Tag Archives: analysis

Movie Review: Her (2013)

Oddly enough, for the past couple of years, it’s been unexplainably difficult for me to convince myself to sit down and watch a feature-length film, but this past weekend I actually went on a total movie binge, watching all the films that everyone seemed to be raging about for the past while or so, along with a few others I had been previously interested in watching. One of those films was Her, and out of all the movies I watched this weekend (a total of 6), this one seemed to resonate most with me, ultimately making me feel the need to write my thoughts down.

Quick little spoiler free review, as I will go into full detail in the real review: Do you like a good love story, honest and introspective looks at humanity, social commentary on the relations between people and technology, Scarlett Johansson’s uber sexy voice, awkward phone sex, the feeling of bittersweetness, and waist-high pants? If so, you’ll probably enjoy this movie.

SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT. TAKE CAUTION.

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I live in an age where going anywhere without your smart device is terrifying, where we rely on these devices for many of our activities. I mean, I think it’s pretty awesome to have this computer in my pocket at all times, in fact, I’m writing this on my iPod Touch right now. But every now and then I put down the iPod and realize just how little human-to-human interaction I actually have. Sometimes I just have this burning and painful desire to go outside and meet someone, make new friends, fall in love, to live. Most of my social activity happens behind my iPod screen, and I hate it. I take online school, so I don’t leave my house for education. I’m a rather introverted person, so most of my hobbies involve me sitting alone in my room. I saw a bit of myself in Theodore.

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He’s lonely, hungry for sex, scared of commitment after coming off a divorce, and he makes a living writing loving letters for other people to send to their own loved ones. He’s pretty much a walking corpse, that is until a new technology is released: the OS1, a sentient AI capable of evolving as humans do. He installs it, chooses a female voice, and thus Samantha is born. She organizes his e-mails, proofreads his letters, and makes him feel alive again. They quickly bond, and Theodore finds himself putting in his earpiece often just to talk to her. Samantha longs to have a body, and to be able to physically be around Theo, and he wishes for it too, so he can embrace her. And next thing you know they’re having a kind of phone sex. They start a relationship together, and it all seems to work perfectly…until he starts overthinking the fact that his partner is a computer.

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Anyway, I figure that if you’re reading this you’ve seen the movie, so you know what happens. This movie is beautiful, tragically so. In fact, it even kinda depressed me for a while. This movie just really instills that desire to connect.

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Was it wrong for Theodore to fall in love with an OS? Honestly, I have no clue. But there’s no denying that the love between Samantha and Theo was beautiful. But then you remember that she claims to love over 600 others. Apparently that increases her love, but honestly, I just didn’t look at her the same after that confession. I really hope an OS like this is never invented, because if it is, my chances of creating new human relationships would probably be zero to none.

But the bottom line is this: I love this movie. It’s lovely, yet strangely bleak and depressing at the same time. I really love this world and these characters, and it actually feels like this not-so-distant future could very well happen in a matter of years. This movie really made me think about my life, and even though it kinda bummed me out, I really love it.

Oh, and the music by Arcade Fire, as well as the original song by Karen O, are great.

So, what did you think of this film? Did you find yourself feeling? Or perhaps reeling in disgust? Let me know!

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The Future of The Critic’s Canvas

“Hello, long time no see, it’s nice to see you again, where the hell have you been?”

Yes, I kinda fell off the face of the earth. And if anything, that time floating through the vast emptiness of space gave me lots of time to think about what my vision for The Critic’s Canvas was gonna be. My overall web traffic has been dropping tremendously over the past couple months (because I’ve been posting much, much less) and it kinda sucks. I had a good thing going for a while! My Adventure Time reviews were reeling in good views, and most importantly, I had lots of fun writing them! Eventually I became confident enough to think that I could handle covering two shows at one time, and it went pretty well. However, there would be times when I just didn’t feel like writing, and that would cause me to put off an episode review, and eventually I’d find myself forcing myself to do a review just so I could get to the next deadline. It wasn’t fun, and that’s when I stopped caring as much. My hobbie had become a job, in my mind at least, and one that doesn’t pay at that. I begun to feel like I had gotten ahead of myself; thinking I could handle all these deadlines all by myself. I mean, I probably could. It’s definitely not impossible, but I just lacked the motivation and passion I used to have.

