Category Archives: Random Movie

Strowlers: The right story can change the world

This is a translation of my guest post for the Bücherstadt Kurier’s event „#kunterbunt: a feast for diversity„. You can read it in German on their page here: Die richtige Geschichte kann die Welt verändern.

Illustration: Worteweberin Annika

Strowlers is a multimedia universe created by Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, more precisely Ben Dobyns, the mastermind behind it. Stories in this universe tell of a world where magic is real. In addition to the pilot episode – also known as just „Strowlers“ – that takes place in Seattle, the episodes „Strowlers: Amaaji“ (Mongolia) and „Strowlers: Pepper“ (Ireland) were completed alongside it. All three released in August at Gen Con 2018. Each episode tells a different part of the story of the Strowlers from a different angle and of a different way of dealing with magic.

“The right story can change the world.”

At the same time, it plays with the concept that the right story can change the world. Because magic in the „Strowlerverse“ is partly done by telling stories with the help of a special deck of cards.

But what are Strowlers?

Strowlers” is the name given to those who use magic freely. They are unattached people who move from place to place and work small and large miracles in secret. But that is just one way of defining them. In their essence they are free spirited, creative people, be they writers, musicians, artists or whatever they want to be.

Opposite them are the Arcanologists, who try to tame any free magic and make it controllable and usable for their purposes.

What is the Pilot about?

The pilot tells the story of Whit, a librarian, and her girlfriend Amanda, an Arcanologist who tries to help young magic-talented children while creating a technology that could be dangerous for all magic-talented people.

One day Whit reads the children a story about a goldfinch that lures a young girl deeper and deeper into the forest as around them the forest comes to life. Leaves sweep across the floor of the library and branches stretch towards the children. But the spell doesn’t last long, because the task force of the arcanologists destroys it and suppresses the magic of a little boy, whom they suspect as the source, with a collar made for this purpose.

But soon Whit finds out that another child, Nikki, was behind it and tries to protect her from Amanda’s colleagues who want to burn the magic out of her…

The watching experience

I mainly know ZOE’s web series The Gamers and JourneyQuest, but the quality of this pilot episode is on a whole new level.

Not only is the narrative technique fascinating as it jumps between narrator and narration, but the visual effects are also breathtaking. The play of light adapts to the tone of the story and changes from threateningly dark to hopefully radiant, depending on how it is needed.

Added to this are the strong messages, not only about magic and fear of the uncontrollable, but also about storytelling itself. Especially as an author*ess a fascinating aspect.

“Every story is a labyrinth. You begin a journey to the center, then wind your way out again and end up somewhere new, but while you’re in the center you have chance to change things.”

The Characters

The three main characters are plausibly depicted and all follow their characteristics.
Whit, the idealist, who fights for what she thinks is right.
Amanda, the remorseful one, who tries to save others from her own fate, at all costs.
And Nikki, the frightened one, who still can’t really understand what might happen to her and what has already happened to so many others.

The side characters are only touched on, but you still get a feeling for them. Especially Nikki’s „burned“ father and the Strowler Josiah leave a lasting impression.

General Opinion

As a pilot for a much bigger world, it definitely makes you want more and lets you see beyond the limited development of the side characters, whose story may be continued later.

Visually, this episode simply captivated me, together with the story and the storytelling it is simply a wonderful interplay.

“The best fictions are the ones surrounded by truths.”

How true this statement can be, can be seen when you look at the dystopian elements that the Arcanologists introduce into history and see how quickly something like this could happen in our world.

You too can become a part of the Strowlerverse

With the release of the pilot episode, this world is made accessible to all, so that everyone can contribute a part to it. Be it in the form of new stories, films, poems or other creative ideas. It is licensed under a special Creative Commons license, which allows you to be creative by stating the source. And with a little aptitude, this contribution can also become official canon.

If this piqued your curiosity you can find the Trailer – an later the episodes – here: Trailer.

Anne/PoiSonPaiNter

Ghostbusters (2016)

Contrary to what I told you last week do you get a different post than you might have expected, I just needed to get this out of my system after watching the new Ghostbusters movie yesterday evening – there will be Spoilers.

But before we start into the movie review let’s take a look at the Ghostbusters in my past:
When I grew up I loved the Real Ghostbusters cartoon series (never quite got into Extreme Ghostbusters though) and I don’t know how many times I watched the re-runs of the original Ghostbusters movie(s). It was quirky, it was fun and it had really cool characters – and lots of ghosts.

So you can probably imagine my scepticism when I heard they wanted to reboot it with a gender-swapped cast. At first I thought it would be just a fan-cast or a joke but when the first Trailers were released it felt more like it was actually going to happen, though it still left me sceptic about it and worried they’d turn it into a fully-fledged gag reel instead of a proper movie.

But what is it about?

Official Poster

Physics Professor Erin Gilbert tries her hardest to get a permanent job at the university she works at, but a book (Ghosts from our Past) she wrote with her high school friend Abby Yates about their scientific theories about ghosts comes round and bites her in the butt when the curator of a supposedly haunted museum turns to her for help.

Furious to find out the book is being sold without her permission she confronts Abby, who is by now working with engineer Jillian Holtzmann on realising their theories. When Erin mentions the curator the three of them (reluctantly in Erin’s case) run off to investigate, but what they find is more than they had ever wished for when they come face to face with a real ghost – and its slime/ectoplasm.

Thanks to the witness account and help of Patty Tolan they soon discover that this and other sightings were not just a coincidence and the aptly called „Ghostbusters“, who everyone things are frauds, have to save New York from a hoard of ghosts, when an overlooked hotel staff member Rowan decides to break the barrier between this world and the ghost realm.

The watching experience

Originally I wanted to watch this with Schmusi and Anna but as it was only available in 3D they had to opt out and I went to see it on my own. When I entered the cinema I was surprised to find so many people from all kinds of different age groups already sitting there (Okay, the schools have summer holidays, it was cinema day and the movie was the discount feature film, but it was still more than I expected). As it turned out most of them were just casually watching as I barely heard any reactions to cameos and inside jokes.

Anyway, as soon as the first ghost was shown and the theme tune started playing I was hooked and I think I had the silliest of grins on my face throughout the whole movie.
While the story wasn’t the most innovative one and not all the jokes worked (the soup one did get a bit boring the third time around, but the final iteration was still fun), was it still full of the charm I had loved about the original.
This combined with pretty cool visual effects and a great usage of 3D made for a really enjoyable time. The ghost hoard was amazing and the jump scare of the first ghost really got me.  And even if the fight scenes felt a bit over the top (like in pretty much every super hero movie) – and lacked the explanation of how they could destroy the ghosts with the proton containment laser when previously they could only contain it – they were still really amazing and fun to watch.
It was also interesting to see that they used more than the actual screen for the effects when slime and Patty’s necklace went across the border of the movies‘ frame.

There were a few scenes were I wasn’t sure what to think about them at first but they turned out great.
One of them was the haunted Metal concert and, as a Metalhead myself, I feared they would go for the stereotypes of drunk, satanic Metalheads, but they didn’t.
They showed us like we are: A chill bunch of people wishing each other a good time and enjoying the music we love. The only thing weird about it was the singers reaction, but I guess it was better than admitting that there was a freaking ghost in the concert hall. 😀

The other scene was were Rowan possessed Abby. I had seen it in the previews and already considered it weird, but seeing how Rowan interacted later on it wasn’t that strange any more.

And now for the best part of the watching experience: The glorious cameos – even if for a long time it sounded like none of the original cast members wanted to participate in this.

Whether it was Bill Murray’s (Peter Venkman) sceptical Debunker, Dan Aykroyd’s (Raymond „Ray“ Stantz) cabbie with a remark to the ghosts around him just being „minor level five apparitions“ and that „he ain’t afraid of no ghost„, Ernie Hudson’s (Winston Zeddemore) funeral home owner – and involuntary provider of Ecto 1 – or Annie Potts (Janine Melnitz) as hotel clerk and Sigourney Weaver (Dana Barrett) as Holtzmann’s mentor.
And of course Slimer and the Stay Puft Marschmallow Man.
I think I made a funny noise at every last one of them.
Though it is unfortunate that Harold Ramis (Egon Spengler) couldn’t participate – though having one of the (more relaxed) ghosts look like him would have been a pretty neat tribute, but the bust was cool too – and Rick Moranis (Louis Tully) declined to so. The other thing I was kind of waiting for was the „crossing of the streams“ that saved the day in the original, but wasn’t necessary here.
Though somehow it felt as if none of the people around me reacted in the slightest to any of the cameos, which I found pretty weird.

What I didn’t get either was that they also left the cinema as soon as the credits started. By now it’s more common than not that outtakes, additional scenes or other things are shown in them and this movie did not disappoint in that respect either. It had a dance off between Rowan-possessed Kevin and the police force, three or four more scenes, including one leading to a possible sequel with another reference to the original and a karaoke version of the theme song, with videos of tons of Ghostbuster fans singing along (I was very close to singing along in the cinema as well…).
And at the very end a personal greeting/thank you by the leading ladies. 😉

The characters

Movies like this stand and fall with their actors and with Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones they provided a cast with both comedic talent/timing and the ability to portray more serious elements – even if there weren’t that many.

The Ghostbuster-girls are quirky, smart and different, flawed even, but in my book that’s a good thing. We learn a little about the back stories of Abby and Erin, that they were bullied and excluded because of what they liked. We see how rudely Patty is treated in her MTA booth and can imagine peoples reaction to Holtzmann’s creepy genius. Some of it was over the top, but it still felt natural for the character to be like that, eccentric and cartoonish, if you will, it just fit the theme.
They weren’t just the super smart ghost hunting physicists, no they complained about soup-content, acted awkwardly around other people, were boisterous and flirty and all in all just really enthusiastic about what they did and that made them just so much more human.

I was a bit annoyed at Erin’s fawning over Kevin, but it was still adorable in a way – and true to the origin if you see this has homage to Venkman’s flirtations.
Speaking of Kevin, well, he was far more useless than Janine ever was. Janine was awesome, Janine had snark, he was just the perfect mixture of incompetency and (male) arrogance combined with a pretty face – the sandwich discussion at the end did not improve his role to me. I really don’t understand why/how the girls can put up with him… I would have kicked him out on the first day, though I probably wouldn’t even have hired him…
What I found funny was the comment about him being a possible „Superhero“ and I couldn’t stop myself from comparing one of his fight scenes to what I’ve seen of Thor.
Probably only funny for me, was the fact that – at least in the German version – they keep referring to him as their „Empfangsdame“ (literally: reception lady; otherwise: receptionist).

