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Debbie’s Totally Random and Completely Insignificant Pop Culture Awards of 2016

Yay, awards time! As always, these are about my personal preferences and just for fun.

The Television Episode that Kicked the Ass of Anything in Movies Award:

The Battle of the Bastards, Game of Thrones

Continue reading “Debbie’s Totally Random and Completely Insignificant Pop Culture Awards of 2016”

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Darth Vader & The Lure of the Dark Side

This post is part of the Great Villain Blogathon hosted by Ruth of Silver Screenings, Karen of Shadows & Satin, and Kristina of Speakeasy. See the list of participants for this event HERE!

Do I need to give a SPOILER WARNING for the Star Wars movies? Here’s one in case you need it, especially for The Force Awakens. If you haven’t caught up with it yet there will be some MAJOR spoilers.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away. . . a mixture of influences from Kurosawa films, Flash Gordon serials, and American Westerns became a pop culture phenomenon to match few others. A space opera with strong elements of fantasy, the Star Wars franchise uses the Hero’s Journey to create a new mythology for the modern world.

It also features one of the great movie villains of all time. Continue reading “Darth Vader & The Lure of the Dark Side”

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Book Review: Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray

MINOR SPOILERS ONLY FOR THE BOOK STAR WARS: BLOODLINE, BUT THERE ARE SOME MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE MOVIE STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS:

In a recent blog post about The Terminator, I cited Ripley from Alien as the first modern film action heroine—and she is the first who was the protagonist. But it’s Star Wars’ Princess Leia, in a supporting role, who’s the true seminal character in modern film.

Continue reading “Book Review: Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray”

Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Hero

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1. Heroes often have an unusual origin story.

In spite of some people nowadays groaning at the origin stories in superhero comics and movies, they have a mythological basis. In folk lore and mythology, heroes may have an unusual conception. (Zeus was always turning himself into various animals so he could get it on with mortal women; several heroes in mythology were conceived this way.)

Or, they may be related to royalty, but for some reason are separated from their family. For instance, Perseus and his mother Danae are tossed into the sea by her father the king, because he was told by a seer that his grandson would one day kill him. Percy Jackson is a modern interpretation of Perseus, with a similar origin story (though his father is Poseidon, not Zeus). Continue reading “Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Hero”

Thoughts on Star Wars Episode VII Casting

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Happy Star Wars Day! May the 4th Be With You! I thought today would be the day that Disney would finally announce the new Star Wars cast, but they beat me by almost a week. They announced it April 29. (Which, by the way, happens to be my birthday!)

I’m going to start with the awesome parts of the casting announcement. (Only actors were announced; we as yet have no idea who they’ll be playing, except, of course, for the veterans returning from the original Star Wars trilogy).

Continue reading “Thoughts on Star Wars Episode VII Casting”

Pop Culture Roundup April 2014

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1. Stephen Colbert will replace Dave Letterman as host of the Late Show.

Dave Letterman announced he would retire in 2015 and people barely got time to speculate about who would replace him. It was quickly announced that comedian Stephen Colbert, host of The Comedy Channel’s Colbert Report, would be the new host. Continue reading “Pop Culture Roundup April 2014”

Pop Culture Roundup March 2014

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1. The Oscar telecast didn’t totally suck!

I was not crazy about host Ellen DeGeneres’ opening monologue (look, Liza Minnelli is fair game, but don’t insult her to her face on live TV where close to 1 billion people can see her reaction) but otherwise she did a good job. I thought the “selfie” segment was cute, and so was calling up for pizza. Both moments had genuine elements, such as nominee Lupita Nyong’o’s brother Junior jumping in with some of the biggest stars on the planet for the photo and a real pizza guy distributing the pizza.

Continue reading “Pop Culture Roundup March 2014”

Pop Culture Roundup January 2014

jesseplemons1. The Star Wars screenplay is finished! The Star Wars screenplay is finished! Commence hysteria about casting and other production issues! Director JJ Abrams announced that he and Lawrence Kasdan have finished the Star Wars Episode VII screenplay. Carrie Fisher confirmed that she will be in the movie and that shooting is supposed to start this spring.

Casting rumors abound. Realize with a movie like this, they see EVERYBODY. So news items that they met with this mega-star and that rising starlet and this beloved character actor usually mean nothing except that some meetings took place. However, there was one rumor–Jesse Plemons (Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad) auditioning for the role of the young lead–that may have a bit of heat to it. JJ Abrams took the trouble to confirm the rumor. Plemons was amazing as Todd the sociopathic aspiring meth cooker in Breaking Bad. Fingers crossed that they reach a deal.

Continue reading “Pop Culture Roundup January 2014”

Pop Culture Roundup October 2013

1. J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan have replaced Michael Arndt as writers on Star Wars Episode VII. Normally, this would have totally upset me, because Arndt is one of the best screenwriters working today. He also proved with Toy Story 3 that he could freshen up a franchise while staying true to its spirit. However, this means Lawrence Kasdan—LAWRENCE FREAKIN’ KASDAN—who co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, is back writing in the Star Wars universe, baby! So I’m over it. 2. Disney then sent fans reeling by refusing Lucasfilm’s request to push Episode VII to 2016. … Continue reading Pop Culture Roundup October 2013

Why I Love/Why I Hate Disney Buying Lucasfilm

Why I Love: More Star Wars films. Why I Hate: More Star Wars films that may exist solely to squeeze every possible dime out of an existing franchise. Why I Love: There’s a whole generation of filmmakers who grew up on Star Wars who could revive the franchise creatively. Why I Hate: There’s a whole generation of filmmakers who grew up on Star Wars who could finish it off once and for all. Why I Love: Disney ownership has not negatively impacted the quality of Pixar and Marvel films. Why I Hate: This could turn out to be the exception … Continue reading Why I Love/Why I Hate Disney Buying Lucasfilm