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NERD SPOT, PAULIE SAYS, TRAVEL

Escape a Dave & Busters

Recientemente fuí a un viaje “de trabajo” a Orlando, y por lo nerda que soy no podía dejar pasar la oportunidad de una birria rápida. La demora en hacer el post es porque mi computadora trágicamente decidió morir antes del viaje, y hasta ahora no me la reparan.

Este es el cuento de como fué el asunto al que venimos: Al terminar con mis funciones al final del día como intérprete, decidí agarrar mi respectivo Uber y me dirigí a Dave and Busters. Desde hace mucho quería ir a uno pero desafortunadamente los únicos en Latinoamérica (México) cerraron hace muchos años. Recuerdo cuando estaba mas chica lo llegué a ver cuando iba a un mall en Monterrey pero nunca pude ir.

En fin, intenté grabar pero en este viaje me di cuenta lo difícil que es grabar con un action cam o simplemente con mi cámara mientras juego. La próxima vez tendré que hacerlo con mi asistente (el novio fiel a la causa). Además, creo que estaba mas en el modo “quiero jugar” que tomar fotos o video y documentarlo. Tenía un par de horas y me encontraba lejos, entonces tenía que optimizar mi tiempo a escapadas.

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EDGAR SAYS, NERD SPOT, POPCORN TIME

Review: Thor: Ragnarok – El fin de Valhalla

Centrada en el medio de la Fase 3 de Marvel Studios, la película de acción-comedia Thor: Ragnarok da la chispa más explosiva cuando el humor de Taika Waititi se combina con la bufonería estelar de Chris Hemsworth.

Bañada en luminosos colores y sonidos estrambóticos, Ragnarok ataca directamente los defectos de su marca hundiéndose en ellos sin disculpas. Reconociendo los numerosos vídeo-ensayos en medios “necesarios” hoy en día como Youtube, uno de los problemas que Disney Studios podría importar hacia las películas de Marvel Studios era el siguiente: la ligereza de tono podría sustraer valor de las escenas emocionales fuertes. Iron Man, cimentando la estructura que le daría esqueleto al género fílmico de “Universo Extendido”, atacaba el problema político de la venta de armas de Estados Unidos al Medio Oriente. Y desde entonces, las tramas de superhéroes para la familia han requerido más humor para llenar asientos en las salas y apelar a un público menos sombrío.

Tony Stark no es olvidado en esta película. Los presagios a Infinity War son evidenciados con referencias a los demás Vengadores, y las menciones de otros personajes calzan dentro del contexto en el cual se expresan los personajes. Otro defecto de las “películas Marvel” es lo “desechable” que se terminan sintiendo varios elementos: la música, la fotografía, los villanos, las motivaciones y las estructuras de trama. En Thor 3, el deseo de sobresalir como la cúspide de la trilogía de trueno se nota en la música alienígena y animada del planeta hedonista Sakaar, conocido en los comics como Planet Hulk. Además de ello, la cinematografía del vasco Javier Aguirresarobe intenta empujar hacia la expresión de autor mientras navega las limitaciones corporativas que Disney paga para cumplir.

Como queja válida es que los detalles, que en esta película son el relleno entre narrativas, como Heimdall refugiando a Asgard hasta la línea del Tercer Acto en el cual Thor invoca a Odin para su inspiración galvánica, fungen como una fórmula estructural. Esto no quiere decir que Thor Ragnarok sea una película formulaica, sino más bien que es una película que no podría existir sin el nivel de producción, presupuesto y publicidad con los que cuenta Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

La queja de cinematografía insípida y música olvidable en las cintas de Marvel es desafiada con fuerza en Thor Ragnarok, donde los sonidos de Sakaar transportan al espectador junto al bombardeo de colores y texturas variadas y extraterrestres, en un planeta que mezcla el recuerdo de rompecabezas post-apocalípticos de Wall-E y la ultra-urbanización futurista de muchas obras animadas de Asia.

