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Dog Day Sunday: All About Sammy

Since my little mutt is about to turn 10 this month, the Dog Day Sunday I figured I’d talk all about my marvelous bird hunter and nap taker extraordinaire!

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The day that we got Sammy was just a regular January day. I was about to be 12 years old in March and my brother was 10. All my brother did at this time was beg my folks for a dog. A dog was all he wanted when he was little, but my father always protested it, citing allergies.

The day we brought her home was super average. My brother and I were both homeschooled at the time and we had finished our work. My mom had left, saying that my dad needed something, and so my brother and I put on Good Boy (which was his favorite movie since it was all about a boy who saved up money to get a dog, which happened to be from outer space). It was ironic because the opening of the film featured a song all about how the singer wish they could have a puppy and I remember my brother turning and saying to me. “Yeah, Cork, I really want a puppy.”

We didn’t even finish the movie because I had gotten a text from my mom saying that she needed Chris outside. I paused the movie, told him to go, and I waited. I waited a while before finally trekking downstairs to see my brother in the garage crying on the floor while Mom was holding a small dog in a Tootsie Roll blanket.

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Later that evening, it was explained that my dad’s business partner saw our little babe on the side of the road just walking around. He pulled over and opened his door, asking her where she was going and she immediately hopped into the car. He had gone through two other people that couldn’t take her and we were her last hope.

Honestly, who could say no to that face?

Now she used to be super timid. When we would walk her outside, we had to be on the sidewalk because the cars scared her. Now she’s a mouthy brat. If you ring the doorbell, or be anywhere near her, she’ll bark her head off.

Her name was mostly my idea, but my brother said it so they liked it more from his mouth than mine. I had three names I liked, all Nickelodeon related: E.T., Porkchop, and Sam.

E.T. was due in part to my obsession with The Naked Brothers Band, and her name would have been short for Elizabeth Taylor (Thanks Mom and Dad for rejecting this idea!). Porkchop not only came from Doug, but the fact that at dinner that night, she had jumped up and tried to eat porkchop off the table. That got rejected too. I could tell that she had a love of meat, which reminded me a lot of Sam from iCarly, so that became the winning name.

Now y’all are probably looking at her and wondering “what breed is that?” Sam is a German Shepard/Chihuahua mix. Really.

The vet said that was likely her mix since he has never got much bigger (like a Shepard would), and she had big Chihuahua ears. It’s also how we found out that she was around 3 months old when we got her, making her birthday in October!

Flashforward 10 years later and she loves to nap (she’s napping and snoring right now as I’m tying this). She has little quirks to her – like how some toys she tears the eyes off and pulls out their stuffing, but others she’s delicate with. If you squeak her toy too hard, she gets visibly upset. She also really loves carrots (which are great for dogs).

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Sam is also an expert bird hunter!

A few years ago we had a pool in our backyard that had handrails. My mother and I noticed there was a pigeon sitting on one who would not move for anything. Sam was freaking out about the bird and wouldn’t get in the pool to get it (she hates water and baths!). My mom was worried it was laying an egg or something so she called my father and we waited.

While my mom was filming the scene, she noticed that there were feathers around the pathway from our patio area to the pool, and everything pieced together. When my father finally got home, he had to use a pool cleaner to get it off the rail. It immediately tried to fly and my dog went nuts trying to get it. She had broke its wing and was torturing it.

I love Sam.

She’s such an integral part of our family now that it’s hard to think of life before her. She’s a blessing and I consider her my little sister.

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Have a story about your own loveable pooch? Send your photos and stories to webmaster@geekgirlworld.com and we’ll future your dog during Dog Day Sunday AND enter you to win a pet edition of Loot Crate!

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Dog Day Sunday: The Importance of Keeping your Animal Safe.

 

We try to keep thinks light heartened and fun on dog day Sunday, but this week I had a close friend of mine lose his dog to an accident in a matter of seconds.

You never realize how important your dog is to you till they’re gone.  The below story may seam like a one in a million chance, but life is a service of chances and events that make up our lives.

A long time friend of mine named Ryan posted a picture on Thursday with his brand new puppy named Stevie.  He was literally the cutest little French Bull Dog I had ever seen.  Who am I kidding… French Bull dogs are all adorable and I think everyone should have one.  Well, that is if you want one.

The original picture was followed by many more adorable ones, but twenty four hours later my friend had to make what was surely an extremely difficult post.

Stevie had broken his neck.

He had gotten on top of a box and fallen. Ryan had heard a yelp and went running, but it was already too late.

Stevie was gone and even the vet said nothing could have been done.  Even I, who had never meet him, was brought to tears by the event and my heart goes out to Ryan and his family in their time of sadness.

