Pandragon Dan http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog Pandragon Dan en Sat, 14 Jan 2012 13:32:19 GMT Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:41:48 GMT 60 Stygiophobia: The Curse of the Cursed Queen http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/stygiophobia-the-curse-of-the-cursed-queen <p> Here's a special treat to all you horror fans out there. Today I've released the first video in my new Creepypasta/Lovecraftian themed horror series called &quot;Stygiophobia&quot;. A while ago I put up a post on my Facebook asking people for ideas for horror stories, with the original intention of creating a horror anthology series. However, after seeing readings of Creepypasta stories, it inspired me to do this new series.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> And with Halloween around the corner, what better time to debut it than now?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So here is the first video in the series - Curse of the Cursed Queen. This story is about a fangirl that discovers a DVD containing a deleted scene of her favourite film - only to be plunged into a hellish nightmare.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Like any horror story, this is best watched in a dark room (or late at night) with the sound up. If you have headphones, feel free to use them as well.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> WARNING: Not suitable for viewers under 18 years of age. You will need a Youtube account to watch this. This video does contain disturbing imagery and loud noises. So if easily offended or of a nervous disposition, please don't watch.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center; "> <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Dvg9HKIP-7s?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center; "> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center; "> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> I welcome any feedback that you can give guys. Oh and before I forget... Happy Halloween!</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> <span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); ">-------------------------</span></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); 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padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; " target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PandragonDan" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; 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margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:33:45 GMT 6b6a5aa0-9ff1-4b7d-8828-72a862ca3721 Who Is The Author? http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/who-is-the-author <p> Remember the Meet My Character interview with The Author? (See <a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/meet-my-character"><u><strong>HERE </strong></u></a>if not) Well it seems that he's now spread to social media - for reasons not clear. And all I have from him is this chilling phrase.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="230" original-width="300" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_0e5c9bac0dcf4711acca48f582e7c53c.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 230px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> What his intentions are I don't know - but I get the feeling we should keep a close eye on him in case he tries something dangerous. Guys, I need your help in keeping tabs on this character. So please can you follow him on any of the social media sites below and watch him in case he tries something. Whatever he's planning, I'm sure it is nefarious!</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> </div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> <u><strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Author/715874705161818">Facebook</a></strong></u></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> <u><strong><a href="https://twitter.com/TheAuthorMF">Twitter</a></strong></u></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> <a href="http://whoistheauthor.tumblr.com/"><u><strong>Tumblr</strong></u></a></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> Thanks for the help guys. See you all next week.</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: left;"> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242);">-------------------------</span></div> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PandragonDan" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 10:02:06 GMT aef1b7d1-d5c3-494f-b969-f3a96f051b55 Pandragon Disney Deathmatch: The Lion King Versus Frozen http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/pandragon-disney-deathmatch-the-lion-king-versus <p> <em><strong>EDIT: </strong>After speaking to my Publisher at Paper Crane Books, she made a list of certain points I missed or was not aware about. I have added them into the blog for the sake of completion.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So... this came around a lot later than I planned, but today we present the second...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>PANDRAGONDAN’S DISNEY DEATHMATCH!!!</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Those who read my <em>Tangled Versus Hunchback of Notre Dame</em> post will know what it’s all about. But for those who haven’t read it, check out the link <a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/pandragon-disney-death-match-tangled-versus-the"><u><strong>HERE:</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In 1994, <em>The Lion King</em> hit the cinemas across the world – and instantly garnered critical acclaim. Spawning several movies, a couple of spin offs and even a bestselling musical, <em>The Lion King</em> broke several box office records and won numerous awards – especially for its music. For the longest time, it was considered by many to be the greatest Disney film of all time (possibly even the greatest animated film) and remained unchallenged for many years.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> That was until 2013 when <em>Frozen </em>arrived at the box office. This film not only matched<em> The Lion King</em> but surpassed its’ fame and accomplishment in just a short period of time. Considered by many to be the greatest Disney film of all time, <em>Frozen </em>remains firmly in the hearts of all fans of Disney and non-Disney alike. I could go on to describe the accolades and achievements this film has got, but you only need to do a google search to see how much people love this film.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> But... just because <em>Frozen </em>may have succeeded<em> The Lion King</em> in every aspect – does that make it a better film than <em>The Lion King</em>? This is what I’m here to find out! We’re going to find out once and for all whether <em>Frozen </em>is superior to <em>The Lion King</em> as a film – at least in my opinion. So get ready for - <em>The Lion King Versus Frozen</em>!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="340" original-width="567" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_27a7ad5ea7fd42979f1e796c3e021e5a.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 567px; height: 340px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In this blog there will be five “rounds”, of which I will give a description of which elements work or don’t work, then award a point accordingly. Whoever has the most points at the end wins. Simple as that! And I’m keeping it to five so that there is no chance of a tie happening.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now, before we start, here are a few things you need to bear in mind.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <ol> <li> <em>Things such as awards/box office records will NOT be counted in this blog. I’m basing this purely on stuff within the film itself. That’s not to say I’m ignoring or discounting them, they just don’t have any power in this Deathmatch.</em></li> <li> <em>If you haven’t either film, be aware that spoilers are included in this blog.</em></li> <li> <em>And finally – this is the most important thing to remember – this is JUST MY OPINION! I say this because I wound up a few people on Facebook with the result of my last Disney Deathmatch (many said Tangled should have won over Hunchback of Notre Dame), so I want to make this clear. I do not claim to be a film expert or a critic. What I am is just a guy with an opinion and that is all that this blog will be.</em></li> </ol> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Ok enough talk. Be Prepared – we’re about to Let It Go!!!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="332" original-width="600" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_68d11e9027dbe77ced9f5c61dc646b96.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 600px; height: 332px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>ROUND 1 – Protagonists</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <p style="text-align: center;"> <img height="130" original-height="400" original-width="292" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_f9c198b30e8a48d08cbbf333f247f865.