The Anne Frank Foundation has announced that a comic book detailing Anne Frank's life will be released on September 18th.
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The Anne Frank Foundation has announced that a comic book detailing Anne Frank's life will be released on September 18th.
Netflix’s new Death Note movie has been receiving poor reviews (from top critics and Byte staff ) and a lot of negative feedback on social media; however it is unlikely that many are surprised at the negative reception. Fans of anime are used to live-action flops by now. With horrendous anime adaptions like the 2015 Attack on Titan movie in Japan and awful American examples like 2009’s Dragon Ball Evolution, the transition from an animated twenty minute episode to feature length live-action film has proven time and time again to result in failure. But why?
By Emily Reuben Netflix’s new Death Note movie has been receiving poor reviews (from top critics and Byte staff ) and a lot of negative feedback on social media; however it is unlikely that many are surprised at the negative reception. Fans of anime are used to live-action flops by now. With horrendous anime adaptions like the 2015 Attack on Titan movie in Japan and awful American examples like 2009’s Dragon Ball Evolution, the transition from an animated twenty minute episode to feature length live-action film has proven time and time again to result in failure. But why? Japanese anime adaptions can be just as subpar (i.e. Attack on Titan) as American versions, but why do American film adaptations of anime series tend to be spectacularly bad? Case in point, Death Note. That’s right, Adam Wingard’s Death Note. I will understand if you leave the page now. Based on the trailer alone, I think it is apparent that this version of Death Note is vastly different from the original featuring a different tone, character portrayal, and environment. So with the differences between Death Note and the anime series in mind, at what point do the Japanese customs, humor, ideologies, and culture found in anime become lost in translation when remaking a work for an American audience? Furthermore, can the cultural norms woven into Japanese narratives be effectively recrafted and reframed for western viewers? Furthermore, what about changes in filmmaking such as cinematography, music choice, and casting? Five films have been created in Japan that are based on the original manga and subsequent anime series that have been met with either positive or mixed reviews whereas the Netflix version has been received with overwhelmingly negative reviews. What makes these Japanese films less problematic than the American film? How to adapt anime We will get to all of that, but first it is imperative to discuss the various stages anime typically go through when being adapted. Usually a work starts as a manga, is given an anime adaption, and later at least one full-length movie if the anime is popular enough. This is complicated when other mediums are added to a franchise, but for now let's narrow our focus on three forms anime franchises usually take: manga, anime, and film adaption. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="983"] The anime kept visually true to the source manga[/caption] I mentioned before that Japanese anime adaptations are typically nothing to write home about. This may be surprising considering that all of the cultural elements should remain intact in the Japanese movie, but other elements are important to consider other than underlying cultural norms. Rather than focusing on the issue of cultural elements in regards to the failure of Japanese anime movie adaptations, a more important focus is narrative and the medium of television versus film. The televised anime format allows for both episodic (different, non-continuous plots episode after episode) and serial (a plot continuing episode after episode) styles of narrative, meaning that a story can either unfold gradually over the course of a series or feature characters that partake in new, relatively unrelated ventures on an episode-by-episode basis. While anime such as Detective Conan or Pokémon allow for viewers to jump in at any given time without much confusion, many popular anime feature a serial style of narrative with the exception of filler episodes occasionally scattered throughout the main story-arc. These narratives depend on the viewer watching each episode of a series in the order they were aired. For example, shows like Death Note, Naruto, Attack on Titan, and Tokyo Ghoul all exemplify serial formatting and require that the viewer watch from the beginning of the series. The number of episodes in an anime or television show determine how quickly the plot must move forward. For example longer series like Monster (74 episodes) have plenty of time to develop characters, setting, and conflict in a way that shouldn’t feel too fast paced or complicated for viewers. Even the typical 10 to 20 episode anime are usually able to produce successful narratives within the series run-time. Why is this? Because of the time allotted by the television format. Instead of being confined to a one to two hour film, a television program is able to have multiple twenty-ish minute episodes. Even a short 12 episode anime adds up to approximately four hours of content. In contrast to the runtime of a typical feature film, television programming has the luxury of typically not having to cram in so much material in such a short time. