The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Movie

the-mortal-instruments-city-of-bones01Sadly—or thankfully, depending on whichever you prefer—this book-to-movie adaptation hasn’t been doing very well. And unfortunately its author, Cassandra Clare, has been at the center of some controversy, most notably accusations of plagiarism. City of Bones follows the fifteen-year-old Clary—played here by twenty-four-year-old Lily Collins, because how big is a nine-year gap, really?—who, after witnessing a murder, is drawn into a world of magic and demons.

It turns out that the murder victim was a demon, and his killer, Jace, is a Shadowhunter, a person who fights demons using magical runes and awesome swords, because swords look cool. When Clary’s mother goes missing and Clary finds herself about to be killed by one of the demons who took her, Jace comes to her rescue. Clary discovers that her mother used to be a Shadowhunter as well, and that her mother had stolen and hid a very powerful relic called the Mortal Cup, capable of turning normal people into the half-angel, half-human Shadowhunters. Thus starts our plot to find Clary’s mother and the Mortal Cup, and this also marks the beginnings of an epic romance between Jace and Clary.

All in all, it doesn’t surprise me that this movie seems to have bombed, however disappointed I am that that’s the case. I’d say that this movie is a fairly decent adaptation of the first book in The Mortal Instruments series. The problem here is that the books are terrible, and they made a really terrible movie. So why am I sad that it’s not doing well?

Well, there are a number of reasons. For starters, it features a female protagonist, and we don’t get a lot of those. It has queer characters, who I thought were some of the most well written characters in the books. And it has a twist in the romance that I thought could have been very well done and unique.

Spoilers for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones after the jump.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: 50 Shades of Green

It’s no mystery that I love parodies. Everyone loves parodies, or at least they should. It takes a certain type of humor and a certain skill to take an already created work and change it into something amusing, but still faithful to the original. And these days, what’s riper for the picking on than the young adult paranormal romance genre of novels? They’ve got your Twilights, your weird fallen angel stories, fairytales with a twist (the twist is angst), and I’m even going to put 50 Shades of Grey in there because you have to admit, it’s a little supernatural how fast it blew up in the popular media. Within this genre, the worlds and universes that can be tapped for inspiration are a promising parody writer’s oyster. This week’s web crush is much more than a simple parody, however; it’s a hands-on study of the genre and the publishing industry as a whole.

webcrush picBack at the beginning of February, media commentators Lindsay Ellis and Nella Inserra, more commonly known as the Nostalgia Chick and Nella respectively, started an amazing journey under the catchy title, ‘50 Shades of Green’; a project whose goal was to get a terrible paranormal romance written within about a month and then pitch it to actual publishers. Not on their own, of course. Every aspect of this novel was a collaborative effort between the two ladies and their audience of video viewers and followers from various other social media sites. After listening to the comments and ideas put forth by the enthusiastic viewership the final product was imagined under the name of Awoken, a paranormal romance staring Cthulhu. I know, right? And trust me, with their desire to keep is as close to Twilight-level as possible, it’s going to be as terrible as it sounds.

Keeping with the community input, even the original manuscript of the story (only shared with the publishing companies it was sent to) was co-written by around six different authors—this was most likely due to the time constraints they placed on themselves—but the impressiveness of getting a novel-length manuscript written and edited so that each different author’s part homogenized with the rest cannot be ignored. In a further attempt to continue their ruse, a community-formed pseudonym was created: the “author” of Awoken, Sarah Ellenson. This fictitious person would allow those that were in on the joke the experience, the joy of being an over-defensive author willing to go the extra mile to attack the ‘haters’ of the book, as real authors in this genre are stereotypically wont to do.

But, as I said earlier, this journey isn’t just about the writing process; it’s also about the publishing process. In their newest update, they actually received feedback from various publishers in response to their query letters (the letters authors sent out to companies trying to make their book sound appealing and profitable) and, as opposed to what one may think due to the brutally critical nature of the publishing industry, not all the feedback was negative. In fact, one small publishing company even offered them a chance to publish their book legitimately rather than leaving them to deal with the beast that is self-publishing. It brings up an interesting conundrum of retaining the artistic freedom allowed by self-publishing versus gaining a wider audience with a more well-known publisher and even now I’m not sure with method of publication they’ll end up picking.

No matter what they choose, I’m too invested. I want to see how this ends, and what possible implications this could have on the publishing industry and the genre as a whole. What would a project like this reveal to up and coming writers? What are the lessons that can be gained? I’ll have to watch through to the bitter (bittersweet?) conclusion of this epic to find the answers to those, but it’s something to ponder. Here at BlipTV you can watch the entire process from beginning to present, and I highly encourage you to do so. I’ll even embed the first part below. Here’s hoping that these ‘50 Shades’ see as much green as those shades of Grey did.

