Star vs. the Forces of Evil

By Hannah

 

Our theme for August is Heroines. So we will celebrate some of our favorite strong women.  Hannah is starting us out with her review of Star vs. the Forces of Evil.

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Star VS the Forces of Evil is an original cartoon series produced by Disney Television Animation.  Season 1 and 2 are streaming on Hulu.  Season 3 started with a made for t.v. movie in June and will resume in November. You can also stream it on Amazon here.

 

It’s gonna get a little weird

Gonna get a little wild

I ain’t from round here

I’m from another dimension

 

These are the opening lyrics to the show.  It’s a promise of what is to come and I’m happy to say that the show keeps that promise.  Star Butterfly is the crowned princess on Mewni.  She likes war-ni-corns, fighting monsters, and having adventures.  On her 14th birthday, she receives her magic wand and chaos promptly ensues.  To help her learn control, and to keep her safe, Butterfly’s parents send her to Earth as an exchange student.  There she meets Marco Diaz, the straight A safe kid, with a green belt in karate, and a passion for nachos.  Together they fight monsters, do magic, and have great adventures.

 

Star is very literal minded, honest, enthusiastic, and crazy.  She comes to Earth and wins hearts with her over the top antics and friendly personality.  I like that she is caring, questioning, and kicks butt.  She may get a lot of things wrong, but her heart is in the right place, and she is unstoppable.  Marco is smart, shy, and not afraid to show his emotions.  Star quickly becomes his best friend.  

 

When I started watching this show, I thought it was just going to be a stupid cartoon with puns and dumb jokes.  It is, but it’s so much more.  This show depicts healthy relationships.  Both Marco’s and Star’s parents are married to their best friends.  It doesn’t romanticize problematic behavior, but it also doesn’t demonize it.  Star’s best friend off Earth is Ponyhead, a mildly narcissistic princess who does not like Marco at first.  Instead of dropping her or cutting her off, Star encourages Ponyhead to get to know Marco.  Ponyhead and Marco will never be besties, but they do develop a friendship.  Tom, Star’s ex, has a temper.  He is working on controlling it because he knows that it is a problem.  It also models ways for people to set boundaries with loved ones, which can be a very difficult thing to do.

 

I recommend this cartoon for anyone who likes adventure, emotional growth, and magic.  The chemistry between characters is amazing, and both the opening theme and ending theme songs keep the promise of the show.  They will get stuck in your head, and you won’t even care that much.

 

I think Earth is a pretty great place

That’s saying something, ‘cause I’ve been through outer space

 

4.5 out of 5 stars

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Game of Thrones S. 7 Ep. 3 : The Queen’s Justice

By Domoni

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Finally, Jon Snow has come to meet The Mother Of Dragons.  I find it interesting that the one thing everyone wanted, was actually not the most interesting thing about this week’s episode. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. There was just so much to love in this episode.

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We start with Missandei and Tyrion meeting Jon Snow and Davos on the shore of Dragonstone. As they make their way to the throne room, Tyrion asks about Sansa and makes it clear how he feels about being forced to marry her and that he never consummated or forced her. Jon acts as though he doesn’t care, we all know he cares. Suddenly Dragons. Jon and Davos hit the ground, everyone giggles.

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The  next scene shows Varys finding Mellisandre on a cliff watching Jon’s arrival. She doesn’t want to be a part of the action and claims to have played her part bringing fire and ice together. Varys encourages her to leave and never come back. Mellisandre confirms she is heading to Volantis, but she must come back. She is destined to die in Westeros and so is the Spider. Varys obviously does not enjoy this reminder of the prophecy.

In the Throne room, Missandei rattles off all the titles with specific emphasis on the word Rightful. A glance from Jon has Davos stammer out his name and then a oh yeah he’s the King in the North. Awkward! Daenerys tells Jon she expects him to fall in line, he is having none of that. We get a little lesson in the families lineage and some more stubborn demanding, then a Jon shoots back with why should I care if the Stark were loyal to your ancestors when your daddy burned up my ancestor and like half the world. We finally get a sober response to that from Khaleesi. She offers an apology to Jon and swears she is not like her father.

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Now Jon has to move on to why he doesn’t care about the war for the throne and tht he will protect his people. He asks her to be his ally against the army of the dead and she of course treats him like a nutter. Davos gets a bit riled up and defends Jon, mentions how he took a knife to the heart before Jon cuts him off quickly, no need to let them know he died. Suddenly, Varys burst in and whispers in the Queens ear. She dismisses Jon and Davos to their chambers, Jon asks if he is a prisoner, Dany says not yet.

Later, Tyrion finds a mopey Jon brooding. He asks Tyrion if he believes him about the white walkers. Tyrion  does believe Jon is an honest man but the claim sounds insane and he is asking for too much with no proof. So he recommends Jon asks for something he can actually help him with. Tyrion takes the request to his queen. WHy would they want the dragonglass? To make weapons that do.. something… to the army of the dead.

Jon finds Dany overlooking the sea, she grants his request to mine the dragonglass. Though undeclared, they are closer to becoming allies. Jon asks if she believes him now, she coolly replies ” You better get to work, Jon Snow.”

The streets of King’s Landing and Euron parades Yara, Ellaria and her daughter through the streets. Another showing of how disgusting and vicious people can be as they cheer the women being dragged on leashes. Euron drags the Dornish women into the throne room and deposits them at Cersei’s feet. He makes a verbal jab at Jaime by offering her the woman who killed her daughter. She agrees to grant him his previous request of marriage, after the war is over. He visibly bristles at not receiving instant gratification but covers it up by hopping over to the queen’s brother lover to make some crude remarks about how she likes sex.

