By Aaron Nicewonger
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By Aaron Nicewonger
Metroid. One singular word that sparks the love and imagination of countless fans around the world. With twelve games in the franchise and various appearances in other games (Super Smash Bros. & Nintendo Land), multiple comic and manga entries, as well as other forays into different media, Metroid has been around for quite some time. 30 years in fact. Today we’ll be looking at much of the music of the Metroid universe. Now, each Metroid soundtrack is deserving of it’s own separate retrospective review and each game could easily provide a Top Five or Top Ten listing for its music. For the time being, however, we’ll be looking at the whole kit and caboodle. And since 10 is too small a selection for such a sprawling franchise and because the series just recently turned 30 years old, we’ll be doing a “30 Favorites From the Metroid series” retrospective. These are by no means meant to be indicative of any ranking, just 30 of my favorites from practically every game in the set. They are merely numbered as a way of keeping track of the 30 entries on this list.
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By Joseph Walter
You've read my dumb words, and now you finally get to hear my dumb voice.
Courtesy of my friends at Strolling Still Pictures, I was able to join their lovely "Franchise Friends Podcast" for an in-depth discussion of the brand new Power Rangers film!
It turns out that, despite my somewhat lukewarm review, I might actually love the final product, along with the the rascally hosts Tyler Costill and Kate Strollo.
Of note, things do get a little explicit, so those with sensitive ears be warned ;-)
Click here to listen to the antics!
Women bear children. Her function dwells on reproduction...becoming a mom. If you have forgotten this important role, do not fear strangers, family, friends, and acquaintances will serve as personal reminders. "Oh honey you are going to have beautiful children" or "you are going to make a great mother."
Society defines women's successes by the spawn generated from our uteri. If one child strays away and follows the road not taken, their mother has failed.
Rewind. What happens when a woman cannot fulfill society's role? She becomes tainted goods. No, a female must have children, that is their main purpose. Culture offers options to fix the defect: surgery, hormones, egg harvesting, surrogate, implementation of eggs from another properly working lady. Children are the biggest accomplishment of your life.
FUCKING. PAUSE. I am my biggest accomplishment. Society casts the label misfit. I embody the title warrior. Men view me as dysfunctional where as I view them as unequipped to handle a fierce, independent woman not defined by reproduction.
I am not a deficiency.
"Doris!" Ronald boomed.
She was working the conveyor belt again ensuring no misfits were manufactured. Upon hearing her name, Doris immediately hustled toward her summoner.
"Is everything okay?" She hastily inquired.
"NO," Ronald belted.
He was so infuriated that his beautifully symmetrical face acquired a faint wrinkle. "No Doris, everything is not okay. What did I tell you about the defects?" She sheepishly drooped her head. "Well!?" he squealed.
Doris shamefully recited, "immediately discard them into the 'removal' pile."
"Again!" he furiously demanded, like a coach scolding a player and relishing the intoxicating high emitted from the victim's suffering. Apprehensively, she echoed her line again. All of the workers began to stare at the intensifying interaction. Noting his audience, Ronald continued making an example out of Doris.
"That's right. Do you know what that fucking means? Well, let me tell you again: make sure all are the same color, same height, same weight, no physical blemishes, that they only speak phrases pre-programmed, each labeled with an occupation, females separated from males, and, most importantly, subservient!"
Ronald's face turned lightly pink due to the deprivation of oxygen. Oval crystals began to drop from Doris's face. His monologue carried on. "Because of you, we had a female human demanding an ancient fucking practice called 'independence!' We had to exterminate her before the others heard!"
The whole factory gasped and leered at Doris disgustedly.
By Joseph Prescott
It’s Christmas time and the Doctor has finally returned after a full year’s absence from our screens. We last saw him in the 2015 Doctor Who Christmas special, “The Husbands of River Song,” so here comes the Twelfth Doctor back into our homes in “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” celebrating Christmas seemingly the only way he knows how – by saving Earth from an impending alien invasion.
I have to say, going in, I was very hesitant with how the Whoniverse was going to handle a superhero and have it be a real part of their canon. But the explanation worked for me: the boy, Grant, after coughing, is given a small pill-sized, wish-granting gemstone and a glass of water from an adult who calls himself Doctor and, of course, this leads the boy to swallow the gemstone believing it be medicine, and his wish to become a superhero comes true (the Doctor really needed the gemstone to power a device to repair some paradoxes he created in New York from season seven’s “The Angels Take Manhattan”). In case that doesn’t work for you, the episode kindly reminds us not to worry about the explanation too much, any way. “How do you keep a glass of water in your pocket?” “Skills.” -- which seems a call back to season nine’s “now the real question is: where did he get the cup of tea? Answer: I’m the Doctor. Just accept it.”