Now understand, I’m still very much interested in keeping The Critic’s Canvas alive, but I think I’m done with scheduled episode reviews; even though they were my main source of views. But ultimately, this blog isn’t about getting views (even though I love people actually seeing my work), it’s about practice; refining my talent. Something I can show to a possible employer, to show them my worth. It’s me writing for the long run. What I want to write are series reviews (instead of individual episode reviews), Thinking Out Loud pieces, game reviews, updates about the books I might write, etc. I sincerely apologize for disappearing for so long without notice. I hope you understand.

Oh yeah, and this blog has been around for about a year now that 2015 has rolled in! I started this blog January of 2014, kind of as a “New Year goal” to better my writing ability and hopefully garner some attention. It’s been fun. Let’s see where the next year takes us.

Adventure Time Review: Season 6 Episode 17 (Ghost Fly)

Well, hasn’t it been a while, both since you’ve seen a new episode of Adventure Time (about two and a half months) and since you’ve seen me (about 2 months). I guess you could say I had my own little hiatus along with F & J. But I’m back now, and I’m ready to write the heck out of these reviews!

The Plot

In this year’s Halloween special, Jake is feeling irritable, and in an attempt to relax, he decides to whip up some tasty stew. But to his misfortune, it attracts a nasty, annoying, disease (tuberculosis, polio, etc) carrying fly; of which he kills on sight. But this fly’s got unfinished business in the mortal realm, meaning Finn, Jake, and B-MO’s humble abode may no longer be safe. Can they protect their home and themselves from this vengeful, buzzing spirit?!

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Spoilers from here onwards…

Adventure Time has indulged in the horror genre many times before, with episodes such as The Creeps, Hug Wolf, No One Can Hear You, and many others. Ghost Fly is a welcome addition to the creepy side of Adventure Time, and ’tis the season, but it’s also a pretty good episode to come back on after such a long break. It has practically no ties to the over-arching story, and it’s rather accessible for newcomers. This is also a much-needed return for episodes where it’s just Finn, Jake, and B-MO getting into shenanigans. It almost harkens back to earlier episodes.

There wasn’t anything super outstanding about the episode, besides B-MO killing Jake that is…

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…but even if the episode was nothing too outstanding, it’s Adventure Time at it’s core, and for that alone, I love it.

So, what did you think of this episode? Did it give you Restless Leg syndrome? Or perhaps you’re just happy to have Adventure Time back? Let me know!

Quick Note: My family uses Dish Network, so that means that I temporarily don’t have Cartoon Network and other channels due to an expired contract and disagreements between Turner Networks and Dish. Hopefully they figure something out soon. Are any of you dealing with this problem too?

Did you enjoy this little ramble? If so, consider following The Critic’s Canvas for all your critical needs!

Adventure Time Review: Season 6 Episode 16 (Joshua and Margaret Investigations)

Yet another episode where the titular characters only make small appearances, however, this time it’s done in a way that could possibly strengthen a particular character. That’s right, we get to see more of Jake’s parents!

The Plot

It’s Jake’s birthday, and Finn and BMO are dying to know what his birth story is. So, we follow Joshua and Margaret (who is pregnant with Jake at the time) as they investigate miscellaneous crimes for money, and eventually give birth to everyone’s favorite magic dog! However, let’s just say that things don’t exactly play out the way you might expect.

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Spoilers from here onwards…

Okay, so can I rant for a second?

