PythosCheetah

PythosCheetah

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13 hours ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +3 points

At least the Siamese cats are only in the movie for about three minutes or so. The Peter Pan Indians are there for a big chunk of the middle of the film

21 hours ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

Chapter 10 - In which Harry gets an offer he can refuse

Summary:

Marcone offers Harry a consulting job on his payroll in return for information about the case. It's basically a license to print free money: he can set his own hours and pay, and there's a clause stating that Harry doesn't have to participate in anything illegal. Harry turns it down anyway, and viciously insults the mobster. Marcone actually loses his cool for a moment, but he tells Harry his info anyway, pointing him at Harley MacFinn and the Northwest Passage Project.

Commentary:

Apparently, Marcone isn't quite as good at making deals as Don Corleone was. Harry turns him down in five seconds flat, and he's probably right to have done so. Working for Marcone, even if he never did anything illegal, would have lost him a lot of the good guy cred that he'd built up since the last book. He probably wouldn't have been able to count on Michael's help in Grave Peril, either. Pre-Soulgaze, he might have been willing to at least consider the deal, but once he's seen Marcone's true colors there's no way. It's not stated in the text at all (and I don't think she gets mentioned again until the next book), but Harry's deal with Lea is likely another stumbling block. Harry knows all too well how one of these deals can go south in a hurry, and he's not willing to sell himself a second time.

Other observations:

-I'm not sure that Marcone knows that MacFinn is a loup-garou, but he certainly knows that something supernatural is up with him. Why else would he give Harry the tip even after he'd rejected his offer?

21 hours ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

Chapter 9 – In which Harry walks into the wrong garage

Summary:

Harry pulls up the Full Moon Garage, a boarded-up auto shop in a really bad part of town. Harry waltzes right in, and asks if anyone’s home. Of course, the whole gang is. Parker, their leader, holds Harry at shotgun-point while a female gang member starts up a chant of “Kill him!” Harry makes a break for it while Parker’s distracted, and nearly gets his head blown off. As he’s trying to start up his alleged car for a getaway, he accidentally Soulgazes with Parker, learning two things: that Parker will have to hunt down and kill him to keep his position as gang leader, and that they had nothing to do with the killings. Making his escape just in time, he drives back to his office, intending to cool down and collect his thoughts. However, he unlocks the door to his office to find Marcone already waiting there for him.

Commentary:

Harry really didn’t think this one through, did he? He’s been told about a gang that uses a wolf motif, and is so scary that other South-side Chicago gangs are afraid of them, and the first thing he does is walk right into their hangout and say “Hello, is anyone home?” Come on, Harry, even this early in your career, you’re better than that.

Hell, this scene even relies on that most hoary of horror movie clichés, the car that won’t start when the killer’s coming after you. Granted, that was set up when he arrived at the very beginning of the chapter, and isn’t much of a surprise with what we know of Harry and his relationship with the Blue Beetle. However, it is reflective of the general lack of narrative surprises in this book. We’ve already hit half a dozen beats from the previous novel in the same order:

1) Harry has an unrelated case which ties back in to the main plot later
2) Murphy calls him to investigate a murder scene
3) The murdered individual works for the mob, and was clearly killed with supernatural means
4) After viewing the crime scene, he works magic to find more information (summoning Toot/the tracking spell). During this scene, an important reoccurring character is introduced
5) He makes potions while getting exposition from Bob
6 )He heads to the police station to talk to Murphy, and has an unexpected encounter out in the hallway
7) He pursues a lead to a supernatural creature, has car trouble while he’s there, and barely escapes with his life thanks to the use of one of his magical toys

With the exception of numbers 6 and 7 being flipped in Storm Front, I easily could be referring to either book. Butcher really starts to break out of this mold in the next book (potion-making, for one, will never really factor in again), but for now it’s all quite tedious and hard to read for the sixth or seventh time.