Fanfiction Fridays: An Unexpected Reward

This foreboding trek of mine all started with a conversation I had with Ace a couple days ago. It was an innocent conversation, an innocent question with undertones far more sinister than I could possibly fathom.

“Are there any Twilight/50 Shades of Grey crossover fics?”

As someone who has read the entire trilogy of 50 Shades and has a small grasp on the events of Twilight, I had an idea of what I would be in for. However, until reading what would spawn from a union of the two, it would be impossible to say just how terrible it would get.

I Wish I Could Quit You

I Wish I Could Quit You

And honestly, readers, I want to tell you that I found the most sexually explicit, vile, terribly written fic I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I want to link you to a debauched story about how Anastasia Steele met Edward and became a vampire so that they along with Christian and Bella could have a BDSM foursome with bloodplay and probably something about werewolves on the side, but I can’t. It brings me great pain to say this: everything went better than expected.

Save for around five fics—three of which were in languages that I had no way of checking the sincerity of—the authors of all the 50 Shades crossover fics seem to have realized just how ridiculous not only the original novel was, but also the idea of forcing the rules of their universe onto any other universe. It’s an extreme case of ‘don’t cross the streams’, but damned if some people did it anyway. What did they get for their efforts? For my efforts? Well, I don’t know about them, but what I got were three hilarious parody fics. I’m sharing them all with you guys today because, to my great displeasure, they all managed to finish their experiment in one chapter.

The first one that caught my eye, and this may be giving away my highbrow sense of humor here, was the more-aptly-titled-than-I-thought Fifty Farts of Darker by Teresa Greyjoy. Rejoice, Game of Thrones fandom! You’re the first victim!

Taking the place of the unwitting Anastasia and the ever-stoic Christian are Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryeon and instead of BDSM we have… well, you can probably guess the kink from the title. Aside from the sheer absurdity of this crossover, what I love most about this is how perfectly Lyanna reflects Anastasia. Clearly Teresa Greyjoy has read the books enough to create a perfect replica of Miss Steele in the Stark woman. It’s also more engaging than the original 50 Shades, somehow. If Teresa wanted to continue writing this story, prime piece of literary real estate that it is, I would gladly read on. I might die from laughing, though.

This second one grabbed my attention from the simple “what the fuck” factor caused by the series chosen to crossover with. While Eighty Four Shades of Grey may give the impression of the kink du jour being age, instead it relates to the fandom. What I’m saying is that firebird377 crossed 50 Shades with 1984. If there was a series I would least expect to be ravished by the shades of grey, it would be this one. However, the result is hilarious and ends exactly how you would want it to and expect it to (given that you’ve read Orwell’s original novel).

But how could I be content with just these two treasures when I finally came across what I had been searching for all along? Yes, The Unlikely Meeting by giselle-lx combines the characters of the two series, making a statement in the meantime that maybe these protagonists really aren’t all that different in the end. As opposed to the other two fics, this one almost word for word replicates the first chapter of the original 50 Shades, but while exploiting its inherent ridiculousness, it also pokes fun at the stupid tropes that seem to be present in every paranormal young adult fiction these days. I think my favorite exchange in this fic is the following:

“Lie back on the desk, Miss Stolen,” he commanded, and his fingers fumbled for his steel grey tie.

“Why?” I murmured, but my Goddess was already telling me in a Goddessy way, to do it.

“Because,” he muttered, “if I don’t start to have sex with you now, there will be too much plot.”

Isn’t that just perfect? I am terribly disappointed that giselle-lx didn’t continue on with the parody, but my life will be forever changed with the parts they did gift the internet.

Perhaps I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for, but if I can put off losing the remaining faith in humanity that I somehow have just that much longer, I may as well take that opportunity. Don’t think my search stops here, though! I will find that terribad crossover fic yet! Even if it kills me. (If you know of one, please, by all means, link me to it in the comments.)

Yes, I'm Still Searching. Don't Look At Me Like That.

Yes, I’m Still Searching. Don’t Look At Me Like That.

Fanfiction Fridays: Pokélight

This fanfiction is the most amazing fanfiction I have ever read. Unfortunately, I cannot find the original tumblr page it was posted on. What I do have, however, is a screenshot of the entire fic. Of course, I’m using the term fic rather loosely. It’s more a spoof on Twilight, using the Pokémon universe to both make fun of and show what’s exactly so ridiculous about the original Twilight story. It’s rather simple, but highly creative.