I have found this season very disappointing so far. Why? Well, to put it simply, there just hasn’t been enough Finn and Jake. Adventure Time just so happens to have an extensive cast of characters, and they’ve really been focusing on these other characters this season. Now, usually this would be a good thing, but I just feel like they’ve been pushing the real “main” characters to the side a bit too much. I just miss seeing F & J go on adventures, or even just doing nothing together. Now don’t get me wrong, there have been some pretty good Finn and Jake episodes this season; for example, I really liked Furniture and Meat, and Ocarina was pretty good too, but that just isn’t enough. The season started off perfectly, and I had such high expectations for this season, and they just haven’t been met yet. I’m cool with focus shifting to the side characters every now and then, but there needs to be balance.

Okay, rant over. So the episode:

I liked it! Although we don’t see much of our main characters, we do get a bit of interesting story on what Jake is and where he came from. Joshua and Margaret are cool characters that we haven’t seen much of at all, and it was fun seeing them sniff out mysteries and stuff. However, the part that sticks out to me the most is the ending. Like, what the heck.

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Basically, this creepy monster that can morph and transform into different things and shapes bites Joshua on the head. This leads to a very Alien-esque scene of Joshua giving birth to Jake, and then immediately following that, Margaret gives birth to Jermaine, Jake’s brother. Pretty crazy. The worst part is, they decided to not tell Jake, so he doesn’t even know! I’m hoping this all leads to more backstory on Jake, but who knows, it could just be a throwaway gag, although Adventure Time rarely ever does that.

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So what did you think of the episode? Did you hate it? Love it? Let me know!

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Adventure Time Review: Season 6 Episode 15 (Nemesis)

Protective parents be trippin’ yo.

The Plot

A passionate man, who goes by the name “Peacemaster”, is rife with angst towards the Candy Kingdom. This fury is driven by the belief that there is dark magic and secrets afoot. He knows that PB spies on her citizens, and he knows that someone in her castle is an evil-doer. Will he succeed in unveiling the true face of the kingdom of candy? Or will Peppermint Butler take it upon himself to silence the issue?

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Spoilers from here onwards…

Okay, so I’m quite torn about who to side with here:

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• There’s Bubblegum and her candy citizens who follow her to no end. PB will do anything for the greater good, whether that be leaving someone to die so that others will survive, or kidnapping someone and running dangerous experiments on said someone to receive information that could prevent possible catastrophes in the future. People often say that Bubblegum is kind of “morally grey”; she does seemingly evil things for good, kind of. But no matter what, you rarely ever hear anyone call her out on it. Finn and Jake have shown concern before, but I assure you that Finn (I don’t know about Jake) would never turn his back on PB unless things got really donked up. And yes, she has a wacked out, kinda evil sociopath as a butler. Cute as he may be, he could be extremely dangerous were he to attack the Candy Kingdom.

And then…

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• There’s Peacemaster, a guy who wants, well, peace; a world rid of evil, dark arts, and anything that could possibly influence his three kids in a bad way. Yup, he’s a family guy. Too bad these kids could care less about their father’s concern, and would honestly love to take part in some good ol’ dark arts. It’s kinda sad, really. I mean, sure, you could say that Peacemaster is kind of being a buttwad by shielding his kids so much, but to me it just means he cares. In fact, Pep But turning his kids into monsters really pissed me off.

So who do I side with?

Well, in this case, I’m gonna go with Peacemaster. It is true that PB oversteps boundaries on a far too regular basis, and honestly, I just can’t help but feel sorry for the guy.

So what did I think of the episode? I think it’s great! I was kinda becoming displeased with the lack of solid Adventure Time episodes as of late, and it felt good to see one that I actually wanted to talk about.

So what did you think of the episode? Did you shake a righteous fist of anger? Or perhaps sat back and enjoyed the episode with a bit of camomile tea? Let me know!

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Legend of Korra Review: Book 3 Episode 9 (The Stakeout)

God, this season has been so great. Like, why did it take 3 seasons for them to get it right?

