Monday, November 28, 2016

Come on, Comic Con!

ATTN: The Salt Lake Comic Con Community but also Mr. Brandenburg and Mr. Farr

Christmas is the season for Wish Lists, so right now seems like the perfect time time to post my wish list for Salt Lake Comic Con. These are the people I want to come period that I think bear special mentioning but that don’t get mentioned on the community polls quite as much.

The Cast of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command

We like voice actors, right? And the Star Wars animation panel last September proved that they come better in groups. Why not gather up the stars of this excellent but obscure Disney TV show from back in the day? Patrick Warburton was at my first-ever con in September 2014 and his panel was excellent.  But calling himself ‘the Poor Man’s Buzz Lightyear’ ? Dude, you are the BEST Buzz Lightyear IMO.

Let’s look at the other costars (*pulls up IMDB*). XR was voiced by two different guys, Larry Miller who was Paulo in The Princess Diaries and Niel Flynn who stars in The Middle. What's not to like?

We’ve got Stephen Furst, Adam Carolla, Wayne Knight...that’s most of the top stars right there. And of course Nicole Sullivan plays Mira Nova and if I’ve asked for her to come once I’ve asked a million times. Sullivan is also the voice of Shego in Kim Possible--guaranteed I see at least one Kim Possible cosplayer at every event, I even saw a Shego once. This needs to happen. And if Salt Lake Comic Con brings Nicole Sullivan to whatever event, I will cancel whatever other cosplay I had planned and do Mira Nova to go meet her.

Star Wars Voice Actors

While we’re on the subject of voice actors, let’s talk Star Wars. Yes, please keep bringing James Arnold Taylor because he is a peach. But let us add to the mix Vanessa Marshall, Cat Taber, Matt Lanter, and Ashley Eckstein because AHSOKA!!!! One of my cosplay friends does Ahsoka and deserves to meet her.

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The Wookie Gunner

Also, random author request--John Jackson Miller. He wrote A New Dawn and Kenobi. You should seriously consider him.

The Cast of Supergirl

The cast of Supergirl is A. MUST. I am hoping to build a Supergirl costume sometime in the new year and I would LOVE have it to wear to a photo op with Melissa Benoist.

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E! Online

I would also love to meet Chyler Leigh because Alex Danvers is one of the most hardcore fictional characters to ever exist.

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Shows Chitchat

Jeremy Jordan is also a cinnamon roll and I would die of happiness if I met him.
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Revisa Tviso

I also really need David Harwood and Mechad Brooks. Laura Benanti is so regal and graceful whether she is Astra or Alura, she’d be an awesome guest. And Tyler Hochelin is literally the only Superman I care about--literally.

The Supporting Cast of The Martian

Matt Damon might be a long shot, and it should be obvious how badly we want Sebastian Stan back. But might I suggest, Michael Pena, who was also Luis in Ant-Man, and Chitewe Ejofor and Benedict Wong who were both in Doctor Strange. And Jessica Chastian because Commander Lewis is one of the greatest space moms ever.

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The Cast of Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean is a fandom that deserves more respect, but that’s another blog post. Maybe not Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom but please consider Geoffrey Rush, Jack Davenport (I have the hots for Norrington),

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PotC Wiki

Lee Arrington and Mackenzie Crook who brought Pintel and Ragetti to life,
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PotC Wiki

and Kevin McNally.
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Disney Wiki

And I would never say no to Keira Knightley.

Miscellaneous Movie Stars
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Okay, I really want Tilda Swinton to come. She’s awesome even though, yes, she is the White Witch. But she's the Ancient One now, too. And she's really nice off-camera. So yes, bring her.

I absolutely MUST have Liam Neeson

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and Ewan MacGregor is, like, THE MAN.

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And Will Arnett--we’ve got The Lego Batman Movie coming out next year. Lego Batman is literally the only Batman I like.
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And how about Sam Riley?