Los personajes respiran con aire novedoso y memorable, aunque sobresalen menos los personajes nuevos. Valkyrie/Valquiria/Chatarrera 142/Brunhilde/Tessa Thompson es un personaje confundido y ligeramente confuso. Interpretado por una americana usando un acento colonial, esta ex-guerrera vive una vida de conformismo recolectando luchadores para el Gran Maestro (o lo que sucede cuando el director le pide a Jeff Goldblum que improvise todo), hasta que Thor la confronta en una larga secuencia de pelea emocional memorable (la brusquedad y delicadeza con la que abordan a un Hulk progresivamente humanizado es de los puntos altos en la franquicia).

Loki, como es esperado, mantiene su lealtad en suspenso, permitiéndonos exposición saludable al hacernos imaginarlo a él junto a Thor como niños, o cómo un dios patriarca se despediría de sus hijos si fuera un mortal acercándose al final de sus años ancianos. Además de esto, Ragnarok nos muestra lo que faltaba explorar de Asgard: cómo hace Heimdall para escuchar a quien lo llama, si lo que él hace es observar, o cuántas veces puede ser destruído Bifrost, cuántos habitantes hay en Asgard, cuánto Karl Urban disfruta las películas basadas en comics, o cómo se puede conectar el símbolo de la Triquetra con Thor.

La trama en sí fluye como Mjolnir volando en línea recta, aunque titubea hacia la mitad para enseñarnos por qué Hela y los hermanos Odinson solo pueden convivir en Asgard peleando. Los personajes hablan y se mueven rápido, para no perder la atención del público joven (y el panameño)  y los conflictos se enfrentan rápidamente para no ahogarse entre un mar de personajes, nombres y escenarios. Pero se nota que Waititi y compañía se divirtieron creando el tercer capítulo fílmico de Thor: el más caótico, estruendoso y esforzado en entretener.

Los Ásatrú, asiduos al panteón nórdico, tampoco serán defraudados ya que la apropriación de símbolos, runas, y otros elementos imperdibles para el dios del Trueno hacen vibrar el espectro de Ragnarok, brindando humor, confusión, y tensión a esta película para toda la familia pero enfocada a adolescentes y adultos jóvenes. Posiblemente la opinión que las películas de Thor son las peores de los Vengadores por sí solos venga del hecho que los directores Kenneth Brannagh y Alan Taylor son mayores que Taika Waititi, posiblemente dirigiendo los dos primeros filmes de la trilogía a un público mayor y más aburrido sin darse cuenta.

En la tercera entrega, los personajes ya queridos vuelven, recordando el pasado y trazando su futuro. Entre los personajes nuevos están Korg, interpretado por el director de la obra, y su amigo Miek, un insectoide que se comunica en comedia no-verbal. Ambos engrandecen la mitología de Marvel Studios y le dan más figuras coleccionables disponibles a los niños fans.

Sin necesidad de arruinar mucho la trama, el clásico Immigrant Song de Led Zeppelin hace explotar los puntos clave de la historia (los realmente vinculados con el concepto cultural del Ragnarok), al principio y en el clímax, brindándole fanservice (cumpliendo el contrato pasional acordado por lo que se le promete al público) tanto a espectadores novatos como a los fieles: ¡Fenris, Surtur, Heimdall, Planet Hulk, naves espaciales, gemas de la infinidad, Guante de la Infinidad en Asgard, Jeff Goldblum!

Con una historia que se escribe sola, un cameo de Doctor Strange al inicio, una obra teatral hecha por Loki disfrazado que recapitula la trilogía, una introducción magistral a una villana que solo trae muerte y recuerdos oscuros y una conclusión al patriarca encarnado por Anthony Hopkins, el mejor Hannibal Lecter, Thor: Ragnarok satisface, y es la goma que ata en una pieza a la Fase Tres de Marvel Studios, palpando el inicio de la tan temida ruptura de la burbuja fílmica de superhéroes. O como la llamo yo: El Ragnarok de Marvel.