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="108" /> <img original-height="567" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_3724163d8a3e465ea80a9847d2d82a55.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 150px; height: 130px;" /> <img height="131" original-height="194" original-width="259" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_f4a66023a4d443c299a42df8d0eb673b.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="148" /> <img height="130" original-height="177" original-width="284" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_4763e968cbe741128dc0a6810e71c074.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="166" /></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p> In this round, I’ll be analysing the protagonists of each film. This first round will be a “tag team” round as I will be looking at Child Simba and Adult Simba and Anna and Elsa.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now the plot of <em>The Lion King</em> follows Simba from childhood to adulthood. Next in line to the throne, Simba is forced to run away away when his uncle Scar arranges for Mufasa (Simba’s dad) to be killed and make it look like it was Simba’s fault. Simba escapes from the hyenas (who are working for Scar) and then goes into hiding, becoming friends with Meerkat and Warthog Timon and Pumbaa – until a chance meeting with his old friend Nala means that Simba has to return and face his destiny, and his uncle.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now, the problem with child characters is that if they are done wrong, they can come across as annoying. Not in the case of Child Simba – he is just adorable! Yes he does do some very stupid things – but let’s not forget that he is just a child and not fully aware of the dangers of the world yet. As such it means that he is easily manipulated by his uncle so that he can deliberately be put in danger. But the scenes of Simba and his dad together – whether it’s Mufasa giving fatherly advice or them just playing together – are just heartwarming. You really feel the bond between the two. Then, when Mufasa dies (in what is arguably the most traumatising moment in Disney history next to Bambi’s mother being shot) and Simba is trying to get his father to wake up and crying, we really feel Simba’s pain and cry with him.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Adult Simba (voiced by Matthew Broderick, who is one of my LEAST favourite actors if I’m being honest, but he does well in this film) is a little bit more morose and understandably so. Though he has a fun loving attitude to life, having hung around with Timon and Pumbaa – but at the same time, he is really running away from his past, having been forced to believe he is responsible for his father’s death. Then, when the chance comes for him to fulfil his destiny, he is torn between facing his past or running away. He has a lot of conflict in his character and this helps him grow into the hero he should be. His internal suffering holds him back, but he does thankfully grow into the King that he was meant to be. Overall, I think Simba is a really well developed character and I love seeing him grow from a young, naive child, to a powerful lion that ends up being every bit as wise and respected as his father.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Onto <em>Frozen </em>and the heroines Anna and Elsa. Elsa is a woman born with ice powers, but when she accidentally hurts Anna, her parents take her to see the magical trolls – who warn Elsa that her fear could result in her magic raging out of control and have disastrous consequences. On hearing this, her parents – being the kind, compassionate mother and father that they are – decide to lock her away and keep her away from the outside world. And then they die at sea. Mmmmm, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the trolls say that FEAR could cause her powers to spiral out of control? Surely doing this would make Elsa more afraid? Oh well, I’m sure they know what they are doing and I’m positive this won’t in ANY way go tits up. <u><strong>Spoiler alert: It does!</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Anyway, years later, Elsa is now about to be crowned Queen, but her powers start to crap out and the whole country is covered in snow. Elsa, deciding not to hold back anymore, unleashes her full power and goes into hiding. It’s now up to Anna to bring her sister back and save her through the only way she knows how. Love.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Let me just say this about these characters. I LOVE Elsa! I would actually go so far to say that she is one of the beautifully crafted characters in Disney history. Not only does she have the most kick ass powers ever, but she has a really deep emotional side. She’s pretty much spent most of her life alone and never really known true love. She has a lot of sadness in her, despite her power – much like a superhero. We can turn an old phrase here “with great power comes great responsibility” and in Elsa’s case, it results in all of Arendale being frozen over. But we can understand Elsa, she’s been held back all her life because her parents were scared of what she might become. Why shouldn’t she test to see what she can do? She’s not gonna be held back anymore and just gonna go for it. But at the same time, she just wants to be loved for who she is. She’s pretty much a perfect character – she has a lot of personal issues, but she can also kick ass!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> As for Anna... erm... I like her... but I gotta be honest, she does annoy me sometimes. I dunno, she just seems too overly optimistic all the time – and don’t get me wrong, that’s not a problem. I totally respect her courage and like the idea that she isn’t wholly dependent on a man to look after her – but most of the time I just felt like her optimism was kinda rammed down the audiences throat. She’s not a bad character at all, I just felt she could have been toned down a little. And... I did feel she was <em>dangerously </em>close to being a Mary-Sue in places. Even though she asked Kristoff to take her through the mountains, she didn’t really NEED him! She was more than capable of looking after herself. Between you and me, if I had to pick between the two sisters, I would say that Elsa was the more developed character – no not in that way! XD</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong><em>EDIT:</em></strong>&nbsp; <em>My Publisher </em><em>pointed out that it's actually Anna that is the protagonist and Elsa is the antagonist - as the story is supposed to be about Anna's journey of love and acceptance. This is kinda disagree on as I don't see Elsa in any antagonistic light - she's more a deuteragonist if anything.</em> <em>Also, the reason I see Elsa more as a protagonist is because I didn't really connect to Anna in anyway - hence why Elsa was included as a protagonist.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> It’s a tough choice really – because I know whichever one I pick I’ll upset fans of the other. But I do have to pick a winner for this and, what it really boils down to who I felt attached to the most emotionally. Anna I can take or leave, Elsa I genuinely love – but at the end of the day, Simba will always have my sympathy because of the heartbreaking scene with Mufasa dying.&nbsp; So with that all being said, sorry, Elsa. I love ya, but I have to go with Simba. Point goes to <em>The Lion King</em>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <img original-height="340" original-width="567" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_27a7ad5ea7fd42979f1e796c3e021e5a.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 567px; height: 340px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> &nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>1-0</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>ROUND 2 – Antagonists</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <p> <img height="150" original-height="338" original-width="450" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_a5d355ee9ce83c4b1c6ab54e43a03671.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="180" /> <img height="149" original-height="285" original-width="256" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_40c4ca9507af43c0b6b18cfacb72a283.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="186" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p> Here we look at the villains in each film. Scar for <em>The Lion King</em>, Hans for <em>Frozen</em>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I’ve said this time and time again – Scar is without a doubt the most despicable of all Disney villains in my opinion – possibly of all time. He is a slimy, manipulative lion (voiced brilliantly by Jeremy Irons – with vocals by Jim Cummings) that seeks power for himself and will crush anyone to get it – including his own family. To this end, he joins forces with the hyenas and plans a terrible scheme whereby he will kill Simba and Mufasa and become king himself. The scary thing is he actually SUCCEEDS in his plan, making him one of the few Disney villains to do so – at least to a point. He does kill Mufasa, but Simba runs away. Nevertheless, Scar does become the leader of Pride Rock and creates a new totalitarian society whereby hyenas rule as his army.