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="357"] Some scenes from anime are difficult to adapt to the live action format[/caption] Does this mean that all anime are successful simply because they are largely made in a television format? Of course not. Even a successful 26 episode anime like Fruits Basket has been unable to take all of the content from the manga series and implement it into the anime. The original manga series consisted of 136 chapters. To make the show work, the anime creators had to end the series roughly around chapter 36 in the manga to keep the characters’ personalities intact and to refrain from rushing the story. What this tells us is that anime and television formats, while having a greater latitude with time in comparison to film, have limitations as well, especially when the added complexity of adapting a manga into anime. This means that the transition from manga to anime and anime to film is bound to result in a ton of cut content to match the format of the new media. On the flip side, trying to cram too little into too long of a series, as is the case with Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga which desperately tries to stretch 11 chapters of content into a 12 episode anime, slows the pacing to a near halt and is boring to watch. So in short, the medium of a work drastically impacts the narrative’s pacing. To adapt one work from one medium into another totally different medium, appropriate changes must be made to fit the needs of the new medium. Additionally, considering that animation allows for no real visual limits (except the animator’s own creativity and budgetary constraints), some anime scenes are less adaptable and simply impossible to recreate with a live-action cast. This is where rewrites and additions often come into play to make a scene more realistically adaptable for live action. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"] As realistic Death Note was, parts of the anime would not translate easily to live action[/caption] Now to be clear, being more adaptable does not translate to a good adaption; it simply means easier to recreate. To add another layer of complexity, anime adaptions made outside of Japan go through more difficulties in taking an Asian story and characters and making these concepts appealing to westerners unfamiliar with other cultures. So with this brief overview of narrative structures and switching mediums out of the way, we can begin looking more closely at why anime adaptations, specifically Death Note, simply don’t work. Turner vs Yagami; West vs East Finally I can move onto Netflix’s tragic release. To me, Death Note is a strange movie; it is more of a reimagining than an adaption of the original. In theory this should have allowed for more creative freedom, but there are a few crucial flaws that keeps Death Note from breaking free of the source material’s shadow: the inability to craft a more relatable narrative for western viewers around meaningful characters. Japan is what is known as a collectivist society. In a collectivist society, the needs to the society come before the needs of the individual. Basically, Japan prioritizes the needs faced by Japan collectively (healthcare, economics, Japan’s appearance to foreign countries, education) over the needs of the individual (wants or desires). Individuals in a collectivist society that value their individualism over the needs of the society are often met with negative reception. In regards to Death Note, the presence of a killer that wants to rid the world of evil for the betterment of society is a collectivist ideal; the individuals causing the problems for the collective society are punished. However, by placing himself above everyone else in an attempt at reaching godhood, Light shows that those who break from society, even with good intentions, end up making themselves worse off in the end. America, by contrast, is an individualistic society. American ideals value the liberties and freedoms of individuals to live the way their lives see fit. Because of this difference from Japanese culture, Light (and by extension Kira) does not align with typical American ideals. To remedy this, the Netflix iteration changed Light from a self-proclaimed martyr for Japanese society to a rebellious vigilante who wants to circumvent the rules, because the rules are dumb. The American Light values his individual needs first and foremost representing an American narrative. This change would be commendable if the resultant focus on the individual didn’t come off as an accident relying on the trope of the bullied kid out for revenge. There are virtually no other