Use the Falchion

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  1. I never thought about it that way, but that's pretty clever! (And a good way to come up with villain themes and names.) I could totally see that being a theme in the main trilogy too, if only for the main villains and how they work: Steelheart can only be defeated by someone with a "heart of steel" Firefight has to fight fire in order to save a loved one Limelight has to learn to step into it, accepting failures and successes, in order to succeed.
  2. Finished Heir to the Empire. I'll probably do a full write-up when I finish the entire trilogy, but as it stands, I really enjoyed the story. The bittersweet news is that it made me dislike the ST and Post-OT material that Disney has come out with. Not all of Legends is/was great, and not all of it should have been made/kept Canon...but after reading the first book, I understand why fans would be upset that this isn't canon. Again, I'll probably do a full write-up when I finish the entire trilogy.
  3. Oh Brian is showing up? I wonder if he can do a reading for his new series next year!
  4. I was supposed to catch up to my friends in reading Heir to the Empire, but instead reread the entire Lunar Chronicle quadrilogy. In one day. (Which isn't saying much for the first 2-3 books, since they're pretty short, all things considered.) Tomorrow I'll get back to Star Wars.
  5. Definitely! When reading Lux, I found Jax and David to be inversions of each other in their personalities and interests in a way: Jax is a lot like a Science Hero in an Action Hero's world (the multiple fights, riding a path-growing bike up a falling building in order to hit an Epic with a sword, all of the combat training), contrasting David's Action Hero with a Science Hero's demeanor (his obsessions with guns and Epics).
  7. Exactly. RoW's interludes were very streamlined because they were mostly characters we knew immediately discussing the plot at hand. Lift's interlude could have just been a regular chapter since we already saw her PoV in Oathbringer at the battle of Thaylen Fields. (And Edgedancer.) Having characters we don't know doing things that tangentially relate but aren't immediately relevant - if relevant at all - in places outside of the main locations just really helps the world feel bigger. Probably. Although depending on how much of the book the Final Ten Days take up, I can see a hybrid of the two. I can see the Interludes involving characters we haven't met at places that are immediately relevant or impacted. I certainly hope so...
  8. I definitely don't think they're too long. In fact, I wouldn't mind them being longer! But I do hope that future books go back to TWOK interludes where they explore the world instead of exploring the plot. I wasn't particularly a fan of how many interludes directly affected or were affected by the plot.
  9. the lost metal

    Wax & Wayne Draft 2 at 61% (which tracks with the latest update Brandon posted yesterday)
  10. My mother and I enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as we do the 1990s Brandy version. My mentor teacher however turned it off after about ten minutes. I don't think it's bad, but it's not necessarily good or great either. The CGI mice are atrocious though. Like, SO BAD. Idina's singing is great, and Camilla Cabello's "Ella" is sufficiently different enough in characterization and motivation to make her stand out amongst her peers. I'll probably post a longer review later, and I'll let you know when it's done.
  11. Television Shows: Brooklyn Nine-Nine's final season Marvel's What If...? Netflix's Lupin (when I'm in town to watch it with my parents because they love it and want to share it with me) Movies I've seen within the past 2-3 weeks: Kung-Fu Panda Kung-Fu Panda 2 The Suicide Squad Three Outlaw Samurai Shang-Chi Ichi (2008) Amazon's Cinderella (2021) Next Up: The Life of Brian Carmen (the opera, performed by Opera Australia) In the Foreseeable Future: Throne of Blood Cinderella 1996 aka the one with Brandy (My mom and I were supposed to watch it today before I have to leave, but I needed a nap and she's delivering food to a friend.) Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning (I've already watched it, but my dad likes the movies because they're good samurai flicks, so I'm going to rewatch it with him next time I'm in town.)
  12. Yeah that seems to be the general consensus.
  13. I think it's a trailer thing. Many trailers are like that, where every moment is tense and dramatic. But once we get into the show proper, I'm sure we'll have several moments that are smaller. (That doesn't mean they won't be dramatic, but they'll be smaller and more intimate, like the series proper.) I originally thought it was possibly Elias, but The Dusty Wheel had a deep dive into the trailer yesterday, and the Innkeeper Mat and many of the watchers seem to think that he's a warder, the same warder who is kissing the ring earlier in the trailer.
  14. In terms of entertainment or just in general? In general...I love snuggling into a cold bed that I know will warm up and make me comfortable. I love putting on clothes right out of the dryer. I love that feeling of being really full but not bloated, and knowing that you can just take a nap because you don't have anything else to do that day. I love seeing my friends happy, and I loved singing in my choir when I was able to do so. In terms of entertainment...I love stories where the cast consists of genuinely good people who are made better by them knowing each other, or those who become awesome because of their experiences together. That's why shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Parks & Rec are some of my favorite. It's part of why the Mass Effect Trilogy (read: ME 2 & 3) are some of my favorite games of all time. I love shipping in games, but I love it even more when it feels like the characters have a true connection and go on a small but meaningful arc together. I just love the idea of characters having a "crew" or "squad."
