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Light Speed Kamikaze

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Movies, Nerd Jan 13 2018 · 44 views
STAR WARS, lightspeed
:kaukau: Fun fact. If you shot a marshmallow at the Earth going at 99.99% the speed of light, it would hit with the force of about two thousand Hiroshimas, if I've done my math right. If you add a few more nines to the percentage, that power output goes up exponentially. Let's say that it wasn't at light spee So imagine how much more powerful a lightspeed kamikaze run for a ship normally weighing one ton would do, especially when they're going faster than light speed. If you had a big ship, it would destroy planets with the intensity of a billion stars.

So...people have brought up why this kamikaze thing hasn't happened before, and I've thought through reasons why it might not have. First, there's obviously a flaw with the whole Death Star thing, because if people can blow up planets just by launching a lightspeed nyan-cat their way, making a giant station to do that it a bit redundant. In other battles, though, I can see it not being too advantageous. Warfare is generally fought over resources and political gain, and you can't always reach your objectives by blowing everything up. So a lot of the ships seem to be designed for troop transport. You also might not want to kamikaze a ship like the Death Star if it's nearby an inhabited planet, or even in the same system as one, because it shine with the brilliance of a billion trillion suns if you hit it at lightspeed and the radiation would kill everyone. Even when the target in question isn't nearby an inhabited planet, is your lightspeed kamikaze run really going to be accurate enough to hit a moving target that's lightyears away?

So it kind of makes sense why we haven't seen this before. When Holdo rammed the enemy fleet, there weren't any inhabited planets nearby. There's still the technicality of how the Rebels/Resistance didn't get hit by the shockwave, but my speculation is that she didn't quite reach light speed and was just accelerating when she hit Snoke's cruiser. Looking back, the only other situation that I can think of where someone was in a strategic position to use lightspeed kamikaze tactics was when the Empire wanted to take out Hoth, but I think that they wanted prisoners and, if I remember correctly, Darth Vader discovered that Luke was his son before he found his whereabouts on Hoth.

EDIT: And before people say that Han Solo could have done this to Starkiller base, he probably didn't want to do that while his son was on it. Of course, the Resistance could have launched a hyperspace missile that way without asking him...

Darn, I guess that it is a plot hole..




Posted by Jean Valjean , in Movies Jan 12 2018 · 29 views
:kaukau: Ben Solo wants to Make Evil Great Again. And who knows, he might just transcend his grandfather. After all, he's more evil than his father ever was. Vader may have killed children, but it was when he was trying to save his pregnant wife. He also had genuine ideological differences with the Jedi and thought that they were evil. Whereas Ben not only complied with the destruction of a dozen or so highly populated planets, but he even killed his own family members (his father successfully, his uncle unsuccessfully, and he also ordered missiles to launch at his own mother). So yes, he is indeed more evil than Vader, if not necessarily more intimidating.

But Vader is only one of his grandparents. Imagine if he had gone MAGA and Made Amidala Great Again.

Seriously, why is it that Padme is never mentioned anymore? She was a queen and a senator and a pretty awesome lady, and the galaxy just forgot about her? C'mon! She preemptively helped found the rebellion, fer fryin' out loud! Nobody thought to tell Ben about how cool his grandmother was?



Bad Reymance

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Movies Jan 10 2018 · 52 views
STAR WARS, Rey, Skywalker
:kaukau: A lot of people were shipping Rey and Finn. And to be honest, while they're both outsiders, I never thought that they had enough in common. She was a determined, heroic person and a believer in ideals (and the return of her parents). Finn was a coward and too pathetic. It's way too imbalanced to work out.

Rey and Poe makes a little more sense, since they have many more personality traits in common. If Rey is in fact a Skywalker, it would fit with family tradition to marry the best fighter pilot in the galaxy. But that honestly doesn't have to happen onscreen, actually, since Daisy Ridley expressed that she didn't feel that this new generation needs a romance, and I'll admit that I agree with that. There's no space for it in Episode IX, which already has a lot of ground to cover.

If she isn't a Skywalker, then I suppose that you can still make this franchise fundamentally and pivotally about the Skywalkers if she ends up with Ben. Similar themes were tackled in the Book of Ruth. People call this one Reylo, but I personally like calling that possible romance Bey. It's hard to imagine how it would work out, but if they aren't related, Ben clearly was a little wobbly in the knees when he asked her to join him.