elements present in the story that point to a conscious change in theme to better represent the American setting of the film. In an attempt to keep audiences from being alienated by Japanese views, Netflix’s Death Note, unintentionally, becomes relatable to no one. Let's talk about whitewashing When changing the target audience and narrative structure from the original Death Note, it would make sense to craft new characters, based loosely around those from the manga and anime, to match the new narrative structure. Instead director Adam Wingard Americanized the existing characters by erasing the Japanese character traits and substituting them with more western attributes, but this was a poor decision and a massive oversight. By changing these characters of Japanese nationality to white Americans, the show creators have made the implicit statement that American representation is whiteness. Instead of giving Japanese Americans these roles, they were simply crafted into white stereotypes. The character L is a more complicated issue, seeing as his actor is black whereas the original character of L was not. This, while not exactly whitewashing, still deprives Japanese Americans being cast as Asian characters. The PBS Idea Channel’s video “Why Doesn’t Hollywood Cast Asian Actors?” further explains the operant issue here known as Asian Erasure. In this video, CGQ Editor Kevin Nguyen asserts that in American media “...Asian Americans just haven’t really been present. There still aren’t a lot of Asian movie stars. You still don’t really see a lot of Asian men and women in tv and music. You know some are there, but the reality is that you know, we’ve largely been cut out of the picture.” So Asian Americans are not only underrepresented, they are denied representation in works that depict their own culture. “But wait!” You might declare. “A lot of people in Japan like the American portrayals of Japanese characters.” Well you wouldn’t be wrong. Japanese response to Scarlett Johansson’s character in Ghost in the Shell seemed relatively positive. However, Kevin Nguyen addresses the complexity of this issue: “You know, there was a great Youtube video where someone asked when Scar Jo was announced...a bunch of people in Japan if they cared about it, and they don’t because Asian representation is not a problem in Japanese films because they’re predominately cast with Japanese people. I think whitewashing is particular to America in a lot of ways where the Asian American experience is not represented in any major media...so it’s always funny where they try and get like ‘oh the real Asians over there have given us their blessing’. And that’s an extremely disingenuous and, at worst, insidious way of diminishing charges of whitewashing.” Japanese Americans are not able to see themselves reflected in most American media; Japanese people in Japan see themselves reflected constantly. Japanese people living in Japan are far less likely to feel as if their culture is being covered up when they live in a culturally homogenous society that portray the dominant group of people constantly. When roles are taken away from Japanese Americans, a group already given extremely few opportunities for portrayal, the issue becomes extremely problematic. By failing to create both legitimately original characters (not just changing last names) and hiring a more diverse Japanese cast, Death Note adds to the problem of Asian erasure. With these concepts in mind, let’s answer one of the initial questions posed above: why do the Japanese Death Note appear more favorable to viewers? Putting aside cinematography and writing, the Japanese Death Note films not only follow the original narrative more closely; they were derived from a Japanese story made by Japanese filmmakers for a Japanese audience. Because of this, many of the narrative devices and character traits were allowed to remain intact. There was less of a concern regarding if Japanese audiences would resonate with the characters. In the end, not all western anime adaptions have to fail, but they often do due to poor execution and judgement. Often what makes a series so beloved are the elements that American directors try to do away with to appeal to the western crowd. We can only hope that one day Hollywood will learn that there is a reason anime is popular and not feel the need to add an American fingerprint on everything that comes to our shore from Japan. But don’t hold your breath; Death Note may be getting a sequel.
The infamous manga Death Note, written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by the impressive Takeshi Obata from 2003 to 2006, became immensely popular for its themes discussing human morality and justice. After the manga’s great success, an anime series was created in 2006 followed by two video games, four live action films, two novels, a television drama, a musical (I’m serious), and a miniseries. Obviously, Death Note is extremely successful and marketable; it can be made in almost any form and consumers will buy into it even if the content is poor in quality.