This Pokélight story is very short. I could sit here and tell all of you what it’s about, or what happens in it, but, like Twilight, that wouldn’t be much. Pokélight just does the decent thing by at least being entertaining. And to be honest, it would take less time for you guys to just read the fic and be amazed by it than for me to talk about it. So go ahead and hit the jump, and if any of you have a link to the actual tumblr post, please let me know so I can credit it.

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Teen Wolf: Season 1 Review

teen-wolf-season-1-castPossible spoilers!

The series Teen Wolf—based very loosely on a comedy movie from the eighties by the same name—has had two fairly successful seasons thus far. Between the rise of stories like Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, it seems to be riding on the success of its predecessors. At the very least it started out that way, before moving on to become its own story. And one of its goals was clearly to be as far away from Twilight as humanly possible. Of course there’s still the shitty romance, but unlike Bella and Edward, Scott and Allison—our new star-crossed lovers—are surprisingly well-thought out characters. When they’re not together.

It is still based around the forbidden-romance trope, though, which I find annoying. Oftentimes, the forbidden romance presents itself but does little to justify the relationship. It can—and often does—involve stalking and emotional abuse and then calling that love, but usually all this trope does is show why the relationship should be forbidden in the first place before asking the audience to agree with it. Twilight, being one of the more prominent examples, is my case in point. And all the newer shows, movies, and books riding on its success like to copy that formula, mistaking the difference between stakes and an unhealthy relationship.

Fortunately, we can thank Teen Wolf for not doing that. As annoying as the love story can be, it is one of the healthier relationships I’ve seen in the forbidden-romance trope. And even though Teen Wolf is marketed toward a female audience and that’s probably the main reason the romance between Scott and Allison is played out the way it is, it is not handled the way I would expect it to be in a love story. While a relationship with Allison may be Scott’s driving motivation, it is not what’s driving the plot.

We can give Teen Wolf credit in that it doesn’t forget to tell a story in light of the romance.

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Rise of the Purple Prose

So I didn’t grow up reading a lot of English literature, and as such I sometimes don’t feel too qualified with talking about published works. However, there has been one obnoxious trend that keeps rearing its ugly head, and unfortunately, it always does so wherever I feel the need to get my daily dose of fanfiction reading. Yes, our subject today is purple prose.

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Sexualized Saturdays: All Women Want is a Date and Nothing Else

So I don’t know how many of you may have noticed, but most fictional women seem to be motivated by one thing: makeup.

Okay, and men.

Obviously I may very well launch into a post on why that’s not true. But instead, let’s also talk about why it’s a damaging idea. So let me start this off with a quick backstory on myself. I’m a nerd. I’m an asexual nerd who never felt the need to seek out a man. I only got a partner eventually because Lady Geek Girl all but super-glued my current boyfriend and I together. But as you can all imagine, it was quite a rough ride for a while. And though the two of us have been dating for almost six years now, I had never been keen on seeking a partner out beforehand.

I just wasn’t interested in it, but I felt as though I would never be happy without a guy, because according to every movie I’ve watched ever, a guy is what I needed. Lord knows, as a woman, I can’t take care of myself, so I need a man to make me happy and to provide for me.

Furthermore, believing that not wanting a partner made me the odd one out and having a skewed frame of reference from the media, I simply didn’t understand other girls growing up. Sure, I had my geeky friends and they all had the occasional crush, but I honestly believed that every other female our age talked about nothing but boys and makeup, which also made me feel as though being a non-nerd girl was very dull.

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Trailer Tuesdays: The Host

Oh, God, why?

Actually, all kidding aside, I found myself kind of enjoying The Host when I first read it. Or rather, the first fifty-some pages, because that’s all I made it through before getting sidetracked by a new Japanese grammar book. I would like to tell you that I found the writing of The Host so bad that the grammar book was more compelling, but that would be lying. Certainly it wasn’t as interesting as learning how to conjugate, at least not to me, but I personally thought that The Host was a step up from the Twilight series. Granted, after Twilight, it’s hard to step down, and I’m glad Stephenie didn’t.

By all means, I wouldn’t say that I found The Host a good book. Here, let me sum it up: Mary Sue and Parasite Sue fight over the same body… and man, I guess. Pretty much, the world has been invaded by scintillating centipedes that act like the Goa’ulds from Stargate and take over humanity. But unlike Goa’ulds, our sparkly insects only want what’s best for society and world peace blossoms! Yay!