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The above alone makes Scar one of my most hated villains. He is sly, arrogant, slimy, a little whinny and mostly cowardly when faced with direct confrontation, what makes him that little bit more evil is the fact that he is willing to murder his own brother and nephew (who, remember, is only a child at this point) to gain his goals. The scene where he stabs his brother through the paws and whispers “long live the king” is still one of the most chilling moments in film history. And then when he goes up to Simba afterwards and tells him that he is responsible for his Mufasa’s death – well, that just shows what an evil f***er he is! He has little to no redeeming features at all. But you know what, if he can inspire that much hate from the watchers then it shows he’s doing his job properly as a villain. And his death at the end is one of the most satisfying villain punishments ever!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> For Hans, you actually don’t know he’s the villain until later on. When he first appears, he seems like a typical handsome hero that Anna falls completely head over heels in love with. Until later on it’s discovered that it was all a ploy and that his plan was to kill Elsa and take her throne in an effort to prove himself to his brothers. Now I did originally say this was a good twist in my original review of <em>Frozen </em>– but now I’m gonna take that back. Because, after much consideration, I don’t think this twist works.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Those who read my <a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/top-five-lame-plot-twists"><u><em>Top Five Lame Plot Twist</em></u></a> blog will probably already know my feelings, but I’ll sum up here. The reason I don’t think this twist works as well is that at NO point during the film does Hans show any villainous tendencies. In fact, he even SAVES Elsa from being killed at one point – and if he wanted her dead there was no reason to do that. Even when he’s alone with her, he acts kindly to her. They build up Hans to be a hero so much that, when the twist comes, it feels more like an asspull than a shock. This twist would have worked a lot better if they had foreshadowed Hans being a villain in some way – like making him a little cocky, possessive of Anna, maybe a nasty look when he looks at Elsa, etc. There ARE ways you can foreshadow a twist without giving too much away.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em><strong>EDIT:</strong> In actual fact, I've been informed that his villain turn IS actually foreshadowed in the song </em>Love Is An Open Door<em> - which is something I miss, though in fairness it is fairly subtle. In this respect I will put my hands up about this - but all other points about Hans still stand.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I understand why Disney did this, they wanted to move away from the Handsome Hero they normally have in their films – but this twist doesn’t work in my eyes. They should have kept the Earl of Weasleton as the main villain as he had so much potential to be the bad guy.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Even though I HATE the idea of giving the point to Scar, he’s just more clearly defined as a villain and has a clear motivation. Hans just feels thrown in as a villain in the last minute and the twist opens up a big plot hole for me. So another point to <em>The Lion King</em>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="340" original-width="567" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_27a7ad5ea7fd42979f1e796c3e021e5a.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 567px; height: 340px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>2-0</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>ROUND 3 – Supporting Characters</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <p> <img height="152" original-height="366" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_37e05a00c70f44db82e78cdbe8e00f4a.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="223" /> <img height="152" original-height="177" original-width="284" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_5bcd47ec62c445c9944a72f5422a037b.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="216" /></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p> Here I’ll be looking at Nala, Zazu, Timon, Pumbaa and Rafiki for <em>The Lion King</em> and Kristoff, Olaf, Sven and The Earl of Weaselton for <em>Frozen</em>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>The Lion King</em> is full of great supporting characters. Timon and Pumbaa are hilarious to watch and I love the “adult” humour that they manage to sneak in. They help counter balance the really dark moments of The Lion King and add a much welcome relief after the shock of Mufasa’s death. I could watch these guys for hours and still laugh my ass off – it’s no wonder they got their own spin off show. Zazu (voiced by Rowan Atkinson) is also a great source of humour as the majordomo of King Mufasa. Strange as it may seem, I love the “prim and proper” English type voice, it’s really funny if done properly. Zazu unfortunately spends most of the second half of the film as a prisoner, so he does kinda disappear from the film after that until the end.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Nala is pretty cool and I like the idea that she’s not a “damsel in distress” character that you normally get in Disney films – in fact, she pretty much can look after herself. And I love female characters that can kick ass! She’s both Simba’s best friend and love interest, but also his conscience in a way – she’s the first lynchpin in helping Simba realise his destiny. Rafiki, the bat-crap crazy monkey shaman is also fun to watch. I just wish he could have appeared more, but he was there for the important parts. On the whole, I love all the characters in <em>The Lion King</em>. Even the main three hyenas are entertaining.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> As for the supporting characters in <em>Frozen</em>... where do I begin? Firstly, and I will always stand by this comment – Kristoff is a pointless character. What does he actually do in the film except provide a taxi service for Anna – who, I already mentioned, doesn’t need him at all. Yes, I am fully aware that he takes Anna to the trolls when her heart is frozen, but honestly, if Kristoff wasn’t in the movie, Anna could have done the whole “wander around and stumble across the trolls by accident bit”. And even when Kristoff is told how to cure Anna from her frozen heart, he doesn’t take a chance to try it. You could argue that he knew she loved Hans and he was too much of a nice guy to “cock block” Hans... but my argument is that to get Anna back to Hans, he has to travel from one end to the other of the country to the other to get her back. How did he know he would survive the journey? He could have at least TRIED to break the curse and then, if that failed, taken her back to Hans. I dunno, I just felt that Kristoff needed to man up a lot more. Hell, even Olaf tried to help Anna more than he did.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> And speaking of which, I’m just gonna say this. I. HATE. OLAF. He is without a doubt the most annoying, obnoxious little **** in the whole film. I’m probably one of the few people that WANTED him to melt at the end and was really pissed off when Elsa saved him. Maybe it was his voice, his stupid comments or the fact that he can’t sing but... I just don’t like him. Sven was ok I guess, I don’t really have a problem with him. But I’ll say it again, the Earl of Weaselton SHOULD have been the villain of the story – he was a far more sinister character than Hans was by far!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In short, I don’t like the supporting characters in <em>Frozen </em>at all. They are either pointless, annoying or a wasted opportunity. So this isn’t going to be at all surprising for you to know that I am giving ANOTHER point to <em>The Lion King</em> as the characters were much more likeable and had more personality.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <img original-height="340" original-width="567" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_27a7ad5ea7fd42979f1e796c3e021e5a.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 567px; height: 340px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>3-0</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>ROUND 4 – Music</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <p> <img height="144" original-height="380" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_0ed3f0bd36024f5b9e76f5be2d845fbc.png" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="219" /> <img height="145" original-height="300" original-width="300" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_31b76a4c98fa43429232e445e6f25ea7.png" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="206" /></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p> Here we look at the music in each film.