Posted in Books, Random

Bookshelf Shenanigans

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

I should have posted some of this last week, really, but I just wanted to post some pictures here.

I decided last week that I wanted a little change of pace concerning my bookshelf. After consulting a few friends of mine, I ultimately decided to rearrange my books in rainbow order!

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Sorry, this photo isn’t as good…the lighting on this side of the room isn’t as bright as the other

I also tried to arrange my Pop! Figures in rainbow order as well! Starting from the top, we have Starfire (Teen Titans Go!), Liz Sherman (Hellboy), Yoda (Star Wars), Beast Boy (TTG!), Abe Sapien (HB), Elisa Esposito (The Shape of Water), Eleven (Stranger Things), Batgirl (DC), Raven (TTG!), The Vision (Avengers), Rey (Star Wars, K-2SO (Star Wars), and Maleficent (Disney). While rearranging everything, I listened to The Bends (Radiohead). It was a lovely way to spend my afternoon. 🙂

Now, fast forward to today. After finishing up online school today, my day got exponentially better upon discovering that Aurora Burning had come in the mail! I preordered it a few months back, and I was counting down the days until its release. So, naturally, I decided to mess around with some Instagram filters and do a photoshoot. I don’t have a bookstagram or anything, but this is the closest I’ll ever get, seeing as I already spend too much time on there, anyway.

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And because I find the orange and teal filter oh so satisfying…

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A A A A A A A A A

I haven’t yet read Aurora Burning (I would have started it, but I had already started Girls in the Moon), but at this point, I think it’s guaranteed that I’ll adore it. We’ll see. But from what I can tell, I’ll have to have my tissues at the ready. Either way, I’ll definitely review it next week! 😉

 

Today’s song:

I’d forgotten about this one until it came on my shuffle this morning. I already loved the other version, but with the underlying cover of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” and the choir towards the last thirds…needless to say, I got goosebumps. I think it might be my favorite song at the moment.

 

That’s it for this random post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Geeky Stuff, Movies

The Rise of Skywalker, or “GUESS WHO’S FINALLY BACK FROM THE DEAD…”

[wipes a coat of dust off of computer screen] Oh, hey everybody! I’m officially on winter break now, and I’ve got my finals over with, so I’m back on my normal(ish) schedule for now. I still might be a tad sluggish through next week, what with holiday festivities coming up, but I suppose this post marks the end of my hiatus.

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Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff.

Last night, I saw The Rise of Skywalker. Despite some of the reviews, I still came in with my expectations absolutely through the roof (curse you, TFA/TLJ-nostalgic brain…), but I expected nothing that came my way. And quite frankly? I’ll have to watch it again, but The Rise of Skywalker might just be my favorite of the sequels.

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Now, fair warning: DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, AS THIS REVIEW WILL PROBABLY BE CRAWLING WITH SPOILERS. I’m really sorry, I just haven’t quite found a way to write something that adequately expresses my emotions without revealing half the plot. Oops.

 

Let’s start off with the central plot, concerning Rey, Kylo Ren, and…Palpatine. Yep, that’s right, folks, the cryptic trailer laughter wasn’t all for naught.

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The revelation of Rey’s true heritage definitely served to complete her/Kylo’s arc deftly; Now that she knows who she’s truly descended from, she has a complex battle with her own emotions, but eventually realizes that blood does not determine one’s destiny. A beautiful theme, I think, and one that mirrors the original trilogy without being too on-the-nose about it. I also THOROUGHLY enjoyed seeing all of the backstory with Palpatine in hiding on Exogul (Am I spelling that right? It’s the Sith planet, however it’s spelled). I was a bit suspicious when the rumors about his resurrection starting circling, but as I started watching the movie, I realized that it’s exactly the kind of thing that you’d expect Palpatine to do, and, in a way, ties a tiny bit into one of the themes of The Last Jedi: failure.

Palpatine lost everything at the end of Return of the Jedi. Betrayed by his own apprentice (hey, that’s just karma, buddy), his empire destroyed, and all of his efforts in were in vain. And of course, because he couldn’t bear to see his disturbed dreams flushed down the drain, he…stole away to a fabled planet in the unknown regions, brings himself back to life, and tries to get his granddaughter back to his side to resurrect the Sith and the Empire for good. As one does. But the root of that is that he cannot accept his own failure. His refusal to accept failure is, in part, what makes him a crucial antagonist, however over the top, in this film. For learning from failure, as Rey, Luke, and all the rest soon learn, is what truly makes a person a true hero, perhaps.