If you know the original characters you start comparing the new ones to them at some point, but even if all of the scientists have something from Egon, that is pretty much where that comparison ends. You have little things that remind you of them, like I mentioned before, but you can’t say: Erin is the new Egon, Abby is Ray, Patty is Winston, because that would leave Holtzmann for Venkman and that wouldn’t work, she’s too eccentric and committed. Neither would it work to put her in Egon’s shoes and Erin in Venkman’s. Likewise would the comparison with Abby and Patty only go as far as their compassion (and background in Patty’s case).
I do believe this is the most difficult thing about a reboot like this: Seeing the new guys as their own characters and not as knock-offs of the originals.
And I think they did a pretty good job at that.
They don’t feel like Ghostbusters 2.0, they are the Ghostbusters, even if they are the new guys in town. 😉
The bad guy, Rowan, was in his essence quite lame, but he posed an interesting alternative to the heroines journey. He complained about being bullied and misunderstood and therefore wanting to bring about the 4th cataclysm, but as Abby points out herself: They went through the same things (and became kick-ass Ghostbusters). But instead of pulling through like the girls, he became a deranged and strange man, that isolated himself even more from society. I didn’t feel any kind of pity for him or otherwise thought his motives to be anything more than a sorry excuse to wreak havoc. Interestingly did he make a much more interesting ghost than human, suddenly he dared to do things – even if that meant toying with an assembled police force while possessing an Empfangsdame.

After all those I’m still not entirely sure what to make of the Mayor, his assistant and the Homeland Security guys – or what they were good for. The only thing I know is that the latter felt useless, the assistant annoyed me incredibly and the Mayor seemed quite stupid. It showed well how politics are willing (and capable) to cover stuff up and declare it fake, but you could have done that with less frustrating characters.

Interesting though was the comment that

„someone let the cat out of the bag before and the people forgot“

Was this just another nod to the originals or a big hint that they have really happened and people just forgot? Would this mean that the cameos weren’t that, but that these people were the original Ghostbusters (and why did they not acknowledge their successors)? Was this the reason the media was so fast on calling them „Ghostbusters“? Questions upon questions…

Even if non of these musing are correct, it certainly fits into the nowadays mentality that things are forgotten as soon as no media stations report about any more.

General Opinion

Short and brief: I loved it. More please. 😀

Long version:

There certainly are things it could improve on, e.g. a more fluid story telling (it dragged on a bit during the middle), less caricatures in the characters and less bland and annoying side characters, but all in all was it an enjoyable watch from start to the final greeting.
I’d really like to see more of the modernized franchise, we certainly have the technology for it now. Though I’m not entirely sure a new version of the Zuul story line would sit well with the fans, even if it’d be interesting to see how they’d pull it off.
I’m no longer sceptic, I’m hooked and curious how and if this’ll continue. 😀

Stuff I’d like to add

This movie – and especially its actors – received a lot of backlash for daring to reboot such a classic with a gender-swapped cast and that mostly before the movie even started to film.
I honestly don’t understand such sentiments, but I don’t understand a lot of stuff happening in different Fandoms, because I would never even think of doing such a thing…
I’m of the opinion everyone should figure out things for themselves and not complain about something they haven’t even seen yet.

I said I was sceptical about the whole project, but that didn’t keep me from watching and, as I told you above, enjoying it; the grin I mentioned still returning whenever I think about it.
That’s why I really don’t understand how people can say this movie ruined their childhood, I most certainly believe it enhanced mine. They took something I loved as a kid and turned it into something just as incredible. It’s simply brilliant. 😀

PoiSonPaiNter

© For the poster belongs to its rightful owner

Knights of Badassdom

As fourth part of the Nerd-Week I present to you a review for Knights of Badassdom. You can’t compare it to Mara, but it’s nerdy, so it fits the theme. 😉

I first heard about this movie when we watched the Wacken 3D movie in the cinema and they showed the quite epic trailer. Still, our local cinema did not even play it, so we couldn’t watch it on the big screen.

Last year, when I was in Cologne with Unmei for our visit to the Harry Potter Exhibition we had some time to kill and spent that – amongst other places – in an electronic retailer where my eyes fell upon the DVD and I couldn’t resist taking it with me.

What is it about?

The official poster

Joe just broke up with his girlfriend so his friends Eric and Hung decide to kidnap him and bring him to the LARP-battle Fields of Evermore. The newbie LARPer is at first utterly unable to cope, but upon seeing female LARPer Gwen and hearing what would be in store for him, he at least decides to give it a try. When Eric tries a ritual on Joe in his attempt to finally level up his character and uses a real spell book, instead of the in-game ones, he ends up summoning a Succubus from hell.

Now they have to find a way to get rid of it before it kills every participant …

The watching experience

While watching I was torn between laughing, trying not to think too much into what was happening and wondering what the hell was going on…
Fast cuts make it hard to follow the Demons‘ activities at times, jumps between rarely introduced characters don’t really help either.

This movie plays a lot with stereotypes, but in a fun and not insulting way and that’s refreshing. It also comes along with a pretty cool soundtrack – if you like Rock/Metal – and a quite epic boss battle …

Still, I feel the need to mention: Watch with care if you’re not a fan of splatter, as a lot of people get torn to shreds throughout the movie.
I don’t mind that kind of stuff (heck, I went for Pizza after District 9 …), but some things were quite disgusting.

The characters

As it is common with Horror movies there is not much time spent on actual character development. They are introduced and someone rises up to the challenge of defeating the big bad. In the context of this movie that’s not a bad thing, as it does focus more on the jokes and action.

Seeing as this is a movie about LARPer/LARPing you also get a look at different types of characters within the game, but the focus soon diverts from that and you rarely get any nods to their in-game characters.

Though it still felt as if every character had something unique about them. Everyone is enthusiastic about the world of Evermore in their own way. Though describing them more would take away the fun of getting to know them through the movie.

General Opinion

Please don’t take this movie serious, I’m not sure it even does so itself.

It’s fun to watch and has some quite good gags and as I said the soundtrack is pretty cool, but that’s about it.

The storyline, while different and probably innovative, isn’t really followed through as it is buried in crude jokes, splatter and male fantasies.

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the movie as a whole and it’s a great way to shine some much needed light onto a much disregarded sub-culture, but you simply shouldn’t focus on the little things, because then it gets pretty frustrating.
And to be honest: Supernatural’s Larp and the Real Girl did a pretty good job at portraying a similar storyline without those things mentioned above…
(Or if you are more a fan of Pen&Paper make sure to check out Zombie Orpheus Entertainment/Dead Gentlemen Production’s The Gamers movies, where the whole „stay-in-character“-thing is used way more often and in quite hilarious ways)

Stuff I’d like to add

Apparently the version that got released was not the one the director Joe Lynch created, but a re-cut from Wade Bradley, after internal differences. So maybe that’s why it had those issues I mentioned. Unfortunately can I only give an opinion for this version and don’t know what the difference between them is…
So, simply see for yourself if you like or dislike this version.

PoiSonPaiNter

© For the poster belongs to its rightful owner.

Mara und der Feuerbringer

As start into the new year I decided to make another special week of posts. You might remember the Book-Week, now you get the Nerd-Week with seven nerdy posts ahead!

As first part of the Nerd-Week I’d like to introduce you to this gem of a movie: Mara und der Feuerbringer or in English: Mara and the Firebringer. Based on the first part of the book trilogy of the same name by Tommy Krappweis this movie is one of the few German Fantasy movies and I simply want to give it a bit more – much deserved – spotlight.

What is it about?

The official poster

15 year old Mara Lorbeer only wants to be a normal teenager, but with a weird Wiccan mum and the fact that a twig told her that she was a Nordic-Germanic Seer (Spákona), chosen to stop Anorak, uhm, Ragnarök that is not an easy feat.

Burdened with visions of the Norse half-god Loki breaking free from his bonds she soon realises that it’s not just her imagination when she actually stands right in front of him and is tasked with the rescue of his wife Sigyn.

Still, she struggles with her fate and takes up the help of Norse Mythology expert Professor Weisinger, as she doesn’t have a clue about Anoraks, Norse gods or the whole having-to-save-the-world-business.

The watching experience

I told you a bit about this movie already here: What’cha Watching Wednesday, so I’m lazy and just quote it:

At first I thought I wouldn’t manage to see Mara und der Feuerbringer (Mara and the Firebringer), due to some scheduling issues in the marketing, but then I found out that it was screened in Greifswald and I took Schmusi and Anna from the HGWAnime with me to see it and we had a lot of fun. Finally a German Fantasy movie that isn’t as stoic and flat as German movies tend to be, has interesting characters, an interesting plot and funny dialogues. With songs like Echter wahrer Held/True Genuine Hero by Schandmaul it also has a nice soundtrack. Schmusi first thought it was [actor] Jan Josef Liefers doing the singing until I told her it was the singer of one of the bands that first got me hooked on Metal. 😀

That is a pretty good summary of what I like about this movie, but let me expand on that a little.

The marketing for this movie was pretty screwed up as the German cinema wants to put things into a category, but Mara can’t be put into the existing ones, so the one that was chosen turned out to be the wrong one (if your German is good enough, you can check out this comment by Tommy Krappweis for more information). Barely any cinemas even played the movie, others played it once or twice, then dropped it (like the one in Neubrandenburg) and a few ones kept it a bit longer (like Greifswald). So when I first saw the times it would air, I didn’t think I’d be able to see it in the cinema, but then I found the viewing mentioned above and simply wanted to use that chance to see it.

Schmusi, Anna and I had the cinema for ourselves, so I could tell them a bit about the pre-story and the fact that I personally met one of the extras.
Short version: The books were read and even beta-read with a few selected users from The Forum and one of those users (Simon the Sorcerer) managed to participate in the filming. So when his scene was shown I was a bit side tracked from the actual story line, ups… 😀
But as soon as I got the DVD I re-watched it and figured out what a certain Hobbit-extra had to say about wanting to got to the Oktoberfest. 😉

Basically: It’s a lot of fun to watch, even during a re-watch. 🙂
(Unless you’re like my Dad, who has no connection to stuff like this at all…)

The characters

Mara isn’t your typical main character, far from it. She struggles with her destiny and the powers Loki gives her to save Sigyn. At some point she basically gives up, because she’s afraid to become someone like Darth Vader or Voldemort and thinks through this in a very funny way. Still, she overcomes this fear and gets back to saving the world in a witty and clever way.