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> From the opening track <em>The Circle of Life</em>, the music in <em>The Lion King</em> takes you on an epic journey, with tribal chants, soothing harmonies and powerful chords that just sweep you off your feet, provided by musical virtuoso Hans Zimmer. Even just focusing on the music alone, there are very few scores in films that get my adrenaline pumping or make the hairs stand on the back of my neck that the music in this film.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>The Lion King</em> may not have many songs compared to other Disney films – but what they do have are just incredible. There isn’t a single “bad” tune out of any of them, which works in its favour. I’m not usually a fan of Elton John or Tim Rice, but the songs in here are some of my favourite songs in Disney. There’s the bouncy, optimistic<em> I Just Can’t Wait To Be King</em> (with lots of colourful imagery), the singalong tune that is <em>Hakuna Matata</em> – which is always a joy to listen to, and one that I like to hear when I’m feeling down – or even the beautiful <em>Can You Feel The Love Tonight</em>. The music in <em>The Lion King</em> takes you on a sweeping journey of emotions and draws you into the world and the magic around it.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Oh, and let’s not forget the awesome<em> Be Prepared</em>! Next to <em>Hellfire </em>from <em>The Hunchback of Notre Dame</em>, this is one of the best villain songs ever. It’s dark, has a real sense of threat and – are those hyena’s marching like Nazi’s? Yikes! The music builds up in intensity and danger and you suddenly start to fear for Simba’s safety as Scar lays out his plans. Now THIS is what a villain song should sound like! What’s also interesting is that it’s both Jeremy Irons AND Jim Cummings that sings this song – but the transition from one to the next is so seamless that you wouldn’t notice it unless you listened carefully.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The music in <em>Frozen </em>may have wowed a lot of audiences – but I’m gonna be honest, I thought the music was just ok. I’m not saying it’s terrible, but I don’t feel like there are many memorable songs for me. And, maybe it’s just me, but I think the opening song over the titles is completely inappropriate for where it’s set. It just sounds too much like it’s trying to be like <em>The Lion King</em>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong><em>EDIT:</em></strong><em> In respect of this, someone has pointed out that the chanting is actually based on a Norwegian chant, which </em>Frozen<em> is based around. Whilst this means the opening theme isn't wholly inappropriate, it still seems wrong to me and out of place with the rest of the tone of the film.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> However, the two songs in the film that do stand out for me are <em>Do You Wanna Build A Snowman</em> and <em>Fixer Upper</em>. The first one is a lovely tune that quickly degenerates into sadness as both sisters are torn apart from each other – and the singing voice of Anna really has a lot of emotion. I will say this is the most beautiful of all the songs.<em> Fixer Upper</em> is a big show tune and has a lot of energy to it, and I love those songs. But I’ll just say this –<em> The Summer Song</em> is DREADFUL!!! No disrespect to Josh Gad, but Olaf’s vocals in this song are just terrible to listen to. Maybe that’s the idea, but I can’t stand this song.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> You may have noticed I’m not talking about <em>Let It Go</em>... well anyone that’s read my blog will know what my opinion is about that song. Just in case you’re new to my blog, let me sum it up – it’s a good song, but I don’t rate Idina Menzel as a singer. Yes, I know she won an Oscar, but I just don’t like her voice. I have NOTHING against her as a person and I’m sure she’s a wonderful person in real life – but she’s a shouter, not a singer (just my opinion). In fact, whilst I’m on that subject, when I did my last <em>Totalitarian Warlords and Termination Squadron</em> video, I had author Morgan Staughan Comnick do the voice of Elsa, and she did her own rendition of <em>Let It Go</em> with the recordings. I never ended up using it, but I will say this - I think, in my opinion, that she sings it BETTER than Idina Menzel. Yup, I’m gonna go on record and say that Morgan is a better singer than Menzel – and yes, you can quote me on that. Again, Idina - nothing personal.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong><em>EDIT:</em></strong><em> I will be releasing a video showing Morgan singing </em>Let It Go<em>, so those of you who may be thinking of calling my bluff, watch this space! :)</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Yeah, I know people love the <em>Frozen </em>soundtrack – but for me, it leaves me a little cold (if you pardon the pun). <em>The Lion King </em>has much more energy and emotion to it for me. So it gets the point.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="340" original-width="567" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_27a7ad5ea7fd42979f1e796c3e021e5a.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 567px; height: 340px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> &nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>4-0</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>ROUND 5 – Story and overall theme</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <p> <img height="137" original-height="396" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_70fb69aa6c0644e9a706e76600bddb46.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="225" /> <img height="137" original-height="347" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_e899f7a2b468400f987946c216d6194d.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none;" width="230" /></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p> Here I’ll look at the plot of both films and see what I think has the better story and moral.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>The Lion King</em> hasbeen quoted as the Disney version of <em>Hamlet </em>– and indeed it has a lot of parallels with that play. The Prince whose uncle murders his father and he has to avenge him – but is being held back by his own self doubt and desire to escape his fate. But for me, there is so much more to that. It’s a coming of age tale about facing your fears head on and aspiring to be what you were born to be. I also like to think of it as a really good tale of how important great parenting can be. Mufasa is a wonderful father, strict in his own way, but loving and caring of his son Simba. The lessons that Simba learns from him stay with him till adulthood, even if he doesn’t realise it. And in the end he becomes a better person than his uncle – who is essentially a monster. <em>The Lion King</em>, for me, is a tale about growing up, but also learning from your mistakes and respecting your family. Oh, and also lions are cool!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now you may think I’ve been harsh with <em>Frozen </em>so far – but before you think I’m hating on it for no reason, just read this section. Yes, I have issues with this film – but there is also a lot of good in it as well. For one, the story. <em>Frozen </em>is a really heartfelt tale about how loneliness can kill a person inside and love sets you free. However, unlike other Disney films in this case it’s family love that saves the day. This I think is a really good twist to the story and it’s one of the few Disney films that adds a feminist message to it. People are saying that this is the first Disney film that shows you don’t need a man to save you – although I say that <em>Brave </em>is more worthy of that title. (Yes I know it’s Pixar, but to me, Disney and Pixar are one and the same). My only problem with this is that the feminist message is somewhat diluted by the fact that all the male characters are either useless or just utterly crappy. My belief is that if you have to make one gender weaker to get the point across then it weakens the message somewhat. Equality works both ways guys!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong><em>EDIT:</em></strong><em> In actual fact there are SEVERAL Disney films that go against this convention by having the female save the day. I mention</em> Brave,<em> but my friend was quick to mention </em>Beauty and the Beast, Mulan <em>and</em> Pocahontas<em> </em><em>as examples of females saving the day. This is something that I should have put into the blog - so thanks to my Publisher for pointing that out.