Tag Archives: critic

My Writing Truly Comes Alive At All The Wrong Moments

I take online school, and every now and then they have these “discussions” where they give you a subject and ask you to write about it a certain way. I always tend to have way too much fun with these. Here’s my latest one, and I honestly think it’s the most absurd one yet.

This was the assignment:
“Research building codes for ramps such as wheelchair ramps, boat ramps, or loading docks. Choose a building code for a ramp and describe the relationship between the lengths involved using geometry vocabulary such as hypotenuse, adjacent side, and opposite side. Use right triangle concepts from this Unit to find any unknown lengths and angle measures of the ramp. Be sure to identify the type of ramp. Explain if the building code of your ramp makes sense and do the same for the other building codes posted for the discussion. Discuss why there are building codes for ramps and how you think they are determined.”

With all that in mind, this is what I wrote:

Ramps for Gramps: A Mediocre Look Into What Any Of This Means

It goes without saying that I know absolutely nothing about this subject, but ignorance has never stopped me from opening my mouth, now has it. So, I’ll retire to what good ol’ Google has to say. I went ahead and interviewed him. Saint Google scratched his head at my inquiry, but he went ahead and told me what he knew; he is all-knowing, after all.

“The maximum slope of a ramp is 1:12” he sang as a choir of sassy black angels kicked into full gear. “The maximum rise for any ramp shall be 30 inches.” he belted in silky smooth falsetto, as the angelic black choir broke off into brain-melting harmonies. “The minimum clear width of a ramp shall be 36 inches” he continued as I tried to not die from this excessive amount of knowledge that was being loaded onto me via toe-tapping inducing R&B. “Also, don’t forget handrails.” he barked, and my mind imploded.

I had to be hospitalized. I received a bouquet of flowers and an apology letter from Saint G. confessing that he might’ve gotten carried away. I thought to myself as the doctors pushed me down the halls in a wheel chair; I thought about how much I still don’t know about those ever-so-elusive ramps.

(Feel free to condescend in the comments below)

I can assure you that when I write another one of these, whenever that may be, I will gladly share them with you.

Advertisements

TV Review: House of Cards (Season 1)

“The road to power is paved with hypocrisy, and casualties.”

I love me a good drama. I love that nail biting feeling you get after a cliffhanger. But politics? Not so much.

I think it’s safe to say that AMC’s Breaking Bad changed the realm of serial entertainment for the better, and I’ve noticed a large amount of shows focusing on stories similar to it, with the spotlight being given to people with dreams of climbing up the ladder of power and becoming the “kingpin” of sorts. The difference between Breaking Bad and House of Cards, however, (besides the fact that one takes place in a meth lab and the other takes place in the White House) is that while Walter White took his time becoming the revered Heisenburg, right from the beginning of House of Cards, we know exactly who Frank Underwood is; scheming, hungry for power, ruthless, ambitious in all the wrong ways, a villain, essentially. And just like Walter, you just can’t help but love Frank, with his 4th-wall-breaking quips to the audience and all.

Frank Underwood isn’t satisfied with his role as a congressman, and he’s set on getting to the top, whatever that may lead to. His wife, Claire, is ambitious too; perhaps not as mercilessly, but she believes in power. When House of Cards focuses on its characters, I feel it shines brightest. When the political complexities and democracy take the front stage is when I feel my attention wavering, and this seemed to happen more frequently in the first few episodes than anywhere else. But later when things inevitably heat up, I found myself thoroughly enjoying myself.

There’s one thing I noticed that I’d like to mention:

Let me bring up Breaking Bad again. Walter White was oddly successful most of the time, and it was always deeply satisfying watching him succeed. Of course, there would be instances where everything blowed over and he had to take drastic measures, but overall, he was very good at achieving what he wanted. The funny thing about Frank Underwood is that even though he seems all-powerful, his plans almost never go smoothly. He’ll ask the President for his trust, his plain will fail completely, and he’ll go back and ask for his trust again. Frank is not invincible. He’s extremely persuasive, but he can’t always rely on this to get out of trouble. He really is balancing a house of cards. When I think of Breaking Bad, I think of a Jenga tower that keeps getting taller and taller until the very end where it all just topples over. A house of cards much better fits Underwood’s situation, as everything definitely seems likely to collapse, and the wind is always blowing. This makes for good drama.

The performances are great all across the board, I absolutely love the soundtrack, the picture is fantastic, and I found myself watching episodes fly by because I enjoyed watching so much. That really is a testament to how good this show is. However, I found myself losing interest when the politics would take over and it took me a while to even realize what was going on a lot, mostly because I instinctively turned my brain off when people started talking about passing bills and acts and “Wait, what is this about?” was a question I asked an embarrassing amount throughout the thirteen episodes. All that aside though, I’m excited to dig my teeth into season 2 and the soon-to-be-released season 3.

So, what do you think of House of Cards? Perhaps you have yet to see it, and if so, are you interested?

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

What the First Year of The Critic’s Canvas Looked Like

I started this blog on January 10th of last year, completely on a whim. I was in 10th grade, sitting in a computer class bored out of my mind, and my thoughts really kick in when I’m bored. I thought about how I had always really enjoyed writing, and how I loved reading biased criticism over stuff. So, I thought, why not try doing it myself? I was extremely excited about it. When I started, I tried to post something every single day, and it was so much fun. Seeing my site get views and new followers was addicting. Around March, I had hand surgery, and obviously that made keeping the site running pretty difficult, but I continued to write soon after. Obviously things have changed and evolved since the beginning, but I’m actually very proud of my first year. Thank you to everyone who has ever read anything I’ve posted on here, and a special thanks to everyone who has followed so far. It’s a very good motivation when people actually read the stuff I write. WordPress concocted a nifty little summary of 2014 for The Critic’s Canvas, showcasing the number of views received, most popular posts, etc. Check it out:

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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.

2015/01/img_2117.png

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.

2015/01/img_2115.png

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.

2015/01/img_2114-0.png

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.

2015/01/img_2118.png

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!

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

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?!

IMG_1910.PNG

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…

IMG_1909.PNG

IMG_1911.PNG

…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.

IMG_1552.PNG

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.

IMG_1554.PNG

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.

IMG_1555.PNG

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

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