug, Fairy
Height (ft): 3′ 3″
No bark, all bite.

Poochyena

Species: Bite
Type: Dark
Abilities: Run Away, Quick Feet
Weakness: Fighting, Bug, Fairy
Height (ft): 1′ 8″
We’re willing to face certain death for the chance to snuggle with this adorable dark Pokemon.

Riolu

Species: Emanation
Type: Fighting
Abilities: Inner Focus, Steadfast
Weakness: Psychic, Flying, Fairy
Height (ft): 2′ 4″
This pokemon has two sets of ears! We think…

Smeargle

Species: Painter
Type: Normal
Abilities: Technician, Own Tempo
Weakness: Fighting
Height (ft): 3′ 11″
I’m not saying this Pokemon is useless, but this Pokemon is definitely useless.

Snubbull

Species: Fairy
Type: Fairy
Abilities: Run Away, Intimidate
Weakness: Steel, Poison
Will someone please explain to us wtf this even is?

Stoutland

Species: Big-Hearted
Type: Normal
Abilities: Sand Rush, Intimidate
Weakness: Fighting
Height (ft): 3′ 11
Special attack: leaving fur on its enemies black pants before they leave for work.

Which dog Pokemon is your favorite? Let us know in the comments! Want your dog featured on Dog Day Sunday?

Send your stories and photos to webmaster@geekgirlworld.com and you’ll be entered to win a Loot Crate Pet Edition!

 

 

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‘Stranger Things’ Season 2: Everything We Know

We are absolutely desperate for more Stranger Things, and while we don’t know where the 80s inspired sci-fi thriller falls on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we do know it’s somewhere between safety and self-actualization.

Luckily for all of us, Netflix has confirmed that the series will be renewed for a second season!

Production on the new season has not yet begun, but we now have some semi-juicy details about season 2 to hold us over while we wait for what is sure to be a tiresome eternity.

Here’s everything we know:

Season 2 will continue where season 1 left off

Though Stranger Things has the definite potential to become an anthology like American Horror Story, it has been confirmed that season 2 will more-or-less continue where season 1 left off.

Season 2 will be set in the fall of 1984 – a year after the events of season 1.

“At one point there was this idea of doing ‘80s, ’90s, 2000s, and then Season 5 would be 2020 and it would catch up to present day. But I think at the end of the day there was this world that we really loved and in making it and we didn’t want to move away from these kids,” Stranger Things executive producer Dan Cohen told Yahoo. “There’s so many cool dynamics and mythologies. This world the Duffer Brothers created was so awesome and there’s still so much unanswered that it’s impossible to not want to continue into the next year.”

So it looks like we’ll be in the 80s for the long run. We’re not complaining.

New characters are on the way!

The series is currently looking to cast actors for the roles three new characters: Max, Roman and Billy.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Max is a tough tomboy with a complicated past and a complicated relationship with her 17-year-old stepbrother, Billy. Max will be a series regular.

Billy is described as being a muscular and overconfident teenager with a black Camaro, a drinking game skill level of 100, and a tendency to steal peoples’ girlfriends. Billy has a violent and unpredictable nature, and rumor has it that he killed someone in the past. Billy has not been confirmed as a series regular.

Roman’s gender has not yet been revealed, but we know that the character will be a social outcast between the ages of 30 and 38. The character grew up homeless with a drug-addicted mother and is seeking revenge for…something. Roman has also been confirmed as a series regular.

More new characters will be coming as well, but don’t worry, the original squad is coming back and will be front and center in season 2.

… & one won’t be returning

As far as we know, Nancy’s adorably geeky (and very dead) friend Barbara will not be returning for season 2.

“I can’t see it happening,” series creator Matt Duffer told IGN when asked if Barb would be returning from the Upside-Down. “But Barb will not be forgotten. We’ll make sure there’s some justice for Barb. People get very frustrated, understandably, that the town doesn’t seem to be really dealing with Barb. That stuff is all happening. We’re just not spending any screen time on it.”

Duffer still did not rule out a possible return, but we’re going to grab a spatula and flip our shit if Barb comes back from the dead.

Season 2 will feature 9 episodes

For those of you horrible at math (me), that’s 1 more episode than season 1. Yaaaasssss!

…Which will be released next year!

Season 2 production is scheduled to begin next month and is estimated to wrap up in April of next year.

No official release date has been announced, but it has been confirmed that the second season will stream on Netflix sometime in 2017 (the summer, perhaps?).

We’ll update you with all the latest Stranger Things news as it becomes available!