The Disaster Artist Review

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Movies, Reviews Dec 31 2017 · 38 views
The Room, Tommy Wiseau and 3 more...
The Disaster Artist Review :kaukau: The interesting thing about this film, if viewed as a prequel to The Room, is that it almost retroactively makes the original film good. Not in a "so bad it's good" way, but actually admirable. You understand what Tommy Wiseau wanted to do. The Room wasn't a pretentious film by a talented director who was patting himself on the back for his talent, which I really hate. It's a sincere attempt by someone who convey life the way that he sees it. Granted, Tommy's way of looking at life is incredibly strange, and he's like a Bizarro World character from the Superman comics, but it's sincere. He funded the film himself, took a giant leap, and although he communicated his outlook on life incompetently, it's still a sincere look into the mind of someone who really wanted to reach out and show the world something about himself. In that sense, The Room truly is unique among films and truly does deliver on what art really should be, a means for human beings to connect with each other and share our realities.

Wait, am I actually trying to say something sensible and coherent while talking about Tommy Wiseau? And did I just call that movie good? I really should double-check that fruit punch they served at the New Year's Eve party.

Going into this film, I wanted either one of two things from it. The first satisfying option was that this would be a bad film, which would be fitting. The second would be for it to be good, which would be ironic. Anything in-between those two extremes wouldn't do.

Now as it happens, I am happy to report that it was good. As in, really good. Oscar-worthy good. It's one of the best movies of the whole year, and is a fitting film to conclude my calendar with.

The specific Oscars that I hope that this gets nominated for are James Franco as Tommy Wiseau, Dave Franco for Best Supporting Actor because I'm honestly surprised at how his presence as Greg Sestero wasn't overshadowed by his brother's titular role, and Best Adapted Screenplay, because this real-life tale is so fascinating and unique in ways that are stranger than fiction.

Unfortunately, most theatres aren't showing this masterpiece, and so I'll have recommend that people buy it as soon as it comes out on DVD, and also The Room. Because how can you not get one without getting the other? They complement each other so well. It also doesn't matter which order in which you watch them, so if you don't feel like getting The Room, go ahead and watch this first.

And let me assure you, it is good. My sister even watched this instead of STAR WARS. It was a special time, and between her and me, this movie gets high marks.



Forced Puns

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Movies, Humor Dec 18 2017 · 17 views
:kaukau: Hey, I think that it was a huge mistake for Ben to become an enemy of his own father. You should never make a foe pa like that.

That spot where Rey stabbed Ben in the chest healed impectably fast.

The Resistance will Carrie on.

I'm a Kelly Marie Fan of the new character. She really Rose to the occasion.

Chewy has no money to eat expensive food and is a porg guy.

♫♪ Poe Rey Shmi Finn Solo Tico ♫♪



The Last Jedi Review

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Reviews, Movies Dec 15 2017 · 18 views
STAR WARS, Episode VIII and 2 more...
The Last Jedi Review :kaukau: This is going to be an incredibly short review, because just about anything could be considered a spoiler. Anyway, here are some of my basic thoughts about the type of sequels that this is.

John Williams produced three memorable themes in the last one, but I can't think of anything that stood out this time, although I'm absolutely going to rewatch this, so we'll see. But if I re-watch it several times and find nothing new that's iconic, that will honestly be very sad. I'll be listening to the soundtrack on Spotify in-between now and my next viewing.

It's kind of like Empire Strikes Back in that the heroes are definitely up against a huge challenge and you can honestly believe at times that the bad guys are going to win. On the other hand, in some ways this is the most like Flash Gordon than any other episode (and I'm not saying that this is a bad thing).

Holy cow, they did some things that I wasn't expecting them to do in the middle film of a trilogy. And by the end, I'm going to be honest, I had absolutely no idea where they were going to go with the next movie. As in truly, I can't even speculate.

In a lot of ways, the directing and story felt a lot different from a Star Wars episode, perhaps even comparable to an anthology film like Rogue One. Rian Johnson does several things with his editing that simply have never been done in any episodes prior. It was really weird for me. I think that other people are going to notice it, too, and there's definitely going to be people with passionate opinions on this. Some will love it, some will hate it. I'll just point out that in the original saga, the middle films were where the directors usually got a bit more experimental. In any case, this actually makes me glad that J.J. Abrams is directing the next one. Interestingly, though, I will say that the closing shot of this film was far more classically STAR WARS than Episode VII's ending.

Final assessment: I had a really fun time, and I liked it. I was going to watch it ten times, but now I think that I'll only watch it eight times. It's not quite the quintessential big screen experience, but that's typical of the middle films, because they've always been my least favorite. However, we'll see. These movies have a special place in my sister's heart, since this is for her generation, and if she loves it, I'll probably watch it those extra two times just for her. At the end of the day, she's what's important.



Justice League Review

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Reviews, Movies, Superman Nov 22 2017 · 73 views
Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and 2 more...