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Off to the black cells for Ellaria and Tyene. They are chained to opposite sides of the cell as Cersei enters. She talks about she could understand why Ellaria had done what she did. How she remembers how beautiful Oberyn was on the day he died and how awful her scream was as the man she loved died. She speaks of Tyene’s beauty and how she is surely her mothers favorite. Then Cersei embraces the girl and kisses her on the mouth, much as Ellaria kisses Myrcella goodbye. We see the truth in the women’s eyes as Cersei wipes her lips then takes the antidote. She instructs the guards to change the torches often so Ellaria won’t miss a moment of her daughters death. This scene closes with mother and daughter straining at their bonds to reach each other.

Next Cersei launches herself at Jaime who rebuffs her for a moment, but she won’t allow that. She forcefully kisses him before making her way down his body. Laying in bed the next morning for an almost normal intimate scene, Jaime watches Cersei sleep. You could almost forget they are twins and she is seriously evil, but this is Game of Thrones. A knock on the door and she is bounding out of bed, Jaime tries to stop her from answering the door, as they shouldn’t be seen like that. Cersei is all I’m the queen, I do what I want and opens the door wide. The handmaiden announces a visitor and Cersei is all ok, oh and bring me clean sheets, these ones are covered in incest. All normal business in the capital.

Cersei meets with the Iron bank, they want their money. She promises they will have their money in a fortnight.

At Winterfell, Sansa is in charge and managing well. Taking stock and being the boss who will get her people through the long Winter.  Littlefinger is still trying to manipulate her, claiming he knows Cersei better than anyone. Not anyone, Sansa replies before he tells her to always be fighting at every angle. Someone tells Sansa to hurry to the gate. She comes around a wagon and sees Meera and then suddenly Bran Stark is back at Winterfell. The world tears up at this unexpected reunion, but Bran is now apparently a talking wooden toy.

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The Siblings talk alone under the Godswood Tree. Sansa offers to give her power to Bran, telling him he is now Lord of Winterfell. He replies he can never be lord of anything, he is the Three Eyed Raven now, which apparently means you are an unfeeling personality free ass. He goes on to explain how he has seen everything by describing her wedding night at Winterfell. How beautiful the snow was and how beautiful her dress was before Sansa flees from being forced to have her rape recounted to her.

At the Citadel, the Archmaester examines Jorah while Sam looks on. He asks how this happened. Jorahs replies he just suddenlly felt better. The Archmaester says it would almost appear someone cut off all the skin and treated you and Jorah and Sam say nothing, because shhhh secret. Jorah is declared healed and told to go away so a sick person can have his room. Sam is summoned to the principals office. He gets told off and congratulated for breaking the rules and saving Jorah’s life and rewarded with some tedious copy work.

at Casterly Rock, Grey Worm leads the attack and easily takes over. But wait, there should have been an army there. Suddenly Euron’s ships take out the boats Dany’s army needs to get back home.

Oh, there’s the Lannister army, heading to Highgarden. Jaime leads the way with Jerkface Tarly and Bron by his side. Olenna’s home is overrun and Jaime meets her in her chambers. He explains how Dany’s forces are being decimated. They let them have Casterly rock, because now they will starve as they march across land to try and get home. Olenna asks how she will die Jaime compassionately tells her he talked Cersei out of the torture and he pours poison into her wine. She asks if it is going to hurt and he promises that it will not. Olenna says good, chugs the wine and then drops the bombshell. SHe would hate to go out in the horrible way his son died, she didn’t realize it would be so ghastly as she had never seen that poison work before. Tell Cersei…..

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This episode was the most satisfying and thrilling episode the series has given us to date in my opinion. The game is finally really on and the players are all in the mix. No more kid gloves. The only things that could have improved this episode for me would have been to see Arya and Gendry meet on the road to Winterfell, or Brienne and Tormund sharing some furs.

I loved how Jon faced Daenerys. He would not back down because he sees the big picture. I cannot wait for the reveal of his parentage and to see where that puts those two in the larger picture. This episode has me yelling at the screen and so much of it was just YAASSSSSSS!!! I cannot wait to see what next week brings us.

What did you think of this weeks episode? Let us know in the comments.

Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights on HBO or you can stream it on Amazon with an HBO subscription, get 7 free days now and catch up.

 

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Orphan Black S. 5 Ep. 8 : Guillotines Decide

By Courtney

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Bahh, this episode. This episode starts with Sarah and Mrs. S waiting for something to happen now that they have Kira back at home. The nervousness palpitates the room. Nothing happens and then we switch scenes and are watching Rachel get her eye repaired and sewn closed thanks to Ferdinand.

 

Art shows up at Mrs. S’s house to take Kira and Charlotte somewhere safe to protect them from the oncoming storm. They leave and Felix returns home with his sister Adele because he has an art show that night and he is very excited about it. Mrs. S insists that they can take a day off from crazy and support Felix and his show.  Mrs. S takes off to do something and insists that everything really is good and that Sarah needs to show up to support Felix.

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Delphine and Mrs. S. arrive at Rachel’s hotel room where Ferdinand ushers them in and they talk business. Mrs. S is responsible for Ferdinand coming to Rachel’s rescue. Mrs. S gives Rachel all of their evidence and theories under the understanding that she share all the evidence of the dirty money bribes committed and tracked by Dyad. She gives Rachel the info and leaves Rachel to make up her mind about what to do with it. Ferdinand wants to blackmail all the big heads of the companies and make tons of money off of it. Rachel wants her freedom and to disappear. Ferdinand doesn’t seem to understand that so she lets him take a flashdrive to the meeting with the board members, she knows it’s blank, he does not. She does not expect him to return from the meeting.