EDGAR SAYS, NERD SPOT

La Tormenta Se Avecina y la Vecina se Atormenta en Ixalan

Satisfaciendo al niño interior de todo jugador y a algunos niños reales que han incursionado en la escena profesional de Magic (Dana Fischer y demás), Wizards of the Coast nos ha entregado verdaderas cartas de Dinosaurio y de Piratas esta vez. No es coincidencia que estos dos nuevos tipos de Criatura, que han sido pedidos por años, se llevaran el privilegio de obtener 3 colores en las mecánicas de Ixalan; mientras tanto, los Vampiros y Tritones, tipos con historial competitivo, han sido relegados a dos colores y estrategias más esparcidas.

Para obtener “value” en formatos Construídos, Ixalan es francamente pobre. Magic repetidamente es expuesto por sus creadores como un objeto que funciona en mircoescala al mismo tiempo que en macroescala. Y es justamente en la microescala de Limitado en la cual brilla más la nueva expansión de Magic: The Gathering.

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NERD SPOT, PAULIE SAYS

Review de Toreba pt.2, ¡Debut de YouTube!

Es hora de un pequeño update. Les traigo la segunda parte del review a manera de “haul”/unboxing. Algunos saben que grabé este video hace un tiempito, desde antes del video de los arcades…pero life happens y pasaron cosas que no me dejaron publicarlo hasta ahora, incluyendo mis episodios de ansiedad (de la que les comentaré en otro post).

Hoy es el día en que me arriesgo y finalmente les dejo por aquí mi primer video en donde no tengo donde esconderme. Creo que siempre he tenido el complejo de patito feo y por otro lado mi asiática interior que piensa que la cámara me va a robar el alma. Durante la mayor parte de mi vida fuí víctima del rechazo y hasta un poco de bullying por parte de otros que siempre han juzgado mi apariencia, pero esta es una de esas cosas de “ahora o nunca” y lo más lindo y divertido fué el apoyo infinito de Ed.

Honestamente dudé mucho en hacerlo, si no es por su apoyo, ni loca. Intenté tener algo de ~proyección y luego de muchos contratiempos lo editamos con mucho amor. Ya estamos planeando el próximo video porque tengo por lo menos unas 3 cajas más de chécheres y sus respectivos clips para mostrarles.

Ojalá lo disfruten tanto como yo disfruté reirme de mi misma y descubrir de que cuando estoy nerviosa, parpadeo demasiado. Solo les voy a pedir que me traten suave, que apoyen mi pequeño proyecto personal de #CosasNerdas y me dejen sus comentarios (¡likes son bienvenidos!).

Sigan mi canal de Youtube para próximos videos y suscríbanse a mi blog para más contenido.

NERD SPOT, PAULIE SAYS

ARCADES PT.1

Porque la vida es como es y el universo conspira, ya hace un tiempo Ed y yo trabajamos juntos. Y esto tiene sus ventajas, como no tener que rompernos la cabeza ni esperar a que se alineen los planetas para planear las salidas.

Somos unos nerdos y por lo general vamos directo a casa a jugar Nintendo o ver alguna serie. Pero conseguí una oferta de tokens en línea  de un arcade nuevo en un mall de la localidad llamado Johnny & Reds, así que decidimos ir a desestresarnos post faena. Quería grabar EL video, pero me quedé sin espacio en mi cámara, así que dejo por aquí unas fotos y un video cortito.

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NERD SPOT, PAULIE SAYS

Toreba: Review!

Ser una chica gamer no tiene por qué limitarse a videojuegos y juegos de mesa o cartas, como en mi caso que juego hasta jacks. Hace poco descubrí la plataforma Toreba, un app para Android y iOS (cuenta con versión desktop) que te permite jugar las conocidas Claw Machines, Claw Cranes, Grúas o máquinas atrapa premios en tiempo real ¡EN JAPÓN! Ah, tecnología, tanto bien y tanto mal nos haces.

