Bad Storytelling

25 May 19
Dr. Simlai's General Awareness Overview

Current General Awareness Test- 01 Number of Questions: 50 Date: 25-05-2019 1. The Prajamandal or the All-India States People’s coference got fully listed with the National Movement at the time of the: a. Resignation of the Congress Ministries in 1939. b. Culmination of Quit India Movement c. Start of Civil Disobedience Movement d. During transfer […]

25 May 19
Way Too Fantasy

Well, these reviews have been sitting in my drafts folder since January so in order to clear them out and get caught up on a few things, I’m putting them all together in one giant post of mini reviews. Weee! This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to […]

25 May 19
LofZOdyssey - Anime Reviews

Original Run: January 13, 2018 – March 31, 2018
Number of Episodes: 12
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Slice of Life ***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Endro. Reader discretion is advised.*** Series Synopsis On Naral Island, there exists the Kingdom of Lapanesta. Throughout its history, the kingdom has come under threat from the mighty power of the Demon Lord. Fortunately, […]

25 May 19
CauseACTION Clarion

Last year, “Babylon 5” writer J. Michael Straczynski received a message on Twitter thanking him for treating people of faith with respect, despite being an atheist. He responded: That I’m an atheist doesn’t mean I need to be disrespectful. Also, that allows me to be more objective about religion, I don’t have an ax to […]

25 May 19
Henchman-4-Hire

Man, there are a ton of really great, meaningful comics this week. Nothing that really got me on the edge of my seat, more like just a bunch of deeply foundational, character-driven comics that really play up with the deep benches these comics have developed. I love that! Comic Book of the Week was hard […]

25 May 19
Anime Rants

The focus of this episode rested on Louisa (May Alcott) and Francis (Scott Fitzgerald), the strategist and the boss of the Fellowship of the Guild, respectively. It wasn’t a bad episode at all– I had no trouble paying attention for the whole thing– but it fell a bit short of what I was expecting. I […]

25 May 19
VentureBeat
Chris DeWolfe has built Jam City into one of the biggest mobile game companies in the world through the combination of licensed Hollywood franchises like Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery and original titles like Cookie Jam. DeWolfe spoke at our recent GamesBeat Summit 2019 event in April. Michael Pachter, managing director and analyst at Wedbush Securities, moderated the talk. DeWolfe took note of gaming while he was CEO and founder at MySpace. When he left, he saw that Zynga was making a lot of money every day on the social network, and he went to places like Japan where he saw everybody engaging with mobile devices. He jumped into mobile and social gaming, and now Jam City has more than 700 employees. When he started, a lot of the competition was local in California. But now the mobile game industry has grown beyond $70 billion and the competitors are all over the world. Now mobile gamers expect live operations, or events that keep them coming back and engaging with the new content over and over, DeWolfe said. Jam City has been growing through acquisition, and it has become a force for consolidation in the industry. Jam City is working on a game based on the upcoming Frozen 2 movie from Disney. But DeWolfe sees the wisdom of going after “blue ocean” markets, or original titles or genres where there aren’t as many sharks, or competitors, creating a red ocean. Pachter pointed out that DeWolfe almost bought Small Giant Games, the maker of Empires & Puzzles, for $20 million. Jam City didn’t do that, and instead Zynga bought 80% of it in December 2018 for $560 million. But Jam City isn’t so bad off. Its Harry Potter game went to No. 1 in 40 countries. Tens of millions of people are playing the company’s games. Mobile is the future of entertainment, and Los Angeles is the center of storytelling, and that’s why DeWolfe feels like Jam City is in a good place.
25 May 19
Literary Hub

Jeremy Klemin looks for meaning in Bruce Chatwin’s unpublished magnum opus, and finds “the muddy, ephemeral beauty that lies in unadulterated failure.” | Lit Hub “To those who are protective of the verb to read, I ask what is gained by insisting on the distinction?” JamesTate Hill offers a brief history of the audiobook. | […]

25 May 19
Critical Research Journal.

I wish to continue looking at the other photographers work in order to hopefully gain ideas and inspiration. Mario Testino. “Mario Testino OBE is widely regarded as one of the most influential fashion and portrait photographers of our times. His photographs have been published internationally in magazines such as Vogue, V Magazine and Vanity Fair. […]