Are you excited for season 2? Bummed about Barb? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Just for the record, Barb is definitely dead. Otherwise, #plotkai.

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Fan Film Friday: ‘Severus Snape and the Marauders’ (Harry Potter)

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter has been enchanting fans since 1997. Over the course of 11 years, we’ve had 7 full books, 8 feature films, short stories, Pottermore and more (ha)! 2016 has been especially magical, with the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood in April, as well as the highly anticipated theatrical debut of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them  coming November 18th. Add Broad strokes Productions fan film, titled Severus Snape and the Marauders, to the list of marvelous 2016 releases that had us holding our wands up in delight!

The story kicks in with James Potter and his marauder pals Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew at the pub celebrating their graduation from Hogwarts and pondering about their futures, including the repercussions of possibly fighting against people they went to school with in the pending war. Conflict arises when Potter’s enemy, Severus Snape, walks into the bar.

This is more than the jock vs. the goth kid: Potter and Snape hate each other!

The script, coupled with what fans know from the books, show that these two men had different ideals about the world and how things should be. The only thing they have in common is that they both love Potter’s squeeze, Lily. Potter foolishly attempts to assert his dominance over Snape by “scaring” him a little. Biting words quickly escalate into a full-fledged wand-wielding row, and later, some fighting mano y mano.

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One of the things I always adored about the Harry Potter universe was how Rowling managed to make the impossible seem so possible! Even in a world of magic and mystery, the characters and their problems were still relatable to the core. The same can be said for this project, which contained all the witty dialogue and thoughtful character development that one would expect from Rowling herself. The characters were fleshed out and natural, and each character was cast perfectly both in look and demeanor. I especially loved Zachary David’s comical-without-being-over-the-top portrayal of the spineless wimp Peter Pettigrew.

I was entranced by the major battle scene in the film. It was not just action packed, it was visually stunning (no pun intended)! With a brawl with moves that felt like a dance, a sweeping score that would make John Williams proud, and spells visualized via brilliant sparks of color, I could not have been more impressed.

Beautiful sets, effects, and wardrobes also made me feel enveloped by the story.

Members of Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff alike can all agree one one thing: Severus Snape and the Marauders is amazing!

I definitely recommend Severus Snape and the Marauders to you, GeekGirl World! Watch it below:

What did YOU think GeekGirl World? Let us know in the comments section!

Want more Fan Film Friday fun, darling cinephiles? Be sure to check out our other FFF reviews here!

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Eevee is Coming to Build-A-Bear!

One of the cutest Pokémon ever is getting the Build-A-Bear treatment!

A 14″ version of Eevee will be available at Build-A-Bear online and in stores on Thursday, September 1.

Build-A-Bear’s Eevee Plush

The standard plush will retail for $28, with accessories available for Eevee at an additional cost. One such accessory is a Pokeball sleep suit, which will be available online and in stores for $12.50.

All Eevees purchased online and in store will come with an exclusive Pokémon Trading Card Game card.

Can’t wait until Thursday to claim your own Eevee? Fear not!

Zealous Pokémon fans can order the exclusive online set right now.

The online-only set retails for $62 and includes the Eevee plush (duh), an Eevee cape, the Pokeball printed sleeper, an Eevee 5-in-1 sound insert, and the exclusive Build-A-Bear Workshop Pokémon TCG card.

Eevee’s Adorable Cape

The Eevee cape (which is adorably patterned with Eevee’s many evolution forms) and the 5-in-1 sound insert will be exclusive to the online-only set and will not be available for individual sale.

Eevee isn’t the first Pokémon to get the Build-A-Bear treatment – the stuffed retail giant also offers a Pikachu plush.

Fingers crossed that Build-A-Bear will continue to add more Pokémon to their growing family!

Will you be purchasing your very own Eevee? Let us know in the comments!

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Demographic Pandering: Why this Annoying Practice Simply Doesn’t Work

The media has failed the current generation of teenagers.

Rather than trying to draw in teens and tweens with engaging and compelling stories, big media outlets (such as comics, television, and movies) often choose to pander to the teenage demographic with memes and pop culture references instead.

Although it’s a sentiment that not everyone will agree with, I wholeheartedly believe that teenagers deserve better from their media.

I often mention during my Archie reviews that Archie Comics tries to pander to the younger demographic, not only through the comics themselves, but through social media. Pandering, is, in simple terms, when a media company attempts to target and draw in a specific demographic (usually teenagers) in hopes that they will utilize or purchase their product.