Mal porque no es un pasatiempos barato y quizás no lo debería considerar un pasatiempos porque es como apostar en un casino… pero más kawaii y de manera anónima sin el peligro que te busque la mafia.

En Toreba, el dinero se traduce en TP Points. 5,000 TP points equivalen a $5, 10,000 TP son $10 y así nos vamos. Cada jugada te puede costar de 1,200 TP a 1,800 TP. Más vale tener algo de experiencia con estos juegos, ya que muy rara vez conseguirás los premios en una jugada. Al abrir tu cuenta y verificarla, se te acreditan 5 jugadas gratis, que puedes dividirlas en 2 de prueba y 3 intentos, o intentar de atrapar algo en 5 turnos. En ocasiones cuentan con campañas de Login, en las que te acreditan TPs solo por entrar en tu cuenta diariamente. También debo mencionar que hay veces en los que tienes que esperar tu turno y cruzar los dedos que alguien se aburra o se le acabe el crédito antes que a ti.

Yo tengo algo de experiencia con los claw machines: me ENCANTAN (por cierto, todos los vídeos en este post son míos).  Así de que sale mi ludópata interna, me brillan los ojos y me pican las manos. En Panamá casi no se ven, y al viajar mis compañeros de viaje no quieren perder tiempo esperándome a que le gane a la maquinita. O la clásica de que no tengo cambio para jugar.

Otro tema es que a muchas maquinitas locales las surten de premios bastante genéricos (tengo el ojo puesto en una que tiene uno interesante). No hace mucho fui a un arcade con Ed, y la ÚNICA maquina tenía el claw roto y emparchado con tape eléctrico. Obviamente no iba a agarrar ni polvo.

La mayoría de las personas piensan que el juego está rigged, que es imposible ganar. Cada vez que gano algo, hay una conmoción porque la gente se sorprender de que la máquina no solo traga dinero. El primer peluche que gané fué un Snoopy de una maquina en Taiwan en 2003, y desde entonces se que SÍ SE PUEDE. Hay trucos y técnicas, al igual que con otros arcades en los que aparento ser bastante buena.

Creo que mi especialidad es ganar gatos, y necesité fuerza de voluntad para no jugar por el gato negro.

Volviendo al tema de Toreba, diariamente y más de una vez al día incluyen nuevos premios. Siento que las cajas, por más pequeñas y livianas que sean, son mil veces más difíciles de ganar que los premios más grandes como muñecos de peluche. Ojo, la “garra” es distinta dependiendo del fabricante. En lo personal prefiero la tradicional de 4 brazos, pero en Japón tienen las de 1 o 2 brazos, el gancho, el perforador, el Takoyaki, etc… Específicamente, en Toreba me va mejor con la de 2 brazos, pero es definitivamente más difícil que jugarlo en persona aunque tengas acceso a dos perspectivas.

Una vez que ganas tu premio, te aparecerá un mensaje y debes reclamarlo antes de un periódo de expiración de 14 días. Los envíos son gratis cada 7 dias, así que lo recomendable es reclamar tu premio y hacer un solo cargamento antes que expiren. Ojo, el envío gratis tiene sus restricciones. Lean bien, no sean perezosos, ya que no me hago responsable si quedan en bancarrota.

Sé que además de Toreba, existe el Akiba Catcher . No tengo experiencia con este último. La interfaz me parece algo clunky. Sin embargo, es una alternativa que creo también ofrece envíos gratis.

En fin, si este es un tema de interés, déjenme sus comentarios de qué tipo de juegos les gustan, si quieren que pruebe el Akiba Catcher, o si quisieran ver más de Toreba, quizás un live stream una vez descifre cómo hacerlo, y me sacrifico. Mientras tanto, pueden ver más vídeos de mis jugadas ganadoras en mi canal de Youtube. Intentaré ganar un par de cosas más para felizmente esperar mis premios en la comodidad de mi hogar, al otro lado del mundo.

