Non-spoiler Movie Review of “Star Wars: Episode VII”

The continuation of an age-old, legacy, legendary American film has finally surfaced.

As a part of the fandom, I went to see Episode VII: The Force Awakens with my nerdy-geeky dork squad of a family. I am typically a harsh critic, but I have to say that there wasn’t much to criticize in Episode VII. We’ve all enjoyed our little fangirl (and fanboy) moments of our favorites Stars Wars franchise movies, from the snowy Battle of Hoth and the destruction of the Death Star to the backstory of Darth Vader. The seventh installment of this wonderful and nostalgic franchise is nothing short of the expectations, even to the overly critical Jedi that have followed the faith since the first release of Episode IV in 1977.

My Overall Rating: Recommended at 5/5.

Since this is a non-spoiler, I won’t go into too much detail until a good while after the theatrical release. I won’t try plot points or important characters, but I cannot guarantee such whims.

Part One: Adaptation and truthfulness to the original set up. Disney (R) elected director JJ Abrams collaborated with George Lucas to think of a way to portray the next story arc. In my personal opinion, I believe that the story was both nostalgic and refreshingly unique in its own way. There is a combination of old and new that  (I hope) will please the wide age range of its loving and adoring fans.

Point Two: Character Setup and Complexity. As mentioned previously, the character combos are amazing, bringing together the old generations and the new. Sometimes, Disney characters have the underwhelming tendency to be flat and static, but the company really pulled through at maintaining the complexity and multiple facets of the franchise’s iconic character stylings.

Finally, Point Three: The appeal towards the Generation Gap. J.J. Abrams’ adaptation to Kennedy’s question “what makes Luke Skywalker” gave, at least me, the idea that Abrams truly wanted to keep the mystery and tradition in this film. There may be a few scenes that seem a bit clichéd, but I still think that there’s more to look at than just the “repetition” of the old movies.

Sexuality: An Exhausted Topic to Continue

Hello all my fellow people, followers, and outcasts! A warning to all who continue: This post has been researched, understood, interviewed, and discussed beforehand by my own power. If you choose to proceed, I mean to demean no person and am trying to make a point. Commenting of your point of view and arguments is accepted and expected from any and all who read.

Without further ado, my post.

Today, I’m going to discuss a topic that has been on my mind for a while now: sexuality.

I already know the dangers, politically and socially, that come as a package deal with this topic, and I still choose to continue on. Firstly, to state my opinion, I think that the idea of sexual racism has been overextended and is far beyond its “necessity” of argumentation. It’s not a debate, it’s fact, that people have different chemical balances within the brain that are irreversible and cause them to behave differently than others; but that doesn’t mean that these people are inhuman, of wrong decision, or (from certain religious perspectives) committing an open sin.

That kind of closed-minded lens is exactly the reason why many people I know feel uncomfortable to admit their sexuality or even try to admit they believe they could be the wrong gender. What world or nation are we if we simply single out what is unappealing to us individually?

We cannot blame one individual for not appealing to our tastes and beliefs because we are not that person. Each of us is a unique and beautiful person on our own in this mine field called Life. And it is not pleasant at all to constantly feel like you’re on trial for something you cannot help. However, just because we don’t like one thing, or we are not “wired” the way that the other person is, does not give us the right–as a public–to bash them or turn it into a high-intensity “debate” that brings nothing but hostility, stupidity, and a wedge of segregation into play.

I agree with the pop singer Jessie J and her outlook on this topic.

I want young people to know that they can belong – whatever your culture, your religion, your sexuality – that you can live life how you want to live it and feel comfortable how you are. ~Jessie J

I’ll admit straight out that I am no longer Christian like my family. I am not atheist, though. And even when I was a Christian, I saw the arguments over this topic, for lack of a better terminology, stupid and downright idiotic to continue. That, my friends, was almost 6 years ago, when I discovered that one of the kids older than me was homosexual, and that one of my ex-boyfriend’s parents was a lesbian. I was cool with it, because it wasn’t my place to judge how they lived their lives.

Later on, I learned about the chemical “imbalances” that caused the different kinds of sexuality, and accepted that I couldn’t change it and embraced the many friends that I later discovered were either homosexual or some other kind of sexuality that I didn’t completely understand. But these arguments? They have got to stop. It is absolutely boorish, short-sighted, and judgmental to just say that just because someone isn’t heterosexual automatically makes them a human being who has made wrong choices and refuses to follow the path that Life meant to create.