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Or Lee Pace with his fabulous eyebrows?
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And then Warwick Davis--YES PLEASE!
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Demon's Resume

I liked Fantastic Beasts, get Eddy Redmayne if you can but also consider his costars: Katherine Waterston, Dan Folger, and Alison Sudol.

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Heroic Hollywood

Marvel people are always great. A few to consider would be Stallan Skarsgard, Paul Bettany, and Cobie Smulders. As a Scarlet Witch Cosplayer I definitely want Elizabeth Olsen to come (and plus, she’s another Elizabeth).
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GIF Huntress

And I need Clark Gregg to come the way I need air. He's just, one of the greatest people ever. And he is COULSON. So there.
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Wiffle Gif

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

10 Things I'm Excited for in the 'Beauty and the Beast' Remake

So a couple of weeks ago we finally got a decent trailer for the live-action Beauty and the Beast that comes out next March and it is FANTASTIC. For the record, I am not a huge fan of Disney remaking its classic films. However, I am so much in love with Maleficent and Cinderella. Both films paid tribute to the original animated classics but also re-invented (and even improved) the original stories, fleshing out the characters and illustrating their respective worlds. The original animated Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite movies ever--no, seriously, ask me what my favorite movie is and that is one of the answers I am likely to give you. It is for sure one of my favorite Disney movies. So I was not on board with the news that they were doing a live-action reboot. But the more I’ve heard about the new Beauty and the Beast, the more excited I’ve gotten for it, especially with the all-star casting. But these are the things I am most curious and excited for:

  1. The townspeople

We got a couple of good shots of the people in the little town, celebrating at the tavern and then going to pillage the castle. Who are they? What is their relationship with Belle? Are these background characters going to be a little better fleshed out? What makes them idolize Gaston so much? And is there more to why they would follow Gaston’s very bad idea to go attack an enchanted castle?

That last point especially--there’s this one post on Tumblr that suggests that Belle and the Prince don’t live happily ever after in the cartoon because the French Revolution happens (Bored: #8). What if for this version the town people going after the Beast IS the French Revolution? The costumes we’re seeing for this adaptation are more eighteenth-century than nineteenth so far. The Beast/Prince is technically an aristocrat who rules over the town. What if in this version the towns people know about the castle (but Belle and her father don’t) and even though the ruling family disappeared they still harbor some resentment? And then their attempt to revolt backfires? That would be cool.

  1. More character development for Maurice and his relationship with Belle

Maurice is shown at the beginning of the trailer riding onto the castle grounds in the snow. Then he is shown plucking a rose from a bush when he is attacked by the Beast.

This leads me to wonder if for this adaptation the story will be borrowing some elements from the original fairy tale. Furthermore, I’m wondering if we’re going to get a backstory for Maurice and Belle--Belle’s mother, Maurice and Belle before they moved to the village, Maurice’s work as an inventor. Their interaction in the trailer is interesting. What kind of a relationship will they have in the scenes leading up to Maurice’s imprisonment?

  1. The Beast’s backstory

According to Buzzfeed analysis, if the Beast is 21 and the castle has been enchanted for ten years, then he would have been eleven when he fell under the curse. Gaping plot hole, right? Maybe Disney decided to take that idea and run with it. I doubt they would be showing us a random protrait of the prince from when he was a kid otherwise.  But the most interesting thing is, in the new trailer the young prince is shown in the painting with a couple that I would have to assume are...his parents??? Does he have parent issues of some kind??? In case you can’t hear it, that is the sound of my backstory radar going off.

(But why the fetch does his name have to be Adma? That’s like the worst name for a Disney prince ever.)

  1. A bigger glimpse of--life before the enchantment?

These are the two most intriguing screenshots I got from the trailer:

There are people at a fancy-dress party in a ballroom, all wearing white and dancing. I re-watched the trailer and yes, it is the same ballroom that Belle and the Beast dance in. These are the courtiers of the Prince attending a celebration--sometime before the enchantment falls on them.

  1. How does this magic work?

“Think of the one thing you’ve always wanted. Find it in your mind’s eye. And feel it in your heart.”

