Saturday, January 30, 2016

What's the Deal with Kylo Ren?

Girls just want to have fun too you know!

The other day one of my friends asked me what my deal is with Kylo Ren?

"Are you sexually attracted to him?" he asked.

I pressed the Kylo Ren light saber battery usage detector icon placed in a strategic position on the Kylo Ren wallpaper on my phone so that it buzzed, and then I grinned.

"I like his saber..."

However, his question did make me wonder. He only said what I'm sure many of my friends and peers are thinking.

Why did I suddenly get obsessed with Kylo Ren?

Well, Dandy's been dead a while...

Gotta have a new psychopath to moon over?

I think the picture of Kylo Ren looking at the demon from my new book speaks for itself.

It's what I do.

I live in the shadows.

I'm a horror writer.

The Villain
Kylo Ren is a great villain. At least, how I like to see villains.

He's not pure evil, as his mom says in Star Wars: The Force Within. He still has some Light.

He almost has a conscience.

I wish they'd left in the scene where has remorse over what he did to his dad.

But the movie is already long and also it might have been too emo for the hard core fans who already mock him and call him Cry-lo Ren. I also take umbrage with haters who thought he was a sissy in the final battle. He was battling Finn with a mortal wound, inflicted by Chewbacca that would have taken out most people, in his side, that he kept hitting, and he got sliced by Finn. It also seems clear to me that Finn has some Force in him as well so that battle was pretty rough.

Then he finally had to battle Rey who had already picked his mind and created self-doubt, while bleeding to death and no doubt in horrible pain, and did a damn fine job of it. He could have killed her instantly, we know that, but he was hesistant, no doubt still feeling shitty from killing dad and now he would kill another person he knows. We know he knows her from the flashbacks. I'm certain she is Luke's daughter so she would be his cousin. So it's a vulnerable character battling supposedly to the death. But it isn't because they have to stay alive for two more movies. And he'll have a sexy scar on his face in addition to his tortured Phantom of the Opera mystique.

As I've mentioned before, this movie came along at the perfect time in my life. It awakened in me my fun side. My geek side. The side that dug sitting in the moving chairs with 3D glasses hurtling through space shooting stuff.

Cool Costume and Hair
Maybe Kylo Ren's costume looks way cooler in 3D. I've only seen the movie in 3D. I love his cape and hair, and of course, it echoes of all things I love: witches, goths, and vampires.

When I first left the movie, I said that they should have something in one of the next movies where Alan Rickman in Snape costume but not as the character Snape and Kylo Ren have some sort of encounter. But poor Mr. Rickman died shortly thereafter.

I've always loved quirky looking men and of course, they Disney-fied Adam Driver to be gorgeous, creepy, petulant, and dangerous. They pushed all the right buttons, at least to capture my interest. And judging by all the "Adam Driver is hot" posts I see, I'm not alone. He pulls off that outfit and of course, that narcissistic psychopath character perfectly. Yes, there are also lots of people who hate his looks. But isn't that always the way?

Embrace Your Inner Child
My kid side no longer has actual kids to indulge and so I'm embracing my inner child and enjoying playing with my Kylo Ren toys.

Don't shrinks always tell us to embrace our inner child.

So maybe I am!

I've been posting pictures mostly on Instagram and some on Twitter. I don't mean anything by it but pure fun.

Like most writers, I have lots of toys on my desk and I rotate them out for new ones now and again. Now a tiny Kylo Ren has joined the pack. I've been looking for a bigger one but he's sold out everywhere in the form I want. I know there will be more than enough dolls in about a month. So many they'll be piled up in discount bins for years.

So I'll be patient for new dolls.

In the meantime, I hope people get a few chuckles out of my silly games.

In the Beginning

Kylo Ren meets my gorilla from the Chicago Zoo.

Kylo Ren tells the witch the demon made him cut off the gorilla's arm but she's not buying it.

Then he meets my spider.

Gorilla gets pissed at Kylo Ren. He smacks down the light saber but Kylo Ren puts him in a Force Grip.

Gorilla is going to make some Kylo Ren stew.

Kylo Ren is pissed.

Kylo Ren Force grabs a nearby skeleton who was mocking him.