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:kaukau: Justice League stays true, for the most part, to what it advertised: a movie about five iconic superheroes who need little-to-no introduction getting together (right now, over me) in order to stop a villain who wasn't noteworthy enough to show up in the trailers, that may or may not have anything to do with Superman. There has been several different marketing tools employed domestically across the world that both imply that he is in the film, and things that imply that he isn't, and a lot of it is fake and deliberately misleading in order to get people speculating. So, out of respect to Warner Bros., I won't reveal whether or not Superman comes back or if they were gutsy enough to keep him dead.

With that in mind, what do you have?

Batman. Everyone knows who this is. The only difference to this Batman that I think needs introduction is that his main schtick this time around doesn't seem to be his batty obsession with his dead parents, but a sense of guilt over Superman's death. This is the first time that I've ever seen Batman depicted on film with friendship being a major part of his identity.

Wonder Woman. Everyone's favorite character at this point. The movie acknowledges some important parts from her origins movie earlier this year.

These two decide that they're going to start a team based off of cameos from previous films, consisting of the following three:

Aquaman: A bigger outsider than Batman ever was, and with a complicated backstory with Shakespearean family drama that's complicated enough that he's naturally the next one to get his own film. He reminds me a bit of the brooding Superman from Man of Steel, but it does fit the character a little better. However, he's the character who will probably endear people the least.

Cyborg: The most obscure of these characters, but at the same time can be summed up in one sentence. His father tried fusing him with alien technology to save his life, and now he's afraid of the technology that's taking over his body and possibly his mind.

The Flash: Barry Allen, everyone. Probably the most famous superhero outside of the Big Three. He says it as briefly as possible, that be got struck by lightning. Now he's fast, can go into some alternate dimension, and has the Speed Force. He doesn't have any friends, and it the most eager to join the Justice League. It should be noted that he is responsible for all of the movie's best moments.

They must fight Steppenwolf, a cool-looking villain played by a Shakespearean actor who delivers his few lines very well. He's of the Marvel variety, a forgettable villain; however, I personally really enjoyed him, if only because I really enjoyed the actor's performance. Steppenwolf's plan is to gather the Mother Boxes, an all-powerful force, and transform Earth into that red place that you saw in the trailers, which he would get away with if it wasn't for the Justice League.

That's it. That's the film in a nutshell. I think that it does a fairly decent job, and will keep people entertained. It doesn't have the gravitas and level of excitement and payoff that The Avengers did five years ago, but I think that people will be more satisfied if they go in thinking of it as a pilot episode for a DC animated show, since it has about a similar feel. There were certain moments that took me back to these kind of shows. Even Steppenwolf, as underdeveloped as he was, reminded me of villains who show up in a pilot episode to get introduced as a larger series villain who will get more development later.

I would also recommend this movie especially to people who haven't seen Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, on account of this film deciding to ignore major issues from them. It's very clear that DC wants to do a course-correct and wishes that they never made the first two films the way that they did, meaning that they're not only changing tone, but they're changing characters to fit their beloved comic-book counterparts with no in-universe reason.


Other pros and cons:

Great cinematography. Everything directed by Zack Snyder looks gorgeous. In fact, I don't say this too often, but it looks even richer in 3D.

Poor sound editing. There were times when sound played an important part in storytelling, and it really should have been edited to make the film far more immersive.

The editing! This is where most people complain. It's very obvious that there are quite a few deleted scenes, because the scenes that remain, especially in the beginning, don't directly flow into each other and interrupt the momentum that the film is trying to build up. However, each scene on its own is pretty cool. The other editing problem is in Warner Bros.'s mandate to keep the film under two hours, including the credits. So the film feels like it's about an hour and a half long (hence why I compare it to their animated pilots), and that just wasn't long enough to build up some important conflicts and play off of character chemistry. I feel that the second act in particular could have had several extra scenes to help build up to several key character choices. The inevitable extended cut of this movie will probably drastically improve on this. However, it would have been nice to see all of these extra story on the big screen.

The music pleased me. Greatly. They distanced themselves from everything having to do with Hans Zimmer and embraced a lot of their more classical music that I hear from their television shows and their video games, and it took me to a nostalgic place. You hear hints of the original Batman theme, and the original Superman theme, and Wonder Woman's theme gets a makeover so that instead of playing on an electric cello, she makes her entrance to trumpets, which I think takes her good theme and makes it great. The best new piece of music easily belongs to the Flash. It plays whenever he goes into speed mode, and I truly loved it.

The costumes were great. The Flash once again gets my praise, because his costume is almost exactly what I always imagined that it would look like.

I will defend this film against comparisons to The Avengers, since most of the comparisons being made stem from similarities in the comics. Steppenwolf is compared to Loki on the basis of them both having horned helmets, but they both had those in the comics. The Parademons have been compared to the Chitauri, but the Parademons have been in the comics longer. The Mother Boxes as a generic source of power has been compared to the Tesseract, but again, this is ancient comics stuff. Most other comparisons after that come off as stretches, for me. Like, the fact that Wonder Woman knows who Steppenwolf is, and Thor knows who Loki is. Ahem, that's lame.