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And Rey. Oh, Rey…

Ever since I saw The Force Awakens in sixth grade, I’ve looked up to her in so many ways. And to see her complete her beautiful arc, and go against the wretched evil that runs in her blood to become what she knows is right, made me so happy. There’s so much controversy and scorn directed at her from the fandom (I stand by the fact that she is not a Mary Sue, thank you very much…notice how naïve she is in the first two films? That’s a character flaw, if I’ve ever seen one…), but she is, at heart, a role model, and an archetypal, unforgettable hero. So I owe a big thanks to her.

Her, and Finn, Poe, and all the rest. After a few years of bonding, the complex relationships of these characters have finally come into their own, having been through so much. Astounding chemistry, several tear-jerking scenes, and brimming with heart…these characters truly are a big part of what makes these films so unforgettable.

But…but…okay, I’m still pretty bitter that we didn’t get FinnPoe. I mean, COME. ON. Their feelings for each other couldn’t have been more obvious…and yeah, some props to Disney for having a brief lesbian kiss at the end, but they’re probably just doing that to check off a representation box. To be sure, it’s wonderful to see, and I felt kind of warm and fuzzy, but having two characters that are so undeniably in love lacking any sort of romantic resolution is just disappointing. Finn and Poe are a couple. Don’t you dare tell me otherwise. Thank you, goodnight.

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Overall, The Rise of Skywalker was a phenomenal end to the Skywalker saga, beautiful both thematically and visually. But, it certainly wasn’t without its flaws.

Though seeing the arcs of major characters (Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn, Poe, etc.) were satisfying, there were some areas where I’d like to have seen a little more backstory. Of course, the movie was nearly 3 hours long already, so we would’ve had Avengers: Endgame 2: Electric Boogaloo if everything was expounded upon. And there’s one character in particular that I would’ve like to have explored more in depth:

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Bill Weasley  General Hux.

After the death of Snoke in The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren rose to power as the Supreme Leader of the First Order. In the beginning of Skywalker, there’s a mention that there’s a mole in the First Order, and we later find out that Hux himself, the cold, ruthless general, is the one who alerted the Resistance to Palpatine’s reawakening. Disappointingly, though, after helping Rey, Finn, Poe, and the others escape, he’s shot, brushed off of the First Order’s shoulder without another word.

The mere fact that the death of Snoke has pushed him this far is absolutely intriguing. We’re now sure of where his loyalties truly lay this whole time: only with Snoke. With him gone and his rival, Kylo Ren,  in power, he seems to have had an extreme internal conflict, questioning who he truly trusts. Such a dramatic change of character was absolutely astounding to see, but I feel that it was an afterthought. As with a few other elements of the film (parts of the path to find the Sith Wayfinder, Finn never telling Rey whatever it is that he so desperately wanted to tell her, etc.), I felt that parts were a bit rushed, and a bit of focus on something other than the grand Palpatine plot could have done the film some necessary service. But, all things considered, The Rise of Skywalker was as unforgettable as its predecessors, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I am so grateful to have witnessed. Solid…ooh, 9/10 for me? Maybe more like 8.7, but either way, I WANNA SEE IT AGAIN. 

 

I’ll be back next week with some more content, so stay tuned for more! Have a lovely rest of your day, and I hope you enjoy The Rise of Skywalker as immensely as I did!

 

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Posted in Uncategorized

2017

Before I get on with this post, I’d like to mention a few things.

  1. Happy Holidays, guys! I hope you all are enjoying your Holiday season!
  2. Oops. Sorry about the absence of the BRT this Tuesday. I had just gotten off the high that was Christmas Day and the thought of doing the book review never crossed my mind. I won’t be able to do a BRT 2-year anniversary post (that would have been tomorrow) nor a first BRT of 2017 for I will be in Florida once again. Sorry, guys.

 

Alright, I take back what I said about 2016 being the best and worst year of my life. It’s now probably just the worst. 2017 was…well…like 2016, but a little less horrible. Like last year, lots of people died, humans did a bunch of terrible things, there’s been a bunch of horrible natural disasters, and one of the best singers of all time came out with an underwhelming fifth album. (Sorry, Annie…) What I’m saying is that it’s been one heck of a ride this year. I’m glad we’ve gotten through it…well, technically, we’ve got a couple more days, but you know what I mean.