by Emily Reuben The infamous manga Death Note, written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by the impressive Takeshi Obata from 2003 to 2006, became immensely popular for its themes discussing human morality and justice. After the manga’s great success, an anime series was created in 2006 followed by two video games, four live action films, two novels, a television drama, a musical (I’m serious), and a miniseries. Obviously, Death Note is extremely successful and marketable; it can be made in almost any form and consumers will buy into it even if the content is poor in quality. The Netflix original film, Death Note, is a prime example of both creative liberty gone awry and a failed Western anime adaption. Netflix’s latest film Death Note shows little respect for the ingenious source material it vaguely resembles. Even without taking the original Death Note series into account, Netflix’s recent attempt is ridden with plot holes, ill-defined characters, poor cinematography, and even baffling music choices. When a killer notebook falls from the sky… The film begins with a strange montage of high school sports activities with an awkward teen as the center of focus. Light Turner (apparently Light’s actual Japanese name, Yagami, was too edgy for American audiences) is a seemingly smart teen who makes easy money by doing his classmates’ homework. Just as in the anime, a strange notebook suddenly falls from the sky. Light picks up the notebook titled “Death Note” and proceeds with his day. After picking up the mysterious notebook, Light tries to help a cute cheerleader, Mia, stop a bully from assaulting another classmate. Light is knocked out and then scolded for being found unconscious with other students’ homework. Light becomes upset that he is being punished for such a trivial crime when the person who had initially assaulted him walks free. This is a personal subject for Light, as he suffers from the ever so common dead mother syndrome that afflicts so many film protagonists. Light’s mother was apparently killed in an unspecific car accident, and the driver was let off the hook. Because of this troubled past and the recent assault that had also gone unpunished, Light believes that the world is unfair and that there is no morality or justice to be found in the world. Eventually, a demon-like creature known as Ryuk appears to Light. He persuades Light to use the Death Note to do “great things”. With Mia’s help and Ryuk’s persuasion, Light uses the Death Note to kill criminals, under the alias “Kira”, and eventually becomes revered as a god by those longing for justice in the world. The detective L and his comrade, Watari, begin to hunt down Kira and tensions begin to rise. Americanized and robbed of all purpose Well according to the film’s director, Adam Wingard, “the artist always wins in the long run”: https://twitter.com/AdamWingard/status/901333402380455937 Sadly for Wingard this only holds true if the film is good. And Death Note is not. Putting the massive deviations from the source material aside (for now), the biggest issue is a lack of motivation given to characters. Their personalities aren’t showcased enough to make their desires clear. Light is the worst offender: he states he wants to stand up for the little guys, but there is very little evidence that Light even cares about anything other than revenge for his mother’s death. We were shown that he was knocked out by a bully, but is this minor high school incident really enough to justify his massive killing spree? He mindlessly kills criminals and there is very little reason why he does this other than “Ryuk said I should, so guess it could maybe be a good thing to kill bad guys”. The show wants us to believe that Light has some complicated, important plan for himself and the Death Note, but he is portrayed more as a misguided high schooler playing around with his new girlfriend, Mia. Misa Amane, the girl Light manipulates and uses to advance Kira’s powers in the original version, is noticeably absent from the film. Instead she is replaced by the cheerleader Mia, who is so uninteresting she is almost difficult to describe. She, like Light, wants to make the world a better place - how original. That’s her entire character. The audience is given no indication of who she is other than her relationship to Light (if you can call it a relationship), and oddly she takes on a role closer to the anime version of Kira than Light does but without intelligence. Like Kira’s character in the series, she tends to think in terms of the ends justifying the means while Light has some morals, albeit faulty morals. She is presented as stronger, more dedicated, and more ambitious than Light, which makes you wonder why she is given so little character development. Light is denied a chance for character growth largely because half of the character he is based off is given to Mia in an attempt to make him more sympathetic; we can’t have a character do evil things without prompting or dramatic backstory apparently.
