Nov 072020
 

The Mandalorian: Chapter 10Title: The Passenger
Director: Payton Reed

I am going to try out writing a follow-up post for each episode. Since there is a week between each one I have plenty of time. I will always indicate when there are incoming spoilers in the event that you are reading this before you see the latest episode.

The director, Payton Reed, is also known for directing the Ant-Man movies. He is a newcomer to the cadre of Mandalorian directors and I think he did a great job. In Chapter 10, Mando agrees to transport someone in exchange for information about the location of a Mandalorian covert. Of course nothing ever goes as planned.

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Nov 052020
 

Top 5 Martial Arts MoviesI know November is Thanksgiving month but there really aren’t that many Thanksgiving themed movies (other than A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving). Therefore I’m going in a completely different direction; my top 5 martial arts movies. Apparently “Martial Arts” is not a recognized movie genre. They primarily fall under the “action/adventure” and even “comedy” genres. I find that disappointing. I’m such a fan of martial arts films, perhaps because I used to be in Taekwondo (in another life).

You will find that my favorite actors in martial arts films are Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Although you cannot ignore the godfather of martial arts movies, Bruce Lee. There is also the immortal Chuck Norris (who has SIX different black belts), Steven Seagal, Chow Yun-Fat, and Michelle Yeoh (to name a few more gifted martial artists). But I digress.

Here’s the list:

  • The Legend of Drunken Master – “Monkey drink master’s wine!”, probably my all time favorite martial arts (and Jackie Chan) film
  • Enter the Dragon – the most iconic Bruce Lee and martial arts movie. ever.
  • Shanghai Noon – I love the surrealism of Indians encountering an adept martial artist
  • Kiss of the Dragon – perhaps my favorite Jet Li movie
  • Rush Hour – I love the chemistry between Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker

Honorable Mentions

I have three honorable mentions this month. It could be argued that Hard Boiled is more of an action movie than martial arts. Chow Yun-Fat is fun and this movie has one of the longest action sequences completed in a single take. Martial arts movies typically do not get a lot of media attention. However, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is actually a fairly renown movie. It’s over-the-top use of mid-air martial arts is really well done and really gives credence to it’s fantasy themes. Finally, Romeo Must Die is another one of my favorite Jet Li films. In fact I almost chose this for the top 5 instead of Kiss of the Dragon. The legend of the “kiss of the dragon” in the film is what won me over (similar to the “five point palm exploding heart technique” in Kill Bill).

On a final note; one question some may ask is: subtitles or dubbed? It depends on the movie. Most of Jackie Chan’s movies I watch dubbed (he voice dubs himself). Movies such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Brotherhood of the Wolf I watch with subtitles because that is how it was in the theaters.

(See last month’s Top 5)

I Have Spoken!

Oct 302020
 

At first I wasn’t going to write about this. Then I began waffling about it. Now I can’t seem to help myself because “OMG It was so good!”. Will I do this for the remaining 7 episodes? I don’t know. It depends on how inspired I am. Leave a comment if you would like to chime in. Regardless, I can’t help it, I need to talk about Chapter 9: The Marshal. If you have not seen the new episode, I advise you to stop right now.

spoiler alert!!!

The following content contains spoilers for The Mandalorian S2 E1.


Chapter 9: The MarshalThere are a couple of guest stars in this episode. I should say “new” guest stars as Amy Sedaris reprises her role as Peli Motto. The other guest stars is John Leguizamo (albeit rather brief) and Timothy Olyphant as Cobb Vanth (aka “The Marshal”). I don’t always spend a lot of time reading fan reactions to anything regarding the Star Wars universe because fans love to whine when things don’t coincide with their narrative. Be that as it may one of the interesting comparisons is Timothy Olyphant’s character. There is a series called “Justified” which also stars Timothy Olyphant as a U.S. Marshal. I’ve never actually seen, or heard of it. Fans were drawing parallels between the two characters. Perhaps an intentional easter egg?

Do I Detect Some Easter Eggs?

Actually, Cobb Vanth is kind of an easter egg if you’ve read Aftermath. It’s really cool to see him brought to life. While we are talking about Timothy Olyphant’s character, does the engine of his speeder look familiar? Perhaps Anakin’s podracer engine, with a different paint job? Also, I feel like I saw a depiction of Maz Kanata (it’s not Maz) a protocol droid (perhaps C-3PO?) in the graffiti as Mando is making his way to Gor Koresh (John Leguizamo’s character).

I want to backtrack to Peli Motto real quick. The droid that she asks to pull up a map of Tattooine, doesn’t he seem familiar? Maybe you remember him as having a “bad motivator“.

Krayt dragon skeleton in A New Hope

Of course one obvious easter egg is the Krayt dragon. The Krayt dragon essentially gives homage to Star Wars A New Hope, the skeleton we see behind C-3PO is that of a smaller Krayt dragon, perhaps a juvenile or child.

I’m not going to mention the armor Cobb is wearing because that’s part of the episode’s story and not really an easter egg. However, I love the depiction when we first see him in it. It’s almost as if he’s a fan that found the armor and put it on, even though it doesn’t fit. I think all of us suddenly channeled our inner 10 year old.

Finally, we learn the fate of the sarlacc from Return of the Jedi. The fearsome creature that is Jabba’s favorite form of torture and execution. We learn that the Krayt dragon ate the sarlacc which, perhaps, alludes to how you-know-who escaped (aka the figure we see at the end).

Leave a comment if you noticed anything or have any thoughts what I saw.

This is the way.

