The Badger On: Doctor Strange (Movie)

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I am going to admit right from the beginning that I was a bit ambivalent about seeing this movie. I am not one to avoid spoilers and with this one I didn’t seek out anything like I might have done with any of the other comic book movies or any other movie that I had been planning on seeing.

I saw this one because my bf wanted to see it as he has a bit of a man-crush on Benedict Cumberbatch. Even my niece who is always eager to come see a comic-book movie or any movie with us for that matter was not super eager to see. They both came out of it liking it better than I did but then I guess being a DC girl I am getting tired of the Marvel/Disney team getting it ‘right’ while DC/Warner Brothers are not so much. Maybe also I am trying my best to find fault with it just because I want to.

I am not saying that I didn’t like the movie, because like all Marvel movies it was well made, written well, acted well and the effects were great. A little background maybe. I am not overly familiar with the character so what I know comes this and cartoon movie that I had seen.

Doctor Strange is an arrogant, ego driven neurosurgeon who has a car crash and damages his hands. After spending all his money on trying to fix his hands so that he could perform surgery again he ends up in Nepal where he is taught magic by the Ancient One and eventually becomes a sorcerer supreme and a protector of the Sanctums, three building found in London, New York and Hong Kong, from Dormammu of the Dark Dimension who wants to take over the earth.

Now back to the movie. The whole movie Benedict Cumberbatch reminded me of someone else with his well-done but fake American accent and it wasn’t until the last third of the movie that I finally figured it out who and it made me a little disappointed not only in him but the movie as well. I don’t know if it his choice or he was directed to do so but his accent and performance to an extent reminded me of Robert Downey Jr and in particular his portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man. Even his appearance kind of reminded me of him. The characters do have things in common with their arrogance and egoism but still I am sure that Benedict could have found a way to portray that. Merlin knows that his version of Sherlock Holmes has enough of those characteristics  to pull it off.

All other performances were great. Though there was a lot of uproar in relation to Tilda Swinton playing the Ancient One because in the comic books it is a Tibetan male. Changing the character to a white female was seen as white-washing and also changing the sex for the change itself. Despite this she did do a really good job as did Benedict Wong as Wong, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo, Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius and Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer. The stand out character however was Benedict Cumberbatch Cloak of Levitation as it was truly amusing along with Wong.

The movie despite have two female characters will not pass the Bechdel test as they don’t interact, I don’t consider the Ancient One’s death scene to be an interaction, let alone have a discussion to talk about a man. Of course if they did they would most likely talk about Strange and his arrogance and egoism.

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Trailer

 

 

 

 

 

The Badger On: Your Lie In April (Anime)

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Another anime and another re-watch. This one however is nothing like Fairy Tail and based entirely in the real world and has not magic or supernatural elements to it. It is however an absolutely beautiful and moving story that on both watches I have cried.

The story centres on Kosei Arima, who is a piano prodigy who dominated competition when he was young. After his mother and instructor dies he has a breakdown and stops playing as he can no longer hear the notes when he plays, though there is nothing wrong with his hearing. He also starts to see the world in monochromatic tones.

Two years later he meets a free-spirited violinist named Kaori Miyazono who brings the colour back into his world and shows him that music is not meant to be structured and rigid as he was taught by his mother and that music shows who they are by the way that they play and slowly Kosei falls in love with her.

Of course there is more to this but I don’t want to give too much away as you really need to watch it for yourself. It is a beautifully told story of love, loss, friendship and music. There is only one season of 22 episodes so it is not a slog like Fairy Tail is.

I have watched this twice, first when it was released on AnimeLab in Japanese with English Subtitles and again last week though this time with it dubbed in English and the dub is just as good. It available through Crunchyroll, Hulu and Viewster if you would like to give a go and please do as I can’t stress how wonderful this show is.

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Trailer

The Badger On: Fairy Tail (Anime)

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This is my third attempt to write a review for this show. There are just too many episodes and seasons/arcs to cover not to mention all the characters involved. Well at least I can name most of them unlike some other long running anime ( eh hem Bleach) that I have watched where there are probably only a couple of names that I remember and mainly because their roles are big and/or I like the character. It helps when you have a 8 year old niece that also loves the show and constantly grills you on it so that you don’t forget the characters.