The spider and gorilla try to make a break for it.

Kylo Ren Force grabs his lightsaber and that's the end of everyone.

Time for a coffee break from a mug with the crime scene photo of Abby Borden with her head bashed in from The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast.

I gave him a stern talking to about trashing my toys.

He's says he'll try better as he stomps off in a huff. I'm not sure I believe him.

Well, look who's here? Scrat! He heard all the commotion and thought he'd see what's up.

Kylo Ren has an idea.

Be careful, Scrat!

Scrat panics and knocks the acorn and the lightsaber out of Kylo Ren's hands.

Just as Kylo Ren is going to Force choke Scrat, he is distracted by a spinal column bone that fits perfectly on his head like a helmet. He contemplates the look for a while, in black of course, but decides he doesn't want to look like a cross between the Pharoahs in the movie, Jesus Christ: Superstar and the Gorilla Army from Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes. I hope.

Where are you going now, Kylo Ren?

He's a man with a mission.

No, Kylo Ren. You can't use the Scorching Ball as your new Starkiller Base.

Look deep into the crystal ball, Ben Solo. Who are you and what do you really want from your life?

(NOTE: I took these pictures over the course of the week or so I've had the doll. These photos might be different from ones that I posted on other social media. I thought it would be fun to try to make some sense out of the random pictures that I took. So I came up with this story. The pictures themselves are in the order of how I took them, which I made part of the game for myself!)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base Behind the Scenes is Funny

                                      I found this picture on the internet.

A couple of weeks ago, Saturday Night Live aired an Undercover Boss spoof about Starkiller Base and Kylo Ren.

It was the funniest thing I've seen in years. Maybe even since I saw Tropic Thunder.

Good for you, Saturday Night Live for hitting one out of the park. I still watch SNL when I can, and it's still as uneven as ever but every now and again they get it right.

The skit was so simple yet so hilarious.

 I was the target audience since I actually watch Undercover Boss and I'm a Star Wars and Kylo Ren fan.

I found this version on Youtube. I can't get the official SNL one to play here in Canada. I do not own this video.

There are some outtakes floating around the net and there's some additional footage that didn't make the skit. They are funny as well. I found this version of the outtakes on Youtube.

I do not own this video. I found it on Youtube.

Obviously, besides clever writing and all the great stuff that makes a parody, Adam Driver's acting skills can't be overlooked for both his sensitive and terrifying portrayal of Kylo Ren in TWA and for his magnificent comedic timing and tone in the skit.

People have been making fun of Star Wars for years. I myself have several catch phrases in my everyday vocabulary. The mocking of Kylo Ren and now Matt the Radar Technician is fun to see. Takes everyone's mind off the real issues of the world for a few minutes.

Mock Toys and Such

Funny Kylo Tumbler drawings

Someone got a tattoo of "Matt" which is really Adam Driver playing Kylo Ren playing Matt!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Audience Laughed When Kylo Ren...



removed his helmet.

I've read a few blogs, posts, whatever, where people talk about how some members of the audience laughed when Kylo Ren removed his helmet for the first time in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I laughed.

We are supposed to laugh or react if we go into this story blind.

I made sure to steer away from all spoilers, I didn't even pay attention to which actors played what parts. I didn't know Adam Driver played Kylo Ren.

So, up until the moment Kylo Ren removes his helmet, we don't know what we're dealing with.

I was expecting an ugly, scarred, mutilated bitter skinhead dude.

When he removed his helmet, his face caught me completely off guard and I laughed.

Not because it was funny.

Not because it was dumb.

On the contrary, it was a laugh of delight and wonder, the hallmark of a good story. This psychopath behind the mask is just an angry teenager or perhaps in his twenties. Someone possibly younger than my own sons. And a cute one at that. With not a mark on his pretty face as he pouts and cries and threatens, his soft dark curls bouncing in the light.

Of course, he gains our sympathy because we can see his face, feel his pain, actually see that he really is struggling between the dark and the light. He wants to be important like his idol, but he's fearful he will fail.

His vulnerability oozes from the screen.