EDGAR SAYS, NERD SPOT, POPCORN TIME

In review: X-Men: Apocalypse

The first act of 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse is so palpably dissimilar to the rest of the movie, that it should be considered a different film.

The first 30 minutes of Apocalypse are not a good movie. It’s passable at best, and clearly aimed at millennials almost exclusively. From the clearly tacked-on-by-a-script-doctor narration at the very beginning (about human flaws in superhuman beings), to the relentless barrage of blurry 60 fps frames, the third installment in the First Class trilogy starts with disappointment. Initiating with a confusing sub-plot full of already-developed characters that are consequentially inconsequential to the viewer, the film shoves En Sabah Nur’s transference ceremony to the audience amid a grand Egyptian setting that tells us in medias res that Apocalypse spent most of his story buried underground while “wreaking havoc throughout human history”, only to be awoken by the magnanimous power of daily sunlight.

Meanwhile, Magneto has adjusted to society, leaving his tragic past behind, using no mutant powers and no mutant name, while operating low key as a construction worker in Poland. Because this is an X-Men film, there has to be nostalgia, so naturally, it’s set 10 years apart from its prequel, as that prequel before it did. And because Magneto is Michael Fassbender ,and it’d be a sin not to overuse him as an actor, we need to see Magneto cry indignant tears of rage against an unjust universe. From a combo death that’s pathetic in every way, the Villain of the movie reloads in full form, portrayed by Oscar Isaac, whose only acting fault is that he can’t act what the script and direction don’t give to him.

Overall, though, X-Men: Apocalypse is a good movie, and the line can be sort of crossed around the first genuine line of dialogue between Moira and Charles regarding how the CIA would kill for Cerebro.

Following this quality of film-making, Singer raises his Apocalypse from the ashes until it soars as fan-favorite Jubilee remains yet un-showcased, but most other characters develop as quickly as teenagers. Some essence of First Class and a considerable essence from Days of Future Past permeates through this work, which combines Fassbender’s and McAvoy’s classic style of elegant theater school with a touch of the hip, the fast and the Quicksilver-paced. The movie isn’t tone-deaf as much as clearly stitched together by many different teams, minds, and cooks. This results in a work that’s polarized within itself yet ultimately redeemed by veteran filmmaking.

Also following Days of Future Past’s thematic relic, the fate of the Mutants can be determined by what the news media say about them. Guided by news media, Raven Mystique asks Prof. Xavier for help in rescuing her only other true ally: Erik Magneto (meaning both had left mutant life behind but were forced back into it). Thankfully, this touching character interaction is mirrored adeptly through Cyclops and Jean Grey, two characters who are much younger but who could also destroy the whole world by themselves. Starting from the death of Xavier’s favorite tree by his newest rising star, coursing through a sibling legacy to avenge, and ending as sloppily as Angel appeared, became Archangel and then ???, the film sort of just ends. It’s a tribute to entropy’s rapid decline. But the movie finishes with a strong portrayal of both Charles Xavier and Magneto, probably the most important constant in the trilogy. To be fair, this relationship never faltered in the movie, and its pace was appropriate and suspenseful enough for its source material.

Something to condemn was how relentlessly aggressive its marketing campaign ended up being, slapping YouTube ads with lines barely present in the movie (Apocalypse could control literally none of the Mutants). But its punches were so deservedly epic that Weapon X’s appearance wasn’t even gratuitous. Phoenix’s tease wasn’t even cryptic, and Charles Xavier was made of admirable star dust, challenging the Mutant epitome of Natural Selection itself.

From a first act of mismatched editing, poor writing and bland cinematography, to a second act of superb improvement, the film touts that only the strong will survive. Surely so, the film stands up from its crippled position in order to place the man who “wanted students, not soldiers” in its altar to transfer all power to him. Being defiant by nature, he challenges this notion, urging all citizens of Earth to use their power for helping those who have none.