by Ryan Fine Another year, another VMA. From a show that usually gives us spectacular performances like Britney Spears performing with a giant, live python in 2001 or unexpected moments like Kanye West’s infamous Taylor Swift acceptance speech hijacking in 2009, this year’s awards show seemed fairly run-of-the-mill in comparison. But as always, some nominees and performers left The Forum with a heap of Moonman awards and others left disappointed and empty-handed. The biggest winner in last night’s categories was the Compton hip-hop juggernaut Kendrick Lamar. He opened the show with a medley featuring two songs from his critically acclaimed new album DAMN., a performance in which a man was literally ignited into flames. His video for the song “HUMBLE.” went on to win a grand total of five awards including Best Hip-Hop Video, Best Visual Effects, and the coveted Video of the Year award. Interestingly, he ended up losing the Artist of the Year award to Ed Sheeran. The other winner of the night was Taylor Swift, who used the opportunity to premiere the music video for her new single “Look What You Made Me Do”. Despite not actually being at The Forum, she picked up as much attention for the video as she did for the song itself, as it features Taylor Swift as a hybrid zombie snake queen while inviting all of her past personas into the fold. She even ended up nabbing a Best Collaboration award for “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever”, her duet with Zayn Malik for the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack. The genre categories also picked up a lot of one-time winners, such as Alessia Cara, Fifth Harmony, and Twenty One Pilots, and P!nk was awarded the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award for her well-documented music video legacy. But when one person wins, another must lose. Katy Perry, who hosted the show, did not end up with any awards despite her nomination in five categories. Though her performance of “Swish Swish” was as dramatic as one would expect from her at this point, most of the social media attention went to Taylor Swift, with whom her infamous feud is still ongoing. Lorde sits somewhere in the middle of conquest and failure. In spite of a pestering flu, she performed “Homemade Dynamite” from her summer hit album Melodrama, powering through the song with understandable awkwardness. On a night that tended to be politically charged and angry, minor triumphs like this one ended up being highly charming, and although the raw excitement was toned down, there were a number of nice moments that shone through the fog. Sources: Video Music Awards Image: Lokál
On Saturday August 26, legendary horror director Tobe Hooper died of natural causes. Hooper is best known for directing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist.
by Emily Reuben On Saturday August 26, legendary horror director Tobe Hooper died of natural causes. Hooper is best known for directing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist. During the 60s, Hooper worked as both a college professor and documentary cameraman until he decided to direct his own works. This culminated in his 1965 short The Heisters which generated buzz about winning the short subject award. Hooper’s most infamous film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, released in 1974 causing massive controversy. The film focuses on a group of friends that have a nasty run in with a family of murderous cannibals. The film exaggeratedly marketed itself as a “real story”, basing the film’s main antagonist, Leatherface, on the real life serial killer Ed Gein. Produced for less than $300,000 and featuring unknown actors, Hooper had difficulty finding distributor willing to take a chance on the film. Eventually, Bryanston Pictures bought distribution rights and the film was released on October 1974. Due to the gruesome nature of the film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was banned in multiple countries immediately following the release. Despite this, Hooper’s film made over $30 million. The following year Hooper directed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. These low budget films sparked an entire franchise. After the first two films, a third film, Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, was directed by Jeff Burr in 1990. Other films in the franchise include Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013), and an upcoming addition to the franchise called Leatherface is slated for release sometime this year. Outside the realm of movies, the franchise has also produced one of the first horror video games on the Atari 2600, which was highly controversial in that it allowed players to kill as Leatherface. Additionally, there is an unreleased short film, a comic series, a book, and a novel that all fall under the Texas Chainsaw Massacre umbrella. Hooper also directed Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed Poltergeist in 1982. The plot focuses on a family that is haunted by evil spirits that possess the family’s youngest daughter. Hooper was chosen by Spielberg to direct the project based on his work