As the movie is only an adaptation of the books, you only get to see glimpses of the other characters. Professor Weissinger is a man in his mid-forties(?) ready to jump at the chance to experiences all the stuff he’d studied and so far only encountered in books and relics, but he is also a great support for Mara, as it is his knowledge that helps her understand the mess she was dragged into. With his curiosity and awkwardness he creates a few very funny scenes.

Speaking of awkwardness: Mara’s mum, she’s wonderfully awkward and it doesn’t seem overblown, but very natural. She’s one of those Wiccan’s that take themselves far too serious and it’s great.

Loki, Sigyn and the others rarely get any screen time, but they make the few times count. E.g. do I really like the way those two talk – especially Loki’s way of thanking Mara… 😀 Though it is slightly irritating that they use the „Loki is Thor’s brother“-narration for the movie. It’s either because they decided to make it more relateable for the audiences due to the success of the Marvel-approach or they found something that actually makes them brothers in the myths as well, as everything else is in the movie is well researched.

[Edit: Tommy actually answered this question in a Tweet around the time of the TV-premier of the movie. He wrote (translation): According to the Edda one could also proclaim: Odin is the Father of Gods and therefore also Loki’s father.]

Special about all these characters is that they don’t talk the way that is usually used in German movies and television and that is really refreshing and great. 🙂
But not just that is a realistic display:

  • Mara falls asleep at some point from exhaustion
  • You can see wounds, water, dirt, sweat and ashes on the characters clothes and bodies, not everything is magically clean
  • A lot of attention was paid to historical correctness, like the clothes and settings for the Norse characters

General Opinion

I really enjoy the eye for details, the languages used, the way the characters interact so normally. It’s a refreshing way of storytelling.

Or to quote myself again:

If you get the chance: Definitely check this one out!

Stuff I’d like to add

Interesting for English readers: The DVD/Blu-Ray comes with English subtitles, I don’t know if there will be an English version – and I didn’t dare to ask Tommy, even though he seems to be someone who wouldn’t mind answering questions from his viewers…

Why did I chose this movie as opener for my Nerd-Week?

Short answer: Because I can. 😀

Long answer:
Apart from the Fandom-references mentioned above there is a lot that went on behind the scenes, starting from Reeanctors/LARPer participating as extras in both the movie and the music video, over Cosplayers providing costumes and the song being based on a version from an old webseries about dimensional jumps through sneezing, up to the fact that a lot of fans from all kinds of Fandoms promoted the movie.
As I said did a lot go wrong with the marketing, but fans wouldn’t back down and organized additional screenings in cinemas or at conventions and attended them in full periodic outfits.
Then there is the fact that it was planned to be played only a couple of times at the RPC (Roleplay Convention), but ended up being played in a loop (and also received an award as Best German Fantasy Movie in the last 30 Years).
As soon as someone got wind of the project and its failing success due to the horrible screening times, those who liked it passed it on in their respective Fandoms and I believe that’s what being a Nerd is about: Enjoying something and sharing it with your friends and in this case even helping out a great project that would otherwise go completely unnoticed [Edit: (a German documentary about all this and more can be found at Rocket Beans TV) [/Edit].

So here I am continuing that and sharing it with you. 🙂

PoiSonPaiNter

© For the poster belongs to its rightful owner.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

So much for me not writing anything until June
I am really good at keeping up with my own predictions…
But after spontaneously attending the advanced showing of X-Men: Days of Future Past yesterday, I can’t help myself giving an on time review for it – and yes it will contain Spoilers.

What is it about?

Official Poster


DoFP is a continuation of both X-Men: First Class and X-Men: The Last Stand and starts off in a dystopian future where specifically programmed robots hunt down mutants and humans who are helping them (or are capable of one day having a mutant offspring). In their hunt the so-called Sentinels have destroyed the Earth quite thoroughly and to stop this war from ever happening the remaining X-Men think up a clever plan: Stop the whole thing from ever getting started.
To accomplish this the prominently featured Wolverine‘s mind is sent back in time into his younger self’s body to help a lost Charles Xavier to find shape-shifter Mystique and stop her from killing Bolivar Trask, the mastermind behind the Sentinels.

The watching experience

As I hadn’t decided on going to the cinema until Tuesday I wasn’t sure if I’d actually be able to get a ticket, but I wasn’t surprised to find the cinema hall only half empty either. Though I did expect the people attending an advanced viewing to look a bit more nerdy – though there were a few examples of that. Some of them seemed more like they just wanted to see the next movie of the franchise and picked the date out of schedule reasons, but I digress.
The good thing about watching something in the cinema is that you can see the reaction of other viewers straight away and there were a couple quite interesting ones.
Two of them were due to the mutant Quicksilver.
When they had shown how his fast movements seem to him and how he could defeat their enemies in mere seconds nearly the whole hall was laughing at the scurrility of the slow/fast motion sequence and his slight editions to the movement of certain objects and persons.
The second reaction was way before that scene when his mother announced him as „Peter“. Several murmurs rose up as those who know the franchise from outside the cinema noticed the wrongness of the name. Though I do have to admit that while I was confused at the name I simply couldn’t remember what it truly was. It is by the way „Pietro“ as I now know again. I am not sure if this „mistake“ will be the same in the English version of the movie, as again I’ve only seen the dubbed version. If you know more, let me know in the comments below. (Apparently as Wikipedia has been changed now, the English version is also „Peter“.)
The third reaction was towards the end of the movie at the conclusion of the time travel and the imminent annihilation of the future mutants. When it was finally concluded you could hear a deep exhale in the hall as someone had indeed been holding their breath.
Like with so many movies recently was this one in 3D again.
Apart from quite interesting glass-destructions and some other good scenes, the thing I remembered most was a 3D close up of – I believe it was his – Wolverine’s nose and the utter confusion of why someone would want a nose sticking out of the screen like that…
And again you could see who has watched a couple of Marvel movies in the past, as not that many people left the hall before the post-credit scene.

The characters

As is the case with all the X-Men movies this one again had a great ensemble cast of different mutants and humans. With the past and future present throughout the story we also have the chance to not just see Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart reprise their roles as Magneto and Professor X respectively, but also see Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy continue the younger portrayal of the characters.
Ever since the „original“ X-Men triology – especially The Last Stand, even though a lot of fans despise it – and X-Men: Evolutions did Magneto become one of my favourite characters of the franchise. Despite his silly hat and his very, very dark views on things is he one of the most incredibly portrayed mutants. I mean: He ripped out the friggin‘ Golden Gate Bridge to build a passage to an island…
In this one his younger self is tearing out a football stadium to create a wall to close them off from spectators. But his powers aren’t the only thing I find fascinating about him. Even if it is a dark and twisted view on things he follows his own path and motivates others to follow in his way. I guess he is just one of those characters that I like because they kind of live in a grey area (a bit like Mephisto, but different as Magneto at least tries to change things for his kind for the better, though he uses some rather unfriendly methods). Needless to say both McKellen and Fassbender again did a great jobs at bringing across the arrogance, determination and vulnerability that are so…Magneto.
Xavier in the originals – and in this one too – is mostly the mentor figure that seems like he just knows everything – maybe he does or at least knows which mind to look into for the information -, while his younger self already has this know-it-all air about him he is far less self-confident. The events of First Class leave him crippled, not just physically, but also mentally as one student after the other left his school and  his childhood friend turned her back on him. When we meet him in DoFP he is broken and resorted to alcohol and a medicament that keeps him walking but blocks his abilities and it is Wolverines task to show him that there is still hope. As much as I like Fassbenders outbursts and McKellens speeches, do I have to admit that McAvoy did a great job at portraying this shattered version of a otherwise powerful character, even if he looks like he is about to cry in most of the close ups.
With actress Jennifer Lawrence‘ rising fame Mystique seems to become the new Wolverine. More screen time, more incredibly choreographed fights and I also heard rumours of a spin-off. As clear as it is from the beginning that her actions are what causes the Sentinel program to be launched, as unclear is it why she actually wants to do just that. We see that she finds autopsy files of the mutants she and Magneto went off with after First Class (which was ten years before the current storyline! I still can’t get my head around that) and you assume that they became quite close in the time before they were used as lap rats by Bolivar Trask, but why she sets out for a personal vendetta still isn’t said openly. Assuming they go by comic book history and she had a thing with Azazel (*cough*aka baby aka Kurt Wagner aka Nightcrawler *cough*) it would make a little more sense why a formerly good natured person becomes a cold blooded murderer, but I kind of doubt that. She still had some highly impressive stunts and I am just stunned by the abilities of Lawrence and her stunt double.
Originally it was Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat who was sent back in time to change it, for movie reasons they however changed this to her being the one with the abilities to sent back Wolverine/Logan who’s mind would be the only one strong enough to endure such a long journey. In a way he does he not do much to change things and seems to be more of a tag-along than anything else. This might be due to restraints of the time travel, but I guess also because of his claws that are still bones instead of Adamantium and you could really see how he enjoyed that Magneto wasn’t able to Metal-bend him. 😀 As I said Logan did not really feel like a main character this time, which was quite a nice change.
Another tag-along was Beast or Hank McCoy who seems like he isn’t good for anything beside providing meds for Xavier, quarrelling with Magneto and looking longingly at Raven. The young version is such a sweet guy that it is quite a pity he struggles so much with what he is, but as we all know he will turn out to be quite a badass blue ape thing. 😀
The mutant I was most curious about seeing was Quicksilver or Pietro Maximoff, as he is not just portrayed in this movie, but will also have a role in Avengers: Age of Ultron (not the same actor mind you). Even though he was funny, he was a bid too childish for my liking and of course there was his strange hair and outfit that looked like a wig and and terrible fashion sense. As it is known to X-Men fans Pietro is the son of Magneto and even if the mention of his sister (Scarlet Witch) was cut out we still get a comment that his „Mum knew a mutant who also could manipulate metal“. 😀 In short: He wasn’t as bad as I expected he’d be.
Honorary mentions go to the X-Men from the future as they kind of died a lot in the few scenes we had with them. While the first time was a „No!“-moment (in regards to Shawn AshmoresBobby Drake/Iceman, whom we have known from two movies, being decapitated) for me, the second time was more of a „Shit now it’s final“-moment as I roughly remembered that even though Kitty could change the events in the past, the future was still unchanged.