The story is fun, playing up on a lot of super hero story tropes -- reporter from the Daily Chronicle and our superhero, The Ghost, wearing glasses as a part of his secret identity, Grant the nanny -- but the episode is aware that it is doing this as a tribute to those comic book storylines even at the expense of making the audience go, “Oh yeah, this again…”
It plays with some fun concepts – Grant being jealous of Lucy’s interest in his alter ego the Ghost – or the scene where the Doctor visits Grant in high school while the teenager struggles with uncontrollable, puberty-induced X-ray vision. And you know, the villain is fairly creepy – an alien species disguised as brains with eyes that take over the bodies of world leaders in preparation for mass invasion and planet colonization. However I found the splitting heads gimmick a tad too overused, making it tiresome by the final time.
I loved Justin Chatwin as Grant Gordon/The Ghost. I’ve enjoyed him in Shameless prior to this, but I think he was great as our superhero/nanny. I liked him more as Grant than as the Ghost, due to the comedic value (he stumbles onto the roof, straightens up and announces “I’m The Nanny.”) but he played both parts fairly well.
I was not as on board with love interest Lucy Fletcher played by Charity Wakefield. I do not know how much blame to put on her acting, or how much to put on the writing, but it’s hard to sell a bad segue of “there aren’t too many guys like Grant, either!” while on an interview/date with the Ghost and “well, not everyone can be a nanny!” (which is a true statement, but not one I’d ever ask someone to deliver dramatically). Overall she was not terrible, but she may have been the weakest written/performed character in the episode.
I was unsure how to feel about the return of Nardole at first. As great as Matt Lucas is at playing him, I do get bored with Steven Moffat’s inability to let characters die. However, he had me laughing at almost every appearance and one liners and I can say that I am looking forward to his continuation as a companion into season ten, with only slight fear that he will begin to annoy me before too long
Of course, Peter Capaldi was great as ever as his Twelfth regeneration. I felt mildly conflicted about the sushi bit, it still makes me smile because it’s so very Capaldi’s Doctor, and absolutely adored the Doctor thinking he has uncovered a long hidden secret in the comic books about Clark Kent being Superman. Twelve has been one of my favorite Doctors (tied with all of them), but specifically so because he really knows how to bring elements of Classic Who Doctors into the modern era.
Speaking of, there seems to have been a trend of that lately, as I noticed moments in the musical score that sound of the 80s Doctor Who music. These stuck out to me most noticeably last year during season nine’s “Heaven Sent,” where the Doctor spent the majority of the episode walking down corridors that screamed of the sets Tom Baker walked about in constantly. This episode was peppered with the Classic music-style in just the right places. I have really been enjoying the resurgence of Classic Who elements as of late: a Lethbridge-Stewart, UNIT, the Master, season nine’s multi-episodes stories, musical notes, the fact that the Doctor is an older man like One and Three, etc. The show has grown enough of a following to return to its roots without too much fear of losing modern fans.
That being said, I do know that Capaldi has lost some of those very fans (I do not refer to them as Whovians, as I believe that title belongs to those who stick with the show through thick and thin) and supposedly merchandise has not been selling super well since the Doctor took an old face. So, as we look forward to this upcoming season, I am also looking forward to a change of Doctor and show runner. We can talk about Moffat another day…
As far as Christmas elements go, the episode does open up on a holiday note. It is Christmas day, the boy offers the Doctor milk and cookies, and the device intended to repair the paradoxes in Manhattan happens to resemble a Christmas tree... sort of. But this is where the Christmas themes end. The day is moved on from and while the rest of the story seems to take place during winter, there is no further mention of Christmas.
All in all, this episode kept me entertained, answered questions I had going in (how was there going to be a superhero? How was Nardole going to be back in one piece? – he’s the Doctor, accept it), did not answer a question I had before viewing (How was this a Christmas episode?), while raising at least one bigger question (How long before those brain aliens completely take control of UNIT – and will this be a season arc?) It made me laugh, creeped me out, and had me in suspense at times, all of which are characteristics of a good episode of Doctor Who. But I have to say, after a full year of waiting, this Return was not as spectacular as it could have been.
Joseph Prescott is a regular guy just like you and I, except for having anything in common with us or being at all regular in any way. He claims to have only seen "The Force Awakens" in theaters three times, yet four ticket stubs from different showings can be found in the top drawer of his hope chest. He also hasn’t finished Luke Cage yet and promises it has nothing to do with race. That being said, he is Hispanic, so who is to say…
Joseph Walter is a 2013 graduate of Drexel University, with a degree in Film & Video and a minor in Film Studies.
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