on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The film was nominated for three academy awards and his been highly praised by critics and fans alike. To further emphasize the success of Poltergeist, the Chicago Film Critics Association named Poltergeist the 20th scariest movie ever created. Poltergeist also sparked a franchise after its release. Poltergeist II: The Other Side released in 1986, followed by a third movie, Poltergeist III, in 1988. A television series, Poltergeist: The Legacy ran from 1996 to 99. Finally, a remake of the original film titled Poltergeist was recently released in 2015. Hooper’s works have cemented him as one of the most influential horror directors of all time. He popularized the advertising tactic of making films that are “based on a true story” and helped breathe life into the horror genre by showing that big budgets aren’t necessary to make great films. Sources: Variety, IMDb Image: IMDb
by Emily Reuben Announced earlier today, pop sensation Taylor Swift is releasing a single from her newest album this Thursday night. Swift first dropped clues on her social media pages, featuring videos of CGI crafted snakes, possibly referencing the #TaylorSwiftIsaSnake hashtag that began circulating on Twitter during the summer of 2016 as a result of tension between Swift and other celebrities. Despite the mixed reputation the singer has acquired amongst audiences and fellow celebrities, the young artist has recently been the center of the spotlight due to the allegations made against her by David Mueller, the former host of KYGO. Mueller claims that Swift, her mother, and radio promotions director are responsible for his job termination. He alleges that because Swift and those listed above reported Mueller had inappropriately touched her during a 2013 photo shoot he had lost his position. The lawsuit Mueller filed against Swift amounted to $3 million. As a result, Taylor Swift countersued and stated she would donate money gained from her countersuit to organizations who aid women who have been victims of sexual assault. In the end, the jury ruled in favor of Swift as there appeared to be no clear evidence that Swift intended to have Mueller fired after her report to his superior. The case catapulted Taylor Swift onto various Facebook timelines and Twitter feeds as fans and supporters supported the singer’s handling of the situation and bringing more public awareness to sexual assault. Her sixth album titled Reputation will be releasing on November 10th. Sources: CNN, CNN, MSN Entertainment Images: Twitter, Twitter, Instagram
Warning: This review contains spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of Game of Thrones.
Gen Con, which tickets itself as being “the largest annual consumer fantasy, electronic, sci-fi, and adventure game convention in North America”, is celebrating its 50th convention this year in the summer of 2017. Being held in the Indiana convention center, the “Best Four Days in Gaming!” ™ currently boasts over 16,000 scheduled, ticketed events and more than 500 exhibitors at its 2017 convention in Indianapolis. How did it get to where it is though? Where did this hobbyist gathering start?
by Emily Reuben Warning: This review contains spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of Game of Thrones. After the action packed of last week’s episode, “Eastwatch” has huge shoes to fill. The episode begins with the Lannister and Tarly armies being taken hostage by Daenerys, with the exception of Bronn and Jamie who escape back to King’s Landing. Daenerys tells the captured army to bend the knee and convert to her cause, or alternatively be executed on the spot. Randyll and Dickon Tarly refuse, and despite Tyrion’s pleas to spare the nobles, Daenerys’ commands Drogon to burn them alive. With constant comparisons to Daenerys’ father, the Mad King, this scene serves as a reminder that Daenerys can easily stray from the compassionate breaker of chains to the Mad Queen. This possibility is discussed later in the episode as Tyrion relays the events to Varys. Varys warns Tyrion to keep Daenerys in check, as her tendencies to burn people alive are a bit troublesome. Despite this exchange, there doesn’t seem to be much to fear yet in regards to Dany; Daenerys at the very least listens to Tyrion’s advice and attempts to negotiate rather than brutally executing her enemies without a thought. This is a bit of a problem in the show. The audience is constantly reminded that Dany is the Mad King’s daughter, the show often paints her decisions as questionable, and features other characters discussing her morality, but typically she always comes out as a “hero figure” with little thought amongst her followers regarding the counterproductive feats she has accomplished, until now. It seems strange that Varys is suddenly so skeptical of Dany when, at this time, she is acting rather rationally and calculating her moves carefully, whereas in the past her worldview has been very black and white, resulting in more sporadic killings and drastic actions. It just seems like the show is a bit confused in how it wants to present Dany; is she a flawed hero, sympathetic villain or somewhere