As far as I see it, Life is simply a series of obstacles and obstructions that are meant to cause us to look into ourselves and question what the world decides to tell us is right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable. It makes truly no sense that people are still trying to make an argument about Gay Rights or ban Homosexuality and others of the such because it’s something that can’t be changed or eliminated.

It may not be “normal” but it is very much “human” and should just be dropped as a topic for arguing.

So, to prove that I researched both sides of this case, I’ll elaborate on the Pro-Hetero arguments that I personally believe are not able to be argued about.

1. Homosexuality goes against religion, as said by Leviticus 20:13.

Okay. So that’s what the Bible says. But I’ve heard of the Bible being comparable to the Constitution of the United States, but in reference to Christian followers. That book is too old for Christians to try to date, and it has been translated individually so many times that it is nearly impossible to know the true meaning. So, allow me to pull out my own counterargument: the necessary-and-proper clause.

This particular clause was assigned to the Constitution of the United States, stating that if the country saw it “necessary and proper” to apply an action that was not explicitly stated in the Constitution, that the government would be allowed to carry out said action. The Bible, in my opinion, should be no different. Also, we live in a very diverse society and culture in the U.S. and should embrace the statement that was made by the Founding (Christian) Fathers about “all men were created equal”.

2. Homosexuality is a choice and an open sin towards the Lord Almighty.

I cannot emphasize this enough: A PERSON’S SEXUALITY IS NOT THEIR CHOICE! It has been scientifically proven, and yet old-fashioned “bumpkins” with overly-conservative mindsets refuse to even look at collected data and test results that physically show that any sort of sexuality is not a choice. Like I’ve said before, you can’t blame someone for something that displeases you. Likewise, a person should not be judged by something they cannot willingly control.

3. Homosexuals are a disgrace to the idea of what makes a human being.

And, yes, I have heard many religious and traditional people yell this aloud before. This is probably the most flawed argument I have seen out of the three I have to dissect.

Flaw #1: this is faulty because any -sexuals are still humans and cannot further disgrace what we have already disgraced of ourselves as a society.

Flaw #2: trying to answer a question with a philosophical controversy. It doesn’t work. There is not much anyone can say that can convince me (a very avid philosophy student and sociopolitical activist) that a different mental balance can “disgrace” an already multicultural and diverse population.

Flaw #3: the word “disgrace”. That only disgrace that would exist is the fact that this sentence was just uttered.

Now, I’m not bashing anyone’s beliefs. I’m just pointing out my research and understanding of a topic that shouldn’t be as controversial as trying to figure if a zebra is black-on-white or white-on-black. It’s like skin color, you can’t change how you were born.

And that, my people, is a NERD’s perspective on another social misconception and political debate.

Junkie Vent–> Music Discrimination

Music takes me away

Hey G33ks, Nerds, and fans of all sorts that have rallied here! I’m back for probably this week. So, I entered my school’s talent show and went with a song from Paramore being the #parawhore I am. At first I was going to perform Carole King, but in the back of my mind I was sure I was going to screw up, so I went with Plan B: Some nice punk-rock.

The downside to this is that my mother thinks it is screamo, which irritates me deeply because the only thing she seems to consider music is country and 80s-90s rock and roll. To her, everything else is screaming. (This also might be partially because her hearing goes in and out.)

As a newly found Buddhist, I am supposed to let this go and let it be. But I find that hard to do. Also, as a passionate music enthusiast, I refuse to let anyone try to dictate my music style in any way, shape, or form.

So, there is a good side to this rather negative post. The reason I’m saying this is because I drew inspiration from my friend Tim, a hardcore heavy metal rocker. 🙂 He says to listen to what you please, even if it angers people (and I’m making this far less colorful). Thanks for reading, my beloved audience. I hope you embrace who you are.

Ocie

NEW STORY! Generation: C.Y.B.O.R.G

Hey guys! Sorry for the time gap. School really keeps you busy! But somehow in that time I’ve managed to create a post-apocalyptic sci-fi story. (I know that topic is a bit cliché, but it just happened.) I’ll give you the prologue and I want FEEDBACK! 🙂 Please. Criticism is what a writer needs!

Prologue: Destiny Calls

I don’t have much memory of my past or why I’m like this.

All I know is that I am considered superhuman. Yet I am no superhero.

I am a drone working for the tyrants in the government building, designed to serve without question; I am machine and human being.