At any rate, I know there are people who laughed for other reasons and that's fine too. There seem to be many people who find it difficult taking Kylo Ren seriously because he's played by Adam Driver. I myself hadn't seen his other work before seeing Star Wars so I can't judge about that.

But I can and will judge what I've seen so far and I say, "Good job!"

Most people who know me, know that I laugh out loud a lot in real life because I find humour in almost anything; my own quirky view of the world. So you can be sure I laughed and oohed and gasped audibly upon my first, and yes, even second viewing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I laughed the second time I saw him take off his helmet because I knew what to expect and was happy to see it again.

So laughing doesn't mean mocking or even that it's funny ha-ha. It's just a sound of delighted pleasure no matter what the reason!

I'm also the girl who laughs at parts in the Human Centipede movies and thinks Tropic Thunder is one of the best comedy movies of all time, with the exception of Young Frankenstein and High Anxiety.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I’m ready to chime in on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I come from it as the fourteen year-old-kid who saw the very first Star Wars the day it opened and then proceeded to go see it 27 more times that year in various theatres, even in Banff, Alberta when our orchestra played in a festival.

It spoke to me on some level. I loved the sound; it was new for the times. I loved the crawling opening credits, new for its time. I lived for the jump into hyperspace every time. Also a new special effect. So yes, I adored the state of the art bells and whistles for the seventies.

I loved the story. I liked Luke’s story the best, the teenager longing for more somewhere else. A male Dorothy hoping to go over the rainbow. And he does.

The story was simple, the characters are fairy tale archetypes, it was a basic battle between good and evil, a bit of magic/religion/occult energy, and so on. It all appealed to me plus I was a huge science fiction geek. This was also around the time that Stephen King came on the scene. But I digress.

I bought the soundtrack, the music soundtrack, the word for word dialogue soundtrack, books, comics, bubble gum cards, watched the talk shows and followed the actors careers, even read Postcards from the Edge. I wrote an essay about Star Wars in high school for one of my classes. Ah, the seventies!

When the next couple of movies came out, I didn’t really care for how they were going. I don’t know what I expected, but I wasn’t as hypnotised by them. I think it was after the one with Jar Jar Binks that I stopped watching. I didn’t see the Annikin growing up years. The commercials and other media didn’t and still haven’t compelled me to watch. I preferred my imaginary theories about how Annikin embraced the Dark Side.

I saw the Force Awakens trailer and was weepy and excited yet cautious. Would my heart be broken again? Would I hate yet another Star Wars?

I saw the movie the day it opened at a full house midnight screening in 3D with superdedupersound and reserved seating.

I saw it again today at one in the afternoon because there was a Blue Monday Special. If you had 500 Scene Card points, you could see a free movie. A movie of any level. So I chose the moving chairs, 3D, superdeupersound version and it didn’t cost me a dime.

Yeah baby, that’s how you see Star Wars!

I love the opening credits, the music. I love the homages. The movie felt like a comfortable old shoe. Sure some things were forced and obvious but it’s sort of a Star Wars tradition, isn’t it?
At any rate, The Force Awakens does a competent job setting up a story that will continue for two more movies.

Why I Think Rey Is Luke’s Daughter
When I first saw SW:TFA, I thought Rey was Luke’s daughter. Then I made the mistake of reading endless theories on the interwebs about how in the books, Ren and Rey are twins so that means Luke is her uncle and Han is her father. And certainly there are many scenes that suggest a family connection.

I was led down the Yellow Brick Road and even entertained other more elaborate theories about Rey's parentage with other characters including Ben Kenobee. Then I remember the basic premise of Star Wars. It’s always easy and obvious. So Rey is Luke’s daughter.

Today, armed with an open mind I watched for clues about who Rey is. My first Luke impressions were magnified more on second viewing.

Rey is left on abandoned desert planet as Luke was with his aunt and uncle on Tatooine. Rey is likely watched over by the junkyard owner.

Luke had a bit of the Force before his adventures began. He could shoot things and drive really well. When he met the gang, he was taught properly by Obi Wan.

Luke’s music is often played under Rey’s scenes. She even dresses like he did in SW.

Han and Leia adore her and on second viewing, they just might know her and are keeping their mouths shut.