in-between? “Eastwatch” features another scene demonstrating the impressiveness of Drogon. When Dany and Drogon return to Dragonstone from the battlefield, Drogon approaches Jon Snow and allows Jon to touch him. This is a great scene, as it is the first time Jon’s Targaryen lineage begins to shine through. More importantly, seeing Drogon up close on screen is fantastic. The animators did a great job showcasing the sheer scope of the beast. CGI characters are difficult to incorporate into digital media without feeling out of place and breaking immersion, and in some cases make the content nearly unwatchable, but Drogon’s animation is very well done and relatively believable. When Jon reaches out to touch Drogon, it doesn’t look like he’s touching air and the animators threw in a model in post; it is easy to believe there is a dragon in front of Jon. This is accomplished not only by impressive animation and rendering, but also by Kit Harington’s reaction. Notably, this scene further insinuates a romantic relationship between Jon and Dany. The joining of Ice and Fire seems to be taking a very literal meaning, and a joined partnership would certainly ease the dispute over who is truly the rightful ruler of Westeros. This could be done without a romantic affiliation, but Targaryens have been marrying in the family to maintain bloodlines and alliances for ages, making a romantic relationship between the two more than possible. Sadly, Jon and Daenerys’ interactions come off a bit like fanfiction; it’s romanticized, convenient, and what the fan base has been wanting for seasons. While this does not ruin the show or this particular episode, everything seems to be happening in a happy, convenient fashion that does not typically occur in Game of Thrones. This season reads like HBO is desperately trying to appeal to fans with happy reunions and alliances or the show writers wrote their own desired outcomes to stray from George R.R. Martin’s intended finale for the book series. Nevertheless, it feels odd to have a relationship develop so naturally in a setting where seemingly no one gets to be happy for more than a week before tragedy strikes. Gendry, the bastard son of Robert Baratheon, has finally rowed home to King’s Landing. Having developed a delightful personality highly resembling his father, Gendry is a delight to have back on the show and offers a much needed contrast between the often somber Jon Snow. Wielding an impressive war hammer, Gendry agrees to help Jon Snow with his cause. In other developments, Jorah returns to Dragonstone, and Dany, Jon, and Tyrion converse on how to convince Cersei Lannister to temporarily halt battle to deal with the White Walkers. Davos helps Tyrion sneak into King’s Landing to convince Jamie to make Cersei parlay her battle against Dany so focus can be placed on the White Walkers. After the brief confrontation between Jamie and Tyrion, it is decided by Dany’s war council that Jon and Davos will return to the North with Jorah in an attempt to capture a White Walker and bring it to Cersei as proof of their existence. What I consider to be “Eastwatch”’s best moments are those featuring Sansa, Arya, and Petyr Baelish. Arya firmly believes that Sansa wants power and is a bit too comfortable taking over for Jon. When Sansa fails to defend Jon, Arya confronts her sister and in a rather threatening way, accusing Sansa of betraying Jon. Later on Arya follows Baelish as he suspiciously talks to various people in Winterfell. She eventually sneaks into Baelish’s room and finds a note hidden which details Sansa wanting to betray Jon. As Arya quickly leaves with the evidence, a shot of Baelish smirking from around the corner is briefly shown, his face covered in shadow as he relishes in his sneaky victory. It is highly likely that Baelish has planted the seeds for Sansa's (and maybe even his own) demise at the hands of Arya. Either way, Baelish is a fun villain to watch as he allows Arya to believe her own sister is the enemy. “Eastwatch” is crammed full of other content as well: Cersei is now pregnant, The Hound has returned, Sam almost learned the truth about Jon’s Targaryen ties, and Brann has sent ravens requesting help against the White Walkers. While not as action packed as “The Spoils of War”, there is a large amount of character development and entertainment value to be found. On the downside, with so much being packed into each episode, there are some blatant inconsistencies. Characters are teleporting around Westeros and time seems to play little role anymore (exactly how long is it taking the White Walkers to reach The Wall?) These definitely break the meticulous worldbuilding set up in past seasons, but it’s not enough to ruin the show. Some fans may actually revel in the non-existent travel times and the immediate action. In the end, “Eastwatch” is a lot of fun, though a bit convenient in some areas. Hopefully there are some twists and turns ahead that will make the world of Westeros more realistically imperfect for those living in it. All images from Giant Bomb
On Monday August 7th the man who wore the Godzilla suit in the 1954 original film, Haruo Nakajima, died of pneumonia at the age of 88.
