Fantastic Beasts: An Okay First Installment in the Harry Potter Extended Universe

dylyn-petersonBY DYLYN PETERSON
Staff Writer, UAS Whalesong

I was nervous about Fantastic Beasts, to be honest. The book doesn’t strike me as particularly filmworthy. I didn’t like the last three Harry Potter films (Half-Blood Prince in particular), and they brought back the same director, David Yates, responsible for those movies. J.K. Rowling is also here in her first screenwriting capacity, which was also concerning, but I doubted she could bring bad dialogue tags into a script, so I stayed hopeful. Continue reading “Fantastic Beasts: An Okay First Installment in the Harry Potter Extended Universe”

Allegiant: Gadzooks

For the UAS Whalesong

The following review contains spoilers! Read at your own risk.

When I first came to UAS in 2012, I had little to no interest in the movie franchises following popular young adult-genre books. I had not read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Maze Runner by James Dashner, or Divergent by Veronica Roth, and I didn’t want to. But then I fell in with Rachelle, the head of the UAS Baptist Campus Ministries (BCM) club, and it ended up being our “thing” to go and see the movies of each series as they came out. We’ve finished watching the entire Hunger Games series, and recently went to go catch the most recent installment in the Divergent film quartet. We thought it was going to be the final movie in the series, but apparently they decided to split the series into 4 movies so that they could make more money and wouldn’t veer too far away from the YA film norm of “final book divided into two movies.” Which, if you think about it, is kind of amusing – after all, Divergent is a series literally dedicated to being unique. Even so, I’d have to say that the 3rd movie is my favorite so far. Continue reading “Allegiant: Gadzooks”

Deadpool: Four or Five Moments

For the UAS Whalesong

Deadpool was a Fun Movie. Personally, I don’t think there are enough of those these days; movies try so hard to be Gritty, to make us Care About the Conflict, to make us Feel Our Mortality and to be Emotionally Gripping. Deadpool takes this trend, throws it out the window, and then also shoots it and sets it on fire, because: why not? This is not to say that Deadpool isn’t any of the things I just mentioned. After all, Wade Wilson (who becomes the titular character) is dying of cancer. This does not a fun time make. And the film does not make light of that; usually a flippant jackass, Wade has some serious scenes where he and his fiancée deal with the fact that he does not have much longer to live. It’s also worth pointing out that this very issue is what drives him to do the things that turn him into Deadpool. And if you know Wade Wilson and Deadpool at all, you know that he is rude and crude and, from an objective standpoint, entirely unlikable. Continue reading “Deadpool: Four or Five Moments”

The Saga Begins (For Me)

For the UAS Whalesong

Star Wars is the American space opera franchise created by George Lucas, the first three films being released from 1977 to 1983, the prequels from 1999-2005, and the most recent in 2015. The film series has made over 30.7 billion dollars. It changed the face of film and special effects for generations, as well as how people would react to future stories. Continue reading “The Saga Begins (For Me)”

The Force Needs Five More Minutes, Mom

For the UAS Whalesong

When I was growing up, my friends referred to me as a “walking, talking Star Wars dictionary.” I’m sure I was not alone in this – though in my isolated cul-de-sac in my small corner of the American Southwest, I was the dominant Star Wars authority. I know because I defeated all who challenged my title, though admittedly, not with knowledge. Why try to outsmart someone when you can just hit him or her with your plastic lightsaber until they go away? This is a philosophy that I have maintained late into life. Star Wars was a huge part of my life from basically birth until I was roughly 13 years old. So, fast-forward roughly a decade, give or take a few years. I was upset when they announced Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars, and still more upset when I found out that another actual movie was being made. You are talking to someone who, in her teen years, came close to fisticuffs over being recommended the animated Clone Wars show by a friend. “Watch it,” they said, in response to which I would go off into a harangue about the original sextuplet of films being the One and Only Canon and any other televised attempt at telling the saga was Wrong and Bad and so were they for partaking in this malarkey.

Long story short, I wasn’t planning on going to go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens at all. I ignored all trailers, avoided all hype, refused to discuss it in public or private – and then, upon   coming home for Christmas break 2k15, I realized that if I didn’t watch it I was going to get it spoiled for me by social media and that was the worst  possible thing. Undergoing a drastic 180 in attitude overnight, I convinced my dad to go see it with me, and so off to The Valley Cinema we went. Continue reading “The Force Needs Five More Minutes, Mom”

Scorching Hot

For the UAS Whalesong
I recognize that there are problems with young adult literature. Most of these problems can be summed up by one of the Twitter accounts I follow, Brooding YA Hero (with the fairly straightforward handle of @broodingYAhero, if you’re   interested in his work). And yet, I still get a kick out of watching the movies based on these problematic books. Being up-to-date with the Hunger Games and Divergent films, I was very excited to continue the saga of Attractive Boys with a Mysterious and Constant Source of Hair Product Running Places and Panicking – also known as the Maze Runner series. Continue reading “Scorching Hot”