Upcoming: Star Wars and P.T.

Hey everyone!

I must apologize for not being as steady with blog posts as I planned to be. But good news! I am done with school until the fall (graduating in May!), and I’m going to be cranking out more blog posts of nerdiness!

So the second part of my Star Wars: The Force Awakens review is going to be a little late. The second half is going to be on characters, and since it’s been about two months since I saw the movie, I want review it so that everything is fresh in my mind.

Until then, there’s going to be plenty of other blog posts made, the most immediate being a post on P.T. Yes, you might be wondering why I’m even bothering to write a post on that since it’s gone forever. Well, despite the fact that it’s a well done game, there’s a glaring problem about it that few have admitted and even fewer seem to address. I want to bring that out into the light.

So let’s not waste any time and dig into some more nerdy posts each Friday!

‘Til next time, laters!

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review, Part 1

There’s no way I could make it through the year without saying something about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, so here’s part one of my thoughts on the movie! (For those who haven’t seen the movie yet, this part is pretty spoiler free)

I love Star Wars as much as the next person, but I’m not a die-hard fan. Needless to say, a new series of sequel wasn’t exactly high on my nerdy wish list (especially after the prequels). And then three or four years ago, it was announced that a new Star Wars movie was in the works. For the most part I was passive about this, but when I thought about it seriously, I was more worried than excited. Did we have to have another Star Wars movie? What if they screwed it up like the prequels?

And I have to say, after seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I’m actually pleasantly surprised. (I’m also really happy that J. J. Abrams didn’t suffer from Lens Flare Syndrome yet again)

In a nutshell, the movie follows a defecting Stormtrooper, Finn, and a scavenger, Rey, as they find themselves becoming more involved in the Resistance and looking for Luke, the last Jedi. They go up against Kylo Ren, who leads the First Order, meet with Han Solo and Chewbacca, and learn the ways of the force.

The movie was definitely an homage to Star Wars: A New Hope. Part of me was a little annoyed at how the movie’s plot points were a little too similar to its predecessor (bring the droid to the rebels, refusing the Force, cantina scene, etc.). But now that I think about it, it actually helped to make the movie feel like, though it was new, it was following in the original trilogy’s footsteps. When I saw the prequels, they had none of the same magic of the first movies. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, however, is reaching back to the mythic roots of the original saga, promising great developments for its characters and themes. It also reassures me that the people working on the new movies are taking the task of continuing the series seriously. They want to create something that will last in the minds of returning and newcoming audiences for a long time, just like with the original trilogy. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the sequel I never knew I wanted, and I can’t wait for what’s in store for the next sequels!

Part two of this review will focus on the characters (this part will be full of spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you’ve been warned!).

I also wanted to announce that on Fridays when I can’t put up blog posts, I’ll put up my own fanart! Because if you’re artsy on top of being nerdy, then what better way to express your passion than through drawings? You can also follow the fanart on Twitter (find me as ArtzDeeva) with the hashtag #FanartFriday.

‘Til next time, laters!

 

Happy New Years & Hello Again!

Happy New Year, dear readers!

I know, it’s been a while. School and personal projects have been taking up a lot of time. But unlike previous years, I feel compelled to make a few New Year’s resolutions this time around. And one of them is resurrecting The Passionate Nerd!

I’m resurrecting The Passionate Nerd because there are still so many things to geek over. I have found and fallen in love with more movies/books/games to talk about over this last year, and I’d love to throw out my two cents about them. But more importantly, I’m resurrecting The Passionate Nerd because I forgot how much fun it was to write these reviews and to hear your responses.

So without further ado, let the blog posts come in!

At the moment, I’m in the final push of school before graduating from Metro, so I might be a bit busy. My goal is to try and put out one or (preferably) two posts a month on Fridays. If I can do more, then that would be brilliant!

Also, on a personal note, I’ve finally found my true calling in life. After realizing that I didn’t know what I wanted to do four years ago, I’m now destined for the world of animation (2D and 3D) and games! To further mark this new change in my life, some of my upcoming posts will be about animated films as well!

Coming up next-oh, there’s so much coming up next! But here are some things you can expect in the near future-reviews on Star Wars: The Force Awakens (because that’s mandatory), Fran Bow, Brom’s The Plucker, the Portal series, and Rise of the Guardians.