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> But on the whole, despite the few plot holes (which I’ve talked about in previous blogs), I DO think that <em>Frozen </em>has a much stronger message at heart and I love the idea of it going against the usual conventions of a man saving the day. So even though I think<em> The Lion King</em> is a better film, I AM going to give <em>Frozen </em>the benefit of the doubt here. So <em>Frozen </em>fans rejoice as I give this point to it. See? I do give credit where credit is due!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="340" original-width="567" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_27a7ad5ea7fd42979f1e796c3e021e5a.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 567px; height: 340px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> &nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>4-1</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p> But unfortunately it comes too little too late as, with 4-1, <em>The Lion King</em> emerges triumphant.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="269" original-width="188" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_dd5425595b5f4cd183207f4a3cc31699.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 188px; height: 269px;" /></div> <div content-type="media-description" style="width:100%;text-align:center;"> <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>WINNER!!!</strong></p> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> And so, <em>Frozen </em>may have outshone all competition at the box office, but I personally feel <em>The Lion King</em> is more entertaining and has more energy and emotion in the songs. <em>Frozen </em>has a far better moral, but it’s weak supporting characters and a couple of plot holes just ruin it for me.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Does this take away from the achievements that <em>Frozen </em>has? Not at all! I have full respect for what this movie has achieved – but at the same time, I have an opinion like anyone else. And personally, I prefer <em>The Lion King</em>. Nothing personal guys.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Do you agree? Disagree? Do you hate my guts? Is there a flaw in my argument that you want to point out? Did I miss something? Whatever you guys feel, I love reading your comments guys, whether on my blog, my Facebook or Twitter. So please let me know what you thought of this and whether you’d like to see another one. And if you wanna take me to the cleaners – go for it!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks for reading guys. Speak soon!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: left;"> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242);">-------------------------</span></div> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PandragonDan" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:11:57 GMT 84df10c9-b6dd-4d39-aff2-a6451fbd4649 Real Mermaids Don't Grow Legs by D.G. Driver http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/real-mermaids-dont-grow-legs-by-dg <p> Recently I was contacted by D. G. Driver, asking if I would be interested in reviewing her novel <em>Cry of the Sea</em>. Unfortunately, due to my current schedule I wasn't able to offer a review - but the concept of her book did sound interesting so I offered her a guest post to let her talk about it. For those who love mermaids as a concept, this book sounds right up their street - though I've been told it is NOT like <em>The Little Mermaid</em>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Anyway, I'd like to hand you over to D.G. Driver now so that she can talk to you a little about her novel. Enjoy!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="984" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_41dc30e1485b4c75b1f7f699bcb70619.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 452px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>Real Mermaids Don’t Grow Legs By D. G. Driver</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p> I didn’t know there was a mermaid boom going on in Young Adult fantasy when I was cleaning up my novel <em>Cry of the Sea</em> to get it ready for publication. I had written the original draft of this book almost a decade earlier, when the 10th anniversary of the Exxon-Valdez oil spill was all over the news. An idea popped into my head during that time: “What if mermaids washed up in an oil spill?” I put it aside that early draft for a long time. Inspiration hit me a couple years ago, and I pulled out that story and started it over again. In February, it was published by Fire and Ice. Now it is number 60 on a Goodreads list of 117 YA books about mermaids <a href="http://(https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/7878.YA_Mermaid_Novels#20870266"><u><strong>(https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/7878.YA_Mermaid_Novels#20870266</strong></u></a>).</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> 117? And I’m sure that’s not even close to being all of them. How could there possibly be so many books about mermaids? And could they possibly be different enough to warrant reading more than a couple of them? Sorry mermaid fans, I hate to share this with you, but a lot of mermaid books are really similar to each other. That list mentioned above is ranked by number of votes from readers. Of the top 30 (that’s as far as I waded into the pool) all but four of them were about a girl who discovers that she is actually a mermaid. More than that, most of those girls wind up not being just mermaids, but princesses of underwater kingdoms. Two of the “different” books were about mermaids who turn into girls. One was a retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Little Mermaid” (a mermaid turning into a girl), but from a different point of view. And one was about scary sirens (that I think actually stay sirens the whole time) that call people to drown themselves.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> If I went to that list wanting to pick a mermaid novel I hadn’t read before, I would find it ridiculously difficult to choose. I’d have to go by the reviews, love for the author, the quality of writing, because the stories are simply not that unique from each other. However, if you love that plotline, most of the books come in series and there are plenty more to read when you turn the last page of your current one. &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> As an author on the list with a mermaid book, how can I possibly have <em>Cry of the Sea</em> stand out?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Well, I’m here to tell you that Cry of the Sea stands out because it is nothing like those other books. There are no shape-shifting girls. No hidden kingdom under the sea. No sad mermaids longing to be with a prince on the shore, and no girls discovering that they are going to change into sea creatures on their sixteenth birthdays. (Question: why don’t parents ever tell their children in YA novels that they are going to magically change into something else when they turn 16? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read that plot.) My mermaids don’t have magical songs. They don’t even talk.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In fact, the mermaids in Cry of the Sea aren’t even the main characters of the book. The main character is Juniper Sawfeather, a 17-year-old daughter of environmental activists, who discovers three mermaids washed up on the beach during an oil spill. These creatures are how I imagine “real” mermaids would be:</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> “From their facial features and upper torsos, they looked kind of like women, but all three of them had silver-colored skin. They were bald, with strange ridges marking their skulls. None of them seemed to have ears, only holes in the sides of their heads. No nose was visible, not even a bone or nostrils filled that space between their eyes and mouths. Although their mouths seemed to be moving, they were actually breathing through what looked like gills in their necks. And if that wasn’t weird enough, instead of legs, their upper torsos stretched out into long, scale-covered, silver fishtails. If I had to say what these things stranded in front of me, plagued with a thick coating of oil, appeared to be, I’d say mermaids. And no, they didn’t look like they’d start singing songs or granting me wishes. They looked a little bit scary – but fragile too. Most of all, they looked like they were going to die, and no handsome prince was there to kiss them and keep them from turning into sea foam.”</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Juniper tries to save these poor creatures and winds up in the middle of a complicated struggle between her parents, a marine biologist and his handsome young intern, the popular clique at school, the media, and the oil company over the fate of the mermaids. Can she keep them from being exploited? Or killed?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I like to tell people that <em>Cry of the Sea</em> is more <em>X-Files</em> than <em>Little Mermaid</em>, and I hope you can see why. If you are looking for a mermaid tale that offers something different than the same old story, give this one a try.