But as with 2016, there have been some truly great things that happened this year. We’ve gotten a truckload of fantastic books (Nightfall, Darkness of Dragons, Warcross, Whichwood etc.), movies (The Last Jedi, Wonder Woman, Justice League, and even though I haven’t seen it, I know this one’s going to be awesome, The Shape of Water), albums (Everything Now, Heartworms) and TV shows (Stranger Things 2). Of course, we’ve gotten meh material from all of those categories (Thor Ragnarok, MASSEDUCTION, etc.), but man, as far as some of those things go, we’ve gotten pretty lucky. Pretty lucky to have all of these amazing things, and lucky to be alive in the first place.

And this year has been a big year for me personally as well. I’ve conquered some fears, visited some astounding and eye-opening new places (the Grand Canyon and New York City), honed my drawing skills, and realized my writing potential. Also, meeting Millie Bobby Brown at Denver Comic Con was most definitely a highlight. She was such a nice person. It was such an honor to meet her. If you’re reading this, Millie, thank you so much. 

Now, 2018 is just around the bend. I’ve got hopes that we’ll further rise from the ashes of years previously, strive to be brave, strong, and kind. We can try and make the world a bit of a better place. Also, we can try and hold in our excitement for Avengers: Infinity War until May. OH MY GOD, THAT TRAILER LOOKED AWESOME!

 

Let’s make 2018 a great year, everyone. Together. *holds out lightsaber for no apparent reason*

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Posted in Geeky Stuff, Movies

Breathe. Just…breathe…THE LAST JEDI IS OUT!!!

*LOUD WOOKIEE ROARING ENSUES*

 

GUYS, GUYS, GUYS! THE LAST JEDI WAS AWESOME!!!!!

 

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After the first trailer came out, I had this as my iPod wallpaper for like, a month straight or something. It was pretty dang amazing.

 

A word of advice: please don’t listen to the haters on this one, guys. Yeah, there’s some things that could have been improved upon, I wasn’t thrilled with a few of the new characters, but overall, it is an absolutely SPECTACULAR film. And I swear on the soul of Carrie Fisher that I won’t spoil any of the huge surprises, but I’ll tell you that both your mind and your heart will probably explode by the time the credits start rolling.

 

Just like in The Force Awakens, Daisy Ridley’s Rey really blew it out of the water once again. I absolutely love her-tough, fierce, and focused, but vulnerable and kind on the inside. Poe and Finn were wonderful too, aside from a few corny comments that Finn makes on the side. But hey-it’s Star Wars, you’ve gotta have a little something corny. And Kylo Ren-OH. MY. GOODNESS. HE’S SPECTACULAR. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. Something tells me that the Reylo shippers are going to go flippin’ insane after watching The Last Jedi, but now…I hate to say this, but there’s something that happens that I won’t say, but Reylo almost makes sense now. I’ll leave it at that.

Leia and Luke are wonderful as well. Leia was such a powerful character in this installment, as always, and I loved how Luke has transformed from a whiny (Sorry, Mr. Hamill…) young man into a much older and saltier one. Heck, I’m willing to bet that he’s saltier than the ocean around that island…😂 Chewie’s as lovable as always, as well.

 

As for the newer characters, I’ve got mixed feelings. Rose was kinda cute-a tad bit too bubbly, but she was sweet. Nowhere near as cool as Rey, but you know, nothing can possinly come close to her. I kinda hated Vice Admiral Holdo’s guts, but I kinda get the feeling that you were almost supposed to. (Also, what’s with that silver thingy in her hair? Whaaa?)

And then DJ…

GAAAAAAH. I felt PHYSICALLY UNCOMFORTABLE EVERY SINGLE TIME HE CAME ONSCREEN. SO. ****ING. CREEPY. GOD.

Also, the porgs were the best. Better than the ewoks, if I may be so bold. SO CUTE!!! They were perfect comic relief-not to annoying, and the perfect amount of feathery puffball adorableness.

 

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SQUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWK!!!

 

The plot was also a perfect balance of Empire Strikes Back homage and startling, stunning new directions that ultimately blew my mind (and probably most everyone else’s in the immediate vicinity of the theater). Like I said, I will spoil nothing, but man-it is spectacular.

 

 

So please, fellow Star Wars fans, GET OUT THERE AND GO SEE IT!!!! PLEASE!!! I BEG YOU!!! *shrill porg screeching*

 

Hope you enjoyed my review!