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At Felix’s art show, he realizes that he may have oversold what he was selling and uses the seestras by introducing them one at a time and making it appear as if it’s one person. Back at home, Sarah can’t get off the topic that Mrs S is up to something and Adele chews her out, which I think is well deserved. Adele tells Sarah how much her brother cares about her and she needs to pull her head out of her ass and appreciate him and support him. Mrs. S seems cool at the art show, happy almost that their almost free. Felix is happy and that was the moment that scared me a lot. I was deeply concerned that Felix was going to die at that moment. Like Sarah, I was convinced that things were going too well. The moment remains happy and nothing nefarious happens. Freedom is close, they have all the information they need to be free. Mrs. S gets a call from Rachel that Ferdinand survived the meeting and is on the loose.  Mrs. S slips out of the art show and goes back home to face off against Ferdinand. They have a show down and Mrs. S has hidden several guns around her house. Ferdinand shoots her, but she lives long enough to take him down first. Mrs. S dies looking at a picture of Felix and Sarah. Mrs. S is the matriarch that’s been holding her family together for a long time, her loss is definitely going to be felt.

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Also in this episode, Gracie finds Helena at the convent, but changes her mind about telling Dr. Coady about her. Dr. Coady is able to use her resources to find her using the phone call she made anyways and Art’s partner kills Gracie and takes Helena.

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I can’t believe there are only two episodes left. Mrs. S sacrificed a lot to keep her children safe and happy, I really hope that it pays off. We didn’t see anymore of PT Westmoreland in this episode, but I really doubt that he’s gone for good. I am curious to see if Rachel disappears the way she wants too. Allison is different and trying to find herself and I want to see how Donnie takes that, right now he seems very confused by her. The episode ended with Helena being threatened and that’s never gone well in the past for the people threatening her. Helena has had to hide for most of the season, I’m hoping she gets to shine in the next episode. The seestras are going to need to come together to deal with the lose of Mrs. S, I’m hoping they do.

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Until next time clone club!

Orphan Black Airs Saturday nights on BBCA or you can stream it on Amazon Here.

 

 

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Book Tour: Temptation Trials by B. Truly

By Domoni

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click image to view on Amazon

After World War III, the surviving nations are united and ruled by a single dictator. Laws are hard and enforced harshly. When a young adult reaches the age of 21, the government assigns them a marriage and divorce is illegal. The only way to have a chance to choose who you love is to compete on the reality series, The Temptation Trials. Stefani and Cali have been best friends since middle school. Both agree that dating is pointless and will only lead to heartache. When Stefani convinces rule follower Cali to sneak out to a secret party, neither expected to meet men they would fall for. When the party is busted by enforcer, the couples are thrown into an intense moment that quickens and heightens their attractions. Stefani can’t get enough of Tobias. And his best friend Kincade is the only thing Cali can think about. As their relationships proceed, all the attempts to stay unattached go out the window. As the young couples race to the age of marriage, they decide to take their chances with the Trials.

This book was just ok for me. Honestly, it’s not my genre, but I was trying to stay open minded. The story arc plays out over about a year, so the author could have slowed the pace, but this book fell prey to the problems many romance novels have. Things were too immediate and didn’t make sense. The story had an interesting premise, but lacked depth. There were some spicy sex scenes, which at times struggled with juvenile vulgarity.

Get past those complaints and the story is not bad. The further I read, the more interested I became. It really picked up for me once the couples arrived at the islands. Would they be faithful? It didn’t seem as though they would be given a choice to remain so. What was really going on with how out of character the behaviors were? And what is up with the random blue mist? As the mystery starts to unfold, I began to read faster. My frustration with each couples betrayal and then my desire to learn how things would turn out for the pairings, only grew. And then the book ends.

I should have known that would be the case, since it is a part 1, but i was very frustrated by the cliffhanger. I would have enjoyed the story more, if the author had filled the first half of the development with more depth. The second half did feel more captivating and saved the book for me.

If you enjoy easy to read romance with some spicy graphic sex, this will probably appeal to you.

3 out of 5 stars.

Will You Be Tempted? Will Love Save Your Soul?

One nation under his reign.
Cardinal sins of man caused humanity to pay the price. Cali Nasser grew up in a world succeeding World War III. The aftermath forced the world dictatorship that she must now live in. A new Regime arose from the ashes. They demanded obedience and cooperation from every citizen, even in matters of the heart. One domain … One accord … One nation. That is the moral code. In Cali’s eyes, it all revolves around a twisted plot for control.
It used to sicken Cali how people would allow the Regime to test their love through the Temptation Trials. That is, until she met Kincade. Cali’s entire point of view changes when she falls for him. She struggles with herself, debating if she should challenge the government’s law of arranged marriage.
Cali’s childhood friend, Stefani, always kept a positive perspective about their lives until she was threatened with the same dilemma, at odds over the man she loves.
Now Cali and Stefani face a desperate choice—submit to the Regime’s will, or fight for what they value most—love. Although lust, mistaken for love, could lead to damnation. Do they give up on love or sign up for the Temptation Trials, a reality TV show where every temptation is laid before them?
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Can love save their souls?