Trying to keep anyone safe – animals and humans alike – is a very hard job and takes super vigilance in doing so.  So remember to always keep the people, animals and anything you hold dear close to your heart as you never know how long your time together will be.

Ryan and Ashley, I hope things get easier for you over the following months,  and Im here is you ever need an ear.

 

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Dog Day Sunday: 3 Paw-some Sites to LIKE on Social Media

Truth: 90% of my time on the interwebz is spent laughing at dog memes, gushing over stories about animals, or catching up on what my favorite animal-rights groups are sharing on social media. As such, this week I decided to share 3 paw-some (ha) sites you should follow/like/cyber-stalk online. (Fittingly, I am typing this article on my computer while my pup Shadow cuddles in my lap and looks on!)

Friends of Mayhem

11210459_638660439597645_4667563007324650499_nWho they are: Named after founder Devanny Novak’s sweet dog, Friends of Mayhem describes themselves as  “a Las Vegas non-profit that specializes in helping all kinds of animals through donations, political action or just plain ear scratches!”

Why you should “like” them: Friends of Mayhem spotlights animals with special needs, and campaigns fun and creative ways to help the furballs! For example, earlier this year we covered their very special Benefit for Yoshi, in which they sold shirts that said “Get Your F*cking Dog Fixed.” All the proceeds went toward providing medical care for a dog named Yoshi and other animals at PAWsibilities are Endless. They are positive and upbeat, while still providing valuable and useful information to the community!

Where to find them: https://www.facebook.com/friendsofmayhem/


Noah’s Animal House

noahs1Who they are: Time to get serious: Animal Legal Defense Fund reports that abusers of animals are five times as likely to harm humans, and that nearly half of the victims who stay in violent households do so because they are afraid for their pets. Luckily, Noah’s Animal House in Las Vegas, Nevada (and soon Reno, Nevada, too!) “is a pet sanctuary for shelter residents that allow women to escape abusive situations without leaving behind their pet.” I’ve volunteered with NAH since 2012 and have had the privilege of meeting many of the women and their dogs (and cats and hamsters and birds) who have called Noah’s Animal House home!

Why you should “like” them: Noah’s Animal House spotlights the inspirational success stories of the brave women and their loyal pets who have been given a second chance thanks to their services, provides a central place to post requests for supplies and volunteer opportunities (HAAALP! They’re currently in need of a new gas dryer!), and shares great links to animal stories across the world!

Where to find them: https://www.facebook.com/Noahsanimalhouse/


Susie’s Senior Dogs

 1510593_295149333975043_1577678859_nWho they are: Susie’s Senior Dogs is a 501(c)3 organization who says it’s their goal to bring “awareness to overlooked, homeless senior dogs and the benefits to adopting an older pet.” Recently they were covered in the hugely popular photography/interview project Humans of New York, which allowed them to get massive exposure and spread their message to a huge animal-loving audience!

Why you should “like” them: Susie’s Senior Dogs works with animal rescue groups all over the United States to spotlight pups who are looking for their fur-ever home! (Literally every dog is a pup to me, even if they are over 7 or in the double digits!) Beautiful photographs paired with descriptions that read like love letters make me want to adopt every dog I see on their page! Even if you’re not planning on expanding your fur family, it’s rewarding to follow the dogs’ stories, from their initial posts to their final adoptions and happily ever afters.

Where to find them: https://www.facebook.com/susiesseniordogs/


Honorable Mention: I urge you to Google your local American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals group online to learn about dogs in your area who need help and support!

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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The ‘Underworld: Blood Wars’ Trailer is Here!

Underworld is back, and by the looks of it, things are about to get bloodier (and warier?) than ever.

Check out the official trailer for Blood Wars and see what we mean:

Um, yes please.

Kate Beckinsale returns as bad-ass vampiress Selene (duh), and joining her this time around is Theo James (Divergent), who portrays David, and Trent Garrett, who replaces Scott Speedman as vampire boy-toy Michael.

Also joining the cast for Blood Wars are Game of Thrones stars Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) and Tobias Menzies (Edmure Tully).

Blood Wars marks the fifth installment of the 13-year-old Underworld franchise. The film is a direct sequel to Underworld: Awakening, which was released in 2012.

Underworld: Blood Wars hits theaters January 6, 2017.

Are you excited for the latest edition of the Underworld series? 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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Samsung Recalls Galaxy Note 7 Devices Amid Explosion Concerns

Samsung Electronics is recalling all Galaxy Note 7 smartphones after finding that their device’s battery has the potential to catch fire or explode.

