Cinderella Movie Review

I saw Disney’s new live-action Cinderella movie with my wife and we weren’t very impressed.

We went into it with high expectations. Everyone had told us it was good and a nice romance movie that we both would like to see.

First disappointment was that it wasn’t a musical with talking mice like the animated version.

The mice are still there, hungry and oppressed by the cat, but they don’t talk. The notes of the songs are still used in the movie’s score, but the movie is definitely not a musical with talking animals.

Next problem for me specifically was Cinderella’s beauty. I had the same problem in the new Snow White movie with Kristen Stewart. In both cases the story tells of the characters unsurpassing beauty. Its even an important plot point in the Snow White story. And then the movie fails to deliver. In both cases the villainous women are more attractive than the heroine.

This fact is possibly a conscious decision in Cinderella. She is far more kind and generous than her step-relatives and perhaps making the villains more outwardly beautiful than her was done to counterplay Cinderella’s inner beauty.

The story doesn’t stray far from the known narrative. The romance between Cinderella and the Prince seems genuine. They love each other because they both judge each other’s worth based on their personalities instead of their rank in society.

Their romance did seem a little tame compared to other romances though. I’m used to movies where true love is expressed by the characters jumping each others’ bones instead of holding hands and dancing.

Not that Disney did anything wrong by keeping the passion to a low level. The movie is intended for children and the historical setting imposes its own limitations on how far the lovers can go physically without being sinful.

The removal of the songs and the lack of adult romance didn’t ruin the movie, but it certainly doesn’t compare well to other Cinderella movies like Ella Enchanted or A Cinderella Story. If you’re in the mood for a sappy Cinderella romance I would suggest those over Disney’s live action Cinderella.

GoCorral

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Bible Videos

A still from one of DarkMatter2525's videos on Genesis.
A still from one of DarkMatter2525’s videos on Genesis.

Today I found this series of videos on Youtube made by DarkMatter2525.

His videos look at Biblical stories from a modern perspective.

Is the same logic that was true thousands of years ago true today?

What happens if you look at the mythological stories from a different perspective?

One of the ones I’ve watched so far is about how the world would’ve turned out if Adam and Eve never committed original sin.

Since death doesn’t exist without sin, the world just fills up with people until there is a second crust around the Earth made of animals and people.

The people don’t need to eat because they can’t die.

Eventually God gets fed up and force feeds Adam the apple.

The point DarkMatter2525 was trying to make is that Creation makes no sense if original sin isn’t included.

People would multiple with no end and a lot of the carnivorous creatures that are designed to eat other creatures would seem odd in a world where such an act isn’t possible.

Why does a lion have sharp teeth and killing claws if it doesn’t hunt its prey?

I grew up watching Veggie Tales videos at my friend’s house, so its especially interesting for me to see cartoon Biblical stories from a more adult perspective.

That’s all for tonight!

-Mister Ed

Order of the Stick

I read a few webcomics and one of my favorites is called Order of the Stick.

There are different genres of webcomics just like any other medium.

My favorite genre combination happen to be humorous comics about video games or D&D written by physicists or computer scientists.

Anyways, Order of the Stick fits pretty well into that genre.

Order of the Stick is drawn and written by Rich Burlew, a game designer who now does the comic full time.

The comic is about a band of adventurers named the Order of the Stick fighting the evil lich, Xykon.

As you can see the comic is drawn in a fairly simple style which is occasionally lampooned by the characters themselves. For example, Roy’s feet are different sizes and there is a comic where he talks about how his big shoe goes on his left foot.

Speaking of Roy, the main characters of Order of the Stick!

Roy is the black guy on the far right of the picture above. He is the leader of the Order of the Stick, an intelligent and principled fighter who fights Xykon due to an oath sworn by his father.

Next is Haley, a rogue with a complicated past. She joined the Order of the Stick to earn money to pay her father’s ransom. She’s stayed on due to the good work the group does and because she’s started dating the next person in line.

Elan is the blond guy playing the musical instrument. He is hyper aware of storytelling tropes. He also has an evil twin, a good mother, and an evil father. Elan is a bit dumb when it comes to anything that isn’t a storytelling device, but he has a pure heart.

Durkon is the short bearded guy. He’s a dwarven cleric. He looks out for everyone else in the party. He has a strong sense of honor and is always ready and willing to do the right thing.