21 hours ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 2 replies · +4 points

So, I guess I finally have to talk about the big, racist elephant in the room. Yes, I know that it was different time, when cowboys fought Indians regularly on TV, and that they were in the original source material. But all of the scenes with Neverland’s natives are really, REALLY racist. Hell, there’s actually a song called “What Makes the Red Man Red.” Name a mid-century Native American stereotype, and it’s probably represented somewhere in the 15 minutes or so of screen time that they get here. Even Marc Davis, one of the Nine Old Men, confessed in interviews a couple of decades later that they wouldn’t have put the Indians in at all if the movie had been made more recently.

There’s a lot of good in this movie. Most of the songs (other than the one just mentioned) are pretty memorable, and everything with Hook and Smee (especially the scene where Hook nonchalantly shoots a crewman who’s singing off-key) is pure gold. However, it also has some of the worst things I’ve seen in any of the 14 movies I’ve watched for this project so far. If I want a nostalgic Peter Pan movie from now on, I think I’ll just stick with Hook.

21 hours ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 3 replies · +4 points

I think it has to do with the characterization of Peter Pan himself. To put it bluntly, Disney’s Peter is kind of an asshole. He explicitly hangs around the Darling house just so he can hear stories about how awesome he is. He brings Wendy out on an adventure, then promptly ignores her every time a pretty girl (Tiger Lily, the mermaids) passes his way, and actually laughs at her when the mermaids try to drown her. And he treats Tinker Bell like shit all the time. Yes, I know his whole thing is that he’s the boy who didn’t grow up. But you can be immature without being a total jerk. Just look at me in my twenties.

For a good portion of the movie, I found myself actively rooting for the ostensible villains. Of course, that might be because the duo of Captain Hook and Smee are clearly the best thing about the movie. Hook constantly vacillates between ruthlessness and cartoonish ineffectiveness, and at times seems like he would be more at home in a Wile E. Coyote cartoon than in Neverland. The resemblance is actually made explicit during his first fight with Peter. During the battle, he crosses swords with the flying boy right off the edge of a ledge without realizing it, only falling when he finally looks down. Meanwhile, Smee seems to be the real brains of the operation, as despite his outward bumbling he clearly has more of a handle on what’s going on than his captain does. Notably, he’s the one who immediately attempts to cut and run with the treasure as soon as Peter shows up at the end – something that Hook should have done ages ago.

This movie also has the dubious distinction of being simultaneously the most sexist and most racist Disney movie I’ve watched so far. Peter brings Wendy to Neverland so that she can be a “mother” to him and his Lost Boys. This seems to mostly consist of cooking and cleaning for them without getting to participate in any of the fun adventures. During the victory party with the “red Indians” (ugh – more on that in a moment), she repeatedly tries to join in on the fun, only to be rebuffed by a large, unflatteringly-drawn woman and forced to go back to the “women’s work” of fetching firewood. Remember, the whole reason that the Darlings got involved in the first place was that it was Wendy who was telling her brothers stories about Peter. She’s the one who’s the Peter superfan. No wonder that she gets fed up with Peter’s shit soon after the party and wants to go home.

[Cont.]

21 hours ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 4 replies · +4 points

Peter Pan (1953)
Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske and Wilfred Jackson

Synopsis:

Upset when the antics of his children disrupt his party preparations, Mr. Darling orders his oldest daughter Wendy to stop telling her brothers stories about Peter Pan and declares that she’s too old to keep living in the nursery. That night, Peter Pan himself visits the house, and takes all three Darling children on an adventure to Neverland. Tinker Bell, Peter’s fairy companion, is jealous of the attention he’s paying to Wendy and tries to get the Lost Boys to murder her. She’s promptly banished for her behavior.