 

Oct 292020
 

I haven’t written a Star Wars post in a while (other than a HMDYK post). I have one or two in draft but they are not fully thought out enough. Lately I’ve been watching Star Wars Rebels because I’ve heard so many good things about it. The final episode aired in 2018, so after 2 years, I’ve finally finished watching it. In all fairness, I haven’t had cable in five years so I didn’t have Disney XD which is the only place you could watch it (at the time, legally anyway). Thank you Disney+!

Be that as it may, I really focused on finishing Star Wars Rebels in time for Season 2 of The Mandalorian. There are rumors of characters from Rebels showing up and I wanted to be caught up. Suffice it to say, if you haven’t watch Rebels yet, you need to! The series is amazing! Its another series with Dave Filoni at the helm, so it shouldn’t be anything less than amazing. Also it gives you such a nostalgic feel of the original trilogy while also incorporating so much from the prequels and The Clone Wars.

It Has All the Feels

S4E10 — S4E11,13 — S4E15

It will make you laugh and it will make you cry (especially the second half of Season 4). I love The Clone Wars but Rebels is by far my favorite. Dave Filoni (et al.) did a fantastic job of creating a wonderful story while maintaining great continuity. I’m more inclined to go back and binge-watch Rebels again before The Clone Wars (although 4 seasons vs 7 seasons is less daunting).

I think the relationship between Kanan and Ezra and the Force is the best part of this series. Kanan and Ezra are now, easily, in my top 10 favorite Jedi. Honestly, the whole series feels like it’s more about the Force and being a Jedi than it is about the formation of the Rebellion. It’s kind of the Jedi/Padawan story we all wanted to see with Luke or Rey.

While I rank this series much higher than The Clone Wars, I think you need to have watched all of that series before starting this one. It continues and closes many storylines from TCW and perhaps even a couple of the movies. It brings in several of my favorite characters from The Clone Wars and even a couple from some fan-favorite novels. I could keep going but I don’t want to spoil it for those that haven’t seen it. Besides, you should be subscribing to Disney+ right now to go watch it.

Now, go forth and enjoy!

/MTFBWY

Confronting fear is the destiny of the Jedi.

Oct 152020
 

Until Rey came along women were really under represented in Star Wars. Be that as it may, the female characters it does have are strong, fierce and amazing characters. I could have picked one of those women like Leia, Amidala or Jyn Erso but I like focusing on the underdogs. The actors in much smaller roles that deserve some attention. Which is why we are going to look at an underrated female character. How much do you know about Keira Knightley?

So not only is she the first female but, at 35, she’s also the youngest actor I’ve written about. While she has a minor role in Star Wars, her repertoire is far from obscure. She’s most frequently known as Elizabeth Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. However, before we get too far into her filmography let’s talk about her role in Star Wars; specifically The Phantom Menace.

“This is my decoy, my protection, my loyal bodyguard”

Keira Knightley played Sabé, the handmaiden that was also the Queen’s decoy. I remember feeling confused when I first saw the movie; I went in knowing that Natalie Portman was playing the queen. Then you see Padme for the first time and you know that is Natalie Portman so either she’s playing two characters or the rumors lied and she’s the handmaiden. Coincidentally that is exactly what George Lucas was hoping to accomplish.

Keira Knightley was selected to play the decoy because of her striking resemblance to Natalie Portman. In fact there were times during filming that even their own mothers couldn’t tell them apart. I have watched the movie dozens of times now and sometimes I still play the “Is that Natalie or Is that Keira” game. While the past 20 years have been kind to both of them, I don’t think they look as much alike anymore. Either way we thank you Sabé for protecting our queen and I’m glad it was Cordé instead of you at the beginning of Attack of the Clones.

More Than Decoys and Pirates

Over the span of her career she has been ranked in at least 14 sexist/hottest/glamourous women lists, and rightfully so as she is very attractive. In 2006 she said she plans to live exclusively in London and won’t move to L.A. to further her career in American films. She is married (in 2013) with two kids.

She has nearly 60 acting credits to her name and has been in some fairly iconic roles (other than Pirates of the Caribbean). She’s been in The Nutcracker and she is an excellent Elizabeth Bennett in Pride & Prejudice. I also really enjoyed her role as Guinevere in King Arthur; in which she endured a seven month training session in preparation for the film. She is also brilliant in The Imitation Game.

She’s also done a couple of TV-series you might recognize. She was Lara in Doctor Zhivago, Rose in Oliver Twist and Tinkerbell in a series entitled Neverland. Despite having been in Star Wars and TV-series like Oliver Twist, it wasn’t until 2002 when she made her breakthrough in Bend It Like Beckham.

Is there anything about Keira Knightley that you fine interesting that I didn’t mention?

/MTFBWY

Confronting fear is the destiny of the Jedi.

Oct 112020
 

farming raid mountsThere are so many raids that drop mounts and any raid that isn’t current content typically has a 1% chance, or less, of dropping a mount. So you should settle in for many attempts and become accustomed to disappointment. This is my current, weekly farming route for raid mounts. The route is subject to change as I acquire said mounts; thus the potential for multiple parts.

There are a few addons and weakauras you can use for mount farming. Rarity seems to be the most popular mount/pet/toy farming addon. It’s highly recommended by my guild mates. I’ve just started using it myself so I cannot provide too much feedback, or support (at the time of this post).

You will also need your Hearthstone (which you should always have) and I would also keep your Dalaran Hearthstone handy. Also, make sure you have lots of space in your bags and a vendor mount is super handy (such as the Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth). Since some mounts only drop from specific difficulties I suggest to always have your Raid Difficulty set to 25-Man Heroic.

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