25 May 19
Mother Jones
In 2005, George Lucas was about to release Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, which is technically the sixth film in the series, and according to 60 Minutes—with whom Lucas sat down for a broad retrospective—”The Last Star Wars.” He was ready to move on. “There is no episode seven,” Lucas says confidently. Instead, he pines for failure making tiny art films. “I don’t think everything should be these big, blown-out super kind of movie that I stumbled into,” Lucas says. “I’ve sort of followed it to the end.” In fact, it was barely the beginning of the “big, blown-out super kind of movie.” It wasn’t even the end for the Star Wars franchise—which has continued to make millions 42 years after its debut in theatres. In 2008, Marvel Studios released Iron Man, kicking off the Marvel cinematic universe. Films, studios had realized, could be connected in a vast web of money-making spinoffs, sequels (and sequels to sequels), TV shows, merchandise, theme parks, novels, comic books, and really anything that can bear a likeness or a logo. A perfectly fine, middling comedy—ahem, Ant-Man and the Wasp—now was a superhero movie too; you’ve got to see it to follow along! Entertainment morphed into an obsessive hobby, and people spend a lot of money on hobbies. Marvel’s universe-building strategy crystalized what the money was already saying: A movie was valuable because it established a brand. Adapting comic book storytelling to the big screen offered a natural way to cash that check. One that Star Wars foresaw but originally failed to fully seize. Other movie franchises felt the monetary effects of zealous fandom. The Harry Potter films made $7.7 billion at the box office and an estimated $15 billion from merchandising; Hasbro became a $14 billion behemoth because of Transformers; in 1996, Mattell lost $300 million because of a Buzz Lightyear toy “famine” just before Christmas—more than Toy Story grossed at the box office. We now live in a world of universes. Of the top ten grossing movies from 2018, only one wasn’t an expansion of an already created brand, assuming that The Grinch isn’t a building block in an upcoming Dr. Seuss cinematic tower of content. There’s also intellectual property like Angry Birds, a game that was transformed into a movie in hopes it would be a universe—only to find the solar systems of some cultural touchstones aren’t able to support content life. Even a prestige TV show like Big Little Lies needs to feed the beast.  But first, there was Star Wars. “The deeper you go, there’ll be more things to reward you,” said Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige, the mastermind behind this capitalism-forward way of storytelling. “And I learned that directly from Star Wars.” Feige says he read Star Wars novels as a kid. The series inspired ravenous fandom from the beginning. The Washington Post described a neighborhood wrecked in 1977 because it was the only one with a theatre playing Star Wars: “It’s … it’s an invasion,” said one resident, as if Godzilla was stomping around her borough. Toys created by Kenner for the film flew off the shelves. By the end of 1978, the company sold more 40 million action figures, generating more than $100 million in sales. But the true turning point was 1980, the year The Empire Strikes Back was released, when merchandising began to outpace ticket sales. By 2012, the Hollywood Reporter estimated that Lucas had built a $20 billion toy empire; his films made a little above $3 billion in tickets sales. And, decades later, kids are still buying a ton of Star Wars branded materials. “All the money’s in the action figures,” Lucas famously said.   [inline_image id=”attachment_753774″ align=”none” width=”990″][figcap][credit]LMPC / Getty[/credit][/figcap][/inline_image]Lucas often hedges this massive enterprise as all in service of the movies. He told Rolling Stone in the 1970s he was going to use profits to build what became the Skywalker Ranch in Northern California, to get away from the Hollywood muck, an idyllic place to make those experimental art films. We’ve never seen evidence of such projects; instead, the Skywalker Ranch is a big business production studio, one campus of four owned by Lucasfilms that employs more than 2,000 employees who are famous for their computer-generated imagery. (Michael Bay was inspired to create his films after a summer job there.)  Despite the finality in Lucas’ words in 2005,  there was an episode seven. After Disney acquired Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012, the companies needed to churn out content. Now, J.J. Abrams is finishing up the last film in the new trilogy, to be released in late 2019; there are at least two Star Wars shows set to premiere on Disney’s new streaming service; the Game of Thrones creators are going to create yet another trilogy of movies, the first set for a 2022 release; and Rian Johnson is also creating a spinoff trilogy. All of these will be accompanied by comic book and novel tie-ins, of course, and plenty of merchandise. Truly, the cherry on top here is a new theme park, Galaxy’s Edge, to open its doors on May 31 and sell $200 lightsabers and $100 droids to the cash-positive fandom. “And if the people at the Walt Disney Company…have anything to say about it,” wrote Adam Rogers in Wired when Disney unveiled the full post-merger plans, “the past four decades of Star Wars were merely prologue.” Rogers dubbed it “the forever franchise.” In many ways, Star Wars was catching up to its own lessons. In 2015, George Lucas sat down for another sprawling retrospective interview, this time with Charlie Rose. Rose tells him that Steven Spielberg said that Star Wars’ release changed everything in the movie business. He asks if he’s proud. “Well it changed for the good and the bad,” Lucas responds. “The studios realized they could make a lot of money: ‘This is a license to kill.’ And they did it…That’s the downside of Star Wars.” Lucas seems to feel this personally. While A.O. Scott has described the birth of universe filmmaking as akin to a “workplace sitcom”—a never-ending story with our friends—Lucas sounds trapped. “It was a while before I realized that I’m never going to get out,” he said to Rose. “I’m always going to be George ‘Star Wars’ Lucas. No matter how hard I try to be something else.”  In some ways, we as viewers are in the same Sisyphean position. The totality of these spaces stretches far beyond films. If you buy cereal or purchase suit or go to Burger King: there is a Star Wars version of that. They’re called universes and not worlds for a reason. Like Luke, we can escape one planet—for Skywalker, to recuperate and train with Yoda; for us, by avoiding Rogue One—but we can never jettison the totality of Star Wars. We’re destined to fulfill its cosmic laws, like how all heroes replay the same story—or see the same movie—over and over. “Yes,” Lucas confirmed after a bit of prodding in that 60 Minutes interview, “it ends in hell.”