General Opinion

X-Men: Days of Future Past has a thrilling music score that accompanies visually interesting/stunning scenes and offers a great/incredible cast. It also includes well made nods to the other movies and does something pretty cool with the conclusion – and this is probably a major spoiler: With Wolverines return to his actual time line and the actual success of the whole time travel thing the events of The Last Stand are retconned and the characters who had died in that Sequel are alive again. Meaning: We get cameos from Famke Janssen and James Marsden (Jean Grey and Cyclops), but also a view on Rogue (Anna Paquin) and the „old“ Beast (Kelsey Grammer) at the end of the movie.
Already when the credits rolled down I would have liked to watch it again, though not for the price they made me pay…

Stuff I’d like to add

The German additional name of the movie is by the way „Zukunft ist Vergangenheit„, which roughly translates to „Future is Past“ and I think it has as much of a different ring to it as „The Dark World“ and „The Dark Kingdom“ had for Thor.
The post-credit scene was rather cryptic and I believe it hinted at X-Men: Apocalypse (seeing as a worshipped being just build a pyramid without moving that much of a muscle), but the person who did that looked more like a woman that the rather masculine version I remember from the Cartoons. If the next piece in the franchise is indeed Apocalypse than I guess it will be interesting if they will continue with the new cast (McAvoy and Fassbender) or the renewed cast (Stewart and McKellen).
When I got the link from Wikipedia for the poster, the plot was quite interestingly phrased:

„In the dystopian future of 2023, The X-Men go back in time to save the world from the abomination that is X-men: Origins Wolverine.“

Why it did indeed have some major issues, I wouldn’t call the first Wolverine spinn-off an abomination and not that much had been changed with Wolverine’s Origin as the stuff portrayed in that movie was still about to happen to his younger self (see bone claws). If it saved us from anything then from the awful deaths and de-mutations from The Last Stand.
PoiSonPaiNter
© For the poster belongs to its rightful owner.

Thor: Movie vs. Myth

The topic of this post is an assignment I got from The Extremis Reviews to see if my work is good enough for me to become a guest author for their page. I’m curious how that will work out, but as usual I do not put too much hope into it.
Regardless of me getting „the job“ or not, I already had thought about writing about Norse Mythology a bit more than the few mentions I had so far. Therefore I also see this as possibility for me to start my work on it properly.
As I mentioned in my review for Thor: The Dark World was I sceptical about the Thor-film in regards to its adaptations of the myths. I already knew a few things about the myths when I first heard about the film/the characters and the more I learned about both the myths and the Marvel-version, the more I was reluctant to actually try it. The way they portray characters and their relationships with each other seemed so wrong to me that I had a hard time grasping my head around it.
So with this post I want to show you some of the major differences between the adaptations of the myths in Marvels Cinematic Universe’s „Thor“ (and its follow-up films) and Norse Mythology itself. Please do keep in mind that I am not an expert on this matter and most of this is recited by memory, so if you see any mistakes you are more than welcome to inform me about them.
What confused me the most when I started watching the first Thor film were the

Family relationships;

especially Loki being Thor’s brother.
Deep down in the back of my mind something practically ranted at me: „He is not the brother. He wasn’t the brother. Was he?“ until I took my Laptop and looked it up.
Needles to say my nagging mind was indeed correct: According to Norse Mythology Loki is NOT the brother of Thor, but instead the blood brother (meaning no blood relationship whatsoever) of Odin, as Loki otherwise would not have been allowed to stay in Asgard due to being a giant. Though he does share some rather funny adventures with the God of Thunder (including for example cross-dressing, but covering that would stray too far away from the topic).
Another strange change are Thor and Sif, which in the original are married, while in the Marvel universe they are but friends. They fight alongside each other with Sif having a crush on him and Thor simply ignoring it and swooning over the „mortal“ Jane Foster. In the comics I believe Sif even becomes a Valkyrie, which would make any proper relationship quite impossible (in the myths they are the ones picking up the fallen warriors that are granted access to Valhalla, their „heaven“).
Not mentioned at all in the films, so far, are other family members of Thor and Loki.
As far as I know Thor has at least two brother’s (Baldr and Hodur) that play a major role on the way to Ragnarök (the Twilight of the Gods, the end of everything that is known). From a bit of research I know that Baldr has an appearance in the comics, but I believe the films will shelve Ragnarök for quite some time to cover other stories before that.
On Loki’s side there are the other pieces missing that are to bring about the end: The monster babies. 🙂
Jörmungandr (a gigantic serpent, large enough to circle the world entirely – and Thor’s arch enemy), Fenrir (an enormous wolf and the one said to kill Odin) and Hel(a – half young and beautiful woman, half rotten corpse and mistress of Helheim/Niflheim, the realm of the deceased that were not allowed to enter Valhalla, whose inhabitants she will lead into the fight against the Aesir at her fathers‘ side) the children of Loki and the giantess Angrboda that are very badly treated in the myths and do not appear in the films or stories of Marvel. Though Hel(a) is mentioned and shown in some of the cartoon versions and even called Loki’s daughter, though no mentioning of her mother or her brothers at all (there also are a wolf called Fenrir and a serpent, but it is not clear if they are in any way related to Loki and/or Marvels versions of them).
And let’s not forget his other two children with his Aesir-wife Sigyn (who is actually depicted in some of the comics and cartoons) that are used for his punishment shortly before Ragnarök (and I better not get into details about this right now, as it is quite nasty).

Origins:

As we already are talking about Loki’s children: Did you know that the eight-legged horse Odin is riding into battle (you can see it when he arrives in Jotunheim to rescue Thor and the others in the first film) is supposed to be Loki’s offspring? And did you also know that he is the mother?
Regardless if you answered these questions with yes or no, it is indeed the case that there is a story in the Norse Mythology about how the wall of Asgard was build and how Loki was forced to trick the horse of the builder into running off so that the builder (who was a giant in disguise) could not finish his work in time. As he had disguised himself as a white mare the God of Mischief returned several months after the ordeal with a foal, Sleipnir, that he then gave to Odin. Speaking of disguises: You think Loki’s illusions are fun? In the real stories he occasionally turns himself into all kind of things including a fish and several different women. 😉
If you think Sleipnir’s heritage is strange then let me tell you what is „wrong“ about Loki’s: In the myths Loki is not just depicted as the God of Mischief, but also as the God of Fire, due to him being a Fire Giant (Loki or Locke even means something like flame if I’m not mistaken) and yes, Marvel turned this around and made him a Frost Giant. Though they turned around something way more hilarious as well.
You remember the king of the Frost Giants, Laufey, who is said to be Loki’s father? Well, in the myths „Laufey“ is the name of Loki’s mother…
Though not a person the origin of Thor’s hammer Mjolnir differs in the stories as well. In Marvel it is said that the hammer was forged in a dying dwarf star from one of the strongest metals in the universe – incidentally the same as Captain America‘s shield, explaining the blast they emit when they collide in The Avengers. The only thing that coincides with the myths, however, is the word „dwarf“.
Mjolnir was forged by a dwarf – or dwarve, as the fantasy version is referred to – that got himself into a bet with Loki when the god had badmouthed the dwarves abilities to forge proper weaponry. While the dwarve worked on the hammer another one was trying to keep the flames steady. As he, however, was distracted by a fly (*cough*Loki*cough*) he failed at his task and the handle of the hammer ended up being rather short. Due to this Loki saw himself the victor, but the Aesir still preferred the dwarves work over the work Loki had presented them.  As the dwarve could not get Loki’s head as he had demanded (cutting off the head without doing the same with the neck proofed difficulty) he instead stitched up the lips of the lying god. Though none of this is portrayed in the Marvel universe, which is rather unfortunate.
What is however portrayed in Marvel and not in the myths are the Warriors Three. I don’t remember something like them existing in the stories as the most frequent companion Thor had on his adventures was Loki.

Appearance

It is normal to change the appearance of characters to fit a different audience, but some decision might be true to the Marvel version, but are still quite different from the Norse one.
So even though Jamie Alexander is a beautiful woman it is indeed unfortunate that she is not depicted with Norse-Sif’s golden hair that resulted from one of Loki’s many mischiefs (and is made of real gold). Other changed hair colours include Thor (red) and Loki (occasionally blond) themselves.
The strangest change however is Heimdal and a former fellow student of mine even declared that she stopped watching the first film as soon as she saw him. It is highly unlikely that someone of Idris Elbas skin-colour would have found his way into Norse Mythology; as Loki’s arch enemy nonetheless. (This is in no way meant offensive and I think Elba does a pretty good job as Asgards gate keeper. It just doesn’t really fit with what the myths tell us.)
But as she so nicely put it: At least Odin has only one eye.

The Nine realms

As I wrote in the review: I do like how they described Yggdrasil, the World Tree, and its connection to the other realms. A nice scientific explanation.
In the myths it is an actual tree that connects the different realms with his roots, trunk and branches. Deep down underneath the World Tree lie the dark realms, like Helheim. Where the trunk stands Midgard stretches on and high above the branches lies Asgard, home of the Aesir. The other realms lie somewhere as well, but I can’t really remember where exactly, sorry.
The difference in this is simply put: No science, actual tree and rainbow.
As you might have noticed I referred to the (main, as there are others too) inhabitants of Asgard as Aesir instead of Asgardians as Marvel calls them. The latter sounds more like simply referring to the alien-species that lives in Asgard than for what it is used to describe in the myths (alien super-human vs. actual god) and it just feels better to use it when talking about them.

Characters Reasoning

In the myths it is quite understandable why Loki turns against the Aesir (you only have to look at how they treat him and his children). In Marvel he is depicted more as a jealous, greedy prat than actually having reason to  behave the way he does.
This however is not really a difference like the others, but I felt like it was worth mentioning.
The few things above are probably only barely scratching the surface of all the differences between Marvel’s version and the original, but I hope I could give you at least a small overview of them. I am also sorry that I didn’t get into too much detail with some of them, as that would have been too Off Topic.
Anyway, I am off to Berlin again for a long weekend and a Van Canto concert and am already curious what kind of replies will await me on my return.
PoiSonPaiNter

The Elevator – Relaunch?