The third act in filmed in an IMAX-size format, and the tension is managed accordingly well. Only one horseman out of four goes full circle from hero, to villain, to redemption. Another one becomes one of the good guys out of admiration for Mystique, but the other two become brand fodder as they disappear into the sunset. I do think this is just one of many X-Men films to come, but certainly the last with the First Class cast. Film perfection is rare, and it should be preserved in memories, like when Charles asked Erik to find power between anger and serenity. He reminds him that through all the loss and tragedy, there is still good in the world. And if anyone dares take it away, there is only pity for the poor soul who tries.

Ultimately, the X-Men series is all about hope for a better future. Walking out of the movie, it’s easier to yearn for a world that returns to its natural roots, free from weapons and war, from discrimination and inequality, and from Fox vs. Marvel.

NERD SPOT

Elo A Triforce Heroes Review

Hey readers! We’ve been on a brief break but we’re back with more content for your delight and entertainment.  

Given the impending announcement for The Legend of Zelda at E3 in a few days from now, let’s review one of their latest additions to the Zelda franchise. 

As a character in the photo booth mentions in the game, kids today want things fast. Triforce Heroes represents a solid effort to deliver a multi-player experience to a franchise that’s known to embody a knight’s lonesome journey.

Made up of four moderately-sized stages, each level in the game relies heavily on co-operation to get every puzzle solved and every treasure chest opened. Featuring creative design and inventive gameplay, Triforce Heroes utilizes 3D to make the world dynamic and the platforms alive. The textures show an effort to reuse A Link Between Worlds‘s settings to expand the narrative into a different story.

Taking a brave departure from the usual world, Triforce Heroes takes place in Hytopia, a kingdom ruled by King Tuft, whose daughter, Princess Styla, has been deprived of her lush appearance. Condemned to wear only a black leotard, Link must enter the Drablands along with two heroic buddies. At its heart, the story takes the approach that’s probably the best one for a children’s game whose very premise is shallow: a person’s chosen appearance reflects their soul. Losing an outfit is on par with losing part of one’s identity, and the mark of the hero in Hytopia is an aesthetic one: sideburns, parted hair, pointed ears. Thematically, the story divides its elements into threes elegantly, and the characters show a burning desire to understand why things happen. A particularly helpful character wants mostly to find out the reason why a theft of style was the path taken, and with little more than a prompt to action, Link embarks on an adventure of frustration like the franchise hasn’t seen in years.

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This game can’t be faulted for being easy. Because it’s not. Its levels may be short and simple, but the execution of every move requires some patience, well-thought timing, and, of course, style. Along the way, you’ll collect different materials that Madame Couture can use to stitch up a new suit for Link to wear. Each costume has a function beyond its aesthetics, such as enhancing items or performance. And this helps the game stay fresh. Its biggest source of staleness would be playing the same levels again just to complete every challenge, but the game is smart enough to change things around so that it doesn’t feel like Groundhog Day.

The game itself is quite fun, as Hytopia has moving characters with their own motivations, dreams, and fears. The place feels alive in many ways. The shop items change every day, children play game and share secrets, townsfolk tell stories and bards leave diary pages in the open so the plot thickens further. Even Styla leaves her room when her admiration for Link overrides her shame for feeling undignified.

Overall, Triforce Heroes possesses a quality that defines a Zelda game beyond all: it keeps you coming back. The challenge level guarantees that you’ll try most levels at least twice. And each enemy can be overcome in more than one way, forcing you to get creative with your play style. Some items are pretty tough to beat in single player mode, so Nintendo keeps its servers busy, allowing you to join strangers in the cutest communication mode I’ve seen in an online multiplayer mode: a set of emoticons Link can use to express ideas. You can either call the other players to join you at your location. You can tell them to use their item (only one item per player, you can’t finish a stage until all three players have their item). You can ask them to pick other players to form a totem. You can request for them to throw you so you can move on your own. You can warn them that what they’re doing is wrong or it’s taking them nowhere. You can cheer the team when morale is low or simply because you feel like it. You can celebrate when something’s done right. You can complain that something is frustrating you. And you can use your Zelda skills to traverse the varied landscapes that lead you to the Princess’s freedom.