‘Til next time, laters!

 

Send in the Clowns-The Joker Comes to Gotham

Because this just got announced a few days ago, it’s important to address this now, for all fellow Gothamites out there.

We will be getting a glimpse of the Joker before the season is out. Oh boy…

Already, the response to this announcement has been tremendous, most of it understandably negative. The most common thing being said is, “There can’t be Joker without Batman!” And obviously, Bruce is still nowhere near becoming Batman. If this show was following traditional comic lore by the book, this would indeed be a not-so-pleasant surprise for fans all over.

However, the show isn’t being completely faithful to the comics. And that’s one thing some die-hard Batman fans watching Gotham seem to forget.

That being said, though, I do feel there are some things that, nonetheless, need to be addressed.
Disclaimer: I am not a fully fledged Batman fan (to be honest, I’m kind of only in it for the villains), so I do not have a full knowledge of the whole Batman/Joker relationship as it is in the comics. So for most die-hard Batman fans reading this, this is going to sound alarmingly lax. Feel free to fill me in on any comic background I might not know about.

Speaking for myself, I’m down with seeing the Joker. But I have two worries.

1. He’s appearing so soon in the show
With such an iconic character as the Joker, this is a delicate matter. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing a few extra teasers for about another season before they officially brought him on to the show. You know, something along the lines of the whole Red John development for The Mentalist. Unfortunately, we live in America, a land where people don’t want to wait for any awesome or juicy characters/developments in shows (sigh). So Heller and the writers have to appease the TV-watching populous and speed things up a little.
For now, I’m going to be cautiously optimistic and hope that they handle this introduction right.
And for now, I think they will. They describe the teaser being just barely scratching the back of the Joker’s character, so hopefully they will still hold back a little bit on him.

2. Will he be a fully fledged Joker?
This is a little more worrisome than the first concern. While I’m okay with the Joker coming on to Gotham, I will not be okay if he’s a fully fledged Joker.
Because let’s be honest-the Joker isn’t quite the Joker without Batman.
While it’s not entirely wrong for him to be on the show this soon, it won’t be right if he’s already the Clown Prince of Crime before Bruce puts on the suit. Gotham is, after all, an origins story of Batman and the Rogues Gallery. If the audience doesn’t have enough patience for the Joker’s arrival, may they at least have the patience for a gradual development of his character. Because Gotham has done such a marvelous job of developing villains thus far-surely they can give the Joker the same treatment and let him change and evolve into the criminal he will become. I know I’d find more enjoyment in watching the Joker’s transformation than in seeing him come on without any development needed.

As for Joker’s origin story, I’m chill with anything so long as it’s good and plausible for his character.

One thing I will be interested in (for the future, obviously) is Joker’s relationship with his fellow baddies. While there are the Gotham Sirens, there is also a male counterpart of friends-they so happen to be Joker, Penguin, and Riddler. I don’t know if they’ll do anything like that in the show, but I know the Joker and Penguin especially have an intricate relationship. In the Batman: Arkham video games, they’re enemies. But in most of the comics, they’re friends. I just find it interesting, almost beautiful even, because they’re like a yin and yang of each other, with the Penguin representing organization, and the Joker representing chaos.

So anyway, that’s my two cents on the Joker’s entrance into Gotham.

What do you think? Should there be no Joker before Batman? Do you want a fully fledged Joker on the show? Is it too soon or just on time for the Clown Prince of Crime’s arrival? Let me know in the comments!

‘Till next time, laters!

Taking It Week By Week

For the millionth time by now, I’m so sorry about the delay of a new blog post!

The homework load I’ve got is a burden like you wouldn’t believe. I’m so close to the end of the quarter, but there’s just so much that needs to be done.

Until spring break comes up, I’m going to try this instead.
I will put out a post at least once a week. I can make enough time in my schedule to do at least that much. If I can do more than once a week, then terrific! But otherwise, it’s going to have to be a weekly thing.
And don’t worry! There’s plenty of things I want to get nerdy about. I will, at some point, get around to writing that review of “The Crimson Horror” from Doctor Who for once and for all. And, along with that, I’m planning on possibly discussing some Supernatural, the Greek gods (because mythology is also under the nerd umbrella, at least in my book), and some more about Gotham.