What is he explaining to her? What are they talking about? Does this castle already have some kind of magic that the Prince abused, and that resulted in everyone being cursed?

  1. The Enchanted Castle

The castle looks amazing. It’s an interesting throwback to the castle in the original.

And I LOVE the shots we’re getting of the gardens. This castle isn’t as gothic or foreboding as the castle in the animated version. It’s more elaborate in decoration and design, from what we’re seeing.

A lot more ornamentation. Even for the enchanted objects. If this follows the same trend as Maleficent and Cinderella, then Beauty and the Beast is going to be an eye-candy binge fest!

  1. Development for Belle and Beast’s love story

The internet jokes that Belle falls in love with the Beast because of Stockholm Syndrome. I can think of at least three better examples of Stockholm Syndrome in Disney than Beauty and the Beast, but that's another post. In the cartoon the love story checks out because the Beast overcomes his stubborn behavior rather than Belle justifying it. The live-action story might take a slightly different route.

There will be at least some relationship tension in the beginning--we are going to get Belle running away and Beast saving her from the wolves. But we don’t really get much of a pretext for Belle having a big attitude like in the original. Maybe she and the Beast have a relationship based on something besides getting over their egoes. I think the library scene was hinting at that. Also, is there a particular occasion for the ballroom scene? Is it just the Beast asking her if she wants to do something different for the night or did they reach a milestone?

  1. The Battle on the Castle Roof

We get a couple of brief shots of the fight between the Beast and Gaston. What kind of a threat is Luke Evans as Gaston going to pose for the Beast? And why is Belle in her underclothes and what part does she play? There’s a part of the trailer where Maurice tells Belle to not be afraid. There’s something going down.

  1. Emma Watson as Belle

I don’t watch a lot of movies so I haven’t seen her as anything since Hermione. But I wonder how much of a typecast Emma Watson was for the part of Belle. Will we get to actually see more of Belle’s intellectual side? Will it influence the Beast? Or will there be more to her character that we didn’t see in the animated version?


If this is what Lumiere looks like as a candlestick wait until he’s human!!!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Legends are Lessons: The Indian Paintbrush

Yesterday at work I found a copy of The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie DePaola, one of my favorite story books growing up (and also one of my favorite Reading Rainbow books--just sayin’) .

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The Best Children's Books!

The story is about a Native American boy named Little Gopher who was smaller than the other boys. He wasn’t able to keep up with the other boys in their physical sports and combat games. But he did have a gift for painting and making works of art. After coming to manhood, Little Gopher decides to make being an artist for his clan his profession. He still feels bad that he can’t ride out to war with his peers. But he focuses on what he can do: paint the histories of the hunts and battles and visions of his people.

And then he has to confront the ultimate challenge: to paint the colors of the vibrant sunset. No matter how he makes or mixes his paints, Little Gopher can’t seem to get it just right. Then one night, he hears a voice telling him to take his canvas of white buckskin and go out to a hill to watch the sunset, and he will find the right colors waiting for him there. The next night he goes, and he sees paintbrushes coming out of the hill, the brushes dipped with paints in the exact right colors. And the sunset painting he creates is finally good enough to share with his people.

It’s funny how when we’re adults, the stories we read as kids turn out to be relevant when we revisit them. But this was the story I needed to hear again.

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Window on the Prairie

I’m different from the people around me because of my mental and emotional challenges. I try to keep up with everyone else--and in some ways I need to learn to take care of myself the way everyone else does. But I also have strength in my own creativity. I have important things to create, things I want to share with other people in the world. I don’t have to do what everyone else does. I don’t have to fit into society’s normal, expected roles. Because if I do, then people don’t get to see what I have to share, and the world is a much darker place for it.

And sometimes I feel like what I’m making isn’t good enough, that it isn’t the way it needs to be. And other times, I feel like my efforts to take care of myself fall short, that I can’t do well enough on my own to fit in. But I know if I keep trying, if I keep putting forth the effort, then sooner or later everything will fall into place, and I’ll be able to make it work.