NERD SPOT, POPCORN TIME

Captain America: Civil War – Movie Review

Having only directed episodes for nine TV series and three TV movies besides one feature-length comedy, brothers Joe and Anthony Russo weren’t necessarily regarded among the best filmmakers of their time prior to Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 2. But Captain America 3: Civil War leaves no excuse to disregard The Russo Brothers. Helmed by Disney, Marvel was smart enough to sign the siblings into both of the parts that will close the Avengers film series, concluding the era of superhero movies that so many skeptics are looking forward to seeing collapse.

latest-2In a time of readily available information, it’s becoming increasingly important to ask why in general. Not only in matters of questioning authority or finding oneself, but also in analyzing and thusly understanding the world we live in. Why are superheroes so popular? Why are they so hated by others in return? Why are love and hate of things mutually exclusive concepts? Civil War does not answer those primordial questions, but it does bring some fine quality entertainment for masses who enjoy mainstream accessibility.

Be it 3D, 4D, or good ‘ol 2D, Captain America’s final trilogy chapter closes so many loose ends and opens up so many new worlds of possibilities, in such carefully crafted ways, that even the most hard-hearted of purists would be delusional if they denied that Marvel actually makes good cinema that acknowledges the parts within its continuity.

Let’s start from the script. The very first slam superhero movies get is for being too formulaic, almost engaged in a tragically Oedipal romance with Joseph Campbell, immortalizing his name as the daddy of screenwriting clichés. Hero rises, falls, rises again. People weep in awe at the Phoenix and all ends as it started, only improved. But why is this bad? At one point does a story stop being full of conventions and instead become full of organic parts? My personal answer is that it isn’t. Superheroes are definitely a stage of film history (hell, Marvel was smart enough to divide it in Phases), and it will eventually end. But even the fall of its empire is entertaining to watch. After all, that’s all it’s supposed to be: entertainment. And entertainment itself is a human necessity. Ergo, superheroes are just a part of a human need.

Captain-America-Civil-War-Splashpage-TeamCap-Photo

Let’s move on to the film: everything the viewer wanted was delivered like a checklist. Anyone familiar with Civil War knows and expects a set list of things: Iron Man vs. Captain America, Black Panther, Spiderman, Ant-Man riding Hawkeye’s arrows, Ant-Man becoming a giant, a speech of planting oneself like a tree and telling others to move on, and so on. In various comic book iterations, both Tony Stark and Steve Rogers eventually die at some point, so the source material canon has some pretty high stakes raised already. But even if you know nothing of this movie and the above stated elements were spoilers to you, you’re in for a fun ride.

The marketing for the movie was exceedingly clever, down to the things that the studios didn’t even control: Batman v. Superman was definitely meant to be released earlier. And it was totally meant to be a much less entertaining movie (for one, it has less characters, it has a much more serious tone, and its intent is to bring some cinematic solemnity to the Justice League). Following Joss Whedon’s beloved method of quippy remarks, the characters in Civil War breathe like regular humans. They bleed much less than regular humans, but they do so nonetheless, and they complain, they hurt, they hesitate, they repent, they improve, and even though they don’t… spoiler… die at all (only ONE character with a known name and speaking role dies in the movie… if you solely count sequences more than five minutes long).

Civil War does many things right: it continues the storyline, mood, and settings introduced by its predecessor (in a world where, for instance, Iron Man 3 is so disjointed from Iron Man 2, this is particularly noteworthy). It introduces characters in the best way possible (Black Panther is the only character truly shown for the first time in film), and it gives just enough screen time to the many characters is crams together without turning it all into a mess. Where Dawn of Justice stumbled and struggled while building a fearsome villain, setting up sequels and putting one side of ideals against its opposite (I thing BvS did all those things well, but you could feel the work it took), Civil War maneuvered seamlessly with little more than a few seconds of awkward editing that is expected in action movies. At least for once, we’re getting a properly packaged product where every scene promised in the trailer is actually shown to us in the movie itself. That’s a relief nowadays (and we even get to figure out who the mysterious bald woman in the Age of Ultron is).