Meanwhile, Captain Hook attempts his latest revenge scheme by kidnapping Tiger Lily, the daughter of Neverland’s native chieftain, and framing the Lost Boys for it. Peter discovers the plan, and helps to free Tiger Lily. After this, Tinker Bell sells out Peter to Captain Hook by revealing the location of their hidden base. Hook captures the Darlings and nearly blows Peter up with a bomb – he’s saved by Tinker Bell at the last second. Believing Peter to be dead, Hook makes the Darlings walk the plank, but Peter arrives and duels Hook. Hook exits pursued by crocodile, and Peter returns the Darlings to London.

Production Notes:

This was another project that was initially in the running to be Disney’s second feature after Snow White. In Peter Pan’s case, rights issues tied up the project for several years, and by the time Disney had secured the permissions necessary the studio was on the brink of its WWII-related downturn.

Peter Pan was finally greenlit again in 1949. It went through multiple script revisions during the production process, as well as quite a bit of reshuffling among who was animating which character. The movie received modestly positive reviews when it came out, and was a success (though not a smash hit) at the box office. Walt Disney himself, however, was reportedly disappointed in the final project, and made the decision to scale back the studio’s animated output to every other year instead of trying to do one every year like in the past.

Review:

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this version of Peter Pan. I’ve seen plenty of live-action adaptations: the Mary Martin version of the stage play, Hook, Pan, etc., but it’s probably been a good quarter-century since the last time I sat down and watched Disney’s Peter Pan. And I do remember enjoying the movie. So it surprised me that I really didn’t like this one much at all.

[Cont.]

1 day ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 6 replies · +6 points

Pythos Watches Disney



This week: Peter Pan

[TW: sexism, racism, racial stereotyping]

1 day ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 2 replies · +1 points

Pythos Re-reads the Dresden Files



This week: Fool Moon, Chapters 9-12

1 day ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +3 points

I've been kind of obsessed with Sword since I got it for Christmas. It's my first Pokemon game since Gen I, and I've got about 50 hours in so far. Only need about 80 Pokemon to finish my Pokedex

6 days ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Gathering Place · 0 replies · +1 points

Chapter 8 – In which Harry gets sent on a wild goose chase

Summary:

The next morning, Harry heads downtown to deliver his report on werewolves to Murphy. FBI agent Denton stops Harry on the stairs, and informs him that Murphy is meeting with Internal Affairs and really shouldn’t be disturbed. They chat a bit, and Harry gets the sense that Denton isn’t telling him something. The agent offers to deliver the report to Murphy for him, and Harry accepts.

On his way out, the kid forensics expert from the FBI team comes up to Harry, and nervously gives him a tip about a street gang that might be connected to the murders. Harry reasons that Denton put him up to it, since it’s not something the FBI can deal with above the table. He agrees to check it out, and heads out.

Commentary:

This is where the plot begins to thicken somewhat, but unfortunately Harry completely misses or misinterprets every clue he gets about Denton and the FBI team. Before this scene, Denton obviously didn’t really see Harry as a threat, or even necessarily believe in his abilities at all. Harry’s report, however, clearly identifies the FBI team’s exact method of killing. Suddenly, Harry goes from a probable charlatan to a potential enemy. This is even stronger when you consider that the only real wizard that Denton would have had contact with so far is the individual who gave them the belts in the first place – a dangerous individual whom he would know not to cross. No wonder then that he tries to dispose of Harry at the earliest convenience.

I think that the Harry of Book 4 onward would have been too paranoid to fall for what is in hindsight an obvious trap. He had already pegged Denton as hiding something, and the kid is way too nervous for what he’s asking Harry to do. Denton probably frightened him by telling the team that Harry’s a real wizard, and he’s too young and inexperienced to be able to keep his poker face.

Other observations:

-There’s clearly some good left in Denton. Before he read the report, he stopped Harry from walking in on a meeting between Murphy and IA. If he was intent on destroying Murphy’s career, letting the “psychic consultant” with possible mob ties into an Internal Affairs investigation would have been a good way to do it.

-There’s a gang called the Streetwolves a few blocks from a wolf-themed crime scene, and no one’s investigated them yet? Come on, Harry, think about that one a little.