The Plot

Korra and the gang travel Misty Palms in search of the treacherous Aiwie, but no matter where they go, Zaheer will always be waiting.

Spoilers From Here Onwards

The Krew’s search for Aiwie takes them to the Misty Palms Oasis, and what’s a stakeout without sneaky disguises and intense chase scenes? Yes, The Stakeout, has all of these things, but most surprising is the information gained in just the third act alone. I’m talking a massive info dump.

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Turns out our prisoner friends are really an organization called The Red Lotus. They desire absolute anarchy; a world free of kings, queens, and government as a whole. The belief that the natural order is disorder drives these people, and they want Korra to aid them in achieving their goals.

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However, the best thing about their intentions is this:

They kinda make sense.

Korra and her friends have dealt with some awful monarchs throughout the show. Some desire power so much that they’d be willing to do anything to seize it.

But this philosophy is not without flaws. One must consider that without law, people would be free to commit much worse crimes than before and not be punished. Zaheer strongly believes that disorder will bring the world balance, but such beliefs put the strong ones at the top, and weak ones at the bottom. Would it really be any better than the way things already are? Of course, his intentions are evil, but the fact that it leaves you thinking about it is a good thing.

Oh yeah, and that Pai-shodown was flamio, hotman.

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Bolin and Mako are taken by The Red Lotus, while Korra and Asami are taken by the Earth Queen. What will become of our heroes?!

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So what did you think of the episode? Did you love it? Hate it? Let me know!

Did you enjoy this little ramble? If so, consider following The Critic’s Canvas for all your critical needs.

Adventure Time Review: Season 6 Episode 14 (Princess Day)

There are quite a few princesses in the land of Ooo, so wouldn’t it make sense that there is a special day where all the princesses get together and discuss princess-y things?

The Plot

Princess Day is being held in Breakfast Kingdom this year, so fittingly, Breakfast Princess is leading the charge. However, Lumpy Space Princess could do with out all that lame political princess stuff. Marceline the Vampire Queen feels the same way, and decides to team with LSP to cause ultimate mayhem upon the kingdom of butter, bacon, sausage, and juice.

Is This A Good Place To Start?

The more I think about it, the more I realize that this show never really had a beginning. There’s rarely ever a moment of introduction for any of the characters, and you kinda just go with the flow while you catch little tidbits of information about each character. Because of this, I think I’m gonna stop saying that an episode is inaccessible because it doesn’t introduce the many different faces that appear in each episode. So yes, this episode provides many different characters, but this shouldn’t stop you from checking out the episode. If there is one thing I could say to newcomers, it’s that this episode doesn’t really showcase the best of Adventure Time, nor does it feature these characters at their most intriguing. Nonetheless, the episode has laughs, a smart theme, and a big reference to a certain movie that I’ve never seen, but people who have will most likely get a kick out of it.

My True Verdict (With Spoilers)

There are two kinds of people in this world: People who love LSP, and people who hate LSP. I for one rather enjoy the character, however, there’s no denying that she might pop up a little too often. On the other hand, there isn’t a single Adventure Time fan I know of that doesn’t like Marceline. So what happens when you pair the two together?

Both being rebellious women, they enact malicious acts of vandalism and goofy antics, like sucking the syrup out of a guard and running over Breakfast Princess with a breakfast automobile. But none of this makes them bad people, right? At least that’s how Marcy sees it. However, they both agree that stealing that CD was crossing the line.

When I first saw the title of the episode, Princess Day, I had all these cool theories about what might happen, and the fact that it was just another LSP episode, just with Marcy thrown in, was kind of disappointing. The episode is still really fun and cheeky (like really, the animators of this episode really liked drawing big cheeks on the characters). I kinda wanted a little bit more from it though.

What did you think of the episode? Did you HATE IT exclamation point exclamation point? Or perhaps you really liked it? Let me know!

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