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Star Wars Month: Conversations With Characters, Sarah of Pixelosis

by Courtney

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I met Sarah a couple years ago at Geek Girl Con. My friend Abby was vending there and I was attending the con to help her and Sarah with their tables and check out the convention for the first time. Abby had told me a lot of great things about Sarah, all of which turned out to be true. Nerdy jewelry that is classy and unique is really hard to find. I think I only had a couple Supernatural necklaces before I met Sarah. Now on any given day, I’m usually wearing three of her pieces because they’re subtle and it’s the aesthetic I prefer. I used to wear other earrings, now you pretty much have to pry me out of my lightsaber earrings. I remember attempting to help her set up her table at Geek Girl Con that year. Every design had a name and I thought I kinda knew classic Nintendo, I do not. Sarah was incredibly patient and explained where it all went. One of the things I appreciate about her, is her genuine love for the things she makes. While I do not share her love of video games, I respect the hell out of it. She is one of my favorite people and she makes amazing jewelry, which is why I buy it and tell people all about it. I asked this talented lady some questions, here’s what she had to say:

C: When did you start making jewelry?

S: My aunt makes fine jewelry and whenever she came to visit us she would teach me how to make earrings, necklaces, and bracelets from scrap materials she had with her. That was when I moved to Orlando, so it would be about 13 years ago.

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C: What was your inspiration behind starting your business?

S: A very good gamer friend of mine had started making pixel art with perler beads. I had never seen anything like it before and wished there was a way to make them smaller so I could have earrings of all my favorite pixelated video game characters. I bought some black, white, and seed beads at Michael’s and began experimenting with wire. The wire characters came out horrible haha! I still have them and all my early rejected creations. I remember Google searching to see if there was a way to securely connect beads together with string and that’s how I found near weaving.

C: What’s your favorite fandom?

S: I have so many favorite fandoms! I suppose if I had to choose one it would have to be one I spent the most time with and that would be the Elder Scrolls series. I beat Morrowind 3 times with 3 different characters with hundreds of hours on each one! I don’t even think I played WOW that much haha! I just loved the completely open world! I explored every inch of that map with all my characters. It was so bad that if something crappy happened in real life I would think, “that’s ok, I’ll just restart from my last save.. Oh wait..”.

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C: What’s your favorite piece of jewelry that you’ve ever made?

S: I  have favorite characters that I make into jewelry, but a piece of jewelry I am most proud of was my large Majora’s Mask! It was such a complicated piece with all those different shades of colors and with it’s funky shape. I was so happy with it once it was done.

C: Do you have a favorite convention you like to attend as a vendor?

S: My favorite conventions to attend as a vendor are always the smaller ones like Geek Girl Con, Portland Retro Gaming Expo, and recently I attended Norwescon for the first time.  The staff is happy to have you there, so it’s a completely different feeling from something like Emerald City Comicon where you just feel like a number. Nothing against ECCC though! I still enjoy attending!

C: What’s the sweetest fan/buyer experience that you can remember?

S: My sweetest fan memory was of this little boy who must have been around 5 or 6. I don’t remember which convention I met him at, but I’ll never forget him! He came up to my table and started naming every single pixelated character and item I had out for sale and would explain where each one was from. His dad kept apologizing that he was talking so much, but I thought it was the cutest thing ever! On his third visit to my table I had found out from his dad that they’re starting him out with the older video game systems before he can play any of the new ones, haha! His favorite character was Yoshi, so I ended up giving him a Yoshi egg since I was sold out of baby Yoshis already.

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C: We’re celebrating Star Wars month on the blog, who is your favorite Star Wars character?

S: There are so many star wars characters to choose from! I first watched star wars as a very young child with my dad. We had the trilogy on VHS and it was on quite often. I remember thinking the jawa were super freaking adorable and I loved their nonsense sounding language haha! Utini is my text message noise.

From one fangirl to another, this stuff is legit.

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Sarah works full time as a baker and is the mama to 2 fur babies and 1 scaley baby. In her spare time she makes nerdy jewelry for pixelosis to sell on her Etsy shop or at multiple conventions. Her other hobbies include cake decorating,  knitting, playing video games and collecting all things Cthulhu.

You can find her work  on Etsy at Pixelosis, or on her Facebook.

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Orphan Black S. 5 Ep. 7: Gag or Throttle

by CourtneyCourtney

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This episode embodies one of the reasons that I love Orphan Black. None of the clones are one sided, they are all multi-dimensional characters, including Rachel. Rachel has been a villain on Orphan Black for a number of seasons, but we don’t really know much about her other than she was raised as Susan’s daughter knowing that she was a clone. We got a look at her past and the opportunity to see why she is the way she is during the episode.

The bulk of the episode focused on Rache,l who seemed to be struggling for the first time with PT Westmoreland’s instructions regarding Kira. The episode did some really beautiful flashbacks and scene cutting that was genius. Rachel grew up in a place where she watched experiments and was an experiment and she expected results. In one flashback, she has killed a clone and done an autopsy on her to find answers. Rachel feels no remorse for her actions and is confused when she isn’t rewarded for it. Rachel grows up knowing her clone number and the clone numbers of her sisters.

Cosima has successfully escaped from the island and has her team under the comic store researching PT to find his true identity. She is successful and sends it to Sarah. Sarah is allowed to talk to Kira who uses the code they came up with to tell her that they plan on taking her to the island. Sarah understandably freaks out and tries to come up with a plan to get her out. Sarah calls Rachel and tells her that PT is a fraud.

Rachel starts drinking a lot and going through memories. She realizes that there is a camera in the eye she got implanted and works a plan around it including warning Art to get Sarah and Mrs. S out of the house as someone is coming to kill them. She gets Kira out of Dyad with Sarah instead of sending her to the island. The episode ends with Rachel breaking a glass and physically pulling out her eye.  

