Well, this movie was… nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be, especially considering how bad thetrailers were. Overall, the remake has gotten a lot of favorable reviews and ratings, and while I can see where those opinions come from, I wasn’t exactly blown away by the story. On the whole, I’d say that the remake is cute and harmless, and it’s most certainly not a carbon copy of the original. The plot isn’t half-bad either, but the story is just so derivative that you’d be better off spending your time watching something else, like Ghostbusters.
The 90’s was a weird time for animated children’s shows. Voice acting and animation standards were both painfully low, but because shoddy production didn’t cost much, it seems like if you could throw together a concept in under twenty seconds, network executives would give you a primetime spot. In 1995, Anthony and John Gentile, living as they did in this golden age of anything-goes production, presumably hit a massive blunt and then pitched something along the lines of “What if… Mad Max, except like throw in some Star Wars shit and like… there are dragons”. Out of this visionary dream came Dragon Flyz, a children’ show about a barren earth shattered by nuclear war, where a tiny group of survivors has built a floating city to escape the irradiated wreckage of what they call “Old Earth”. Also dragons exist now and you can ride them. How? Nuclear mutation. Don’t think about it too hard, okay, there are just dragons now and they understand English and it’s cool as hell. They eat lava.
I have no idea why this book of all books was in a middle school library, but there you have it.
Did you guys know that The Dragonriders of Pernhas been optioned for a movie series? I knew, and everyone in my house knew, because I shouted about it very loudly for the rest of the day. (Sorry.) I remember borrowing the first book from my school library when I was in the sixth grade solely because it had a dragon on its cover. Although I stopped reading the series after I got into college (which means I haven’t read a lot of the later stuff, particularly by Todd), the series still has a fond place in my heart. Haven’t heard of it? Let me give you a rundown before the movie(s) come out.
Well, Game of Thrones is really heading into darker territory this week. While Jon Snow weighs his options at the Wall, Daenerys responds to Ser Barristan’s murder with murder of her own, and Ramsay Bolton uses Theon to torment Sansa, because you know, the Sansa-Theon-Ramsay storyline is still something that everyone really wants to see and isn’t creepy and unnecessary at all.
Trigger warning for abuse, assault, and gore after the jump.
When I was a kid, I loved dragons. I mean, I still love dragons, but I especially loved them as a kid—there was a time when I literally picked all my reading material based on the numbers of dragons they had. I devoured Tamora Pierce’s Immortals quartet, where main character Daine is raising a dragon called Kitten, Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles, where the princess volunteers to be a dragon’s “captive” princess so that she can have fun adventures—fuck, I even read Dragonriders of Pern when I was in the sixth grade. (My librarian apparently didn’t see anything wrong with giving that series to a girl just barely in middle school). But before reading Dragonriders of Pern, another of my favorite dragon books was Bruce Coville’s 1992 children’s novel Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher.
I spent the whole last weekend at a con (having a lovely time—what up, Colossalcon!), and the whole, like, month before that working on cosplay stuff, so although I really need to sit down and review the rest of Arrow’s Season 2 for you all, I’m not thinking critically enough to whip out something that complicated. Instead, I want to introduce you to something lovely I came across while procrastinating writing about Arrow.
I use the “like” function on Tumblr in a somewhat dragonish way, hoarding stuff like videos and long posts there until I have a chance to watch or read them. One of these hoarded posts turned out to be about dragons, and how there should be more games where you get to play from the dragon’s perspective:
Sunday night after getting home I finally had a chance to click that link, which took me to a text-based multi-outcome game titled Choice of the Dragon.
A few weeks ago, Saika wrote a post on magic and science, where she talked about how the two are often pitted against each other with one side shown as superior to the other. She also mentioned that sometimes this is not the case. Every once in a while, we get a story about magic and science coexisting. Like Saika, I love stories in which science and magic work together. The combination of these two elements can make a pretty fascinating setting—because of the existence of magic, sometimes a world that is less scientific than ours will occasionally end up with inventions that are hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years more advanced than their current level of technology. On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes magic has the exact opposite effect and its use stunts a people’s technological growth. We get a wonderful example of this in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.
There really are just too many things to talk about in these books, and hey, it’s been over a month since I’ve visited the series, so it’s time to talk about it again.
Throughout literature and mythology, dragons have been interpreted and portrayed many different ways. The word “dragon” can be quite broad in its definition, and depending on where you go in the world, people will always have different images and ideas that they associate with dragons. The dragons that we’re most concerned about today are European Dragons, who are typically portrayed as evil and greedy, with a few exceptions, especially in modern literature. Here in America, European Dragons are what we tend to be most used to. They are big scaly lizards with large wings. They breathe fire, kidnap virgins, steal gold, and live in caves. With the exception of being innately evil and kidnapping virgins, this is the kind of dragon that The Inheritance Cycle uses.
Although I obviously knew about dragons before The Inheritance Cycle, Paolini’s books were my first real foray into their mythology, and so I’m more familiar with his interpretation than I am with others. Additionally, despite my love for dragons, they tend to bore me, because they’re often portrayed exactly the same over and over again. Paolini’s dragons were new and unique to me at the time, so naturally I fell in love with them (though I do hear that they are ripoffs from The Dragonriders of Pern). But because I’m so under-read in this matter, it is hard to compare them to other dragons and actually say what Paolini did that makes his dragons unique and worth your time. Like all things in his books, he occasionally hints at creativity with his dragons, but ultimately their magic tends to only happen for plot purposes.
Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on Tumblr about fantasy creatures, especially mermaids and dragons in particular. Now this is nothing new; mermaids and dragons seem to be the two most favored magical creatures on Tumblr, so of course you’ll find a lot of posts and fan art talking about these particular mythical beings.
What I find interesting, though, is the recent feminist reclamation of these two magical creatures.
In Brisingr, during Orik’s coronation to become the new Dwarf king, Eragon sees a vision of the Dwarven god Gûntera. The vision—or rather, the manifestation—of the holy being is brought about by a Dwarven priest saying a prayer in the Ancient Language, the language of magic. This has led me to believe that this wasn’t a vision or something otherworldly. This particular scene undermined the Dwarven faith, instead of enhancing it, since it potentially provides proof to something I thought they believed simply through faith. Additionally, it could also go to show that their faith isn’t real and only the result of magic. I really disliked this scene, because I actually thought the Dwarven faith was really well done.