After I published my post about the Elevator-Meme (the one with certain characters from different Fandoms being stuck in the same elevator, read the link to know which one I’m talking about), quite a lot of people read (or looked at) the analysis and its accompanying One Shot that I had published on both Fanfiction.net and Animexx. I got some interesting and lovely responses so far (I even inspired someone to make a challenge out of this! o.O)  and well, what can I say…the mind keeps wandering back to it…
Several people have asked me if I will continue the idea, but at that time I didn’t have any idea how to.
The biggest problem being that I don’t know the majority of Fandoms as well as would be necessary to properly write such an enormous „Fandom soup“ (as a reviewer put it).
But as I said: The mind keeps wandering…I am more and more inclined to add more story to what I already have, to include scenes of everyone receiving the invite to get to the conference, to add some more thoughts and descriptions in certain moments and to simply continue where I left off.
As the Doctor Who Fandom is the one I feel most confident writing about, it his highly likely that the solution of the problem I created  (As a reminder: The universes merged and they met up to figure out how that happened and how they can reverse it) will be solved with the help of The Doctors companions (including Jack/Torchwood, River Song and the Ponds to some extend).
Though I see possibilities to also include „The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.“ and other Marvel researchers and possibly heroes as well. A mentioning of the Star Trek people is kind of inevitable , but I’m afraid I know too little about them to actually make that work beyond receiving and acting on orders. (If anyone wants to help, let me know how you would include them in my setting.)
Another thing I would need to worry about would be:
How do I include the other characters?
I have a rough idea what they could be useful for like the Holmes brothers for the planning, House for assembling and coordinating medical teams, Sheldon doing the same with „normal“ researchers, but that still leaves the question:
What am I supposed to do with the pirate and the angel? o.O (And the possibility of characters from their respective universes running amok…)
So you can see still a lot of thought is necessary to even get the characters to properly work for the sake of the story.
Regardless of that another important topic still needs to be contemplated:
How the hell did all that happen? Who caused it and how could the assembled people actually stop and reverse it?
The setting I created is quite Sci-Fi-y and as I said I’m most comfortable with Doctor Who, therefore my current thought is that the classic DW villains, the Daleks, caused it.
We have seen them mess with universes through their Reality Bomb, who is to say they would not create something that would merge universes, making it easier for them to kill everything in one go?
Quite overused probably, but the only thing I feel adequate to write about.
But long story short: The possibility that I re-work what I wrote to simply prove my points in the analysis and widen it into a more complex story with more details and an actual solution, becomes more and more likely.
It is just a matter of time until I find the missing pieces to start writing, I suppose. But you are more than welcome to join me in my musing. 🙂
PoiSonPaiNter

Imagine all these guys were stuck in an elevator…

If you are amongst the people that look around the Internet for (funny) things concerning your fandoms than you probably came across this thing at some point:
elevator
So why am I writing about this?
Well, I started thinking about it when my brain was supposed to think about other – way more important – things and that usually ends up as a post…

Anyway, let’s have a look at this situation:

Eight guys from several different fandoms get stuck in an elevator for 24 hours.
In my opinion more interesting than: What would happen if they all were stuck? is: How the hell did they all end up in the same elevator? But before we get to that.

Who are these guys anyway?

We have: Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, The Doctor from Doctor Who, (Reboot) Spock from Star TrekDr. House from House M.D., Castiel from Supernatural, Sherlock Holmes from Sherlock and Tony Stark from Iron Man/The Marvel Cinematic Universe.
You could pretty much say that every person derives from a different universe, at least that’s what it looks like. Based on what we know of the stories and the connections between them we can soon come to some interesting conclusion:

  • Sheldon is a fan of both DW and ST and as Comic Book nerd he of course knows about Iron Man – all of them fictional in his universe.
  • There is however no – to me known – mentioning of House, Supernatural or PotC, yet the last two are most likely fiction as well
  • There is no mentioning of TBBT or House in one of the other formats
  • Sherlock seems to be fiction in all of the universes.
  • Except the one version of ST where Spock quotes Sherlock and says the line is from one of his ancestors.
  • Whereas Sherlock is mocked by John Watson for quoting Spock, making ST fiction in his universe.
  • Same goes for DW, when Rose Tyler calls the Doctor „Spock“
  • TBBT, House and Sherlock all play in a modern day setting that resembles our universe
  • So do Supernatural, IM and DW, but they have far to much influence on the time line of their respective universes, to be considered as one.
  • PotC plays in the past and is most likely fiction in both House and TBBT

To summarize that, we have:

  1. TBBT and House, that could be from the same universe where all the other people are fictional
  2. DW, where at least ST and Sherlock are fictional
  3. Sherlock, where at least ST is fiction
  4. ST, where Sherlock could be fiction or history
  5. IM, where at least Sherlock is fiction (and judging from characters in an Avenger Comic, the Doctor might be not-fictional)
  6. Supernatural, where at least Sherlock and ST are fiction and
  7. PotC, where non of the fictions yet exist and that might be a possible past for TBBT and House.

That makes, let’s say, 6 universes and a different time line of one that need to come together for them to end up in the same elevator.

How would that be possible?

Well, with ST and DW we have two of the leading Sci-Fi shows that occasionally deal with parallel universes and overlapping time lines. Add the Marvel Universe to the mix and the mash up is pretty much self-explanatory. I mean: The TARDIS blew up once and created a whole lot of cracks in the universe, combine that with the Alien technology of ST and IM and it could happen.

But why would these people be in the same elevator?

If you look at the people you soon realize that all of them – except Jack and Castiel – are really good at something. Well, Jack is good at retreating and Castiel’s an angel, but not in the way the others are. Just look at this:

 Sheldon Theoretical Physicists
 House  Medical Genius
 Sherlock  Consulting Detective
 Spock  Scientist
 The Doctor  The Doctor
 Tony Stark  Technology Genius

Now imagine a messed up combination of all 6 universes. Don’t you think the governments wouldn’t send their experts to meet up and figure out what’s happening? Now it is arguable why House would be involved, but I guess they would just want to include someone that can figure out if the mess-up will be unhealthy for the inhabitants of the planet.
In regards to Jack I’d say the Doctor is prone to picking up strays, so why should he let a disorientated pirate roam the streets of a major American city?

Why American? Well, most of the characters are American and I can clearly imagine it being some fancy meeting in one of those really high buildings. With lots of stops for an elevator.

So how did they end up in the same elevator?

I imagine it to be like this:
Sheldon had been asked to attend a meeting where his skills were needed. They had been quite secretive as to about what it really were, but they were government officials so he didn’t question them and was rather flattered by the invitation. The meeting would be in one of the highest levels, so he made sure to get a spot in the corner away from the console station as every other person that would enter would most likely leave before him. Before he entered he had seen an old man with a cane making his way to the elevator as well. For a second there he thought of just closing the door and let him take the next one, but he felt generous today. So he pushed the button to open the doors again for the man to enter. The man muttered a „Thanks“ and leaned against the side opposite of him. The physicist tried grinning at the other replying „My pleasure“ in a mocking tone, only gaining a suspicious look for that. When he was about to ask the man if he didn’t want to pick out a level the doors were stopped from closing again. For a moment Sheldon stared at the well-dressed foot, before the doors opened to reveal a man around his age in a coat that looked far to warm for this time of the year. The new arrival apologized with a wide grin and a „Sorry“ that didn’t feel at all sincere. The man glanced at the control station and the other passengers. With a small grin he then positioned himself in front of Sheldon facing the doors.
A loud yell emerged from the hall in front of the elevator when another man was fast approaching the machine: „Please hold that!“
The man in the coat stepped forward like he had done to enter. It would have been a waste of time to let another member of the meeting wait for the next elevator.
„Thanks.“ He said to the coat-guy before he added to the one that had followed him: „After you.“ The man wearing a blue Star Trek uniform entered before him. A cautious look in his eyes and a small courtesy smile on his lips. He stopped in the center of the small room while the other positioned himself in front of the console.
„Apparently we all have the same destination. That’s convenient.“ He commented with a smug grin, but did not get a reaction as he had hoped to get.
Bored with the other passengers he started to type away on a gadget.
For a moment there was silence in the room and the vehicle started to make its way upwards. Without any warning the latest arrival bluntly asked the Star Trek guy: „Are they real or did you have surgery to look more like Spock?“
He gained a snort from both the coat-guy and the one with the cane and a nod from the skinny boy in the back. The one in question just looked at him as if he didn’t get the reference. But before the gadget-guy could get an answer the elevator stopped abruptly and went down again. Quite faster than the passengers would have liked. When the doors opened they revealed two guys that looked like they had just robbed a costume store: One had decided to dress up as pirate, while the other pretended to be his own grandfather.
„Hello everyone, sorry for that. But I needed to take the lift. They didn’t allow me to enter the meeting with my own transport.“ He started babbling.
He shoved the other guy in front of him mumbling „Get in mate. Ha. Mate.“
„I’m The Doctor by the way and this is Jack Sparrow.“ He introduced himself and the other man that was just staring at the strange room.
„Captain Jack Sparrow“ Jack corrected and proceeded to knock on the metal walls.
„You know I once traveled with a Captain Jack. Nice fella. Became a fixed point in time though. Oh, and of course Sally Sparrow. Lovely Sally Sparrow. Had a run in with the Weeping Angels, but defeated them most brilliantly. You don’t happen to be related to her do you? No, that wouldn’t be possible. Would it? Hmm…“ The Doctor mused with his usual demeanor of running about and using his hands, only to stop and look at the Captain. When he noticed the others stared at them he added: „Oh don’t mind him. He’s a pirate from the 18th century. Doesn’t know what a lift is.“

Why isn’t Sheldon recognizing any of his heroes?

Because he can’t. Their stories are fiction in his universe, that means if the producers of the show have a rough idea of what the actual person looked like, they will hire an actor that resembles him. So to be clear: The Doctor, Tony, Sherlock, Spock and Jack (and Castiel) dress similar to their fictional counterpart and they resemble the versions played by Matt Smith, Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Quinto and Johnny Depp (and Misha Collins), but they are not them. Just as Sheldon doesn’t look exactly like Jim Parsons and House not like Hugh Laurie.
Strong resemblance: Yes. Alternative version of the actors: Not really.
It’s a bit like making a movie about a historical person: You take what you know about them and an actor that looks like them and wrap it in a tale.

But how would they get stuck in the elevator?