ORPHAN BLACK CR: BBC America

I really enjoyed this episode because we got to see so much more of Rachel. Rachel has always been this cold distant villain and this episode brought the nature versus nurture argument front and center. Rachel is literally a product of her environment and that makes her understandable, especially when she starts to question the people she has given her unwavering loyalty to. She sees herself in Kira and her sisters in the eggs they want to harvest from Kira, which is why I think she ultimately helps her escape. We did the see the return of Allison in this episode, although now she has purple hair and a new outlook on life, how that fits into the next three episodes should be interesting. We do not know what Dr Coady or PT has planned, other than attempting to extend life. We don’t know what Rachel is going to do now with one eye, or what Sarah, Mrs. S and Kira are going to do to stay safe from PT.  The fact that we were given no clues about next week’s episode is giving me anxiety.

Until then clone club!

Orphan Black Airs Saturday nights on BBCA or you can stream it on Amazon Here.

Don’t forget to enter our July giveaway for a $25 Etsy Gift Card.

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(This page uses affiliate links to help support the cost of maintaining the blog. Purchasing a product through a provided link may provide us with a small fee to help us keep doing what we do. Thanks for your support)

Game Of Thrones S. 7 EP. 2: Stormborn

By Domoni

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It was a dark and stormy night…. This episode opens with Daenerys being kinda cranky. She is reminded that she was born there on a night like this, but this does not feel like home and it is not the goal she is aiming for. She’d prefer a much different throne. Her mood falls on Varys, who eventually admits he has no loyalty to royalty. He is a man of the people and will put them first. I think he got some grudging respect for that but also a threat.

Suddenly Melisandre arrives, she too has to defend her previous allegiances. Then she talks of the bigger picture and urges Khaleesi to finally do what we all want and summon Jon Snow. Tyrion backs this play but then looks a bit taken aback when The Mother of Dragons agrees but demands Jon be invited to bend the knee.

The raven that carries this message to Winterfell arrives. Jon and Sansa are not big fans of being boss bitched so the whole scene really is more about them admiring Tyrion isn’t like the other Lannisters. Then agreeing they won’t be fools like the previous Starks and won’t be going.

Back at King’s Landing, Sam’s jerk dad is listening to Cersei. The sort of queen has assembled men who are loyal to the Tyrell’s to convince them that only she can save them. She twists all the actions Daenerys has made into the worst images and threatens that she is bringing her horde of savages to ravage them all and only Cersei can save them.

Jaime then propositions Sam’s poppa. Be my general and ill give you Olenna’s title. It is pretty obvious he is interested, but he has to be a dick, because he is totally a dick, and make snide remarks about how much less of a cretin he is than the Lannisters.

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Back at the Citadel, Sam is helping examine Jorah, who may live another 10-20 years but he will lose his mind in less than 6 months. The Maester gives him one day before he will ship him off to the other stone men and strongly hints he should fall on his sword. Sam and the Archmaester are walking through the library and he mentions reading about a treatment for greyscale. He is immediately shot down as the procedure is too dangerous.

King’s Landing again and Qyburn is walking Cersei through the skulls of past dragons before unveiling a ginormous crossbow and putting a mean looking arrow through the skull of Balerion. Suddenly, Cersei thinks her dragon problem is solved I mean if it will break through a centuries old skull sitting on the ground 15 feet away, surely she will have no problems shooting three flying, fire breathing dragons….

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Back on Dragonstone, Daenerys has a full war council. Olenna, Yara, Theon and Elaria Sand hear the plan to take King’s Landing. Their armies will lay siege to the capital, while Grey Worm and the rest of Dany’s crew knock out Casterly Rock.

Cue the love scene I have been waiting too long for. Missandei runs to Greyworm’s room, how could he go to war without saying goodbye. He gives her his version of romance by explaining why she is his only weakness, he never had fear before her. Then he finally kisses her. She pulls back, but only to get on with the nakey making. When she reaches for his pants, we get the not so subtle reminder he has no little Greyworm, but Missandei is a smart lady of many tongues and knows a man needs only one. This is Game of Thrones though, so this scene makes me think One of these two will die next week.

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Return to Jorah writing his loving goodbye to his Khaleesi, Sam bursts in and goes all hero. He was with Jorah’s father when he died and he adored him, so he;s going to save Jorah, or torture him, who knows? Drink all the rum and don’t scream man, the procedure is going to hurt. Sam starts sawing away at the pus and scales.

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MMM creamy pie, now we are at an inn. Arya sees her old pal Hotpie again and cracks some jokes about making pie of her own. Then she finally learns her family is back at Winterfell. Arya makes a hasty exit. Mounting her horse she has a momentary moment of conflict, should she continue on to kill the queen or go home to her brother and sister? Finally, after 6 seasons, Arya heads North.

Back at Winterfell and Jon is only now getting the raven Sam sent last episode. He tells his bannermen that there is dragon glass on Dragonstone and he will be taking the meeting with Daenerys. Of course Sansa flips out and there is much talk of him abandoning his people, until he says he will leave Sansa in charge and then of course she is cool with it. I like season 7 Sansa less each episode.

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Jon heads down to the crypts to contemplate the mistakes of Ned perhaps, when Little Finger shows up. He tries to ingratiate himself but Jon is having none of it. Then Baylish swears his love for Sansa and Jon snaps. Watching him choke that little man was quite enjoyable, but he doesn’t kill him of course.

Next we have a short but poignant scene where Arya is camping when something disturbs her horse. She is surrounded by wolves, but suddenly Nymeria is there. She begs her to go home with her, but the Direwolf walks away with her new wold pack. If you didn’t tear up a bit at this scene which is so symbolic of the changes in Arya, you have no heart.