So until then, laters!

A Divergent Review

Here it is, finally! The rant you’ve all been waiting for…

Now, before I go all nit picky about the book, let me give it some credit where it’s due.

Reading on the author Veronica Roth’s bio, she wrote Divergent during winter break of her senior year in college (her major was creative writing). The fact that she was able to get a whole story written in such a short amount of time is worth applauding. And Divergent was also her first published work, so some of the things I point out are probably natural things that happen with some first-time writers.
And, in the context of the story, I do like the idea of the factions divided by different personality traits. That, in my opinion, is a very unique way of, in a dystopian setting, splitting people up. It’s the one original aspect of this dystopian novel that sets it apart from others.

Now that we’ve addressed those things, let’s talk about the not-so-good parts of the book.

In a nutshell, Divergent is as if The Hunger Games and Twilight had a baby, and tried dragging Harry Potter into the mix.

There’s a lot of ground to cover here, so let me start off with this point.
What does it mean when you’re told, “You’re Divergent”? What is so dangerous about this type that you mustn’t tell anyone who you really are?
Well, you’re not going to find out until almost two thirds through the book!
That’s right. I expected to find out about it sometime in the first few chapters of the book. When that didn’t happen, I got a little annoyed, but I was like “Okay, maybe the explanation will come in the middle of the book.” So I tried to be patient and I got to the middle of the book. Still no explanation! By this time, I was starting to get frustrated. By the time I finally got the explanation near the end, the explanation came a little too late. And anyway, the meaning of Divergence ended up being what I guessed it to be and isn’t really all that complicated. Sure, in the context of the story, it is a very dangerous secret, but it’s not so complicated that an explanation had to be put off until near the end of the book. Sheesh!
Then there’s the world of the story and its dystopian nature.
Tris talks about there being a war that caused the people to split into factions. A war over what? Why was there a war? This is never explained-or if it is in a later book, at least not in here. The first book in a series should always be the place to explain why things are the way they are now in a story. Even in The Hunger Games series, it was explained why people are separated into Districts, why Panem is dystopian, etc.
But with Divergent, there is no explanation. I suppose we’re just supposed to believe that the story’s world is dystopian for…general reasons? Human nature? I really don’t know. And if there is an explanation in a later book, then that came a little too late.

Next, there’s our “heroine”, Beatrice, or Tris.
Oh my gosh, where to begin?
Let’s just start with this.
When I’m reading a 1st person view of a story, it’s only natural for that character to sometimes dwell on his/her own thoughts every once in a while. I’m cool with that. But Tris dwells on her own thoughts way too much-sometimes it even interrupts the story! She’s all caught up in “Oh, I wonder if Four loves me?” or “Well, this was how it was done in my home faction…” or “Oh, should I step in and help, or should I protect my own selfish hide?” She is so absorbed in her own thoughts that she is an unreliable narrator. Sure, she gets the story told, but she spends too much of the time thinking about herself.
Also, Tris is very much of an “observer” type of character. She really doesn’t do a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. It’s better, in a 1st person narrative, to have someone who’s actively shaping the story through everything he/she does. And I don’t think worrying about fitting in with the other Dauntless, reflecting on the ways of Abnegation, and other such stuff is actively shaping the story. Sure, some of it (the Abnegation reflection) helps us understand a bit about some of the factions. But the author could’ve told us how the factions worked differently from each other in a way that didn’t interrupt the story as it’s happening.
Another thing that bugged me about Tris was how little I knew about her. All I know is that she’s “not ugly, but not pretty” and comes from Abnegation. I don’t know a whole lot about her family, less about any hardships in her life; heck, I hardly know anything at all! Tris has very little character. If she were to die in the next book, I could care less.
It must be said-Tris is a weakling! I don’t care if she’s (for some strange reason) the highest ranked Dauntless initiate, she is a weakling!!! She can’t fight well enough to fend for herself. And moments of success in training (like finally hitting the target with the knife) are nothing but moments of cheap empowerment for someone who would not even begin to survive a day in the Hunger Games.
Tris is only slightly stronger/”wittier” when her boyfriend Four (or Tobias) is around. Seriously, it’s the truth! If you were to back her into a corner, she would helplessly stutter until Four broke in. Then and only then would she be able to start either lying her way from you or tearing you apart.
Who wants her as a role model?
I certainly don’t. I’ll take Katniss Everdeen, flaws and all, over Tris any day.
Also, on the whole weakling thing, I’m sorry, but Tris is not a good back-talker. Like whenever Peter bugs her for the millionth time, the retorts she gives him are anything but witty. She [Tris] may think that they’re good, but I groaned with every single piece of her banter.
Then I have a big problem with Four being Tris’s love interest. First off, a trainer/learner relationship is always a little bit sketchy to begin with. But then it’s also Four’s behaviors. When he tells Tris he’s been “watching her”, that, in my mind, might as well be the same thing as stalking. I don’t care if the guy is a human or a sparkly vampire (ugh!), stalking is not okay. Stalking does not equate to love.
But apparently Tris doesn’t know the difference. It only confirms her (to be honest) stupid fantasies about Four being in love with her. And then she simply falls into his arms.
Also, the love interest doesn’t feel necessary or that it has a place in the story at all.
Of course, I have to make a comparison between Katniss/Peeta and Tris/Four right here.
Katniss and Peeta don’t start out in love. They have to pretend they’re in love to gain the audience’s sympathy. But by the time all is over with, Peeta wishes for at least a friendship between him and Katniss. Slowly, that friendship gradually grows. And then, after all the hardships (not to mention the possibility that Katniss might choose Gale), the two come to realize how much they actually love each other.
That, my friends, is a true love interest development right there.
Tris and Four don’t have a true love interest development. Right from the beginning, we can see a love interest between them coming a mile away. And then boom! It happens. But the love interest feels like it’s only there to add extra “drama” to the story. It’s mere piffle, cheap entertainment. It’s there for the sake of being there, and that’s not a good enough reason for its existence.