Seeing the flashback again, this time with a shaky seat, in 3D, did she see her father load R2D2 with the map (like Leia did in the first movie)? Kylo Ren destroyed the school and formed Knights of the First Order, Rey was left with ”someone” on Jackku. So that was a child watching it all. She may have been training with the school as well or privately with her dad. He hid her from Kylo Ren. Since everyone knows Kylo Ren can read minds, no one speaks of it or admits it to keep her safe. She may even have played with that very light saber as a tiny child but had her mind wiped when she was left behind.

Kylo Ren
On first viewing, I loved the spoiled baby almost a sociopath teenage angst. Sort of reminded me of a certain young ruler in another country on earth. He also reminded me of Dandy on American Horror Story, my last year psychopath crush. I don’t find Kylo Ren as sociopathic as most other evil dudes. I believe he truly does have empathy and a soft side and feels bad for killing his dad but he’s trying to be the best ruler of the universe he can be. Snape, oops, Snoke told him to kill Han and he believes that Snoke knows best. But sadly as Leia and others said, he’s going to get fucked over in the end. Poor Kylo. He’s going to end up like the Joker or someone where you actually feel sorry for him even though he’s a murdering psychopath.

After my first viewing, Emo Kylo Ren was invented on Twitter. I love that feed. Then I saw Kylo differently. A goth like me!

The SNL skit of Kylo Ren as UnderCover Boss rocked. It hit all the right notes for a Star Wars nerd.

Today I watched carefully and enjoyed Adam Driver's Kylo Ren even more than the first viewing. He does a great job delivering empathy for Kylo whether he deserves it or not. And liking characters, whether good or evil, makes for some great duels and storylines.

Some people have made comments about how they see or don’t see Kylo Ren because they’re familiar with some of Driver’s other work. I myself haven’t seen the other shows he’s been on, so he’s fresh to me and I’m pleased with how he’s playing Kylo Ren. Kylo is very human and confused.

Kylo’s slash across his face isn’t that bad so he’d better not be all covered up forever in the rest of the sequels. He’s a good-looking guy (as most evil dudes are) and a slash will make him even more sexy. So don’t fuck it up whoever is directing the next one!

Kylo sensed Finn at the battle. Did he sense him because Finn too has the Force? Or because he sensed Finn’s fear and weakness and thoughts about defecting?

Kylo knew about Rey and her power because they’re cousins.

I love how Kylo hero worships Vader. It works very well in our current cult of the celebrity society.

Rey Learned Too Fast
No, she did not. She has Luke, Vader, and who knows who else’s blood in her. She was likely trained by her dad before she was left at the junkyard. Her fight scene was set up when we first meet her. Her pilot skills, her ingenuity, and her fighting skills all were showcased before she acquired the force from battle of the kin.

The Force Awakens
Rey’s Force awakens

Kylo Ren’s Force awakens

R2D2’s Force awakens

Finn’s Force awakens (why else would he suddenly deflect?)

Luke’s has been woken up.

Han gets to go back to sleep.

Chewie got highlights.

C3P0 got a red arm.

I’m Awake Now
I like how this film sets a firm footing on where we’re going from here. It’s a rehash of the first one and that’s just fine by me. It’s familiar enough, just complicated enough to keep watching and it’s easy to follow.

After all, as a published author myself, I'm well aware there are no new stories. It's how you tell the same old stories that counts.  I’m happy to follow these characters through a few more stories. 

I’m dying to know where Kylo Ren is going, if he’ll have a moment of remorse that will be his fatal flaw, or if he’ll go full throttle psychopath?

Will Rey endure months of temple meditating with dad or will they hop back onto the ship and go on an adventure?

I have lots more to say and will write more blogs.

Let me know your thoughts or any theories you want to discuss in the comments.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

American Horror Story Hotel: Finale Thoughts

I've been very busy lately with editing work, weekly tarotscopes, working on my new erotic astrology horror series, working at the college, getting ready to play Madame Something the Dust Witch as I read fortunes at The 1st Annual Something Strange Sideshow Circus Festival, and more. So I've been behind in my social mdia.