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We are on a boat. Elaria and Yara are drinking and discussing the pointlessness of Theon. Yara calls him her protector before Elaria starts to invade the Iron Isles. But we don;t get much more than that tease when Euron attacks. His massive fleet wipes out Yara’s and two of the sand snakes fall to the flaming pirate of doom. Elaria and her daughter are taken hostage, because gifts must be given. Euron captures Yara and is holding a knife to her neck mocking Theon and daring him to make a move, and suddenly Reek jumps overboard because of course he does. We close on Theon watching Euron’s ships float off after destroying a huge part of Dany’s plan to lay siege to the capital.

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This episode was kind of insane. So much happened in one episode. We jump from scene to scene and location to location so quickly that my brain and heart had trouble processing the momentous moments. I think the only thing we didn’t see was the wall. What is happening with the free folk as they man the castles? What happened to Bran and Meera after they got to Castle Black?  Of course we are also left with more questions. What will Euron do with Yara and can she forgive Theon, yet again, for his weak and douchey ways? I can’t wait for next week.

What did you think of this weeks episode? Let us know in the comments.

Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights on HBO or you can stream it on Amazon with an HBO subscription, get 7 free days now and catch up.

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Star Wars Month: The Manga Series

By Hannah

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This is actually four different mangas, each written by George Lucas, but illustrated by different artists.  Originally these were published in Japan by Media Works.  Dark Horse is publishing them in America.  I found these manga through my manga reader app Zingbox, which only had these four episodes available.  I’m going to review each of them individually.

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Episode 1: The Phantom Menace by Kia Asamiya

This manga does a great job simplifying the movie.  It goes over the important plot points, but skips some of the extra details.  It takes a two plus hour movie and squishes it down to two volumes.

I like Anakin better on paper than I do in the movies.  Probably because he’s a two dimensional character, and paper is where a two dimensional character belongs.  Jar Jar Binks is worse in paper form than he is in movie form.  I did not think that was possible.  He is just so annoying.

The artwork is interesting, prominent angular noses and smallish eyes, but kind of static.  The best part of The Phantom Menace is the action.  The pod race in the movie was too long, but it was exciting.  In the manga it took a less than a chapter.  Same for the epic lightsaber battle between Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jinn.  I would like some more action from now on.

3 out of 5 Stars

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Episode 4: A New Hope by Hisao Tamaki

This manga does a great job of retelling the story and giving Luke some more motivation.  In the movie, Luke says that he wants to join the Republic at the beginning.  In the manga, Luke has flashbacks of his friend joining the resistance, and he plans to meet up with that friend.  He only tells his Aunt and Uncle that he is planning to join the Republic.  I like that this manga managed to add to the movie.

The artwork is classic manga style.  Big eyes, small mouth, beautiful attention to details.  It reminds me of the styling of Sailor Moon. The only down side, is the way Chewbacca is depicted.  His body is big and furry, but his face is cartoonish and looks like he’s wearing a mask.  Clearly the artist interpreted Chewie as the animal sidekick. It’s as though someone took Sailor Moon artwork and pasted a Pokemon into the story.

4 out of 5 Stars

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Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back by Toshiki Kudo

This manga has all the intrigue, action, and romance that I remember from the movie.  Leia and Han are super cute and flirty, Luke is clueless but eager, C3PO is obnoxious, and Yoda is kind of equal parts cheeky and preachy.

The artwork reminds me of Slayers, another classic anime.  It’s a simple and clean style.  When a situation is funny or a character is embarrassed, their faces scrunch up.  It kind of looks like a boot with a face and hair on top.  I really like the way Chewie is depicted.  He looks less like a cheap animal sidekick and more like the legitimate partner in crime that he is.

4 out of 5 Stars

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Episode 6: Return of the Jedi by Shin-Ichi Hiromoto

This is the story where everybody steps up their game, except Han.  Han’s character doesn’t really have anything to contribute but one liners and googly eyes for Leia.  Last time we saw them, everyone was sad and pathetic.  Now Luke is a legit action hero.  Leia is the kick ass female protagonist of my dreams.  Chewie is a power house.  I would actually have liked more focus on Chewbacca.

This is the first story with art that is such a mixed bag of great and horrible.  The great? The aliens/droids and the action.  The aliens/droids are depicted with such detail, that they feel real.  Like I could totally see a droid rolling down the street in everyday life with the way the artist draws.  The action flows beautifully, there is motion in every frame.  The horrible?  The humans.  Anytime a human is not involved in an action scene, there is no life.  It’s like someone took an eight year old playing with dolls and drew that.  It’s very disconcerting.

3.5 out of 5 Stars

The formatting of this manga is confusing.  Traditionally manga is read right to left, top to bottom.  When Dark Horse chose to translate it, they also chose to mirror the images, so that it would read left to right.  It took me a few pages to realize what was happening.  They do warn you at the beginning of the volumes, but I skipped that page apparently…

Translation wise, it’s interesting.  This story was originally done in English, translated into Japanese, and then back into English.  If you’ve never translated Baby Got Back into Latin and then back into English, you are missing out.  If you have you know that some things don’t translate back and forth very easily.  When it came to droid names, the translator spelled them out.  Artoodetoo and Seethreepio.  It was a little odd, because everywhere else I see them named R2D2 and C3P0.  I think it was done to humanize the droids, which is cool, but it took me a while to figure it out.  One weird translation that I only saw in the first manga was translating laser shots to “shoot shoot shoot” and not “pew pew pew.”