captain-america-civil-war-posterAnd the core of the movie itself is about minimizing damages: sure, superheroes will always cause deaths, as the nature of a hero is to challenge the very concept of mortality. Following the ideology that saving a few lives is ethically “more right” than saving nobody at all, the movie imploded its capacity of failure into enjoyable plotlines that preserve the magic we all love in cinema. No hero is tarnished in the movie. Even its main villain is given a bitterly heartfelt moment to tragically grieve his motivations into the audience, and into a character changed for the better as a result of this apotheosis (what defines a hero). This movie is about consequences, and the anti-hero’s journey is almost the same as the hero’s (watching an empire fall), the only difference is that the hero attempts to stray the least from the rules (even though the system descends into synonymous entropy that following rules in full results in not doing the right thing) while the anti-hero writes his own, and then ignores his own rules.

Certainly, the movie itself is not about opposing forces, about the impossibility of true neutral balance, or about the Confederacy raising musket bayonets against the Union, as advertised in the title and as the least clever parts of its marketing would have you believe. But it is about many other related things, and it feels real in a world with routine news of terrorist attacks, increasing climate change, and unending conspiracy theories by self-proclaimed clickbaity journalists. Civil War is a needed breath in superhero movies. It is a necessary conclusion to storylines left hanging by the company that keeps the dreams of mice alive. It is a fair product of sacrifice and hard work, mostly by the screenwriters, actor, directors, and even the audience. And it is a deserved moment in comic book history, where nerdy fans can see their haven immortalized in what is arguably the most complete of all art mediums. I keep saying “in this world”, because in this world the superhero is supposed to die any time. But mark by words, heroes never die.

 

ART, DESIGN + NICE THINGS, NERD SPOT

Comic Jammin’

Today I’ll tell you about a very, very nerdy event I attended…it was awesome.

img_1830-1See, I have very, very talented friends. Not your Instagram celeb kind of friends,  but a group of comic maven geeks who i can call my bros. They are part of this independent web comic crew called Indiellusions.

A couple of weeks ago I helped them out organize for their fist Comic Jam, a free event for comic/manga fans to hang out and create together.

It consisted in a creativity workshop where participants would draw comics in a limited time frame, based on subjects picked at random from a fishbowl. Neat stuff, i tell you.

Basically, once you got there, we would hand out blank layout grids and pencils. Attendees could bring their own supplies as well. It was an exercise for creativity, storytelling and mental wits while sharing what their projects are and how they end up doing these things.

Some of the random combinations(based on pure chance, believe it or not) were: Hero, Columns, Race, Maple Syrup. I did sketch out this one but it was bad!

Another i remember was DNA, Death, College and Lobster. Curious thing was I did a little Google research and found out some studies proved lobster cells are indestructible to some extent. Myth says lobsters are immortal (crabs too) and had I been drawing, that would’ve been my general concept! Come on, lobster immortality? heck yeah!  

People from all ages attended, and it was a refreshing thing to witness. There were very young kids with all the imagination, and older people with technique that can only be polished with experience. It made me glad to see people take interest in cultural activities for self growth and I’m proud of my friends for their success doing what they do best.

On that same day, I scratched my car’s door with a metal rod. But that’s another token in my jinx library!

Also, they recently launched a web comic called Blueprint, with drawings from the ultra talented Albert Weand. I admired his work from when I first stumbled upon it a couple of years ago, then ended up hanging out with his friends and colleagues, such if life.

Synopsis from their website: Gustavo, a young architect who has achieved success, finds himself in a motionless period in his career, while Megumi, still in her college years, foresees the day she makes her dream of making manga a reality. Both of them, Megumi and Gus, find in each other the ideals and answers, to questions that by themselves, they could’ve never discovered.

Click here or on the image below to learn more about their project available every Tuesday and Thursday.

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