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Sample the first two chapters:</p> <p> <a href="http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/dgdriver/crysea.html"><u><strong>www.fireandiceya.com/authors/dgdriver/crysea.html</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Learn more about D. G. Driver:</p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://www.dgdriver.com">www.dgdriver.com</a></strong></u></p> <p> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/donnagdriver"><u><strong>www.facebook.com/donnagdriver</strong></u></a></p> <p> <strong>Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/DGDriverAuthor"><u><strong>@DGDriverAuthor</strong></u></a></p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://www.d-g-driver.tumblr.com">www.d-g-driver.tumblr.com</a></strong></u></p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://www.instagram.com/d_g_driver#">www.instagram.com/d_g_driver#</a></strong></u></p> <p> <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/dgdriver"><u><strong>www.pinterest.com/dgdriver</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Buy links.&nbsp; Available in print or ebook:</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Cry-Sea-D-G-Driver-ebook/dp/B00IM0JF06/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1413304078&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Cry+of+the+Sea">http://www.amazon.com/Cry-Sea-D-G-Driver-ebook/dp/B00IM0JF06/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1413304078&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Cry+of+the+Sea</a></strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=Cry+of+the+Sea&amp;type=">http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=Cry+of+the+Sea&amp;type=</a></strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cry-of-the-sea-d-g-driver/1118708060?ean=9781612357867"><u><strong>http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cry-of-the-sea-d-g-driver/1118708060?ean=9781612357867</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks for stopping by! Guys, please check out <em>Cry of the Sea</em> and support this wonderful author.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Till next time...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: left;"> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242);">-------------------------</span></div> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PandragonDan" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:15:19 GMT e1a60ac6-fba5-4b29-974b-150519c21e23 Totalitarian Warlords and Termination Squadron Episode 5 Now Available http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/totalitarian-warlords-and-termination-squadron-episode-5 <p> <em>T.W.A.T.S.</em> Episode 5 is now up for your viewing pleasure - Title:<em> There's Something About Elsa! </em>(In three parts)</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Hordak's dream comes true as he finally meets Elsa - his all time favourite heroine. But his changes to prove his affection to her are hampered when his past catches up with him. Will he be able to quell an angry ex-superheroine girlfriend and finally settle down with the woman he loves?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Also includes a new cast of characters from 80's cartoons to survival horror games - and a special T.W.A.T.S. rendition of a much loved Disney song! XD</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Featuring the incredible voice talents of Morgan Straughan Comnick, Mysti Parker, and new addition to the T.W.A.T.S. team Daniel Bromley - thank you to all you guys lending me your voices!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Enjoy guys! And as always, like, comment, share and tell all your friends about it. Or not. It's all cool!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8zYAwzdYV4s?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2GRkqD-7Oqg?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe> </div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> &nbsp; </div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/HA90sZ2xzxk?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> </div> <div style="text-align: left;"> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242);">-------------------------</span></div> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PandragonDan" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Sun, 12 Oct 2014 10:58:35 GMT 843576f5-dd83-4fc3-84b8-56a2bf1e69ea The Roche Hotel by Mysti Parker http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/the-roche-hotel-by-mysti-parker <p> Hi guys. Today I'm taking a back seat from the blog to hand you over to my lovely friend Mysti Parker, who stopped by to tell us a little about the new book she has out. Take it away, Mysti!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="978" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_8ce57c9d298c4efbb6231ac520c9ca92.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 450px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>The Roche Hotel</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>Season One</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>A serial romantic comedy by Mysti Parker</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>After her husband ditches her for a blonde actress wannabe, Jane Seymour needs a job that pays the rent. The struggling Roche Hotel needs a miracle. With the former owner’s wife butting her nose into the renovations and new owners who are in way over their heads, Jane may be the answer to their prayers. Sure, she can handle The Roche Hotel’s quirky staff. But, can this skittish divorcee keep it all together when handsome Henry the Donut Guy makes his first delivery? This collection of serial fiction stories is a Tudorific romantic comedy that will leave you laughing out loud and hungry for more.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> ****</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> THEY say a lot of things, don’t they? Like don’t wear white after Labor Day or don’t fry bacon with your shirt off (that’s probably good advice, come to think of it). Most of what THEY say goes right in one ear and out the other. But, in terms of writing, when THEY say “write what you know”, it makes a lot of sense. So, that’s where The Roche Hotel got its start—from my own experience working in a hotel way back in the ‘90s.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Many of these first 10 episodes are based on some very real incidents that happened during my days as a front desk clerk in a little mid-priced hotel. Sure, a lot of stuff’s made up purely from my crazy imagination, but there were 5:00 AM donuts—delicious being fresh from the bakery. Henry the Donut Guy—not real, but I wouldn’t have argued one bit if he had been! Among the many other true-to-life items that appear at the Roche Hotel are a popcorn machine, a Muzak (think elevator music) that never played at the right volume, at least one “lady of the night”, and a dead body.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> To discover all those things for yourself, from now until release day on October 15, you can pre-order your copy of The Roche Hotel, Season One for just $0.99 on Amazon Kindle! After that, the price goes up to $1.99, so make your reservation now and save a buck!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Roche-Hotel-Season-One-ebook/dp/B00NYCMIZQ/ref=la_B0055LOTX8"><u><strong>Click HERE to Pre-Order The Roche Hotel, Season One</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="245" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_3e7621de5d7545e2a61507417ad7dbb9.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 652px; height: 245px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Because I like parties, I’m also inviting all of you to the release day party on Facebook, October 15 from 6-9 PM EST.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> You’ll get a chance to win a hotel-themed gift basket which includes:</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Robe</strong></li> <li> <strong>Shampoo</strong></li> <li> <strong>Conditioner</strong></li> <li> <strong>Lotion</strong></li> <li> <strong>Tiny soap bars (so cute!)</strong></li> <li> <strong>Ghirardelli chocolates</strong></li> <li> <strong>Signed postcards</strong></li> <li> <strong>We’ll also have some fun and games, so I hope you’ll join me. And please bring a friend!</strong></li> </ul> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/718490931571665/?ref=2&amp;ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming"><u><strong>Click HERE to Join the Facebook Release Day Party!</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks so much for your support! Happy reading! ~Mysti Parker</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="480" original-width="480" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_232b05cec2ce4beb8456bd0fabcf96fc.