This is my story: one of rebellion, beginnings, and teamwork.

——

Emilie

I guess one could call me a rebel—a vigilante if you will—when it comes to government… I’ll admit that laws are necessary, but lawmaking is arbitrary to my sense of mind since I understand the laws and the authority they hold.

But now I’m in a holding cell for my treason against my creators… I remember be socially normal for a time in my life—it’s a very faint memory—but I’ve been cybernetic for so long it has come to be my normal. I know what the consequences of treason are: shut down, reprogramming,and parole—strict parole.

This has become a routine for me because when society finds something that defies its rules, setups, or starts questioning its authority it immediately shuts it down as soon as it can strike. So the jail cell that has been perpetually reserved for me has been sealed with the latest improvement upon Plexiglas that is scratch-proof, shatter-proof, and virtually temperature-proof; within my inescapable chamber exists an electromagnetic wave-set that messes with my superhuman capabilities. That means one of two things: they have finally stopped underestimating me, or they have reached the nadir of human intelligentsia where we AIs are actually superior to their “creators”.

The director’s face appears on the other side of the glass. “E-119,” she begins, “this is the fifth time I’ve seen you in here over the past two weeks. I must ask why are you being so problematic?”

I bare my teeth in utter disgust. “I don’t have to tell you anything you know,” I reply snidely. “I do have freedom of speech.” I start balling my gauntlet-clad-hand into a fist, readying my muscles to fight. “You may have my cybernetics on lock down, but not my attachments.” I set the gauntlet’s heat gun onto the appropriate setting. Is your wall heat proof? About to find out. Firing directly at the glass at point blank I fall back, my head slamming against the opaque glass behind me and feeling my structure beginning to crack under the pressure from the inertia.

The director rolls her eyes. “You’ve truly become like our ancestors: primal and instinctual. You rely on emotion more than rational theory, which is strange for a cyborg… “ She sighs heavily in disappointment. “This is why you need to be permanently reprogrammed. We have no choice but to relinquish you from your freedom until you have learned that we know what is best for your survival and mankind’s existence. Perhaps if you learn that lesson early, you will be re-assigned to field work alone. But until then, you must be put on parole until you have understood what your place in our new society actually is.

That cold face is the last thing I see before I black out.

Shut down.

—–

Branch One is filled with operatives that do aggressive fieldwork for the government: military combat, etc; Branch Two is the Tactician Unit, providing the strategists, generals, and such of the like; Branch Three is the reconnaissance: ninja, stealth, snipers, hackers, and smiths. This information is elementary when inside the CYBORG institution. All cyborgs are sectioned off into certain battalions (B) that are organized (O) to perform specific military tasks; each cybernetically enhanced soldier is not only a soldier, but a law enforcement office. The soldiers during enhancement are probed mentally throughout the physical operation, wherein a psychiatric analysis is performed upon the thought process of each individual cyborg: how they process information, their unique strong suits, how they react under pressure.

This information is then processed to create the most idyllic mindset for the unique programming, taking in aspects like how they once learned and operated as a regular life form. The groups of technicians that form the pulse reactors that replace the former nervous system take the factors into account when referring to the control of the internal mechanisms of the artificial intelligence.

During the reprogramming process, the electrical systems are temporarily disconnected and the memory banks are replaced with a “faculty” set. The faculty set is then given the default foundation of code compilation for the unique assets of the soldier’s retrieved skill set. Once the skill set has been (re)created and consulted for, the cyborg is reactivated and monitored via a remote headquarters to see why the cyborg needed reprogramming. This headquarters records all found data, compiles it with the previous data in the soldier’s universal file in the database of the mainframe, and analyzes it.

By monitoring the actions of the parolee, the researchers can collect information on the subject’s actions and thought processes to formulate a conclusion about the internal reaction to the plague of the cyborgs: free thinking. Cyborgs are meant to be AI, artificial intelligentsia, that listen to the superiority of the mind of mankind that which created its existence. Why? All people of our generation know that humans are superior because of their adaptability, resilience, and quick/critical thinking.

After the slim survival of the human race, cyborgs were invented thanks to the safe housing of cybernetic technology, components, and their required manufacturing materials; these materials were then used to rebuild and modify losing human life forms in the battle between life and death. These new non-adaptable machines were designed to help the adaptable species survive, acting as survival tools proposed by the CYBORG Foundation after the event of the apocalypse.

