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  1. Zuleikha

    The Star Wars Saga

    I think Christiansen was a good actor. I think he portrayed Anakin exactly as the script and story had the character. Anakin IS by turns creepy and possessive then sweet and genuine then dangerously unstable. He is a younger version of Darth Vader after all. The problem was the romantic hero framing. It was like the movie knew who the character was, but didn't understand how that character could fit into the story. And Lucas clearly didn't bother to think about how a character like Anakin could attract a character like Padme. It was one of many things that Clone Wars did much better.
  2. Zuleikha

    Mulan (2020)

    No, the original legend is very short and simple with very few details about the actual war. The only Chinese heroic epic that I've read is Journey to the West, so I don't know if witch characters are common in heroic epics. But I've seen witch characters in a number of Chinese wuxia films, so the witch fits to me in a way that Mushu would not.
  3. They isolated Elsa because that's what the trolls told them to do. It was terrible advice, but it wasn't an idea they came to on their own. I think Frozen 2 did a good job giving the parents a history that makes it clearer why they would have been desperate enough to listen to the trolls. We also see that they never gave up on finding an alternative solution.
  4. I enjoyed this a lot. Like all sequels to originally-conceived-of-as-standalone movies, it wasn't strictly speaking necessary. But I thought it was a logical extension of the story and it didn't end up feeling gratuitous. I totally buy Elsa as not really right for ruling a kingdom. I agree that Anna's storyline suffered a bit, and in particular, it would have been nice to see more of her feelings about becoming queen. I don't think the parents were bad; I think they were just in over their heads. The Northuldrans lived in harmony with magic, but they didn't actively control it. Elsa was something new for both of them. The songs were beautiful, but Kristoff's 80's power ballad will always be first in my heart for the sheer WTF-ery of it all. I do wish there had been more reflection on the fact that like Elsa, Kristoff also doesn't know his origins. Olaf made me laugh a lot.
  5. Yeah, I was a little surprised we didn't get a reveal on Omera given her atypical comfort with a gun. There's clearly some past there. Otherwise, I thought it was a great episode and Baby Yoda manages to just get cuter and cuter. I hope we get an explanation of the tracking fobs soon, though. Right now, they seem like magic.
  6. She's Lebanese. "Noura" with the "u" is a reasonably common Arab name.
  7. Oh there were for sure women in the background of most of the crowd scenes. In the bar scenes, it can be hard to say because of the heavy alien makeup that most of the bounty hunters get. There certainly could have been more female characters at this point, and I wish there had been. But representational issues have changed a lot over the past few years (as tracked by the various watchdog groups), so I'm not as bothered by this as I would have been in previous years. It also helps that the Armorer's had significant screen time, that she's a very non-stereotypical character concept, and that I know that both Ming-Na Wen and Gina Carano will be appearing in future episodes.
  8. Because Leno was a one-time guest judge, so what on earth was HR supposed to do about it? They can't control everything that comes out of a guest judge's mouth, and they clearly recognized the problem with the joke because they didn't air it. Also, it sounded like a not very funny joke at all, but there's something more than a little weird about saying it's offensive for a comedian to poke fun at things that are true, ultimately neutral, cultural differences. That's a pretty common thing that comedy does! A lot of people are treating the punch up/punch down philosophy like it's an objective law when it's a not, and it can be very subjective what exactly even counts as punching up versus punching down. Anyway, I don't think Union should have shut up and taken the joke, but I think once production agreed not to air the joke, that should have been the end of it. That's ultimately what mattered. I'm honestly not even clear on what else Union wanted, other than for AGT to have been able to make Leno not say the joke in the first place--which was simply not in their power. ETA: (likewise with the incident with the Beyonce impersonation... the audition apparently wasn't aired per the articles, so it sounds like the show did listen to Union.)
  9. Was I the only one bothered by the inconsistency in adult accents and kid accents? It was like nails on a chalkboard for me. I did love the episode, though. It shows how strong the original relationships were. Even though nothing really happened and I honestly don't feel I learned anything new about Chidi, it was still so much fun. Coffee cups were the best background sight gag. Esmerelda was amazing. I know we only have a few episodes left, but I really want us to somehow get one glimpse of her with her ravens.
  10. It's so hard because they're all professional singers and so obviously they all have strengths. Also, live performance does translate differently across the TV, so we're not really seeing what the voting is based on. But I thought both Alone and Grenade were amazing performances. I think Rottweiler had a better song for his voice and performance style, but since I knew Flower was Patti LaBelle, there was also a joy in hearing her absolutely slay a song so outside of her genre. Unfortunately, I agree that Seal definitely won the Smackdown. I would not have expected him to do so well with Don't Cha, but it ended up fitting his voice and performance style perfectly. Sadly, Eye of the Tiger was a horrible fit for Patti. Hasn't Seal always done those types of hand gestures? I rewatched Kissed By A Rose to check my memory on his voice, and I'm pretty sure he was doing the same types of hand gestures.