Let the tale continue…
Soon The Doctor noticed that the others were staring at him and not the pirate.
„Ooooh. I see. It’s me you are wondering about, not him. Some of the most brilliant minds of the universes and they are puzzled by me. Ha. Isn’t that something?“ He concluded clapping his hands together in delight.
„Oh please. We’re not puzzled. You clearly are just a lunatic babbling about pirates, that has the fashion sense of an old man.“ The man in the coat countered with distaste.
„Lunatic?“ The Doctor pondered this for a moment, before he replied with a wide grin: „No. I might be a mad man with a blue box, but I’m clearly not a lunatic. And: Bow Ties. Are. Cool.“ He declared, straightening the accessory and started to look more closely at the other one. Something was odd about him.
„Yes. That’s it. All of you listen up. Something is odd here. I don’t know what so far but I will figure it out soon. So now, everyone state their name, species and qualification.“ He ordered.
„And why would we do that?“ The coat-guy retorted in a superficial tone.
„Because if you hadn’t noticed: The lift stopped moving and it wont start moving again until you tell me what I need to know and we will all miss the meeting.“
„You can’t do that.“ Coat stated unconvinced.
„Apparently he can. I just checked the elevator software. It’s deadlocked. Heck, it’s that locked, I can’t even get through it and that says something.“ The man with the gadget admitted awed. „You’re brilliant. You have to teach me how to do that.“
„Awww…thank you. Maybe later. First introductions. You there in the corner. You go first.“ He pointed at Sheldon.
Nervous and unsure he fidgeted with his fingers. This man claimed to be The Doctor and if he wasn’t just an insane lookalike than he was really stuck in an elevator with one of the most incredible people he had ever heard about. Taking a deep breath he let it out in one go saying: „Sheldon Cooper, Human, theoretical physicist“
„Hello, Sheldon Cooper nice to meet you.“ The Doctor took his hand and shook it.
„N-nice to meet you too…Doctor“ He replied still shaking a little.
The Doctor then turned to the man with the cane and moved his hands into a „go-on“ gesture. „Gregory House, Human, doctor“ he simply replied.
„Ha. A doctor. Hello.“ The Doctor greeting him as well through shaking his hand.
When he turned around the man with the gadget had a wide grin on his face when he answered: „Tony Stark, Human, Genius“
„But not smart enough to break my deadlock.“ The Doctor mocked him before he took the offered hand.
„I am working on that and you have to teach me how to do that.“
„I will, later. Now you.“ He then started to circle the guy with the pointy ears. „You are not human. Maybe half-human.“
„That is true.“ He affirmed. „I AM Spock“ He started and stared at Tony for a moment „and I am half-human, half-vulcan and a scientist.“
„That is impossible.“ The remaining passenger commented, while they all were staring at Spock.
„Why would that be…oh…yes…you’re fiction…or at least you’re supposed to be fiction. Yet you are here. Oh, that is brilliant.“ The Doctor concluded in excitement.
„Fiction?“ Spock repeated when The Doctor went on to the last one.
„And you are?“ He prodded again.
With a sigh he complied. „Sherlock Holmes. Human. Consulting Detective“ This time all eyes were on him. Ignoring them he confronted the other man with the same question.
Straightening his bow tie again he answered „I am The Doctor. I’m a Timelord. I know how universes work.“
He grinned again pulling a metal stick out of his pocked and pointed it at the console
„And now: Geronimo!“ The Doctor yelled and the elevator started to move again, but not without throwing out sparks and making an abrupt start. When the machine had settled on a normal speed The Doctor grinned at the passengers.
„Sherlock Holmes. The great detective. Mr. Spock and other brilliant people. Oh this will be fun.“
Tony was just about to ask what a Timelord is and what that strange stick was when an
eighth passenger arrived out of nowhere.
„Hello? Did you call for an angel?“ He asked slightly unsure.
„Why would anybody call for an angel?“ Sherlock remarked.
„People do that. If they need help.“ The angel replied.
„You are a real, proper angel?“ The Doctor asked, staring at the man with slight distrust.
„Yes. Of course.“ The other replied.
„Does anybody know anything about angels existing?“ The Doctor asked the rest, when no one said anything he added: „Thought so. That makes…5 different universes and a different time line at least.“
„Six.“ Came a quiet correction.
„Six? Why six? What makes you think six?“  The Doctor started questioning Sheldon and tried to figure out what was different about him that he would think of a sixth universe.
With recovered confidence he cleared his throat and said: „I am fairly certain that Mr. Tony Stark aka Iron Man is not a part of my universe. Even though it’d be great if he was. You are quite incredible Mr. Stark.“
„Oh, thank you. I know.“ Stark replied to the flattery.
„Iron Man? You’re not made of metal.“ The Doctor wondered, pocking Tony in the chest. „And luckily you’re not a Cyberman either. Uuuh that would be bad. Oh that would be really bad. Let’s just hope neither the Cybermen nor the Daleks have noticed that there are several universes to destroy. And hopefully not the Sontarans either….“ He then went into another rant before he turned to Spock. „Did you know that the vulcan greeting is perfect for opening the doors in Sontaran battle fleets space ships? Probably not…poor Donna…But that’s not the point. Anyone else not having an ‚Iron Man‘?“
„Only in the movies.“ House replied.
„Yeah. I think there was one of those awful and loud obnoxious films called like that.“ Sherlock added with distaste.
„There’s a movie about me?“ Tony wanted to know.
„Three, by now. Plus an appearance in The Avengers. Several comic book series and cartoons.“ Listed Sheldon.
„Well, that’s awesome.“
„Wait a minute.“ Interrupted The Doctor and turned to Sherlock again. „A LOUD film?“
„Yes. Loud, as in: The volume of the film in the cinema is always turned up far too loud. Are you retarded?“
„Of course not. What year do you live in?“
„2013, why would that be of relevance?“
„Really?“ Asked Tony this time.
„Yes of course. What is this nonsense about?“
„Interesting. You’re supposed to be from the 19th century…“ The Doctor told him, while observing him again.
„Apparently I’m not.“ Sherlock and emphasized his comment through rolling his eyes.
„Apparently you’re not. And that is really interesting. Angel man!“ The Doctor moved up front again to talk properly to the man that was just standing there.
„Cas. That’s what…people call me.“
„Cas. Hello Cas. I’m The Doctor. Nice to meet you.“ He greeted him properly and shook his hand.
„So, Cas. Do you need to be anywhere. I think it’d be most interesting to have someone from your universe as well to be able to revert this whole mess back to normal.“
„Unless I’m called I don’t really need to leave.“
„Good. Very good. You stay. Jack stays. Jack stop pressing buttons. They make us stop every time.“ The Doctor then proceeded to scold the pirate.
„Sorry mate.“ He apologized and held up his hands in defence.

My point in this is basically: They wouldn’t get stuck. It would have to be one hell of an elevator to make them get stuck for 24 hours.
I can see The Doctor wanting to get information from the others so he knows whom he is working with and therefore stopping it or simply using his Sonic Screwdriver to get it working again.
Given enough time Tony would probably be able to unlock the machine and Spock would be able as well, if he saw fit in doing so.
It isn’t said much about Sherlocks hacking skills, but I think even though they would be quite good they’d still be far from Tony’s or Spock’s.
House, Sheldon, Jack and Cas would be pretty useless when it comes to technology.
Jack would only be helpful if they needed to escape and for that he would have at least a little bit of knowledge about where he is – which he doesn’t have as a pirate in an elevator. And of course only useful for pressing random buttons.
Cas would just teleport himself out, no idea who the other people are and what he would be supposed to do.
House would be good if someone hyperventilated.
Sheldon would probably be the one hyperventilating.

Anyway, what I find even also interesting in the thought process I just went through is:

What happens when they all exit the elevator?

In the „little“ tale I told with this, they all were send to a meeting to figure out what had happened.
So here is a glimpse at said meeting:

Finally the elevator had reached its destination. Pushing his way through the others Sherlock hurriedly exited the machine.
„Mycroft!“ He addressed his brother that was already awaiting him.
„What took you so long, brother mine?“ The older Holmes calmly retorted with he hinge of menace in his voice.
„That lunatic with the bow tie, babbling about time travel, space ships and different universes. How am I supposed to work with them? They’re useless. Why wasn’t I allowed to bring John? He would have been better company than those people.“
“ Oh dear. They were asked to come here just as we were. Just bear with them for a while.“ Mycroft tried to stop his brothers tirade, but he only got a snort.
„Hello. I’m The Doctor and you are?“ The ‚lunatic with the bow tie‘ interrupted their conversation, holding out his hand.
„Mycroft Holmes
. I’m with the British Government.“ He introduced himself and accepted the hand.
„You are the British Government“ Sherlock mumbled and got one of his brother’s famous smiles in return.
„Lovely, the older brother and the British Government. They like me there. Mostly. I was knighted by Queen Victoria…and then exiled. And don’t get me started on Elizabeth I….Still mad I never took her on a honeymoon. Anyway, British Government! I saved London a couple of times from alien invasions. Usually around Christmas.“ The Doctor rattled down, still shaking the hand, before he added: „Do I know you? You look familiar…“
„I can assure you that we have never met before.“ Mycroft replied taking back his hand.
„You saved London from alien invasions? Than you can’t be from my universe or you probably would have helped Thor.“ Stark interjected.
„Thor as in the Norse god of Thunder?“ Spock joined the conversation.
„Yes. In my universe he is a demigod travelling through different realms with the help of an Einstein-Rosen bridge. He recently stopped some Dark Elves from taking over the world. In London.“ Tony explained and showed the others pictures of Thor, Malekith and the destruction of London through his gadget.
In the back Sherlock gestured to his brother that these people were clearly insane.
„That is interesting. He looks a bit like me don’t you think?“ The Doctor held up the gadget that showed a picture of Malekith beside his face.
„Nope.“
„Really? Oh, yes…old face, not this face. Had different faces before. My mistake.“ He amended his statement and gave back the gadget.
Sheldon and House had already found themselves a seat at the long table that stood in the room, while Cas and Jack stared out of the window. As it was too ridiculous for him, Sherlock made his way to the far end of the table away from the others. His brother following him suit.
„They either are completely insane or they truly believe what they are saying.“ Mycroft concluded.
After a moment The Doctor turned to the ones responsible for the meeting.
„Can I bring up my TARDIS it’ll be helpful for figuring this out.“ As he was allowed he send a signal with the Screwdriver and the blue telephone box appeared beside him.
„That is one cool trick.“ Tony remarked.
„That is not a trick. That is technology I thought you’d know better than that.“ The Doctor retorted slightly offended.
„How can a wooden blue box help us?“ Did Spock want to know.
„Because it’s bigger on the inside.“ Sheldon answered before The Doctor could even open his mouth.
„Yes. How do you know that?“
„You are fiction in my universe too.“
„Oh. I am fiction. Haha.“ The Doctor clapped his hands in delight.
„Your show is called ‚Doctor Who‘ and it’s the longest running Sci-Fi show. Closely followed my Mr. Spock’s show ‚Star Trek'“ Sheldon explained.
„‚Doctor Who‘. I like that. Doctor who. Doctor who.“ The Doctor couldn’t help but repeat it in a sing-song.
„‚The oldest question. The question that must never be answered. Hidden in plain sight.'“
„What did you say?“ The Doctor now void of all delight and utterly serious.
„It was just a quote from the show!“ Sheldon replied in defence.
„You have my life in a show and even that made it into it. Not good. Really not good.“ He contemplated this for a moment before pointing a finger at the physicist and saying: „You might know things about my future. About everyone’s future that are fiction in your universe. You must be really careful of what you say. But first I need to set up some things.“
He then proceeded to go inside the TARDIS and pull out some cables that he then connected to screens on the far end of the room. Tony and Spock had provided him with their help to see more of that strange technology, while the others examined the box in suspicion.
„That is impossible.“ Sherlock concluded after he had rounded the box for the third time.
„‚Once you’ve ruled out the impossible, whatever remains must be the truth.‘ This box is a spaceship capable of flying through time and space and has bigger-on-the-inside technology.“ Spock told him with a hinge of admiration in his voice.
„What did you say?“ Sherlock demanded to know.
„You clearly heard what I said.“
„How can you know that? I haven’t said it here. Ah, right ‚fiction‘.“ Sherlock concluded raising his eyebrows in annoyance.
„You are fiction in the Star Trek and probably all the other universes. Though an alternative time line of Star Trek suggests you’re also related to Spock as one of his ancestors.“ Sheldon explained.
„Anc..?“ Sherlock started and stopped himself from letting his mind wander into that direction, while Mycroft burst out laughing.
The awkward moment of silence after this was then interrupted by the yelling of The Doctor:“Lazarus!“ As he turned to look at Mycroft.
„I hope you don’t turn into a giant spider thingy that sucks out the life force of other people.“ The Timelord mumbled and then proceeded to push a button he was holding: „Hello Kate! How is UNIT coping?“ He turned around in a swift motion to greet the blond woman that had just appeared on
one of the screens.
„Not well Doctor. We have all kind of strange reports floating in. We have to find out what caused this and how we can reverse it before any severe damage is done.“ The head of UNIT Kate Steward reported.
„Working on that. Just let me add a couple of others to the conference. You ready Tony?“
„Yup.“ Stark answered and pushed another button.
„Stark what is the meaning of this?“ Nick Fury of SHIELD answered right away.
„We just need a bit more information that’s all.“
„Spock! Your turn!“ The Doctor yelled again, making a turn to point at the scientist; earning confused looks by both Steward and Fury.
„On it.“ The other replied and pressed the third button that held a connection to his starship.
„Now that we are all together. We need to combine our knowledge about everything unusual. Everything strange. Everything that can help us to get out of this mess.“ The Doctor stated their plan.
„You mean aside from the fact that there are several supposedly fictional people meeting up in the same conference room discussing matters of high importance for their respective universes?“ Sherlock summarized their situation with a smug grin.
„Yes. Aside from that.“ The Doctor acknowledged dryly pointing at him.

Well, this is how I’d imagine it. As I said I don’t see most of the peoples actual usefulness in the given setting, but it’s the only one that’d make sense. Given the opportunity they might excel in their respective fields, but just for information gathering and techno-babble. Don’t thinks so.
And I hope you had as much fun reading the tale as I had writing it. 😉
(And if I might add: I haven’t seen that much of ST, TBBT, House and Supernatural. So any miss-characterizations or miss-informations derive from that.)

If this whole meme however means that the actors get stuck in an elevator.
Well, then one of them might know the meme and animate the others to make up a funny story of what happened when they got stuck.
But most likely they will only make smalltalk and wait like every other person for the elevator to move again.
Real people don’t really have „super powers“ after all…

PoiSonPaiNter

© The picture and it’s content, as well as all the characters belong to their rightful owners. Mine are only the ideas and the story formulated in this post. If you’d like to use it, let me know beforehand.

Thor: The Dark World

This time a quite on time review about Thor: The Dark World as I have just watched it in the cinema.

But before I start I’d like to say: Back in 2011 I refused to watch the Thor movie, due to my dislike for Marvels approach on the myths. I only did it because someone in The Forum claimed it would be essential for understanding The Avengers, which I’d really wanted to see. So I borrowed a copy of the DVD from Iron Eve and watched it the day before we went into the cinema.
And what can I say?
Looking at it as just a movie it was pretty entertaining.
I only had to not think about it as Marvels (crippled) version of the Norse Mythology, (otherwise I’d be pretty much like the comic artist Humon in this comic).
For the Marvel Cinematic Universe to move on they had to continue with stories about the supposedly demi-gods of Space-Asgard.
So one kind of had to at least watch it to see if there is any major link from this towards the next Avenger movie.
My reasons for actually watching it in the theater were kind of weak…

#1 Christopher Eccleston plays the villain: As I probably won’t get to see „The Day of the Doctor“ I at least wanted to see „my“ Doctor on the big screen.
#2 Tom Hiddleston reprises his role as Loki: Apart from the fact, that Hiddleston is a brilliant actor, the character is pretty fun, but more to that later.

So much for my motivation to see this movie…*cough*

But what’s the movie about?

One of the official posters.

(If you can’t guess from the meaningful trailer)

Unsurprisingly Thor: The Dark World or Thor 2 is the continuation of the events of Thor and The Avengers. The nine realms went into chaos after the Byfrost (The Rainbow Bridge of Asgard, that is used for travelling between realms) was destroyed and Thor and his Warriors Three and the Lady Sif have to sort it out after it was repaired, while Loki is put into prison underneath the palace. All the while life on Earth continues and we meet Jane Foster, Darcy Lewis and Dr. Eric Selvig again, trying to cope with live after everything that had happened. While doing that Jane discover an anomaly and is transferred to a different realm where she accidentally re-awakens an old power source called the Aether, which then inhabits her.

With it the Dark Elve Malekith awakens as well, striving to get a hold of it. Long before the current events his kind has battled Odins father Bor to gain control over it. He wanted to return the universe into the state of darkness it was before the light and the realms were created and for that he needed the Aether and a special constellation of all the realms, the so called convergence, when all realms are within a straight line, which is coincidentally close by.

So all the hammer-wielding hero needs to do to save the day: Free the imprisoned brother, save the girl and stop the elve.

The watching experience

As I don’t really have much time the upcoming weeks I spontaneously decided to go this week. Eve would have accompanied me, but didn’t get my message in time so I went on my own, which had the only downside that I couldn’t discuss it right away with someone. But that’s beside the point.

The movie was in 3D, again, but it could have worked just as well without it. Some scenes were nice to look at, but most of it was nothing special.
Additionally, it was pretty weird to read the 3D-subtitles used for the Elvish.

Which brings me to the point that you could at least hear Ecclestons voice throughout those scenes, while everything else was dubbed. The German dub is quite well done though, especially Peter Lontzek, the voice actor of Hiddleston in all three movies, does a great job as he manages to capture quite a bit of the original portrayal of the character.

Other than that it was not surprising how empty the cinema was (roughly 20 people), even though the movie had only started a week ago. Even less surprising was the number of men compared to women, the movie is after all aimed more at men and as by now most people knew that there always comes a scene after the credits quite a few waited for it.

The characters

Let’s start this part with Thor, so I am done with that. And yes, I don’t like him. But that has nothing to do with Hemsworths way of portraying him, which he does quite well, and more with the fact that I generally don’t like main characters. What we see of him throughout the three movies is just not enough to make him remotely likable for me. At one point in the story my brain even shortly went into a sing-song of „Thor is being clobbered. Thor is being clobbered.“ before I told it to stop and quietly enjoy the scene. Still this movie had some nice scenes that made him a bit less shallow and a bit deeper, but those were more thanks to his interaction with Loki.
Also his movie relationship with Jane is just plain weird. I mean: They knew each other for like three days, from what I’ve read about the comics, this whole things makes a bit more sense, but movie-wise it’s far too rushed. But I better stop right here before I get completely Off Topic. Again: This is my dislike for the characters, NOT the actors. They still do a pretty good job.

Loki on the other hand is a completely different matter. For a semi-side character he is shown to have quite an emotional depth, though that might come from Hiddlestons portrayal of him, which I think is utterly brilliant. You kind of can see all the suffering he is put through, yet he still manages to surprise the audience with his actions. Apart from that do I simply like this kind of character and I already rambled enough about it in my post about Faust’s Mephisto – which also was my first encounter with a character of this kind. I also drifted into the topic again when I introduced our devilish character from the book I’m co-writing – and yes he is based on Mephisto not Loki.

As mentioned above my other reason for watching this movie was Christopher Eccleston playing Malekith the Dark Elve. Apart from the fact that I imagine Dark Elves to not be blond and pale, he had far too little screen time, but what little he had was quite interesting. You couldn’t completely understand his reasoning as the movie kind of rushed through that part and as Icewolf put it so nicely: One could ask if he exchanged his brain with a wet bread roll during his sleep as he simply tried to do the same thing again after his first failure. Only this time getting into trouble with the offspring of those that had defeated him the first time.
And it was fun to see him attack London, a city that Eccleston had saved as The Doctor before. 😀
By the way: Is the English version of his name pronounced with „th“? They kind of dropped the „h“ in German.

In this movie they tried to include the side characters a bit more.
We learn a bit about Hogun. We see a bit more of what Sif thinks about/feels for Thor. We learn how protective everyone is about him, with a quite funny queue-joke. And we learn that even though Zachary Levi replaced Josh Dallas it didn’t really make a difference. Though I buy the philandering Fandral a bit more from Levi.
What we also learn is that Dr. Selvig apparently didn’t take Lokis mind control as well as Hawkeye, but judging from the post credit scene of Thor the „god“ might have stayed with him a little longer than the Chitauri invasion. All of this resulting in quite some hilarious scenes. Another unintentionally funny scene was when Jane tried to date someone, who is none other than Chris O’Dowd, known as Roy from The IT Crowd, which was quite a nice surprise as I hadn’t expected him to be part of the movie.

