Been a Bit Busy

Hello,

I know it has been some time. But, I have actually been productive with writing a story with a friend and so that has kept me away. However, I do want to get working on some other writing projects as well. I have more story ideas that I want to start brainstorming and fleshing out. Apart from that, I want to start using my free time at work to jot down some words that I can use as a theme so I could perhaps free write on this blog at some point.

Freewriting has always been a useful tool for me and I want to use it to help me get my words out. Of course, editing is crucial too. But, I just want to get things going so I can actually build on it.

I need to start somewhere, right?

My problem is that I have so many ideas and not much time to work on them, so I lose time. That is why I am really going to try and make better use of it.

I think I will start with simple exercises that will help me get into the flow. For example, I was thinking of practicing descriptive writing. Take a scene and just describe it with words. Maybe throw in some people or animals. Who knows? It could become a story of its own. I already have an idea with some of places that I have seen even in recent memory.

So, tomorrow, I will check back in with a description of scenery. Let’s see if I can form a narrative with it. Even if I can’t, at least I am trying to practice.

Besides, writing is like a muscle. If you never exercise it, you will lose it.

Today’s Post is Filler

Sorry, I didn’t get around to writing a whole lot today. I wanted to get to it, but my mind needed a bit of a break.

When that happens, I try to settle in and watch something that I find enjoyable. Today, I continued on with the current season of Netflix’s Grace and Frankie.  I absolutely adore this show. The characters are wonderful. Of course, I love seeing Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin together as well as Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston.

Anyway, I always find it to be a good idea to watch a narrative that explores characters at their best and at their worst. Yesterday, I was considering conflict and the thought kept blooming in my mind as I watched this show.

Sometimes, it is nice to take a moment to read or watch something that could later inform the way I write. Maybe, I’ll consider the ways in which the characters interact and create drama between themselves. Besides, no matter what kind of work I am doing, the characters are still people. Regardless of genre, it is important for me to keep them and their struggles human.

Storytelling 101: Conflicts

So, I am thinking about trying my hand at writing some stories or even continue some projects I had tucked away for some time. Then, my contemplation spiraled into considering narrative structure, especially conflict.

Then, I remembered that I had recently been in a discussion with someone about this topic and we used an example from Marvel’s Netflix series Jessica Jones.

The conversation was about what made that series work. For me, what I enjoyed about the show was the small scale stakes. In other words, the world wasn’t in trouble in this series. The protagonist’s problems were mostly her own and the villain was more of a danger to her rather than the entire human population.

This example made me think about how important it is for stories to feel relatable, but it is equally important to realize that the size and scale of a conflict can influence relatability. It isn’t to say that big apocalyptic stories are bad. What I am trying to get at is this idea that smaller, internal conflicts can also make a story appealing.

That said, I contemplated this subject for quite some time since one of my projects deals with the inner conflicts of a character while also dealing with a big apocalyptic problem. Again, neither of these are wrong, but I really love being able to delve deep inside a character’s mind.  Hopefully, this will result in me creating more ideas for characters and conflicts for future stories.

Music Lights My Way

Let me take a moment to give a shout out to music. Without it, I don’t know what I would do or how I would get through days where I feel as if I am at my worst.

Even a week ago, I had an awful experience at work that caused me to feel a bit of anxiety mostly because of how I get treated by a micromanaging co-worker of mine. She nitpicks everything I do and always has to point out the wrongs in my work and it doesn’t help that I don’t have friends or anyone to really connect with. So, it is just me and the wanna-be boss.

Last week, I realized I wanted to change my career path so I can focus on writing. However, it takes time to move on from the place I am currently stuck in.

Despite this feeling of dread and anxiety, I have one ally that has not let me down once. That ally is music.

Sure. I don’t listen to pop music so much, but what I do listen to is Symphonic Metal.

I listen to bands like Epica, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Kamelot, and Tarja. There are more but these ones are my all time favorites. For those who may know Nightwish and Tarja, yes, I counted them separately for a reason.

Anyway, these bands inspire me since a lot of their songs carry emotional journeys within them that make my mind wonder in awe. When I listen to these bands, I always get ideas for writing.

Considering my recent epiphany, I have a feeling their music will continue to light my way.

My Reaction to Trailers

 

 

It has been awhile since everyone’s favorite webslinger has been on the big silver screen and seeing this trailer has – like the first – given us more reason to be excited. Not only do we get to see a younger Peter Parker (portrayed by Tom Holland) but we also get to see him in an origin setting without that actual origin story.

After two tries, this Spiderman: Homecoming gets it right with this fresh start. We get to see Peter Parker on his way to becoming a hero while also dealing with life as a high schooler. It is a blend of fun and action that I think will go well amongst fans (myself included).

My only criticism of this trailer is seeing so much of Tony Stark (portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.) since it seems like he is in quite a bit of this movie. I have also seen others criticize the trailer for this as well. What does this mean if Ironman’s presence sticks around in the movie? Does it take away from Spiderman’s debut in the MCU?