  11. It is a reminder that Eleanor was a truly terrible person with no empathy, and she changed a lot, though! People are projecting a lot onto Brent, and that's my problem with this set up in a nutshell. For whatever reason, the show implied a lot but didn't actually show us a lot. So it's not the projections are wrong per se because the show writers clearly intend us to see Brent as a particularly bad racist sexist a-hole, but it's irritating that IMHO, they instead showed us a socially clueless, self-absorbed person. (And I don't see what's wrong with thinking of Janet as an executive assistant equivalent since that's what he's told Janet is and isn't that what Janet's actually supposed to be? Basically, the equivalent of a really great Siri?) Simone never cared about how her behavior was hurting others either.
  12. He kept the secret about Jason for a very long time, and he only revealed it when it was directly relevant to everyone. But he was part of Chidi's group. Which was one of many things never explained about how this year went on. However, when push came to shove, he still chose his self-interest over helping someone in dire need, so I don't know. Maybe that will come up next episode because that was a big enough deal to me that I don't like the idea it will be meaningless. Based on what the show gave us, I think Chidi, John, and Brent should have improved. But Simone should have dropped points. She appeared to be a much worse person in the Good Place than on Earth, in part because she never truly bought into any of it as real. I don't like the conceit of the Good Place people being ineffective idiots. I don't think that makes sense or is necessary for a good place. I think it buys into a silly framing that niceness, kindness, empathy, etc. has to equal weak and pushovers.
  13. I feel like this show was custom created for me. It couldn't be more perfect for me. The length fits my attention span; Pedro Pascal is amazing; there's a great mix of humor to lighten up the action; and of course, BABY YODA IS THE BESTEST CREATION EVER!!!! Like everyone else, I cannot wait for the Baby Yoda plushie merchandise. Baby Yoda will still be a child by the time of the sequel trilogy--I think maybe the equivalent of a human elementary school child and not even a teen. So I don't think there will be any continuity issues even if Baby Yoda is surviving and thriving in the New Republic. I'm guessing that we'll learn reasons why Baby Yoda's existence will still need to be a secret by Rey's time, though.
  14. And to me that's the greatest flaw of this season so far. So much hinges on what Simone, Brent, and John do, but we never really see them doing. That's why I've pointed out that while we are TOLD (over and over!) about how uniquely horrible Brent is, what we've actually seen IMHO is not actually any worse than Eleanor and Jason. Personally, I think all of the stuff with the Bad Place interfering should have been cut to let us actually see the Simone, Brent, John, Chidi foursome interact with each other and Team Cockroach and return to the ethical questions of what do we owe each other. I'm not sure why Simone's disbelief couldn't have been the main driver of conflict and comedy. But even here... Simone claimed that they metaphorically ran the experiment of helping Brent over and over only to have him remain horrid. However, based on what we saw, they absolutely did not. Simone was always mean to Brent in the scenes we saw--arguably justified some of the time, but still mean. It was very different than the interaction between Tahani and John where some genuine vulnerability on Tahani's part made a huge change in the relationship. We also saw Michael use a polite but firm approach to create some small-but-seemingly-genuine change in Brent at the end of Chip Driver Mystery. Eergh, the more I'm thinking about this, the more horrid I think Simone's behavior was and the less I believe that the character we met in Australia would actually be that horrid. I think the show could have developed Simone to that point by showing how her disbelief kept her from viewing the other residents as people (and she would have been correct that the overwhelming majority were not). But we needed to see that.
  15. I didn't hate this episode, but I didn't love it either. I feel like the writers could never figure out how much the 4 newcomers should matter versus being plot devices for comedy. But I think they did end up mattering, and it frustrates me that I never really got to know them or see what they were doing over the experiment. I wish Simone had been the only one to walk away because John had seemed to grow so much. But there is something unforgiveable to me about just not caring about a human being in need. Brent was annoying, but he wasn't overtly malicious from what we saw. He didn't deserve to be abandoned in a sinkhole. I'm not sure what the point was of showing us John improving and changing (he kept Jason's secret for a year!) only to have him ultimately leave. Simone and Chidi's relationship has always been montaged, which is frustrating. I was also annoyed that there was an actual answer to her soulmates question, which is that Eleanor only told Chidi as a way to get him to help Simone when she had decided nothing was real. There was no need for Simone to know because Chidi was adjusted. But there also was not reason for Simone not to know, so why Eleanor didn't use the soulmates concept is a mystery. After all, why else would Tahani and Jianyu the Monk be so close if not for soulmates? The more the show tries to tell me that Brent is horrible, the less I mind him. He doesn't seem that different from s1 Eleanor or s1 Jason to me. I've seen him be self-absorbed and clueless, but not intentionally hurtful.
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