I usually only call out the pandering I see with Archie because I see it happening all the time on their social media (especially on Tumblr and Facebook), but obviously this is a problem with companies and properties across the spectrum.

The reason why the practice of pandering frustrates me so much? Because companies can reach their target demographic without the pandering nonsense. In fact, if the pandering is too excessive, companies may even scare their target demographic away.

A perfect example of pandering gone wrong is the truth.org commercials, which use outdated Internet memes to scare teenagers away from smoking. The sad truth is that these kinds of PSAs will do very little to lower smoking rates among teenagers and young adults. The real way to get kids and teens to stop smoking? Be honest about the facts and don’t try to become friends with the audience.

The buddy-buddy tactic makes companies kind of look like this:

To use Archie comics as a further example, the only current incarnations of the comics that I haven’t seen pandering in is Jughead.

Jughead’s dream sequences are normally the only time the comic uses pop culture references, which I really like because it seems realistic. After all, who wouldn’t want to dream about a high tech future or a Game of Thrones like adventure? Unlike Jughead, Archie overuses hashtags and heavily promotes their social media accounts.

I understand that Archie Comics wants the young demographic to be a part of the comic, but it’s a little weird to see Archie turn towards me and say “Hey! Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr @archiecomics! And don’t forget to send ideas for the #LipstickIncident!”

If you ask me, it’s all a little unnecessary.

It’s possible to sell teenagers compelling stories and dramas without pandering, the best example of this likely being Degrassi.

For those who have never been a teenage girl, or never got into it, Degrassi is an almost thirty-year-old (you’re reading that right – next year is Degrassi‘s thirtieth anniversary) teen drama that tends to focus on hot button issues that teenagers might deal with such as STDs, teen pregnancy, and gun violence. Not only did the show feature the issues that would effect teenagers, but all the kids on the show were actual teenagers that usually never had any other acting experience prior to the show, making the viewer experience that more real.

Now I usually don’t have much to complain about since I’ve seen and enjoyed almost every episode of the series, but the original incarnation of the series did not feature any pop culture references, and sadly, with the show’s latest incarnation, Degrassi: Next Class, it’s clear to see from the intro that the show threw the unofficial no-pop references rule out the window.

Now you may be thinking “Okay Courtney, but this is for teenagers! How else are you supposed to be able to relate to them?” How about with compelling stories and only having minor references to anything of today? I understand that the use of technology is pretty huge and discussing it is a great way to keep teens safe, but the intro for the new show really screams “we don’t know what the original intent of the show is anymore!”

One of my favorite stories (and what got me into the show itself) were the episodes “What a Girl Wants (1)” and “What a Girl Wants (2)” from Season 10 of Degrassi: The Next Generation. These episodes told the story of rich girl Fiona Coyne, who was being abused by her boyfriend, Bobby. It pained me watching Fiona suffer with alcohol addiction, eventually even hurting Adam Torres (the first transgender character on the show) by ignoring the fact that he was a boy. The story deep with many levels, and it was relatable for anyone who has experienced a similar situation (like me).

No pop culture was involved in these episodes, sans the use of a cellphone, which Fiona used to circulate photos of herself that made her appear more hurt than she really was (for sympathy, of course). Fiona is a really good example of a multilayered character, and I was happy to watch her story arc as time went on.

Degrassi did a very good job of using technology, but not pop culture, to create good stories.

Another good Degrassi example?

Degrassi High‘s season 2, episode 10 “Showtime (1)”. For a long time, this was the only Degrassi episode that featured a character suicide (Claude Tanner). It was a very serious episode, and it even opened with the actors discussing suicide and how the show dealt with the tragic story line. It was a really good episode, and one I would recommend anyone to watch.

Series like Degrassi prove that compelling storytelling and teen dramas can come hand in hand, so it upsets me when I see obvious pandering in not only the newest incarnation of the show, but in all media targeted at teens.

The next generation seems doomed to deal with corporate pandering and a lack of storytelling for the long haul.

Just in case you’re doubting how bad the issue has become, I leave you all today with a video that perfectly exemplifies how horrifying pandering has become:

And yes, this is a real ad posted by Nickelodeon.

What are your thoughts on demographic pandering? Let me know in the comments!

 

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‘Bleach’ to Receive the Live-Action Treatment

Bleach‘s impressive 15-year manga run may have ended this week, but fans haven’t yet seen the last of Ichigo Kurosaki and his ridiculously powerful friends.

Weekly Shōnen Jump (the publication behind Bleach) has confirmed that the popular supernatural action series will be getting a live-action adaptation.