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 300px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> ****</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Mysti Parker (pseudonym) is a wife, mom, author, and shameless chocoholic. She is the author of the <em>Tallenmere</em> standalone fantasy romance series. Her other writings have appeared in the anthologies<em> Hearts of Tomorrow</em>, <em>Christmas Lites</em>, <em>Christmas Lites II</em>, <em>The Darwin Murders</em>, <em>Tasteful Murders</em> and <em>EveryDayFiction</em>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Other writing pursuits include serving as a class mentor in Writers Village University's seven week online course, F2K. She finished her first historical romance this spring and has one children’s book (<em>Quentin’s Problem</em>) soon to be published, with one more waiting for illustrations, and many more stewing in her head.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> When she's not writing fiction, Mysti works as a freelance editor and copywriter. She also reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specfic publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder's Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Subscribe to my blog, <a href="http://www.mystiparker.blogspot.co.uk/"><u><strong>Unwritten</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Visit my webpage: <a href="http://mystiparker.com/"><u><strong>www.mystiparker.com</strong></u></a> (in construction)</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> LIKE my fan page on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mysti-Parker/103786449704221"><u><strong>Facebook</strong></u></a>!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Follow me on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/MystiParker"><strong><u>@MystiParker</u></strong></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: left;"> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242);">-------------------------</span></div> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PandragonDan" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Sat, 11 Oct 2014 09:48:07 GMT e7369ec5-cffb-40fa-b3cb-904af0115478 Meet My Character http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/meet-my-character <p> I was recently tagged in the “Meet My Character” blog tour and I was only too happy to take part. The aim of the game is that once you’re tagged, you have to interview a character from your series. Sounds fun! Before we see who I’m tagging, let’s check out my challenger – the fabulous author/voice actor, Morgan Straughan Comnick</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="380" original-width="380" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_3fecd520932345acbcc69de9cee0f027.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 380px; height: 380px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>About Morgan Straughan Comnick</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her “bubbliness.” It is Morgan’s mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://morganscomnick.com/">Website</a></strong></u></p> <p> <u><strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Morgan-Straughan-Comnick/167241833430209">Facebook</a></strong></u></p> <p> <u><strong><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7510773.Morgan_Straughan_Comnick">Goodreads</a></strong></u></p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://www.pinterest.com/morganscomnick/">Pinterest</a></strong></u></p> <p> <u><strong><a href="https://twitter.com/MorganSComnick">Twitter</a></strong></u></p> <p> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/sakurastar07"><u><strong>Youtube</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So anyway – the character I’ll be interviewing today will be from my forthcoming novel <em>Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince</em> – published through Paper Crane Books in 2015. Today I’ll be interviewing a character called The Author – and no, he’s NOT based on me! XD! I brought him here so he can tell us a little about his role in the story.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="746" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_3fa19357c75544ca890caec9b9c05ec7.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 457px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <p> <strong>Me: Thanks for appearing to answer these questions, Author.</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Author: I’d like to express my joy on being here. I’d like to... but Joy is an emotion. And emotions cannot be expressed by one that does not feel them.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Er... ok... Right, well let’s move on.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>The Interview</strong></u></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What’s your real name?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>My Name? A name is simply a false identity that we grant ourselves to give us a sense of belonging. I, on the other hand, have no such illusions. I have been named many things. The Thing That Should Not Be, The Last Firstborn, The Dark Eternal Night – even The Tragic Truth. These are just titles – they have no meaning.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Ok... Are you a fictional or historic person?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I am neither a character of fiction nor a part of your history. I am a part of my own history. I have been and always will be.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>*sigh* This is going to be a long interview! Ok, when and where is the story set?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>The story of </em>Amanda Moonstone<em> is set on the planet Draconica, a world I believe your “readers” are aware about. Amanda resides on the country Celtland, next to Brittana. For those who have read </em>Trapped on Draconica<em>, it is set just after those events, but before</em> Legacy of the Dragonkin<em>.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Ok, well at least I got something out of you. What’s your role in the story?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I seek to help Amanda realise her full potential.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>And how do you do that?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> (The Author looks down at his book and turns a few pages)</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Um... all right... What do we need to know about you?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Only what I allow you to know.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Right... So, what is your main the main conflict?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Conflict? I have no conflict </em>(looks up and stares at me with his one eye)<em> I AM the conflict.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Ok, starting to get scared now! :o Can you tell us your personal goals?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>What are goals but dreams we chase. I have no goals. Only endings.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Well, can you at least tell us what your desired “ending” is?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I could... but I DO hate spoilers...</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Can you give us ANY straight answer?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Possibly. If you ask the right questions.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Well can you at least tell the readers when <em>Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince</em> is due out.</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>That is not in my hands. But of the Goddess – she who holds the power to unleash the tale upon the world. She who decides what words are to be said. What order they appear. She of whom you are at her mercy. She who holds your fate in her hands.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>You mean – the publisher?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Publisher to you. Goddess to me. Even Authors have higher powers they must obey.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Well, I'm sure my publisher will be grateful that you think so highly of her :) Ok then. Is there anything else you can tell us about you?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> (Closes his book and stands up) <em>You are starting to bore me. I shall entertain this joke no longer.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Hey! Come on, don’t leave like that! You haven’t given the readers anything! Can’t you at least tell us... (suddenly I feel a choking sensation around my neck).</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Words are only as powerful as those who speak them. And your words do not hold power over me. You will find out about me when the time is right. When the time is upon us.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>The Author disappears in a puff of smoke. As I check my neck to make sure that there is no major damage, I notice that, scrawled on my wall is a cryptic message.</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Who Is The Author?