What’s in a title: villain versus antagonist

Today I learned the lawn at my new apartment is a real behemoth. Everything is actually quite sore. Fortunately for everyone, however, I will not be talking about that in this post. I also make no apologies for any typos that sneak through as my hands really hurt. God damn it.

There’s something about having a degree in English/Writing, being a writer, and a tremendous fondness of language that makes for me being picky about words. I focus on that before diving into this topic for a reason. I’ve heard two perspectives on this topic. One says that villains and antagonists are not the same thing, while others say those are two words for the same thing. Perhaps it’s a matter of perspective and how the writer, artist, director, or other creative-type is choosing to use the titles and their respective roles in the story? You could argue that, yes, and I’m sure it could be argued pretty well. This part, by the way, is a bit painful to admit.

They aren’t, at their core, the same thing. Both may spend portions of a story appearing to twirl their mustaches (lady villains and lady-antagonists don’t waste time with such frivolous appearance-based activities), but there are crucial differences that prevent the words from being interchangeable.  Continue reading

Pumpkin spice season has (almost) arrived

At some point or another, September apparently showed up. Or every single calendar I’ve encountered since Sunday has been telling me horrible, cruel lies. I’m slightly more inclined to believe the former is true, however, because I’m not all that big into outrageous conspiracies on most days. This summer provided many opportunities for hilarious misadventures, but it also somehow managed to be entirely draining. From the work-related madness to the life-related madness (with a friendly reminder there was a goddamn bat in my house not too long ago), this summer has felt less like a season of vacation, rejuvenation, and fun in the sun, and more like a time of frustration, bad news so bad it bordered onto comedy, and both minor and major setbacks. That’s not to say all of the summer was bad, of course. I won a book contract, which I then over-thought to the point of making it a good and a bad thing (if you missed that you should count your blessings and move along). Brianne and I have found a new place to live, which I’m quite excited about (save for now having to cut the grass, which is far from ideal). I could probably go on for a dozen more posts about my trip to Chicago, but it’s probably for the best I don’t. You were all right, Summer of 2014, but you certainly tested me. For that I should probably be thankful. Continue reading

The trouble-side of fandom

Yes, this is a One Hundred Days of Blogging post. I’m trying to not tack that onto all of the titles (a little late into the game for that, I know). It may spark some rage towards me, but I’m willing to take that risk in this case.

The good: I had an excellent time seeing Guardians of the Galaxy for a second time, but this time with Jason at Hollywood Blvd. What an awesome theater/restaurant/whatever. Such a great movie, paired with terrific food, made for an excellent time all around. Oh, and there’s the good company I had, too, I guess. I should probably mention that as well.

The bad (which I will keep brief so I don’t get scolded for letting this roll around in my brain): Some ass-jackal swiped my debit card info and treated themselves to about $150 in purchases at Target. I hope, in some special kind of karmic justice, those purchases maim the person/people who made them. You pieces of shit.

Fortunately for everyone, this post has nothing to do with the volume of food I had tonight, nor does it have to do with the shit-eating troll-pukes who took some of my money (I’m sorry, folks, but my blood is molten lava right now and I am trying to suppress my inner rage-monster by using all the hyphenated phrases). This is about fandom, and it’s a tricky topic to say the least. Continue reading

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Twenty-Five

One quarter of the way through this madness, and so I’m celebrating with a cheat-post from my phone. I’d say I’m sorry, but there’s marathon-cleaning when I get home.

Home from what? Seeing Guardians of the Galaxy! Holy crap. I can see why people called GotG one of Marvel’s best movies to date. Magnificent. An exceptional blend of comedy, action, drama, and explosions (take note, Michael Bay, you sack of poorly-scripted shit). I owe it a proper review. Seriously, why are you still reading this when you should be seeing Guardians of the Galaxy?!

Continue reading

My disdain for The Fault in Our Stars’ movie adaptation

There are some points I need to preface this post with before I go forward, so bear with me here. First, and most importantly, I acknowledge that The Fault in Our Stars is young adult fiction. I am not quite part of the target audience, but that didn’t stop me from giving this tremendously popular title a chance. Despite my best efforts to hate the actual novel of TFiOS, I enjoyed it very much. It was far less pretentious and contrived than I thought it would be, and there were a good many moments that stood up to the hype I’ve been hearing.

Secondly, I know that it is impossible to include every detail from a novel in its film adaptation. If that sort of thing actually happened, many of us would still be sitting in a movie theater somewhere waiting for The Fellowship of the Ring to end. I’m only half-joking there, by the way.  I’m not typically the sort of person who goes to the movies to point out every little discrepancy between the film and its book counterpart. Where’s the fun in that? I’d hazard a guess that since I was seeing this movie in part because I’m writing an article that pertains to it, perhaps I was a bit more eager to spot the differences. Especially since, again, I went into the book with quite a number of biases against it (some of those quotes, on their own, sounded extremely contrived).

Keeping these things in mind, I believe I’m ready to dive into what about The Fault in Our Stars‘s film adaptation vexed me so much compared to the book. To air on the side of caution: this likely contains some spoilers. Continue reading

Additional bits that might have made Oz bearable

I know, I know.  I’m giving this movie way more thought than it deserves.  On the other hand, I had to deal with a day of foodstamps being down and people panicking because there’s going to be snow in western Pennsylvania (a phenomenon so rare in the winter it happens usually at least once a week), so thinking about this sort of thing was a great way to not be moderately to severely homicidal.

Same deal as last time: I’ll put the rest under a cut so the few of you who don’t want this cinematic masterpiece spoiled for you can skip over it.  Continue reading

Oz, the Lackluster and Disappointing

I would’ve just added this to my scheduled posts, but I’m at least trying to write this in a time frame that allows it to pretend it’s still relevant.  Some important notes to get out of the way, first.  Yes, I caved and saw “Oz The Great and Powerful” (and every time I type that I want to add a comma in after Oz; you know, so it could be read without all being forced into one breath).  I considered trying to do a spoiler-free review, but it’s honestly not worth bothering.  Instead, most of it will be hidden within a cut.  If you’re really set on not having this “cinematic masterpiece” (those air quotes are the only thing bigger than Disney’s special effects budget for this film, by the way), you’ll want to skip this post completely.  Oh, and I do get a bit winded with my ranting, so you’ve also been warned of that much as well. Continue reading