Singing Aloud

when no one is listening…

Archive for the category “Media”

2012: The Year of the Archers

It started with Katniss, fighting for her life in the Hunger Games. Then Hawkeye showed up in Avengers, with his dynamic arrows, avenging the earth. In June, Princess Merida will capture our hearts with her fierceness in Brave (well, I assume, I haven’t seen it yet … but, Pixar, I won’t mind a preview *hint hint*).

I think it’s official, 2012 is the year of the Archer. I wonder how the archery business is doing.

The problem with Snow

By now you have probably seen the Hunger Games. If you haven’t, then it’s time to come out from under your rock!

There has been a lot of talk about the actors/actresses that were chosen for the movie and how they don’t fit the characters in the book1, and to be honest, I think people have missed the biggest casting flaw!2

Donald Sutherland as President Snow!?

image via eonline

Look at that face. He looks so trustworthy, I’d want him to run my post-apocalyptic nation! There goes the dystopian world!

Snow is described as small, thin, and “pretty much creepy”.3 He mouth smells like roses and blood, he’s a perfectionist and a cruel tyrant. Basically, he’s scary!

Donald Sutherland can offer kids candy from the back of a truck and moms will let him. Basically, not scary!

image via MirandaFear

Snow is evil. Sutherland is well like a teddy bear4. And that’s my problem with Snow.

—————————————————————

1 Didn’t you know it was a book? How are we acquainted again?
2 To be honest, why the issue in the first place, all the actors/actresses did a great job!
3I’m certain I’m quoting directly from the book here.
4 Who did a great job portraying Snow ;)

How I Met Your Mother

Towards the end of 2011 I started watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix. I’ve always heard great things about this TV Show but never watched it since CBS doesn’t put its shows on Hulu AND the online player that they have is ancient.

How I Met Your Mother is a story told by Ted – the main character – to his two children, about how he met their mother, except he tells the long version. Ted and his four friends – Lily and Marshall, who have been together for years, Robin, who they met at the beginning of the series and Barney, the womanizing, high-functioning sociopath with a soft spot for his friends.

I think what I like about HIMYM is the fact that each episode *can* stand alone, however, there are tidbits that run through the entire series based on past episodes – the yellow umbrella, slapsgiving, etc. – which add a different layer to the show. I don’t know when this series will end, I just hope they don’t draw it out until it’s so boring that the finale is anticlimactic, and while I know I’d want to see more, I hope that it ends on Ted meeting his wife, after all, that would be the absolute best =)

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, in a far away land lived an Evil Queen who wanted revenge on Snow White for ruining her life. So, as evil queens do, she cast a powerful spell that trapped all the fairy tale characters in a small town in present time and made them forget who they were. Thus begins the new ABC series Once Upon A Time.

If you follow my book blog you will know that I am a fan of fantasy and fairytales, so when Once was slotted to premier in the fall, I knew I had to see what it was all about. (I know Grimm also started at this time, but this is a post about Once… Grimm is for another day).

One of the things I like about Once is that it could read like a book, and it would be an intriguing story. There is a lot of mystery with enough answers to keep you satisfied. A good amount of action, strong characters and of course, a dash of romance. Sometimes the story is so good that I am almost afraid to view the next episode because I’m expecting it to be disappointing.

I am pleased with the way the story flashes back and forth between storybook land and Storybrooke, it’s pretty seamless and always seem to tie to each other, revealing a little bit more about each character as their story arc progresses. I was a bit concerned about crazy, unrelated flashbacks, but so far it’s been good.

What I really hope for this series is that there will be a definite conclusion. I’m a fan of short series, something that has a strong plot and carries it through to the end. It gets a bit frustrating when the writers just write shows by the seat of their pants and then the series has to come to an end and there’s a slap dash finale that leaves you with more questions and a feeling like you wasted a lot of viewing hours and got no closure. Then you find yourself making up excuses for them and singing their brilliance because you don’t want to admit that you just spent months of your life watching something that really had no direction… but I digress.

I’m not really sure why I’m rambling about Once … I don’t have a conclusion … so I’m just going to leave it off here. Oh, look an awesome candy house from the Hansel and Gretel episode!

Pottermore: Thoughts and Recommendations

In late September, I received my letter email inviting me to sign into Pottermore. After a bit of excitement, confetti and general happy making, I sign in, for the first time, to the newest Harry Potter experience.

Pottermore choses a username for you, so I’m AsphodelPurple124 (find me; friend me) and then it takes you on an adventure through the first book in the series. Each chapter contains several sections with hidden messages, items and exclusive content from J. K. Rowling.

I love the graphics and what they did with the site. However, I’m hoping when they come out of beta there will be, well, more! I love the chapter explorations, but it would be nice if they implemented little mini-games, or more background on the characters. I was under the impression that JKR had a ton of background information on characters that never made it into the books. Short stories and such will add a lot more to the experience.

You get to walk through Diagon Alley where you can get money from Gringotts and shop in some of the shops. It’s a lot of fun, until you realize that you can only buy from three or so store. Even if you couldn’t buy, it would be nice to walk through other stores.

In Diagon Alley you can go to Ollivanders to get your wand. But remember, it’s the wand that choses the wizard, so you can’t choose your own wand, but you will get to answer a few questions.

J. K. Rowling offered some descriptions of the wands; you can break down the different attributes to different personality traits that are fun to read. For example, my wand breaks down to:

Alder …

Alder is an unyielding wood, yet I have discovered that its ideal owner is not stubborn or obstinate, but often helpful, considerate and most likeable. Whereas most wand woods seek similarity in the characters of those they will best serve, alder is unusual in that it seems to desire a nature that is, if not precisely opposite to its own, then certainly of a markedly different type. When an alder wand is happily placed, it becomes a magnificent, loyal helpmate. Of all wand types, alder is best suited to non-verbal spell work, whence comes its reputation for being suitable only for the most advanced witches and wizards.

Unicorn Core …

Unicorn hair generally produces the most consistent magic, and is least subject to fluctuations and blockages. Wands with unicorn cores are generally the most difficult to turn to the Dark Arts. They are the most faithful of all wands, and usually remain strongly attached to their first owner, irrespective of whether he or she was an accomplished witch or wizard.

Minor disadvantages of unicorn hair are that they do not make the most powerful wands (although the wand wood may compensate) and that they are prone to melancholy if seriously mishandled, meaning that the hair may ‘die’ and need replacing.

After purchasing your school things and boarding the Hogwarts Express, in chapter seven you get sorted with the rest of the first years. I got sorted into Ravenclaw!

While I’ve always claimed that I’m a Gryffindor, I knew that I had more Ravenclaw-ish traits than Griffindor, so, I don’t mind. The sorting is a bit of a personality test, giving you a number of multiple choice questions and placing you into the house depending on your answer – or that’s what I think. It could also be randomly selecting since all the houses seemed to have an even number of members.

After being sorted, you gain house points as you collect items from each of the chapters. Currently, only the first book is available, but I’m curious to see what the other books will look like.

There are other things that you can do around the site, brew potions, cast spells (though, this seems a bit spotty at the moment) and duel – which, was not working when I last played. I’d like to see how they will publish the ebooks; since Sony is hosting the site, I’m hoping they don’t do sell it in Sony-only format. That would be upsetting.

I’m looking forward to seeing the site outside of it’s Beta form.

[all images are screenshots of Pottermore]

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