—–

An alarm sounds in G-427’s domain, a small red light blinking on his dorm’s task screen. It shows simple police work is needed down in the market sector about twenty minutes off. He slips on a holster for a .45 and slides open the door. Cautiously he checks the sleek halls to make sure he doesn’t wake any unneeded help. It’s late after all: 22:30.

Sadly, he’s caught by the rebel girl. “Where you goin’ Tommy-boy?”

He tries to politely shoo her away, but she just pulls on her boots and gauntlet insistently. Sighing, he allows her to tag along on such a simple mission.

——

The mission was a trap. The girl was captured by the authorities and brought back under C.Y.B.O.R.G’s watch. He was not fined or punished, seeing as he knew nothing of her. He doesn’t quite understand what happened to this day but he made a note to stay out of her sight so as to not bring up trouble.

He can’t ruin what he worked so hard to achieve.

When you go in there, remember who the real enemy is.
– Haymitch Abernathy, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

A critical review of the sequel “Catching Fire” in The Hunger Games Trilogy.

Brutally honest here, the reviewers of the book readers saying that the sequel was better than the first, still holding on to that edge-of-your-seat anticipation is no laughing matter. Last night, I went on a Christmastime date to see Catching Fire, adapted from the second book of Suzanne Collins. All in all, my review is truly incredible: 5 stars.

The sequel movie featuring Josh Hutcherson [Peeta Mellark], Jennifer Lawrence [Katniss Everdeen], Woody Harrelson [Haymitch Abernathy, quoted], and Elizabeth Banks [Effie Trinket]was phenomenal: more flowing and corresponding to the book–with some actual literary dialogue–surely made it gripping to all Tributors out there. The story line was absolutely perfect! 🙂 ^_^

Knowing the books as well as I do, the reactions of the other districts were spot on: riotous and passionate. Finnick Odair [Sam Claflin] was captured delightfully in the Hollywood interpretation of one of the best novel series known. Truly the sequencing feature was just as captivating as the first, what with Johanna Mason as a loud-and-foul-mouthed firecracker angry at the government, Finnick as an on-screen player, Beetee and Wiress (Nuts and Volts inversely) as strangely capable thinkers, Mags as a wonderful lady, and the Careers as pompous as ever. All of the characters had brilliant portrayals and excellent translations.

Now, I must admit to you my review of the first movie, as it coincides with this secondary review.

The first interpretation of the novels was adequate at best, and I say this with utmost respect for the books, due to the lacking quality of a few major happenings from the novel that I shall enumerate here:

  1. The admiration of Peeta: I know that not many people like to endure blood and gore, but that is simply what the Hunger Games represent in their post-apocalyptic scenario. Peeta [Hutcherson] was injured by Career Tribute Cato [Alexander Ludwig] in an attempt of survival during the Games. The slash in his leg was not nearly fatal enough in the movie (I don’t know if it was because they couldn’t use enough special effects makeup in order to produce such a massive wound properly, or what the case would’ve been) and that severely bothers me to this day. Secondly on this matter IT DOESN’T HEAL. Strictly and vividly remembering the crucial details of the first book, Peeta’s leg wound gets bad enough to where he is in need of amputation and leg replacement, leading me to my next point:
  2. Intensity of the Love: Katniss and Peeta win the Games together due to her nightlock scheme, no matter how last minute it was. Peeta’s injury was already too deep to heal at any rate with his survival, so the Capitol had to resort to replacement in order to maintain their image and to keep the winners for the Victory Tour; in relation, as the medics were taking Peeta off on a gurney to operate, Katniss was so attached that she followed them, banging on the glass door screaming his name frantically in hopes of him not dying to the blood poisoning in his system to the point sh has to be sedated because she wouldn’t respond to reason. The editor(s), I hope, left that scene out of the picture for whatever reason. It’s the scene that keeps you wanting more: will he live, will he die? But no, they end it with them winning.
  3. Appearances make the matters: This doesn’t so much bother me now as it did when I first saw the movie. Haymitch, according to Collins, has curly black hair and blue eyes, but I must admit that Harrelson was perfect for the role, seeing as Haymitch is alike to the comedy relief of the serious spectrum of the Games. And also, Gale. Well played, but not attractive enough in my opinion (others can argue with me if they wish to do so but I will not reply and shall stand my ground on the matter.)

 

Overall the two together get 4.5 out of 5, so Kudos, Bravo, and a Job Well Done.