Few details about this upcoming film have been released, but it has been announced that Sota Fukushi (Kamen Rider) will star as Ichigo Kurosaki. Shinsuke Sato (Gantz) is set to direct, and it has been confirmed from the horse’s mouth that Bleach creator Tite Kubo will be heavily involved in the production of the film.

The film is scheduled for a 2018 release.

Do you think it’s possible to condense 15 years of action in film? Let us know in the comments!

Hungry for more Bleach goodies? Check out what Ari thought of the manga finale!

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Fan Film Friday: ‘The Laughing Man’ (The Joker)

Let’s face it: Suicide Squad did not live up to the hype.

While DC fans were initially pumped to see see many of their favorite comic book characters on the big screen for the first time (Hey Harley!), reactions to the film mostly ranged from meh to ohmygoshsomepleasegaugeoutmyeyesJoel Kinnaman, who played Suicide Squad leader Rick Flag, reportedly stopped reading reviews because “they were not kind.” Even Jared Leto, who played the iconic supervillain Joker, was so unhappy with the film that he didn’t even watch it and had exactly two words to say to Warner Bros. (We’ll let you guess which two!). Following the film’s release, there was definitely a want/need for seeing our beloved DC characters do… something else.

Something better.

New Bitmap Image (4)
The Laughing Man

Enter The Halvis Brothers‘ short fan film The Laughing Man, which debuted on YouTube August 2, 2016 (the same week Suicide Squad hit theaters).

Inspired by Scott Snyder’s Batman: Death of the Family, the film follows the Laughing Man (aka The Joker, portrayed by Zach Avery) and his counterpart Quinn (aka Haley Quinn, played by Whitney Able) as they torture a doctor at a psychiatric ward. The NSFW/Hard R short film clocked in at just over 20 minutes, and it masterfully made every minute second and scene count.

They say the devil is in the details, and that is certainly the case here.

From an artistic and technical stand point, the film was solid. I must have done 2529 screenshots of the film, because every image was beautiful, albeit haunting. Even though there were only 2 main sets, so much care and attention went into the background details: a blood smile on a television screen in the torture room, for instance. The film makers also experimented with different mediums, including animated “flashback” scenes, that really made the viewer feel like they were actually in this topsy-turvy world controlled by the Laughing Man.

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The Laughing Man, NOT a re-run of Gray’s

This project was strong on every level.

The plot was clear and concise. It knew it was a short film, and didn’t cram anything in that didn’t need to be there. In doing so, the performances and characters were really able to shine. Avery was so disturbing as the Laughing Man. Reminiscent of Andrew Scott‘s Moriarty on Sherlock, he managed to insight fear and tension without even raising his voice. I could not get his face(s) out of my head, even long after I finished watching the film! Able as Quinn was everything I loved about Harley Quinn from Batman: the Animated Series. Her voice was perfect and her gestures were subtle but spot on. There’s a scene where Avery and Able are dancing, and mid-move, he just lets her Thump! on the floor, completely capturing the essence of the Joker and Harley Quinn’s complicated relationship: she trusts and obsessively dotes on him, while he merely uses her for his theatrical antics. Such a simple but powerful shot that conveyed so much about the characters’ psyche! Bravo!

Any hard feelings you may have had about Harley or the Joker after watching Suicide Squad will immediately disappear upon watching this short film.

I definitely recommend The Laughing Man to you, GeekGirl World! Watch it below:

What did YOU think GeekGirl World? Let us know in the comments section!

Want more Fan Film Friday fun, darling cinephiles? Be sure to check out our other FFF reviews here!

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The 5 Best (& Worst) Things about ‘Suicide Squad’

[Warning: Suicide Squad spoilers ahead]

Suicide Squad is finally here, and naturally everyone on the internet has a strong opinion about it.

Critics have been largely united in their disdain for DC’s latest “superhero” flick, but audience ratings have told a whole different story.

The film received an utterly pathetic critic score of 27% on Rotten Tomatoes (the same score as Batman v Superman), while audiences were more generous, giving the film a score of 75%. So who is right: the critics, the audience, or your old High School classmate who ranted about the film in not one, not two, not three, but four separate Facebook posts?

In truth, it’s hard to say.

Suicide Squad is by no means a perfect film, but from beginning to end, it manages to hold its own as a devilishly run thrill ride.