Videos and photographs of charred Note 7 devices began surfacing online shortly after the device’s August release, and Samsung has said in an official statement that the company was able to confirm 35 cases where Note 7s have caught fire or even exploded.

“There was a tiny problem in the manufacturing process, so it was very difficult to figure out,” Samsung Mobile president Dongjin Koh explained during a news conference. “It will cost us so much it makes my heart ache. Nevertheless, the reason we made this decision is because what is most important is customer safety.”

The Note 7 features a 3,500mAh lithium-ion battery, which is designed and manufactured by Samsung. However, due to heavy product demand, Samsung has enlisted third-party companies to help manufacture the battery used in the Note 7. Samsung believes that a faulty battery cell created by one of their third-party suppliers is to blame for the device fires, but the company has refused to name supplier responsible.

“We are currently working with [our battery suppliers] to protect our customers’ safety first and foremost,” noted a Samsung Mobile public relations representative.

Over 2.5 million Note 7s have been sold globally since the device launched 2 weeks ago, and it is estimated that 24 out of 1 million units may include a faulty battery.

No injuries resulting from battery malfunctions have been reported, but the company has decided to pause the sale of all Note 7 devices until the problem is resolved.

Customers who already bought Note 7s will be able to exchange their smartphone for new one in about 2 weeks, Koh estimates.

The recall effects Galaxy Note 7 owners and prospective owners in The United States, South Korea, and 8 other countries. Customers in China will not be effected by the recall and sale suspension, as the company uses a different battery supplier for that market.

GeekGirl World will update this story with Note 7 exchange directions when news of the process becomes available.

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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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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.

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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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Book Review: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

What it is: an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
Play directed by: Jack Thorne

Review:

Some of my happiest childhood memories involve midnight releases of the Harry Potter books. My brothers, parents and I would all go to the book store together and, God bless them, my parents would have to buy four copies of every book since we refused to share. I dressed up as Hermione, Tonks, and Bellatrix for Halloween, a book release, and a movie premiere respectively (the latter earned me concerned looks from theater-goers). At one point, I developed a large, irrational crush on Harry. No, not Daniel Radcliffe. Book Harry. As I type this, I’m rocking a tank top with the Dark Mark on it. I grew up with J.K.Rowling and her beautiful, rich world. Honestly, those books helped shape the person I am today. So, yes, I’m a gigantic Harry Potter fan.

When I heard that there was a new play being written with a whole new story, I was apprehensive. “Harry’s story ended,” I thought, bitterly. “And who tf is Jack Thorne?!”
I felt weirdly protective of Harry Potter, as I’m sure a lot of fans did upon first hearing the news. However, when it was announced that the script would be released, I knew I’d get my grubby hands on it immediately like some sort of crazy person. I missed the excitement and adrenaline rush of starting a new book about the adventures of the Boy Who Lived.

Pardon my nostalgia, but that’s exactly what Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is: a book of memories. Old characters pop up in new and interesting ways, while new characters are introduced and immediately feel like old pals. However, what’s really awesome is that the book (or script, whatever you’d like to call it) doesn’t repeat roles we’ve seen before. Albus isn’t a carbon copy of Harry and Scorpius is nothing like Draco. Both young men have their own voices and we’re reminded of that as the story unfolds.

So! Spoiler free synopsis if you just read the names “Albus” and “Scorpius” and have no idea who I’m talking about. This tale, while inclusive of other plot points, mostly focuses on Albus Potter (Harry’s son) and his struggle to become his own man separate from his father. Scorpius (Draco’s son) is dealing with a similar predicament and the two develop an unexpected friendship. There’s a new threat to the wizarding world and all of the characters band together to defeat it.

One of the most interesting themes of the story is definitely “family”. We see Harry at his most vulnerable, trying desperately to connect with his son, a task that proves almost as difficult as beating Voldemort. Dumbledore once said, “Youth can not know how age thinks and feels, but old men are guilty if they forget what it is to be young.” Harry and Albus don’t understand each other and, because of my love for Harry, I found myself getting frustrated with his wayward son often.

JUST GIVE HIM A BREAK, ALBUS, GAHD.

While Harry and Albus’s relationship is strained, others have only grown stronger in the past 19 years. Ron and Hermione made me say “relationship goals” out loud more than once. Let’s be honest, theirs is the most underrated love story of all time. When the two of them interact with Harry you’re reminded of the old days and all that the three of them have gone through. You feel like you’ve been friends with them your whole life, and some of us pretty much have.

Opinion: did someone slip Amortentia in my wine? Because I’m totally in love with this book. It’s fresh and new while also maintaining everything that drew fans to the series in the first place.
So, reader, if you’ve been on the fence about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, fear not: it is, dare I say it, magical.

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