The short bald guy behind Durkon is Belkar. He’s an evil halfling psychopath. His journey with the party is basically a form of community service for murders he’s committed in the past. You’d think this is weird, but its a fairly common gimmick used in D&D. The cat walking next to the party belongs to Belkar and is named Mr. Scruffy.

Flying above the party is Vaarsuvius, an elven wizard. Vaarsuvius is arrogant and uses magical power to cruelly avenge the slightest insult. Vaarsuvius’ gender is never revealed in the comic and is joked about on a few occasions.

Xykon is close to achieving his goal of using an ancient evil to rule the world, but the Order of the Stick is ready to stop him. Of more concern is Xykon’s assistant, Redcloak, who is planning on double crossing Xykon at any moment.

That’s enough on one comic for now!

-Mister Ed

Knights of the Dinner Table

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I read comics a lot when I was a kid, but the only subscription I’ve kept into adulthood is for Knights of the Dinner Table.

Knights of the Dinner Table is abbreviated as KODT. Why does “Of” make it into the abbreviation if “The” doesn’t? Because the authors don’t have copy editors and make a few mistakes every issue.

The mistakes in the magazine have become charming over time, some even seem to me to be done on purpose at this point.

The image above shows the typical art style for the comic, a bunch of talking heads.

The heads are literally just rotated using an image editing software and new expressions put on. The exact sort of thing that I’ve heard people dislike about comics in the newspaper.

So about now the comic seems like its done by unprofessionals, right? It kind of is.

None of the people who are involved in the comic’s creation have any sort of training or experience in the comic industry outside of KODT.

But the comic has been in circulation for over twenty years now. That’s gotta count for something!

KODT’s shining point is the content. While the art is minimal, that’s all that’s needed.

The comic is about a large gaming community in Muncie, Indiana. The Knights of the Dinner Table, shown above, are just one of many gaming groups within that community.

The comic follows the gaming sessions of the community as well as the random events of life.

The most recent issues cover B.A., the DM for the Knights, starting to date someone for the first time in his adult life.

I started reading KODT at issue 50 about the same time I started playing D&D. Over ten years later and they’re up to issue 207 now.

The comic and the game seem like almost the same thing to me at this point.

I look forward to getting my issue every month, even though they are technically two months behind schedule.

I still get one comic a month with the two months behind thing, but the holiday themed issues end up being a little strange. Everyone is wearing costumes in December and celebrating the new year in February.

The company that makes KODT has also put out an amazing roleplaying system called Hackmaster. I’ve bought it and look forward to playing it sometime.

But Hackmaster is something for a different blog post! That’s all for now.

-Mister Ed

Cartoon History

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I said in a previous post that I’m reading the Cartoon History of the Universe Part 3. Here’s the page I’m on now about Japanese civilization.

The Cartoon History series is now complete with five books. The first three are called Cartoon History of the Universe Parts 1-3 and the second two are called Cartoon History of the Modern World Parts 1-2.

The author’s name is Larry Gonick. He does a bunch of other cartoon non-fiction books as well.

I own Larry Gonick’s Cartoon Guide to Physics, Cartoon Guide to Chemistry, and his Cartoon History of the United States.

All his books are funny, informative, and quick to read. You can check out more of them at his simple website, www.larrygonick.com

I started reading the series in third grade when I was homeschooled by my parents.

Only the first two books existed then. I’ve read them cover to cover dozens of times since. This repeated reading is probably why I know so much about ancient history, but a lot less about anything after the fall of Rome.

I showed the books to my father-in-law recently because he was interested in the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empires.

His reaction upon flipping through them was surprise at the vast amount of sex in them.

Gonick doesn’t shy away from portraying the sexual scandals in his books. If sex between two people influenced their actions and their actions affected history, then he includes the sex.

I read the books when I was eight if that matters to anyone.

Gonick also writes a comic feature for the children’s science magazine, Muse. The magazine is written for ages 10-14.

The feature is a page comic of archetypal philosophers from different cultures talking with each other.

The philosophers also fool around and crack jokes in the margins of other articles throughout the magazine.

I’m rereading the later three Cartoon History books now so that I can fill the gaps in my natural recall of different historical periods.

I’ll probably need to reread it another dozen times before my recall of anything past 500AD is perfect, but I’m hoping that I’ll get there!

That’s all for tonight!

-Mister Ed