Stephenie Meyer Melanie Stryder, our main Mary Sue, is one of the few humans left still fighting against the peaceful invaders. Unfortunately, she gets captured, and that introduces our other Mary Sue, who has a wide variety of creatures she can take over on her little alien résumé. Once she was a flower!

On page five we learn all about all the lives she peacefully stole from other people. This is also about when I started questioning whether or not Stephenie’s editors paid any attention to this book either. Our parasite was once a See Weed. Not a Seaweed, a See Weed.

I don’t know if that was a grammatical mistake that got corrected in later copies or if the creature is actually called a See Weed. From what I understand, we never really learn about all the other planets, so for all I know, in Whatever World, weeds are normally invisible, and See Weed got its name for being normal. That’s just my guess.

Yeah, as much as I wish otherwise, I probably won’t be skipping this one.

Oh, well, weren’t the closeups of all the eyes so thrilling?! It kind of reminds me of this trailer, where nothing also happened!

Trailer Tuesdays: Honest Trailers

So this lovely Tuesday, I’m bringing you not one, not two, not three, but four trailers that tell you what the movie is really about. I found during my many escapades in the interwebs these four movie trailers called Honest Trailers done by Screen Junkies. My favorite is Titanic, but the rest are funnier and nerdier. So enjoy. Also, I decided not to analyze the sexist humor in these suckers because I’m fairly certain that speaks for itself.

Web Crush Wednesdays: Sporkings and Completely Random Videos I Found

MadameAce: I think it’s no secret that I’m lazy. Really lazy, as in I will put something off for as long as possible. So lazy, that despite being an administrator, I went out of my way to not look up anything for my Web Crush Wednesdays. But don’t worry, dear readers, I know you were looking forward to me bedazzling you with a series of precious Youtube videos, and I don’t plan to disappoint you. Much.

You see, recently while lurking around Twilight and Eragon sporking pages—though when I Googled for Twilight sporking, I only found another anti-Eragon site somehow—I came across some marvelous videos that in no way go together. Though, I guess I’ll share.

However, before I do that, I suppose it is my job to share with you another website. Here’s the one Eragon-sporking page I just told you about. I already linked to this in my review of Inheritance Cycle, but I’m linking to it again.

Deal with my laziness, Lady Geek Girl!

(Lady Geek Girl is currently buried under a pile of Grad school work, research, working on original writing, promoting the blog, editing posts, writing posts, updating fanfics–that MadameAce and Tsunderin will never find–all while cooking, cleaning, and paying bills.)

Lady Geek Girl: My dear MadameAce, that was strike one. Love, Your Fucking Boss!

MadameAce: Anyway, the sporking page is designed to, you know, spork Inheritance Cycle. However, Kippur, the main writer of the page, has also sporked other things, like The Da Vinci Code, Anita Blake Vampire Hunter: Danse Macabre, and the truly awful and sexist The Fifth Sorceress. That last one may very well be one of the worst books to ever exist.

Worse than Inheritance Cycle.

Worse than Twilight.

Worse than Fifty Shades of Grey.

Well, that last one is pretty much Twilight but with actual sex, so we won’t count it.

On top of that, Kippur has also compiled a bunch of essays regarding Christopher Paolini’s work, as well as other things dealing with literature, and she has even started rewriting Eragon on her Eragon Redux page. Despite the fact that her clear dislike of Eragon shows through in the rewrite, I will admit, I kind of like it better than the original actual story.

Anyway, about those random video’s that have nothing to do with anything that I promised you all…. Many of you have probably already heard of Onion News Network. For those of you who haven’t, it covers some very serious issues.

And then, just because I recently saw it posted from a guest writer on Kippur’s page, and because we were just talking about Legend of Zelda a little while ago, Link most definitely would have this problem:

And because I totally don’t feel guilty about not posting a Star Wars review in forever, I found two awesome music vids for Ahsoka. I have been watching them over and over again. The first one features a song called “Fight” by Icon for Hire.

The song for this second one confuses me, because I am not a Taylor Swift fan. I really don’t like her. My dislike is nowhere near as bad as what I feel toward other artists. I would much rather listen to her than to, say, Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus; however, I kind of like this song—which is a little embarrassing—and that may be because it doesn’t really sound like a Taylor Swift song, at least not the ones I’m used to. It’s a bit darker, though lyrically it is still her pining after some nameless boy.

Besides that, the song does seem to fit.

Okay, for some reason, I can’t get that last video to work, so you can just find it here.

PS: It is not a good idea to antagonize your boss.