I don't think it was very apparent (because I wasn't blogging much) but I really liked the movie after I saw it last year. I had been working on one of my own stories that involved the Hawaiian goddess Madam Pele, and I was curious to see if she was references in the new movie. (She wasn't, I think they used other inspiration for the lava monster TeKa.) But I found the movie incredibly enjoyable, and the songs were great. Not just one or two of the big ones, but the entire soundtrack. I'd put it up there with my other favorite Disney movie, Aladdin. (As it turns out, both were directed by the same two people.)
And after watching all the extra commentaries they had on the movie, I am even more impressed by the amount of work and detail that went into it. I've heard a lot of complains that this was just Disney appropriating another culture, and there are a couple of glaring instances of that. But when watching the commentary, I'm realizing that the Polynesian cultures had a big role in making this movie, so it really feels like they not only gave permission but actively helped shape it. And I guess a few groups are still upset about some aspects. But that's probably because "Polynesians" are so diverse, so what was cool with one area might not have been with another. I thought the movie had a distinct Hawaiian feel to it, but they were taking more cues from Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti, and New Zealand, and those are related but distinct cultures. (That's why there's no Pele, who is predominantly Hawaiian, I believe. Maui, however, is a demigod recognized in all these cultures, although with differing stories and origins.) Anyway, I suppose it's easy to be impressed by the making of a movie I already liked, but I still think it's awesome at how much of this culture they integrated in. (And I mean, it turns out there really was a thousand year period where the Polynesians of Samoa weren't voyaging, and then they just started again, and nobody knows why. So they give their fantasy explanation in this movie. I did not realize there was actually any historical significance to that.) And all the voice actors they used were actually of Polynesian descent... well except Alan Tudyk.
Anyway, the movie was great, and so I ordered the Lego Moana set when it came out. But besides the figs, I was unimpressed with the design, so that had to change...
BrCasc 17-171 by Froggy_Fotos, on Flickr. (I'm using Chocolate Frog's BricksCascade picture cause the ones I took didn't turn out well and I haven't reassembled the MOC yet.)
I didn't like the original canoe, so I redesigned it to be a bit more streamlined, if not more mono-colored. I constructed most of it by memory, since it was really hard to find a decent reference pict of it online. Aaaand it turns out that I actually mirrored it; the float should actually be on the starboard side instead of the port. Whoops. But I liked the rigging I was able to add to it, and I think TeKa and the rock scape turned out nicely. (And even the wave action I threw it. You can't see it, but the chicken is also floating in the background.)
I was a little irked when somebody else also brought a Moana canoe MOC in, and it was basically just a revamp of the actual set. (It has a border for the sail and was a tad bit larger, but otherwise it was basically the set.) However, most of the public seemed to recognize my MOC first, because it had the big lava monster. It was nice hearing kids point out my MOC, which is something that doesn't happen often at conventions I display at. (It didn't hurt that it was based off the recent Disney movie that was probably still fresh in their heads.) And I did make one other Moana MOC with the Maui bigfig, but most people didn't get the reference...
Maui Raising Mata Nui by Jason, on Flickr
These are the two Polynesian inspired stories that I'm fans of, so it was obvious I was going to have to combine them together in a MOC. (Although Lego is totally guilty of appropriating the culture for Bionicle, so that's an example of how not to do it.) And since Moana's home island is called Motunui, which sounds soooo close to Mata-Nui every time I hear it, how could I not make this model? I did want to make a bigger Great Spirit Robot, like with perhaps it's upper torso and arms... but I ran out of time / pieces, so this is it for now. I shipped the head and the Gali minifig boat to BrickFair, so hopefully they'll show up randomly on the Bionicle table?
Anyway, that's it for my gushing about the movie and the sets I made from it. All said, I STILL have a lot of sorting left to do, so I'm going to have to put in a different movie now.
Who still gets on blogs??? I'm not sure myself. Just checking in. I still check the BZPower news a lot and I'm occasionally trying to force myself back on the forums. Not sure about the status and health of everything, though? Shame about GEN2 ending and all.
Oh but guys don't forget I'm wasting my precious little free time (when I'm not sick) on a Bionicle webcomic! It's hand drawn! Silly humanized bonkles! You should all ask me about it! It'll be rad!
How is everyone doing, otherwise? Any fun things to share? Also if we were friends and acquaintances back in the day we totally need to bug each other again! I'd love to catch up with folks.
