Big Hero 6, Great Movie and More

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Big Hero 6 is a relatively new film, based on a Marvel comic and rated PG, this is a well-rounded story that is very cute and grounded. With Ryan Potter voicing the main character, Hiro, you won’t be disappointed. Even more stellar of a performance was that of Scott Adsit, playing the voice of Baymax—your personal health care companion: it’s hard to have inflection and emotion come through a robot voice, but they made it happen just enough that it truly touches you.

There were a lot of great aspects to Big Hero 6, including the character development which is one of the main story arcs, as well as helping others. Among the sub-themes was family, friendship and justice vs. revenge. All of these themes were wound together, showing a beautiful story of love and loss: how blaming others for a tragic death is not healthy and doesn’t help to bring the deceased back. How even though people tell you that the deceased isn’t really gone due to the love in your heart and memories you carry with you, it still hurts to not see them smiling at you when you expect to see just that. That’s a difficult pill to swallow and rarely covered with children’s films, who often have characters who are seemingly unbothered by the death of a close friend or who cannot get over it. It was refreshing and, though a bit sad, it was well-grounded through these themes.

However, this story wasn’t all sadness and depression. There were plenty of adorable scenes, such as any scene with Aunt Cass, who was much needed comic relief and positivity. A more prominent character that gave that as well was Honey Lemon, though she was much quieter and tended more towards the positivity with Fred, another prominent character, providing the comic relief. Even Baymax earned quite a few laughs at the theater, getting into situations that were a little ridiculous (getting stuck in a window).

Overall I would give Big Hero 6 a 5/5 stars and definitely recommend this film to anybody. Yes, it’s a bit serious and sad in some parts, but it teaches a great lesson to those willing to hear it. Way to go, Disney, for adapting this comic into something suitable for all ages!

Let’s Play: Dishonored

For those who like a hint of steampunk in their Victorian Era, Dishonored is a game for you. You play Corveaux, who seems to be a skilled assassin as well as a diplomat, and unravel an uprising slowly. I imagine there is more to the game than even this, but for the first bit I played, I enjoyed the story as well as the game play.

In a time where there isn’t much in the way of plot for most video games, I found Dishonored to be a gem. Though it’s not the best it could be, it by far outshines many games. The game play is smooth, there are puzzles, good use of devices and interesting combat.

Many say it’s practically the same game as Assassin’s Creed, and it’s very similar in many aspects, but I would say the difference of setting and story is enough to keep any gamer interested in this game. Assassin’s Creed and the rest of the franchise doesn’t have badly made games, after all, that’s why they are so popular. So if you enjoy that genre of game or want to see what all the fuss is about, definitely pick it up.

Below is a 40+ minute video of my early game game-play. Enjoy!

The Usefulness of Character Sketches

Character sketches and character profiles are often confused for one another. The best way to tell the two of them apart is to see the profile as more like a questionnaire that has been filled out by the character about themselves. A sketch, on the other hand, is more like a scene revolving around the character: how they view the world, how they view themselves, how they believe the world views them. This sounds rather complicated for a single scene, doesn’t it? Let me break it down.

Focus on one world issue. Sexism, racism, ageism, etc are all issues that are current and good to start with. But perhaps you are set in a different time or in a fantasy or science fiction world. Do these issues still apply or is there some other point of contention that has your characters split? In that case go with whatever applies to your world and your characters. If you don’t have all of that sorted out, then go with something current. Trying to find something that your character is opinionated about—or strangely not—can be a difficult task, but once you have a controversial issue to write about, the character sketch comes rather easily.

The next aspect you need to take a look at is the setting of the character sketch. Remember, you’re actually writing a scene here, so where they are is key. Don’t spend all your time worldbuilding, as that would be a waste (unless you really need to flesh out the world your character lives in). Right now you’re concentrating on your character and their point of view. You can choose action—your character is running from something or someone, you can choose dialogue—talking to someone they have a conflict with is a great way to represent your character’s view, you can choose to have a benign scene where they watch something happen to someone else as well. The sky is the limits as far as setting is concerned, but make sure it counts for something.

This can be in answer to a challenge: using a specific word in your sketch, writing a certain amount of words, etc. Explore your character through this one scene, see what it is about your character that you might not know. Like whether or not they are brave, whether they keep a level head in stressful situations, if they think ahead. All of these can be pulled from many situations and can be shown multiple ways. Don’t be afraid to write something out of the box!

Filling out questionnaires about your character may fulfill the same need, but in order to do that you need to ask the right questions. This can be insightful, certainly, but sketches are like taking an adventure in someone else’s shoes.

We’re the Millers: Inappropriate Humor, All the Laughs

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We’re the Millers is a romantic comedy from 2013 starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis. Sudeikis’ character, David, is a small-time drug dealer in a tight spot after he gets robbed. When David gets voluntold to go fetch some drugs from Mexico he recruits Rose, a stripper; Kenny, a kid living in his apartment complex; and Casey, a couch-surfer to pretend to be his family and help him drive under the radar across the border with the drugs. As you can imagine, the chaos that ensues is ridiculous and more than a little crass, but seeing as that is exactly my type of humor the movie sat well with me.

Certainly, there were some jokes that were a miss, but for the most part it was a direct hit to the funny bone—the plot may have been predictable, but the characters drew you in enough that it didn’t matter. The interpersonal relationships among the characters was both interesting and humorous, adding depth to a movie that could have been a flop otherwise.

I was pleasantly surprised that there was character development all over the place, a likable cast and valuable minor characters. There were many references to how strong the women were and how amazing they were for being that way given their situations before the movie’s plot came by and swept them up in it. This definitely made the movie more likable for me, as there has been a sore lack of strong female characters in any genre in past years. With the recent surge in them, I’m always pleased to find them well-written and well-rounded in surprising genres such as romantic comedies. Props to the writers of this film for not only getting the leading women right, but also writing every other character like they were actual human beings as opposed to 2-dimensional cutouts to fill a role.

The only thing I would warn of is the brand of humor and subject matter. This movie was not suitable to anyone younger than 17; however I do give this movie a rating of 4.5/5 stars, only detracting for the predictable plot.