Out of all the factions, I have a really big issue with Dauntless.
Almost all the factions have a purpose in the world of the story except Dauntless. I know, I know, they protect the fence surrounding the city. But from what?
From all that I read of Dauntless, they seem to serve no real purpose. They’re just the cool kids of the factions. They get to do parkour, get tattoos, learn how to fight, and form cliques.
Sounds like a very necessary faction to have, don’t you think?

Then, there are some, you could say, extremely nit-picky issues I have with the book.
In The Hunger Games, Katniss has a mockingjay pin.
In Divergent, Tris gets a bird tattoo.
Sounds original, huh? Come on, couldn’t the author have made the tattoo a little bit different? Like maybe a different animal at least? Because when I read about the crows on the collar bone, all I could think of was the mockingjay pin.
Also, there’s Peter, Drew, and Molly. In my opinion, it’s as if the author wanted a Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle trinity of friends, so she just decided to throw Peter and his friends in there for the sake of having an evil friend bunch in there.

Overall, I think Divergent is a book full of underdeveloped characters, concepts, and story. There are some points or moments where I can feel that it’s supposed to be powerful, but unfortunately, everything else is so undeveloped that the power in those moments is lost.
It felt like reading a book that never saw the light of revisions and just got published in its first draft form. Whether or not Veronica Roth revised her first draft is something I’d like to know. I know she was writing under a time crunch, so I understand the need to get all those thoughts, characters, and ideas down as soon as she could’ve. But I think she needed to spend a little more time fleshing things out before submitting the first book to a publisher.
Sadly enough, because of all the things I’ve pointed out, I will not be continuing the series. If anything gets explained or fleshed out, I’ll never know. If it does, then it came way too late.

But what do you think? Do you like Divergent? Do you think Tris is a strong, developed character? Is there anything I missed, or do you have some defense to make for the book? Let me know in the comments! Like with my River Song rant, I promise not to bite your heads off.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

‘Til next time, laters!

A Divergent Start to Christmas Break

I’m almost free, everyone! One more class tomorrow, and then I’m ready for Christmas break!

Also, I finally finished Divergent today! Thank God…that book was about to kill me. To kick off Christmas break, I will finally put out my post/rant on the book tomorrow. It will be a, shall we say, politely scathing review. Because though I can’t deny my strong feelings about this book, I also want to give it some credit where it’s due-I don’t want to completely rip the book to shreds.

So anyway, look out for a review of the book Divergent tomorrow!

‘Til next time, laters!