(or hey if you're new or have always wanted to chat with me, that's fine too)
Anyway. Nothing much going on in my life. Being bedridden, likely moving further east this summer, having a quarter-life crisis, so forth. I'll also be at Brickfair VA again this year.
Okay, off to work back on art and script writing! Cheers all!
And after working roughly 167 hours in the last 12 days at my job, I pretty much feel like poor Arnold here.
Joking aside, my busiest week of the year is over, so now I have free time again. Which means I finally have time to do stuff on BZP. It feels good to have said time.
So, did I miss anything in my inactivity?
Except this fan fiction goes all-out Christopher Nolan and treats the subject matter as dark, gritty, and realistic. It's a cerebral psychological case-study, a thriller, and a morbid fable of the cruelty and that humans are capable of. The story features intense emotional abuse, lies, deceit, manipulation, fear, hatred, and violence. Oh yeah, I'm also thinking of making it rated R, for brief strong language and a really graphic, bloody death at the end. Actually, I think that I'll kill off several characters.
In other news, I'm writing my review of the recent live-action Beauty and the Beast. It will be up in a day or two, depending on how I spend my time. Right now I'm working on some slightly more pressing things.
With the Judge Slizer’s timeline sinking into the void, the Judge Coronet and the Ice Coronet have met up for one final battle.
The winner will determine the fate of the remaining scraps of the Slizer population. The loser…well, I’m sure you can guess.
Are you ready to do your duty? For Coronet and Cancellation?
(It’s Slizer Mafia 3 yo, come on down for a disk-throwin’ good time)
A deconstruction takes something apart. Shrek shows how weird fairy tales are by pitting the story from the point of view of an ogre. Suddenly the princess promising herself to whoever rescues her is especially bizarre, as is the idea of there always being a noble prince. The point of a deconstruction is usually to display how tropes and conventions in some narratives don’t work so well when held up to some more stringent logic.
In the same vein, the Batman we meet in at the start of The LEGO Batman Movie (and arguably The LEGO Movie) is a deconstruction of the Batman we got used to in Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. He’s all about darkness and not having parents, singular focused on his mission, and, as we discover, quite a pain in the butt. In essence, we see this singularly focused Batman played out to an amusing end: he’s stuck in a perpetual adolescence and cares for no one but himself (and his desire to fight crime). Of course he’s not well-adjusted, he doesn’t have any friends and doesn’t see daylight. It’s this deconstruction that gives rise to the plot of The LEGO Batman Movie, which lets the movie rebuild Batman into a hero – and leader of the Bat-family.
Thing is, The Dark Knight – and Batman Begins before it – aren’t quite deconstructions; at least not in the way it’s easy to assume they are. Yes, the movies do play out some of the complications of Bruce Wayne’s Batmanning: he has to go on the run, people try to copy him, Bruce Wayne ceases to be much of a person in favor of his alter-ego. And there is the whole darkness-no-parents vibe. Nonetheless, Batman is successful at what he does, and the films make the case that yes, a superhero does work. A dude dressing up as a bat to fight criminals is a patently ridiculous concept, but Christopher Nolan and his team reconstruct Batman into a character and vigilante that makes sense in a realistic center.
Take the scene in Batman Begins where Bruce and Alfred are putting together the Batsuit. They buy the components in bulk from different manufacturers, minimizing a paper trail. Even getting the Batmobile from Wayne Enterprises’ R&D department explains away where he gets those wonderful toys. As a reconstruction it acknowledges the flaws of the Batman narrative but works past them for a fuller, more shaded narrative. A true deconstruction would have played out the final climax with Two Face differently, perhaps having Batman refuse to take the fall or even having both of them be completely vilified. As it is, The Dark Knight lets Batman take his moniker and remain an idealized hero.
There are shades of deconstruction to The Dark Knight — take the Batman-inspired vigilante who gets himself killed — but it’s all in the service of ultimately reconstructing the idea – there needs to be a 'superhero,' so Batman will appear the villain so that Harvey Dent can be that person. So it’s easy to mistake the whole movie as an out-and-out Shrekian deconstruction.
Which is arguably what Zack Snyder and team did in Batman v Superman. While Man of Steel wavers, BvS tries its hardest to take apart both Batman and Superman – and superheroes in general. But it doesn’t do so for comedic effect (as in Kick-######) or to explore what we take for granted in the genre (see: Watchmen). Instead, it does… Well, nothing. It reads The Dark Knight as a deconstruction and attempts to imitate it, but since the former wasn’t really a deconstruction, the BvS is building with the blocks; it doesn’t take apart The Dark Knight (as LEGO’s Batman does), but tries to use Nolan’s film as a deconstruct-o-lens. The result is a lot of dimly lit scenes and people grunting and growling at each other about big ideas that don’t make much sense. We learn nothing new about Superman and Batman or the conventions that surround them that would warrant it being a deconstruction, nor does it recreate the mythos in a new way that would be a reconstruction. Rather it tells the story straight, just lathered in a murky layer of grit that can’t hide its (many) narrative flaws.