But I did see the finale of American Horror Story: Hotel. I have some thoughts about it but won't have time to relay all of them here. We'll see how far I get.

Liz Taylor
Yes oh yes, she wins the show this year. Last year, it was Dandy, this year, hands down to Liz. A complex, sympathetic character, a cartoon yet so real, you'd have to be made of stone not to have been sad at Liz's demise. The love between the Countess and Liz was very believable. They played one of my favourite Mari Anne Faithful songs. Magnificent. This last segment with Liz wasn't really a horror story but great dark romance.

Of course, we're all oh so happy as she is reunited with her darling Tristan for eternity. And she still has the option of her son and family visiting her at the hotel. Our Liz, for perhaps one of the first times in AHS history, is a moral character who did very little shit disturbing and receives reward in the afterlife.

Evan Peters
This young man deserves all the awards this time around. My goodness. How well he portrayed Mr. March and stuck to his character all the way through like Crazy Glue. He was genuinely a film noir character come to life, a ghost yet a person, a man who pulled no punches.

The storyline itself was uneven. His love story is sad; we all know the pain of unrequited love and to have to spend eternity together is Hell. So that part was fine.

His real life as a serial killer was great and of course, based on a real life hotel magnate serial killer.

But this whole Ten Commandments Killer plotline was horrible. There was no reason for his character to suddenly want that to happen at all.I hated it all so much that I'm not talking about it anymore.

Angela Bassett
The hottest most terrifying woman in the universe since Aunty Entity in Beyond Thunderdome, I don't know what I'd do if she came after me and ripped my neck out. I'd likely say, "Thank you," or swoon into a pool of blood.

She kicked ass in Hotel yet her character was dumb. There was no point to it. There was a vengeance against the Countess and she fulfilled it and now what? She runs around looking hot and ripping people to shreds.She needs a sequel.

Was he really hiding from Liz to let her have her own life or was he off screwing the Countess and losing track of the years? Once the dust settles, will there be a love triangle of jealousy once more? Or will Countess be happy with the new Valentino look-a-like that she seduces at the end of the episode?
Does Tristan truly love Liz?
I wasn't sure that he did back when he had his throat slit so I'm not sure how much I believe there is a true happy ending the way that Liz wants it to be.

So Queenie from Coven just wanders off to LA and gets killed in the haunted hotel. Really? She survives the witchcraft and voodoo madness of Coven but gets haunted to death? And no one ever came to look for her in those twenty years or so that the show covers?

Chloe Sevigny
Oh, Chloe, one day someone will know what to do with your haunting spooky beauty. They gave up on you yet again in this show. You could have been a killer sexy ravenous vampire like Angela, a killer team of aggression, but no, we just see you sleeping, and not even your beautiful face in a glass casket but just mashed into a drool covered pillow in a regular bed.

Poor Scarlett. If I were her, I'd refuse to go to the Hotel Cortez to hang out with serial killer dad, deadbeat mom, and ageless baby brother even once a year. Screw them. None of them gave a damn about her. I even mentioned it in previous blogs. She was just shuttled off to grandma's house. Mom chose her brother over her self. Her mom isn't even awake to see her for some reason. What's going on? This girl should have done something to fuck them over in the end. Why do they get what they want and she's the tormented one? I hope she has a great life in the outside world.

The reinvention theme was hammered home but worked. I liked how the empire was run from the hotel and there was a fashion show.That was cool.

Overall, I enjoyed the finale much more than other seasons. The storylines were wrapped up for the most part except for...

What is going on with Bartholomew? Is that where the Countess was all the time when she wasn't having dinner with her first husband or chilling with Tristan?

I enjoyed the first half more than the last as it was unexpected. There was a lot of tenderness and happiness akin to Freak Show than anything we've seen in Hotel. But I guess I didn't enjoy the second half as much because I hate the Ten Commandments killer storyline and everyone in it. Sorry gang. That's time wasted that could have been put elsewhere.

And it's funny because even though that particular story line was a snoozefest and the most important arc, this is the first time AHS has felt actually cohesive. No real turns out to Albuquerque. Everything linked and made sense. Not much was forgotten. No magicians with haunted puppets suddenly popping in for mayhem. Good stuff.