In some ways, I am concerned with seeing so much of Ironman but I have a feeling the movie will prove itself to be a delight. Just judging by the trailer, the action and the drama with the villain – Vulture (played by Michael Keaton) – will prove to be entertaining enough for us to forget these concerns.

 

 

Now, where my concern really picks up is with this Justice League trailer. I loved this trailer, don’t get me wrong. I love the look, I loved the music, and the action seems great. But, I feel like I have seen this before where there’s an amazing trailer. And yet, the movie itself proves to be either controversial amongst fans or just outright awful.

For me, the biggest past offender of this was Suicide Squad. I thought this movie had the coolest trailer and I was so excited for the better part of 2016. Then, the critical reviews rolled in and I saw the movie openminded only to be sorely disappointed. Of course, there are those who like this film. Nothing wrong with that. But, I really want the DCEU to become what it should be since I love the characters in the Justice League.

Hopefully, the past is in the past and this movie is as good as the trailer looks. But, ultimately, I am looking forward to a time where these studios can get to the point that they want to be in for their comic book cinematic universes, so we can start focusing on the story instead of the set up for future movies.

 

Netflix’s “Iron Fist”: a Symptom of Fatigue

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Super heroes have been dominating the movie industry for the last couple of years now and it has not spared the world of television. From shows like Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Arrow, The Flash, and a few others, there has been an increase in these comic book series that feature a hero from either DC or Marvel. However, network television is not the only one clued in on this phenomenon. Netflix also features its own Marvel shows, such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. The latest entry on Netflix being Iron Fist, which continues to develop the Defenders universe that has already been established by the other three shows.

Despite the success of all the prior super hero shows, however, Iron Fist stands out as the one with the lowest ratings among critics. This got me curious since I am not always on the same side as critical review, so I made sure to check out the show when it came out.

I started the first episode and waited patiently as the characters were introduced. I watched as the story began to present itself. Halfway through, I lost focus and turned it off.

Why did I do that?

I hardly ever lose focus on a show enough to shut it off right in the middle. So, what happened?

Well, I got bored. Actually, I laughed at the first fight scene then got bored.

To be fair to the show, it was the first episode and pilots are not usually the strongest part of a season but I just could not get through it. Every second felt like a chore and the character lacked the depth that the other three Netflix Marvel heroes have in their own pilots. So, that got me thinking about the super hero genre as a whole. Yes, there has been some great entertaining material produced from this genre, but at what point does it become a tedious task to watch?

For me, the main reason why I wanted to watch the show was to see how it expands on the Defenders universe while also wanting to see what the critics and fans had seen. Unfortunately, the negative criticisms were true for the most part.

Now, I will admit that my analysis is not complete since I did not even finish that first episode of Iron Fist. But, the idea of going back and watching it just sounds dreadful at this point. And, with the influx of super hero shows and movies, I at least have the option to pick out something else that I enjoy. However, this does beg the question of how much is too much?

Even though I love super heroes – and I do enjoy seeing them on the big and small silver screens – I think we are hitting a point where these new shows and films become an item to check off instead of something that we actually want to see. I mean, was this show even necessary? Probably not. They could have just stuck him in another character’s show like they did with the Punisher.

So, with all of this in mind, I am willing to admit that the super hero fatigue is real and that it is affecting me when it comes to watching this show. I just hope that it does not spread to other comic book properties but that all depends on how much more these studios are willing to produce.

“Saban’s Power Rangers” Spoiler Free Review

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Saban’s Power Rangers opened this weekend and earned $40.5 million at the box office which is not bad considering its competition. Though, Saban had planned for a sequel, it is not quite clear if that prospect will be possible. However, in the meantime, this current film itself does set up for a sequel. Personally, I hope that it will get the chance to continue as a film series since this movie established an intriguing take on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers characters and mythos.

Despite some of the negative reviews I have seen, I enjoyed Saban’s Power Rangers. The opening scene alone was enough for me to be on board with the rest of the movie as the characters got introduced. Unlike the original show, these new rebooted versions of Jason, Billy, Kim, Zack, and Trini had back stories that gave them depth. It was the first half of the movie that provided a realism that I had never seen in Power Rangers before and I embraced it wholeheartedly.

Then, the second half of the movie rolled by. I have seen a lot of negative criticism at this part of the movie, but I still enjoyed it. I see criticisms pointing at how long it takes the Rangers to get their powers, but I actually liked that the film took its time to establish the characters. The movie put the characters first and then allowed for the powers to develop along the way. I liked seeing the progression of the story in this way. And, quite honestly, I think super hero movies would benefit from actually taking the time to show the characters struggling to figure out their powers. Besides, the big moment we all wanted does happen and it happens at the right time.

By the end of the movie, I felt satisfied as both a Power Ranger fan and a movie lover. The second the credits had finished crawling, I was already hungry for more. I really do want to see Saban’s Power Rangers continue on as a film franchise like the MCU or DCEU. It is my fear that the negative criticism as well as the unfortunate timing of this film’s release (pitting it against Beauty and the Beast ) will either challenge or undo any possibility for a sequel. Still, I will remain hopeful because that is what Power Rangers fans do best – we hope.