The problem with the other attempts was that I was getting to bogged down with the characters which was making the post be way to long for my liking. I have decided instead to see if I can put together a little pro and con list and see how I go. But first maybe a little bit of an overview.

Fairy Tail Overview

The shows is set in the Kingdom of Fiore. Now everyone in this world has magic inside of them but only 10% of the populace actually use it. Those that do are called wizards and they either strike out on their own or they form/join guilds. There are three different forms of guilds Legal, Dark and Independent. The Legal ones are approved and registered by the Magic Council. The Dark ones obviously are not and are treated as criminals. Independent guilds are not approved but are not seen as criminal. There are other guilds that are non-magical guilds as well.

The purpose of the legal guild is for wizards to work together, learn their art and to get jobs. Fairy Tail is one such guild and is one of the strongest if not the strongest and one of the most well-known mainly because of the trouble and damage they cause when out of said jobs.

The Positives of Fairy Tail

If you have read my other blog you will know that my first fandom love is Harry Potter and as I have watched this show I have come to see there are some similarities between the two and I am not just referring to main characters having and using magic. For one thing Harry and the main male character of Fairy Tail Natsu Dragneel couldn’t be less alike. Same goes for Hermione and Lucy Heartfilia or if not Lucy then Erza Scarlet  and there is no Ron equivalent, well maybe Happy but I doubt that Ron would like to be compared to a flying blue cat that can talk.

The reason why I see them as been very similar is because the themes of friendship and love are both very prevalent in both stories. Though the Fairy Tail story has not finished yet but from what I have seen there seems to be another Harry/Natsu connection in that Harry was the only person that could defeat the big bad in Voldemort and it seems that Natsu is also the only one that can defeat the Fairy Tail equivalent in the Dark Wizard Zeref, though it seems that this is Zeref’s wish, which naturally was not Voldemorts.

Another thing I like and noticed is that like J.K Rowling, Fairy Tail’s creator Hiro Mashima likes to drop breadcrumbs along the way. What I mean by that is J.K would mention something early on and then it would come back up further down the track. Mashima has done the same thing along the way and I really like that in storytelling and it is shows just how much the author has thought about the story and the world that they are building.  It makes me wonder if he got a little bit of inspiration from Harry Potter when he began writing Fairy Tail.

The Negatives of Fairy Tail

My biggest gripe that I have with the show and this is not something exclusive to Fairy Tail but all anime that is based on still running manga and that is when the show defers from it the story lacks big time. The same can be said for Bleach and even one of my favourite anime’s of all time that being Soul Eater, which they really need to remake and stick to the original story like they did with Full Metal Alchemist. The Daphne Arc in Fairy Tail,  would have been so much better if Daphne was actually not in it as I am sure that Gray could have found a way to force Natsu to remember and keep the promise that he made. The Key of the Starry Sky Arc was way too long, had too much going on and even with that was still not very interesting. I can sort of forgive the Eclipse Celestial Spirit Arc but only because I love Loke and the battle between Gray and Cancer is hilarious.

The only other issue is probably a strange one and that is Erza and Jellal. I love them don’t get me wrong and they make such a great couple but the two arc’s that they have had that feature these two heavily, The Tower of Heaven and Oracian Seis, I have not enjoyed all that much. Maybe it is because one or the other was seen as weak and especially the Tower of Heaven arc I did not like seeing Erza in particular that way. Both arc were important to show their growth and how they became what they are but still I did not enjoy them the way that I should have.

Another thing that I don’t care to much for is that Lucy seems to be the go to damsel in distress. So far in the series she has been kidnapped and held hostage at least 4 times, mainly due to the fact that she is Celestial Wizard. Admittedly Erza and Wendy as well but still I am not really a fan of that kind of trope.

Well there is my review. If you like or are interested in anime or even manga and have not given this one a go please do. It is fun show and I wouldn’t be in the middle of a re-watch for maybe the third of fourth time if I didn’t enjoy it. I am currently in the Grand Magic Games arc and the Dragon battle has begun. Did I mention that there are dragons in the show and most of them are not nice.

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