One could speak for hours on end about the film, but for now, let’s focus on a mere handful of the best (and worst) things from the film:

Best: The Concept

Superhero flicks are permanent crowd pleasers, but the basic concept of these films has remained frustratingly stagnant: A brave hero arises to save the city/world from certain destruction, but will he (or she!) be able to save himself from his own mind?

Throw away the fork and grab the fire extinguisher – this concept is beyond done.

Suicide Squad forgoes the heroes and focuses instead on the perfectly imperfect DC rogues gallery, providing audiences a refreshing escape from the cliches of the cinematic superhero world.

After sitting through generic (yet spectacular) superhero films for the better part of a decade, I think we all desperately need that escape.

Worst: The Pacing

Clocking in at a modest 2 hours and 10 minutes, Suicide Squad somehow feels more like a summarized LEGO video game of itself than a major DC blockbuster.

A good portion of the first half of the film is dedicated to character introduction (via flashbacks), leaving little time for these characters to develop and interact with one another before the inevitable boss battle. As a result, all “developments” by our ragtime band of villains felt forced and insincere.

Had the film been allowed more run time, these problems would have likely worked themselves out, but alas, the cinematic fluidity was never meant to be.

Best: The Cameos

Nearly everyone knew that Batman would have a small role in Suicide Squad, but the addition of his Justice League comrade, The Flash, was a welcomed surprise.

These cameos brought an air of superhero familiarity to the film, while simultaneously keeping the story fresh and new to senior audiences and new audiences alike.

Can we please see Jason Momoa as Aqua Man again, though? Thanks.

Worst: Enchantress

Cara Delevigne was an absolute vision as the powerful ancient witch (or is she a demi-god? An alien? IDFK), but her character’s story was completely butchered by choppy and lazy writing.

So Enchantress is possessing the body of archeologist June Moon, who unleashed the witch by purposely tearing the head off an ancient figurine for some unknown fucking reason (please switch careers). Now the only way to destroy the witch is to destroy her ancient heart. This is definitely the plot of The Last Witch Hunter, but okay, we’ll roll with it.

Suicide Squad curator Amanda Waller conveniently happens to possess the witch’s heart, but she loses it instantly (also convenient), unleashing the witch upon the world. Because plotkai.

Enchantress then lays waste to Midway City with the help of her newly released brother, the only motive for her actions being that she wants humans to bow down to her as a God. No daddy issues, no sibling rivalry, no ancient heartbreak story… nothing.

Simply put, Suicide Squad‘s Enchantress is a villain with absolutely no depth, existing in the film solely as a convenient villain.

The writers did Enchantress super dirty… and I don’t even think they called her the next day.

Best: The Action

The gorgeous visuals and breathtaking action in Suicide Squad almost make up for the film’s crudely stitched together plot. Almost.

Worst: The Joker

Who exactly is The Joker in Suicide Squad? Is he…

A. A suave gang leader with an affinity for the theatrical
B. A dangerous psychopath
C. A loving boyfriend
D. All of the above

If you guessed D, then therein lies the problem with Jared Leto’s Joker.

Different mediums (comics, film, animation) have portrayed The Joker in different lights, but in general, Batman’s greatest nemesis is a heartless psychopath who uses people (including Harley Quinn) as disposable tools.

So awful as it sounds, Leto’s Joker would have been more believable had he been the occasional dickbag to Quinn (as he was in Batman: The Animated Series), rather than a lovesick puppy dog.

It’s as if the writers weren’t sure what creative direction they wanted to take with The Joker, so they just threw everything in there and hoped for the best.

Despite it all, Leto’s confused Joker still managed to be entertaining, so as far as this writer is concerned, all is forgiven. For now.

Best: Harley Quinn

Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn, on the other hand, was funny, sexy, and absolutely spot on.

Suicide Squad‘s version of The Joker’s insane girlfriend was a dead ringer for the Quinn portrayed in Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995), the series where the character first debuted. The writers celebrated Harley Quinn’s history by retaining her origin story, stuffing the film with little nods to the original source material (including Quinn’s jester costume, her New York accent, and her tendency to call the Joker “Mr. J”), and keeping her psycho-sexy persona in tact.

And speaking of sexy… Robbie’s costumes were sexy to the max, but her enviable physique never outshone her bright personality and prowess as a violent and dangerous criminal.

If there’s a character we’re desperate to see more of after Suicide Squad, it’s Harley Quinn.

Annnnnd Deadshot. And Diablo. And Katana. And “bitch I’m fabulous” Killer Croc with his BET.

Just start filming the sequel already, David Ayer. We’re ready.

What did you think about Suicide Squad? Let us know in the comments!

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