  15. Saw it yesterday. My review and experience: This has been an interesting experience. I always try to see MCU movies as soon as a can. That's usually Thursday nights, and on the very rare occasions I couldn't make the showing, I'd settle for Friday evenings. (Friday showings were usually reserved for parents, as the order has historically been: Friends, Parents, Extended Family that's in town.) This has been a tradition of mine since I watched Iron Man 1 in theaters, which I didn't see opening night, funnily enough. It's the sort of Event Movie mindset. Since then, I can count on one hand the movies that I haven't seen Opening Night: Iron Man 3, Thor 2, and maybe Cap 2. All of these were during my college days, and I didn't always have a car then. Now, Shang-Chi has been added to the list. This wasn't for a lack of care or desire, but simply due to the lack of energy, trust in the movie theater I'd be going to, and time. Friday was off the table since I'm visiting my parents and it's a 4-5 hour drive to do so...and this time was a 5 hour drive. (Had Shang-Chi been on D+ I would have EASILY stayed up to watch it with my parents. But alas...) But I wasn't NOT going to see it, so a Matinee showing in a small, empty theater was the compromise. Anyways, onto the movie itself: Part epic, part family drama, part Wuxia film, and all Marvel, Shang-Chi is the best Marvel movie I've seen since Endgame.* It's funny, well acted, and incredibly heartfelt. The action is well-paced, well done, and creatively shot. The CGI monsters look better than many other Marvel movies, and its final battle is slightly different. Overall, Shang-Chi is a win. The movie does address Iron Man 3's Mandarin character and plot in surprising but authentic ways, as well as the Ten Rings organization itself. However, it doesn't really address the use of the Ten Rings in Iron Man 1, which was one of the things I was really hoping for. Simu Liu shines as the titular character, giving off a air of charming authenticity with Millennial humor and mindset. Awkwafina - who is always a treat - does the same with Shang's love interest and best friend Katy, a third-gen Chinese high-school friend of Shang. The two have undeniable chemistry as solid buddies and the best of friends, while also showing how much they deeply care - some might say love - each other. It's more organic than many of the other MCU loves, but also not nearly as explicit, which feels weird. The role of Shang's father is incredibly authentic and convincing as well - and to say any more would be a spoiler. The set pieces were GORGEOUS, and both the score and the soundtrack were really well done. This makes it a nice tie to Black Panther (Rest In Power, Chadwick) in a way. Overall, despite the "stakes" of this movie, and how it plays into other parts of the MCU, Shang-Chi stays very intimate and isolated, which lets its story and character shine. The characters weren't always used to their fullest potential, but they were used far better than most, and I look forward to seeing where they go next. I hope Shang-Chi inspires the Asian and Asian American community and brings forth new and previously unknown superheroes of that nature like how Black Panther has done for the Black community. YOU MAY LIKE THIS MOVIE IF YOU LIKE (in descending order of "liked the most" to "liked the least): Avatar: The Last Airbender (there were scenes where I legitimately thought "Aang, you're not alone!") Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; House of Flying Daggers, and possibly Curse of the Golden Flower (I haven't seen the last one yet) All things Marvel and MCU Crazy Rich Asians Star Wars Arrow Seasons 1-3, and many things Batman, weirdly enough Spoilers for Why: Other notes: THERE ARE TWO POST-MOVIE SCENES. ONE IS MID-CREDITS AND THE OTHER IS POST-CREDITS. This movie makes me sad that T'Challa will never meet Shang-Chi. The two would probably get along hilariously well, and I can imagine them having really interesting talks about their fathers, their younger sisters, the nature of their destinies, and what their roles are in life. I say this as someone still saddened by Chadwick's passing as well as someone annoyed at Marvel for not recasting the role. (Or a three-way crossover between Shang-Chi, Black Panther, and Aquaman, if Marvel/Disney and DC/Warner Bros were game.) There's an easy potential connection between this movie, Falcon & the Winter Soldier, and Black Widow. It's not the one you think it'll be, but it's one that can be made pretty easily as well. I didn't rank this movie since I'm not sure what to rank it just yet. It's currently a step below my Tier 1 MCU movie list, but it doesn't really fit into the Tier 2 ones either. Give me time to see it a second time, and I should know by then. This year has also been REALLY good to superhero stuff. We've gotten three D+ shows, the Black Widow movie, Zack Snyder's Justice League, The Suicide Squad movie, and Shang-Chi. And there's so much more stuff to come! *Which is saying a LOT because I loved Far From Home, and Spider-Man is easily my favorite superhero.