by Tt Shinkan Ball State alumni and former host of The Late Show, David Letterman, announced on Tuesday that he plans on hosting a new talk show exclusively on Netflix just two years after his departure from television. The series will be produced by RadicalMedia and Letterman’s Worldwide Pants banner. The show is currently untitled but will feature six prerecorded, hour long episodes. Each episode will feature a long-form interview between Letterman and a guest as well as different segments and exploring the world outside his studio. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Letterman said that he feels, “excited and lucky to be working on this project for Netflix. Here’s what I have learned, if you retire to spend more time with your family, check with your family first”. When asked about whether or not this new show will be similar to his previous late-night talk show, Letterman said that it will be much different and not resemble it whatsoever. “I can’t stop talking, so there’s no time limit, I can just talk the ears off people, until they call the police,” Letterman said in an interview with The New York Times. Letterman was even asked to write down a list of names of people he’s never going to get the chance to sit down and talk with, and those people will be the ones that the producers try to get. A list of each guest for the show has not been released yet. Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, told Hollywood Reporter how meeting Letterman was an amazing experience for him. “David Letterman is a true television icon, and I can’t wait to see him out in the wild, out from behind the desk and interviewing the people he finds most interesting,” Sarandos said. “We’ll have to see if he keeps the beard.” Speaking of beard, Letterman told The New York Times that he has no plans of getting rid of the beard. “Between you and me, the beard is to cover up botched plastic surgery. The beard has to stay. It would be hideous. Children would be frightened.” David Letterman’s new Netflix talk show will premiere in 2018. Sources: The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter Image: The Hollywood Reporter
by Emily Reuben On Monday August 7th the man who wore the Godzilla suit in the 1954 original film, Haruo Nakajima, died of pneumonia at the age of 88. Nakajima was born in Yamagata, Japan on January 1, 1929. Nakajima began his career as a stuntman and was first credited in the 1952 film Sword for Hire. Notably, Nakajima played a small role of a bandit in the famous Japanese film Seven Samurai. Releasing in the same year as Seven Samurai, Godzilla’s director, Ishiro Honda, cast Nakajima to wear the iconic Godzilla monster suit, which he played for 12 consecutive films. Not only did Nakajima wear the infamous Godzilla suit, he also wore many of the other Toho kaiju (literally translating to mean “strange beasts”) suits. After the release of Godzilla vs. Gigan in 1972, Nakajima retired and worked at a bowling alley located on the Toho lot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oBNEG8kLfQ During the 90s, Nakajima began traveling abroad to make various appearances at conventions related to monster genre in Chicago, New Jersey, New York City and Hollywood. In July of 2010, Nakajima released his autobiography Monster Life: Haruo Nakajima. Since its first iteration, the Godzilla series has become an iconic franchise worldwide, spawning 32 Toho titles, 8 American productions, various game adaptions, and a book series. Source: CNN, Screenrant Image: NBC
Warning: This review contains spoilers for the most recent episode and past seasons of Game of Thrones.
This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones.
The Wii U has been viewed as a major disappointment by both Nintendo fans and critics alike. Featuring few creative original titles and clunky motion controls, many opted to skip Nintendo’s over-glorified Wii update and wait for the next generation of Nintendo console. However, the release of Splatoon in May 2015 gave the Wii U some much needed redemption. With efficiently utilized motion controls, colorful maps, easy to learn controls, and fun online matches, Splatoon was a great first entry into the shooter genre for Nintendo. Now Splatoon 2 has entered the scene on the Switch console, and the popularity of the first game has made it one of this summer’s most anticipated titles, so much so that it has boosted Switch hardware sales in Japan by 178%.
This article contains spoilers for all episodes of Game of Thrones through Season 7, Episode 2.