There is room for a solid deconstruction of Batman, Superman ,and superheroes in general – I mean Alan Moore did it in Watchmen thirty-odd years ago. Sometimes it seems there’s a race to take apart beloved genres, and sometimes it works like in Game of Thrones, but there’s room for both, again, Nolan’s The Dark Knight. The trick is to do it for a reason, and not just because you want your story to be about darkness and not having parents.
But anyway, I started thinking about what kind of story a person like me could have to offer up. And the answer is pretty much an angsty story about angst. XD. Let me explain the basic plot idea.
The story would be more of a self-interest, which isn't something I've done since my old bzp comics (which are terrible and please don't look them up. Let them rest in peace). It would take place in two different settings, following two stories simultaneously. The first setting would be my self-insert character. And by that I mean it would be basically me, a genderqueer demi gay dude in a relationship with a sort of melancholic reverie (hence the angst). Now while following Tekulo around, he will be visited constantly by recurring characters which personify different thoughts. It'll basically be Tekulo having conversations with himself trying to figure things out, explain himself and peer into his head a bit. It's basically a way to show the audience what's going on in the author's head as the story progresses.
Now, the second part of this story is what will move everything along. It will take place with a main protagonist in a fantasy world dreamed up by Tekulo. And well, this is probably going to be more slice of life than anything. It will explore The kind of world that Tekulo might find ideal, or showcase his fears that play out in his mind, characters he wishes were real, enemies he's glad are illusions, and fantastical concepts come to life.
Really it isn't much of an idea at this stage, and this type of story doesn't really follow a specific plot. Although, if anything, I feel like something like this might make a fun side project and could be an interesting exploration into my own personality and character.
Though I'm not sure what medium this would be in. Probably a comic of sorts. But I have no plans to start this anytime soon. It's just a thought.
Got back into Xenoblade X to get a ton of endgame stuff done, currently working on a blossom dance build so I can solo anything and try and relearn some stuff.
In the past two days I went from around 120 hours to 160, and managed to get the Ares 90 Skell to help with grinding for stuff to build the dream level 60 Skell I wish to use forever.
Still have a very little understanding of how overdrive works but whatever I'll figure it out soon enough.
Like most things I do, the decision to bring back this classic BZP game was completely spontaneous. I have fond memories of reading through the original topic as a guest and I've always felt that G&T was missing something without it; so since I'm trying to be more active around I thought it was time to bring it back the game this time with some of Gen 2's funniest images. Arguably, this would have been a much better idea to this a year or two ago when G&T was much more active...but oh well.
Come in and play today!
Greg has stated he knows for a fact what Takanuva's destiny is, but that he'd only reveal if it was relevant. This seems to indicate that it was something developed by the story team early on in Takanuva's existence, completely independent and unaffected from the canon that came after.
And, well...the end of an Av-Matoran's life cycle is to become a bohrok, that was a fact that was known to the story team since the creation of the bohrok...and aren't the bahrag just big bohrok? the answer is no, of course they are not, but you understand why my logic may have ended up there.
I dunno...The fact that Greg would know Takanuva's destiny way before it would even be useful to have decided such information always seemed odd to me. Thoughts?
EDIT: since I wrote that, I now know Greg revealed that Takanuva was supposed to play a crucial role in the civil war with the great beings, and I realize everything I wrote is wrong. Eh. I still like the idea of Takanuva becoming a bahrag, so I won't delete this.
I've thought about this for a while, and several events on and off of BZPower recently solidified it in my mind as the right thing to do. It feels better. And honestly, I did just about all I could as staff to help people here. I can still be a positive presence, though. I also have half wondered if, half realized that some things that hurt me here were because of or quite amplified by my being staff - both in the sense of things done to me, and things I came to bring upon myself. I did a lot, but, I kinda want to close off that legacy. I want my time here to be a better memory, and not one shadowed by vestigial pain.
So, yeah. I'm going to start moving on, in a sense not really bordering on the titular. I'll be around, and sass you nerds in G&T, but, a little less. It's more a personal thing for me, and not the feeling that I have to keep myself away anymore. I missed this color, too.
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