One of the visually most beautiful scenes concerned Frigga, the (adopted) mother of Thor and Loki. We learn a bit more about her and her relationship with her husband and son(s). I don’t know how much Joss Whedon(, who is said to have re-written some of the scenes) had a say in those scenes but it looked pretty much like his writing…

All in all the characters gained a bit more colour throughout this movie, though Darcy still is pretty much only a comic-relief character.
And even Hugin and Munin, Odins ravens, had a proper cameo this time. 😀
And speaking of cameos: Stan Lee’s was pretty fun again, too.

General opinion

The movie again was fun to watch. It had pretty great humor and action, but also conveyed some parts with much emotions. It all felt a bit rushed at times (e.g. the Frigga scene) and was mostly carried forward through character interaction, but I can live with that. I don’t mind seeing it again this time with the original voices, as that is always a bit different.

However, I still prefer the Myth-version of the characters and stories. Marvel does well in creating a world that makes sense on its own, but it still has this weird aftertaste of wrongness. Especially as Marvel leaves out all the fun: The Horse, the Cross-dressing and the Monster Babies. 😀

Stuff I’d like to add

Apparently the movie was released in Germany/Europe before it was broadcasted in the States. Which doesn’t happen that often and quite surprised me upon finding out.

And „The Dark World“ is a „Kingdom“ in the German version, for whatever reason.

They also had a funny advertisement before the movie:
They showed a trailer for Call of Duty and started with a shot if a satellite called „Odin“ and who was the narrator? Odin >_< (Or at least his German voice actor.)

PoiSonPaiNter

© Rights for the poster belong to Marvel.

Rise of the Guardians

I know the movie was released some time ago in 2012, but as I already have a habit of posting stuff way later then when they happened, I thought I might as well write a bit about this as I just re-watched it and felt like sharing my thoughts.

I first read about the movie on the deviantArt page of the artist Johanne Matte (aka rufftoon) that was involved in its creation. To celebrate the release of the Trailer she posted a series of cartoons that introduced one of the characters she had been working on, a character that was only eyes in the shadows of a closet at first, but then fully visible in the conclusion when the trailer was finally out and he could take revenge on another character that had previously mocked him about not being allowed into the light – which was by the way Zhao from Avatar – The Last Airbender.
This in combination with the trailer made me curious about the movie. It looked like a fun family movie. As a result I asked Iron Eve if she wanted to accompany me into the cinema as soon as I knew when the movie would hit the German theaters.

But what’s the movie about?

(Might be that there are still people who haven’t watched it)

Official poster

One of the official posters of the movie.

The Rise of the Guardians is an Animation Movie by Dreamworks Animation and is about the Guardians of Childhood: Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman protecting the children of Earth with a strong hand…wait…no, that last one was nearly a line from Avantasia’s song „The Tower„. Let’s try again: Those four were chosen by The Man in the Moon to protect the children from any danger. Each of them protecting a certain aspect of childhood: Dreams, Hopes, Memories and Wonders. But of course something does in fact endanger these things: The Fear created by the Bogeyman. He had been weakened over the centuries and now tries to regain the powers he had throughout the dark ages, because all mystical beings can only exist as long as people believe in them. And no one really believes in the Bogeyman anymore. Therefore – much to the dislike of the Guardians – he tries to make children believe in him through turning their dreams into nightmares and stopping their belief in the Guardians to weaken them instead. With the help of a newly appointed and still not so happy about it Guardian – Jack Frost – they try to fight off the new threat and protect the last believer, the boy Jamie, at all cost. But Jack first has to decide which side he choses, as no one ever truly believed in him before.

The watching experience

As I mentioned I watched the movie in the cinema for the first time and as it nowadays is a must-have to show everything in 3D it was also only shown as such.
I have to say I am not a fan of this trend. On the one hand it is pretty annoying to wear the 3D glasses above your actual glasses and on the other hand do 3D movies have the tendencies to either only include short sequences where it is nearly a waste to use it at all or use it in sequences that are that fast that you get dizzy while watching it. Well, at least we have a 3D-capable theater by now and did not have to watch the 3D material in a 2D cinema…(I had that when I watched „The Last Airbender“ and it made some scenes even worse…)
Instead of doing either of it RotG did use the 3D effects quite nicely for the dream- and the nightmare-sand and general movement and perspectives. I kind of think it makes more sense to use these effects in an already animated movie than in a real-people movie, where you can’t actually get the same experience.
Other than that was it also interesting to see when we laughed and when the actual children laughed about certain jokes. It is always fun to be in a children’s movie as a semi-adult. 😀
As we watched it in German we also had the German synchronization and I think it was quite well done, especially now that I’ve watched the original version. The voices are quite similar and even the translation was quite on spot. Though they did change the calling name of the Tooth Fairy from Tooth to Fairy (Fee), they probably just didn’t want the characters to shout „Zahn“ all the time. 😉
Other than that: North (Santa) also has the Russian accent, Bunnymund (Easterbunny) calls everyone a mate (though in the Berlin-way: „Keule“), Sandy (Sandman) doesn’t speak at all. Oh, and Pitch (Bogeyman) is voiced by Son Goku (Dragonball Z), but he can pull off the tragic villain as good as the universe savior. 😀
I really liked that Sandy communicated only through sand-pictures and the Baby-Tooths only through whistling instead of actual talking.

The characters

What I liked about the characters of this movie, is that all of them have enough quirks and antics to not seem as „perfect“ as protagonist in movies often tend to be. It is rare for me, but I don’t think that I really do NOT like any of the characters, especially none of the main cast. (I will probably cover this at some point in time with a separate post)
Maybe it’s because of these things:
North changes from childish to Warrior in seconds.
Bunny is the big and bossy Australian *cough* kangaroo *cough*, that can also be adorably cute.
Tooth is all business, but quite obsessive when it comes to teeth and children.
Sandy slightly silly, but the secret badass of the four.
Jack, the childish prankster that just wants to be seen.
Pitch, the „bad boy“ that just wants children to remember him.
And the kids, that are just kids being silly kids. 😀

As I already have a tendency to like villains I couldn’t help myself but to be taken in by Pitch Black as well…
Apart from sympathy for his chosen colour I felt pity for him at the end of the movie. All he did was trying to regain the powers he had held centuries ago and that allowed him to be seen by people – and not just children. Of course his way was by far not the nicest – or even the cleverest – but he probably just didn’t knew what else he should do to change his demise. There are much scarier things in this world than the Bogeyman, but I’ll come to that later. What also made me like him more were rufftoons comics about his past that can be found in her gallery here. Incredible comics that partly show a different back story than the official one portrayed in special comics and other stuff from Dreamworks and of course the books by William Joyce (The Guardians of Childhood).

The Sandy-toy facing in a weird direction

The Sandy-toy facing in a weird direction

After that I think it would be a tie between North with his weird jokes, the yetis and the elves, Bunnymund and his walking eggs and of course Sandy, though he might even be on par with Pitch. I even have the McDonalds figurine of Sandy standing/lying in my book shelf. 😀 (Eve got Bunny by the way). Though the magnet used to move him is weird. It always gets stuck when he is nearly facing the holding thing, but it’s a fun toy nonetheless. 🙂

Jack and Tooth, though I do not dislike them and they do have some nice scenes, are just a bit too plain to be among my favourites.

Among the kids I consider Cupcakes to be the funniest. Typical bully turned friend, but still fun, just as much as Monty, the kid with glasses, whose reactions were sometimes hilarious…. 😀

It is also great that you can see why the characters act the way they do. Common sense makes you understand the competitiveness between Bunny and North, Christmas is after all the much more celebrated holiday. But you also can understand why both Jack and Pitch strife for being believed in. I think it must be one of the worst feelings to see all these people around you and knowing that they cannot see you in return. It is already awful to be ignored as normal person, but as personification of an aspect of life (Fear, Frost) it must be even worse. At least in our cases others would bump into us, instead of walking right through you.

General opinion

The Rise of the Guardians is a great movie. It has just the right amount of silliness and seriousness needed to portray an important message: Without belief in Wonders, without Hope, Dreams and good Memories there would only be Fear in children and children are our future that we must protect at all cost.
It also shows that even though children do not believe in the Bogeyman himself anymore, there is still enough Fear for him to still exist. Sure what people fear has greatly changed throughout mankind’s history, but it is still there and I could write a whole post about that alone – in fact I once wrote quite a long article about it, maybe I’ll translate it one day.

The movie has some really precious scenes and well portrayed characters.
Angry Sandy, not-believed in Easter Bunny, silly Elves and annoyed Yetis and all that wrapped in great animations (though a bit edged at times).
They also do well with playing with the viewers emotions.
When I first watched it, I didn’t really know what I should feel, when the scene moved on to the next big thing after the previous one had just happened.
You could argue that the movie therefore is a bit rushed, but I’d still say it was the pace needed to properly tell the story – even though the characters themselves did not really get time to process things or have much time for development, but you could say the movie portrays a war and you don’t really have much time in those either.

Regardless of the fact that it is a children’s movie does it have the potential and the ability to capture an older audience with its charms and jokes as well. Awws and laughter could also be heard from adults as much as from children, though not as loudly. 😉

Simply put: I really enjoyed the movie and I gladly bought the DVD, to watch it again whenever I feel like it. Even though some scenes don’t work as much as they used to during the first time watching, as you know what will happen later on. 😉
And I am curious about the books and comics accompanying it, but it’s always quite annoying to buy something in a different currency as I am not sure whether they are even available in Germany. But maybe will I get my hands on them anyway sometime. 🙂

Stuff I’d like to add

For those who didn’t know: „Mare“ is an old word for a female horse, so Nightmare basically means Night-horse and do you remember what shape the Nightmares had? 😉 It is a bit more complicated than that, seeing that the word derives from a creature called „Nachtmahr“ in German that sometimes was portrayed in the shape of a horses head, but that’ll get too off-topic.

What also is too off-topic but what I still would like to add is a bit about my experiences with these characters/guardians in my childhood.
So you can look forward to that some time in the future. 😉

PoiSonPaiNter

© Rights for the poster and the figurine belong to Dreamworks (the latter probably also to McDonalds).