If you like Star Wars, this is a good manga.  Often it adds a fresh perspective to the movies.  There are several things I noticed in the manga that I missed in the movies.  Like the fact that R2 was Padme’s droid.  Or the realization that C3P0 was programmed by a little kid, which was probably why he is kind of annoying.  I also like that the manga is taking the familiar and then interpreting it through another culture.

Altogether 4 out of 5 Stars

The entire collection of Star Wars Manga is purchasable on Amazon here.

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Would you read these classic tales in Manga form? let us know in the comments. Catch up on our other Star Wars Month themed posts and come back next week for more.

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Star Wars Month: Marathon Musings Part 1

By Hannah

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Courtney and I decided to watch all the Star Wars movies in chronological order.  At first we were going to try to do it in one sitting, but that’s 17 hours and 40 minutes worth of movies.  Not including snack, stretch, and pee breaks.  Way too long.  We watched episode 1, 2, 3, and Rogue One for today’s marathon.

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Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

A.k.a. The Abomination Known As Jar Jar Binks

A.k.a. Darth Maul Should Have Been A Bigger Deal

A.k.a. Why Did You Ruin Yoda?  He Was Awesome, Now He’s Kind Of A Jerk.

A.K.A. You Shouldn’t CGI Everything!

Hannah: I love the way this movie looks.  The background, the costumes, the props, all perfect.  That’s it.  Everything else is just painful.  The only characters with any chemistry are Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan.  Anakin is a two dimensional wonderboy and everybody was over acting.

Courtney: This movie is my least favorite of all the Star Wars movies, but I tolerate it because it’s a necessary evil and Padme’s clothes are amazing. I know that the point is that you’re supposed to feel sympathy for baby Darth Vader, but I never feel any; he just irritates the shit out of me.

Hannah:  They were trying to play up the Chosen One aspect too hard.  First, everything the kid does has a “Look what I can do” vibe, then everyone keeps praising him for how kind and pure he is.  Finally, he doesn’t have a dad, just the midichlorians.  Why all the craziness?  He may be the future Original Dark Lord, but he still puts his pants on one leg at a time.

Courtney: This is actually something that still bothers me that I’m hoping will get cleared up in 8. The whole chosen one prophecy crap, they started talking about it in movie 1 and it’s been 8 movies and I still don’t think we’ve found the person they’re talking about. And don’t tell me it’s Luke, cause Luke sucks.

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Episode 2: Attack Of The Clones

A.K.A. What’s With The Stupid Padawan Hairstyle

A.K.A. What kind of place elects a teenager to be queen?

A.K.A. Whiny Douche Canoe Anakin Skywalker

A.K.A. Padme Could And Would Do Better

A.K.A. Wow The Jedi Council Really Sucks

Hannah:  Once again, the visuals of this movie are on point.  Padme wears some of the best outfits ever and the scenery looks both out of this world and realistic.  It’s eye candy, pure and simple.  Unfortunately the movie throws the equivalent of Twizzlers(my least favorite candy) into the mix with all the horrible acting, bad chemistry, and ,”m’ladying.”  Every time Anakin interacts with Padme, she cringes.  Their first kiss, he awkwardly rubs her shoulder and the look on her face is shouting “Creeper! Creeper! Creeper!”

Courtney: I like this movie marginally better than the first one. I like it more because we slowly start to see why Anakin would consider the dark side. However I do agree with Hannah, about the Twizzlers and Anakin. Anakin is my least favorite main character at this point, it’s a lot of him pouting about how people don’t have more faith in him, when at this point, we’ve never seen a reason why anyone should have more faith in him.

Hannah:  It reminds me of the fan theory that Anakin was using the force to manipulate Padme into being in a relationship with him.  It explains so much, because he is so creepy.  He’s like one of those guys who tells you to smile all the time and then blames you for not wanting to jump into bed with him.  Padme is a former queen at this point.  She has had to deal with his kind before, but she just smiles and goes along with it.

Courtney: I agree with you. I think teenage Anakin is worse than child Anakin. And I really can’t stand child Anakin.

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Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith

A.K.A. We Skipped This One

Hannah: My reason for skipping this movie is that even though it’s probably the best of the prequels, I really don’t like watching whiny baby Anakin get played by the most easily see throughable manipulation attempt ever.  I also hate watching Padme go from a kickass senator, leader of her people, to a woman who spends the entire movie asking why her husband is so mean to her.

Courtney: This one is important, but I’d kind of had all the bad acting I could take for one day. I also get frustrated at this point because the movies failed at what they were supposed to do. The whole point of the beginning trilogy is to make you understand why Darth Vader is the way he is, why he made those choices and by the end of the movies, I don’t care. The television show Clone Wars, (which should be watched between episodes 2 and 3) accomplishes what the movies were supposed to, and they give you a variety of characters to root for.

Hannah:  Courtney mentioned, during the marathon, that one of the reasons that episodes 1-3 are so difficult, is because there is no one to root for.  I’ve got to agree with that assessment  We went in knowing that little boy wonder Anakin Skywalker was going to become big bad Darth Vader.  We know that Luke and Leia were separated at birth, so either their mother dies, or she abandons one of them in order to raise the other, so Padme is hard to root for.  We know that Obi-Wan becomes an obnoxious lying force ghost and Jar Jar is an abomination.  Maybe if we hadn’t known that Ani would become Darthy, we would have had an easier time liking him…

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

A.K.A. Finally Putting The War In Star Wars

A.K.A. Not Just Another Good Versus Evil Story

A.K.A. Finally We Get To Know Why People Were Rebelling Pre-Alderaan

A.K.A. WHY?????