Upcoming Justice League Review

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Reviews, Movies, Superman Nov 17 2017 · 36 views
Justice League, DC, superheroes and 2 more...
:kaukau: I'm working on it right now. The spoiler-free review should be up tomorrow. Due to the nature of this one, I think that I will write up a spoilers review as well shortly thereafter. The trailers left a lot up to speculation, and there are certain specific details in what they did stylistically and tonally that fundamentally affect how I want to review this film that can't be addressed in a completely spoiler-free review.

Before I write up my post here, I'm working on a video review of the film. I haven't done one of those since May, but I figured that this one is worth it. I'm definitely going to do a video review of STAR WARS in a month.



Re-releasing Titanic

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Movies Nov 15 2017 · 68 views
Titanic, rerelease, James Cameron
:kaukau: James Cameron updates a few minutes to look extra-high-definition, so naturally he's re-releasing it and hyping it up as being better than ever, even though most won't notice the difference. Judging by the trailers, he hasn't updates the effects at all. They hold up pretty well, but they're not quite on the same level as Gravity. You'd think that it would be fairly easy for that guy to update those effects shots when you see the whole ship, you know? I mean, he's James Cameron. I personally think that he should wait until he has some more Avatar money in his pockets and re-release the movie in five years, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the film. I think that's more special than the twentieth, which to me seems arbitrary. But that's just me.

Don't get me wrong, I'll watch it anyway. I like it more than Avatar and want to eventually make more money over time and become the highest grossing film of all time again. What can I say? It's one of the most epic experiences that I have ever, and ever will, see in theatres. What do you guys think? Anyone else think that they might actually watch it? Or does the stupidity of it all get to you?



Thor: Ragnarok Review

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Reviews, Movies Nov 07 2017 · 53 views
Thor 3, Thor Ragnarok and 3 more...
:kaukau: At this point, Marvel movies hardly need reviews.

1. Tons of humor as usual, except with slightly more humor.
2. Forgettable villain, as usual, except slightly more forgettable.
3. Loki is the best part, as usual, except slightly better...wait, actually, he's exactly as good as he's been in every single installment. You simply can't improve upon this guy.

So yeah, if you like what Marvel does, then this is going to be a great film. If you don't, then it will suck. Then there's people like me who don't love the formula but can easily tolerate it most of the time, except in movies like this, when the formula for humor really pushes my limits. In particular, I was frustrated that this movie got more caught up in the humor than in actual creativity, which I think the Guardians of the Galaxy films did better, and also that there were some scenes that could have been epic spectacles but were watered down in order to keep things lighthearted. As in, I was kind of excited to see a giant apocalypic battle for Asgard that was going to get my heart racing and playing with imaginary swords for days to come, but this film didn't give me that particular fantasy. It was primarily a comedy.

Other things that are probably worth mentioning:

4. Doctor Strange doesn't really appear in this movie much. I expected more, because of the scene at the end of his movie, but ultimately his involvement in this movie is just an extended version of that after-credits scene. He could have very easily been cut without changing anything in this film. His inclusion will also be a little confusing to people who haven't seen his film. Also, is it me, or is his depiction here all-powerful?
5. Natalie Portman contracted breakup-by-sequel-itis. What a time honored trope. Actually, I hate this trope. And while I get that a lot of people didn't quite like the character, I found that she was the one person who made Thor interesting as a character; otherwise, Thor exists to make Loki more interesting. And they spent more time on their romance than any other romance in the DCU, so I kind of wanted that investment to pay off. Curses!
6. Nope. Valkyrie isn't depict
7. The fight with the Hulk is the best part of the whole movie. Best fight scene, best humor, everything.
8. This movie actually does change the status-quo by quite a bit. I actually think that due to events in this film, there will be permanent consequences that change the landscape of the MCU. Perhaps not Black Panther, but definitely everything from Infinity War onward. Civil War was a pretty gutsy film on its own, but in context it's pretty easy how it only momentarily changes the status quo, whereas I personally think that this has much more permanent fallout.



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Username: Jean Valjean
Real name: N/A
Age: 23
Gender: Male
Heritage: Half Dutch, 25% Hungarian, 12.5% Swedish, 6.25% German and Irish
Physical description: Looks like the eleventh Doctor
Favorite food: Chicken, turkey, and beef.
Least favorite food: Vegetables of any kind
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Favorite movie: Schindler's List
Favorite TV show: Smallville & Arthur the Friendly Aardvark
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Favorite board game: Risk
Favorite athlete: Michael Phelps
Lucky Number: 53
Past-times: Writing, reading, politics, drawing
Political party: Republican
Religion: Christian
Language: Not English, but American.

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