Hannah: This is my first time watching Rogue One.  I knew the ending ahead of time (After one month out, I no longer care about spoilers, because I like talking with people about stuff like this) but I didn’t know how it was going to affect me.  Watching as my lovable misfits died one after another, chasing hope for the future, was heartbreaking.  

Courtney: I’d seen this movie a few times and was doing my best not to spoil anything more for Hannah. Rogue One is my favorite Star Wars movie, even though it makes me cry everytime I watch it. I like it because it sinks home that this is a war and there are losses. Rogue One also makes the back trilogy that much more impactful because now we have seen the loss and what it took to get the plans for the death star. Honestly, the first half of the movies are the roughest which is weird when you consider that the back half was filmed 40 years ago and it still kicks 1-3s ass.

Hannah:  I think this movie is important for two reasons.  One, because it shows how the common people have been dealing with the after effects of all the epic quests that the other movie’s characters have been going through.  The other movies all feature royalty, rogues, the chosen ones, lovable sidekicks, etc.  They never feature the innocent bystanders, the spies, the ground soldiers, or stormtroopers who can hit stuff.  Two, because it showed that death is important and permanent.  This is going to sound callous, but in the first movies, anyone important who died, usually came back as a Force Ghost.  At least for those with on screen deaths.

We got through the hard part of a Star Wars marathon.  All four movies are a little over 9 hours.  We saved ourselves over two hours of torture by skipping Revenge of the Sith.  Look forward to the Star Wars Marathon Part 2.

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Game Of Thrones S.7 Ep.1: Dragonstone

By Domoni

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It feels like we have waited so long for the return of Winter, finally it is here. Game Of Thrones Season 7 premiered last night and I have feelings. Spoilers ahead.

From the opening segment my heart was in my chest. A quick previously on, covered the necessary information for a quick reminder of where we are now then smoothly slips into what I thought was a flashback scene. Walder Frey is feasting his family for a job well done in slaughtering the Stark’s. A few moments in and it dawns on my that Arya must be wearing the face of Frey, as all the Frey men begin to gasp and fall from the poisoned wine they have been served.  In true Avenging Arya style, she drops a wicked line and struts out. Welcome back to Westeros.

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At times the show did slip into some slow but necessary bits to let us know where characters are. We have a moment where Meera and Bran arrive at the wall, Lord Commander Edd Tollet opens the gate to ask who they are, he appears to doubt the youngest living Stark until he fills him in with some of his three eyed raven mojo and they all enter Castle Black.

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Back in Winterfell, Jon is rousing the North to prepare for the war with the White Walkers. He assigned Tormund to head to the vulnerable castles on the wall and man them with the free folk. A public row with Sansa has the Stark siblings arguing about punishing betrayal and rewarding loyalty before Jon pulls the “I’m the King” card and Sansa pouts. Then the bannermen are instructed to train all able bodies between the ages of 10 and 60 which gives us the chance to watch another epic Lyanna Mormont moment.

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Sansa follows Jon from the meeting to further berate him for not listening to her. To me she comes off as very petty and vengeful, Sansa is broken and it feels as though she wants to break other people. She has been through hell, but that doesn’t mean she is the only one who knows how to battle. A timely demand from Cersei that Jon bend the knee has Sansa warning Jon to listen to her more.

Oh and about Cersei, she is down in King’s Landing playing at ruler of the Seven Kingdoms ( Three at best as Jaime reminds her) as the Lannister siblings argue over what move to make, Cersei seems to be failing to grasp she does not have the power she thinks she does. She has lost all of her allies, but seems to have a plan to make some new ones with massive boats. Seriously where did they get the wood to build all those boats so fast.

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Enter Euron Greyjoy, Lord of the makeover. Seriously though, it is good to be the pretend king. He comes in with some serious swagger, excellent jokes about having two hands and offers his fleet to Cersei so they can murder their family members together in matrimony. When she turns him down, he promises to return with a gift she cannot refuse and struts out in his fancy leather pants.

A pop over to the Citadel and we see Sam dealing with all the shit, quite literally. I think this was the hardest scene for me to watch since I began watching this show. So much bedpan nastiness. Sam wants to find the information to help fight the white walkers but he is not yet a maester and is struggling. So he steals some keys and enters the restricted section.

At Winterfell again we get a nice little gift in the form of Brienne and Tormund. I can never get enough of their interactions. Then Littlefinger gets all smarmy with Sansa before she knocks him down with a few well placed barbs.

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Cut to Arya stumbling upon an Ed Sheeran concert for the soldiers. It’s a cute little scene where we get a glimpse into the ordinary men that fight the battles before Arya confesses she is heading south to Kings Landing to kill the Queen, cue my disappointment that she is not heading to Winterfell.

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The Hound is with the Brotherhood Without Banners and we get a moment of him being more of a decent human being and feeling sorrow over the deaths of the man and daughter who took him and Arya in. He finally looks into the flames and sees a vision from the Lord of Light that shows the Night King and his army marching on the wall.

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At the citadel again with more poop and soup and suddenly a scaly Jorah arm shoots out as he asks Sam if the Dragon Queen has come yet. So things are not looking good for the old knight with a thing for Dany. Sam hits the books and low and behold there is a map of Dragonstone which is full of dragonglass, who would have thunk it.

Speaking of Dany, the Mother of Dragons is finally home.

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They crammed a lot of catch up into this episode yet still had enough drama to keep me anxious. This season is off to a good start in my opinion and as long as Tormund is not killed on the wall, I am excited to see what it will bring.

Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights on HBO or you can stream it on Amazon with an HBO subscription, get 7 free days now and catch up.

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