</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>The Challenge</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Ok, whilst I try and recover from that shock, I am going to set the next interview. And keeping it with my Author friends at Paper Crane Books, I’m gonna tag the super talented Michelle Franklin, author of the <em>Haanta Series</em>. I'm giving her until Sunday to post her interview. Be sure to check back on her blog next week for her character interview. I’m looking forward to it! :)</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="792" original-width="576" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_993d084ac0db45df9f8100f2d3c7f0a8.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 412px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"> <u><strong>About Michelle Franklin</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Michelle Franklin is a small woman of moderate consequence who writes many, many books about giants, romance, and chocolate.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong><a href="https://twitter.com/MrsDenAsaan">Twitter</a></strong></u></p> <p> <u><strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Haanta-Series/129616710425835">Facebook</a></strong></u></p> <p> <a href="http://thehaanta.blogspot.ca/"><u><strong>Website</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: left;"> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242);">-------------------------</span></div> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PandragonDan" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Sun, 28 Sep 2014 08:55:54 GMT d0086604-d795-4767-9ff0-ff72e05f59dd The Draconica Series on Sponsume http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/the-draconica-series-on-sponsume <p> BREAKING NEWS!!!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Today I've started a crowdfunding campaign for the next story in the Draconica series - <em>Final Ragnarok: He Returns. </em>The final book in the Draconica series is almost ready to go - and we need YOUR help.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Please click on the link below to check out the page. There are plenty of rewards for those who sponsor it - including the chance to actually APPEAR in the book as a background character. Many neat rewards are available, so please sponsor what you can.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> If you guys could share this with your friends I would be most appreciative.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="https://www.sponsume.com/project/draconica-series-final-ragnarok-he-returns"><u><strong>THE DRACONICA SERIES ON SPONSUME LINK</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks in advance for all your support. :)</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: left;"> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242);">-------------------------</span></div> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PandragonDan" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 16:39:54 GMT 897bfc6e-018a-45b4-857b-d3037ebcf822 Top Five Lame Plot Twists http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/top-five-lame-plot-twists <p style="text-align: center;"> <strong>WARNING: This probably goes without saying, but just to be clear, they following blog contains spoilers for various films. Read at your own risk.</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I actually struggled for a name to call this blog. I was originally going to call it “Top Five Plot Twists That Don’t Entirely Work”, but that seemed too long winded. Anyhoo...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The plot twist is potentially one of the greatest strengths of any story. I mean who can forget the classic ending to <em>The Usual Suspects</em> when Keyser Soze was revealed, or the heartbreaking realisation behind the named “Rosebud” in<em> Citizen Kane</em>? If a twist is done correctly, it can have a huge impact on the story, change the narrative in a way that you never expected and make you go “oh my god!”</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> However, if a twist is done BADLY then it can have the opposite effect. It could have little to no impact, ruin the credibility of a story or – in some cases – create plot holes.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Today on my blog I look at what I consider to be some plot twists that I felt ruined a movie to some extent. These twists are necessary the worst plot twists ever – but these are five twists that bothered me and, in my opinion, didn’t have impact that the writers intended. Some of these twists have been mentioned before online (number 2 especially is a common one that many have panned), but I’m still mentioning it.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now just to make it clear, just because I mention these films does not necessarily mean I think the FILM is bad (although there are some bad ones in this list), it just means that I don’t think the plot twist is as good as it could have been in my opinion. And, as always, these are mentioned in no particular order. So, without further ado, I present to you the Top Five Lame Plot Twists.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="270" original-width="480" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_47feff56b3414b9186a056d4c875c4fa.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 225px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong>1. Planet of the Apes (2001) – The “ending”</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The original <em>Planet of the Apes</em> had an ending that shocked everyone to the core. Learning that the main character was not on an alternative world, but rather a futuristic version of Earth – where the apes ruled the humans after a nuclear war – was an extremely horrific ending for many. It was shocking not just because people didn’t see it coming, but in that it was also acting as a commentary of the fears people had during the Cold War, and a possible outcome should humanity get wiped out in a nuclear war. The original ending had a major impact and it’s widely regarded as one of the best twists ever.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The Tim Burton remake, however, is widely considered one of the most confusing and pointless endings ever. Now, I love Tim Burton, he’s one of the few directors that (in my opinion) rarely does a bad film. This one, however – is a stinker.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So, how to sum up. Guy gets teleported to a world run by apes, he fights a bad guy called General Thade, Thade gets locked away, guy finds his way back to Earth and he lives happily ever after... or DOES HE?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Upon arriving, he walks towards the Lincoln memorial only to find – gasp – that it’s now in ape form. In fact, it’s now a monument to General Thade! At that point, the police arrive – all apes – and we realise that apes now rule the humans in this world. And... movie ends.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Ok, what the hell did I just watch? This ending makes no sense whatsoever! Did the guy arrive in an alternative history of Earth? Is this the same Earth, but something he did in the film affect it? Did General Thade escape and travel to Earth? If so how could he have done that? None of this is ever explained, even Tim Burton has never explained this ending as it was intended to be a cliff-hanger for a sequel – which was never made!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> This ending was apparently supposed to outdo the ending to the original <em>Planet of the Apes</em> film, but it just ends up as more of a head-scratcher than a shock. Even if they did intend this as a cliff-hanger, it should have had SOME continuity with the rest of the film. As it stands, it just seems to be put in for shock value and, in turn, comes across as confusing and adds nothing to the film, which was pretty mediocre as it was anyway. I love Tim Burton, but this film (and this twist) wasn’t one of his best moments.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Damn this twist! Damn it to hell! (sorry couldn’t resist! XD)</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="300" original-width="400" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_0e3b367548b64d549bdeea8cfbd4e52b.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 300px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong>2. Signs – Water is alien’s Kryptonite</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Believe it or not, I actually missed this the first time I saw it! It wasn’t until a friend of mine mentioned it to me that I saw it again and thought “yeah... that is pretty stupid!”</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Ok, everyone has commented on this “twist” ending and how stupid it is, but I have to give it a mention on my blog just because.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> For the most part, <em>Signs </em>is actually a pretty decent horror movie, leaving much of it to the audiences’ imagination until the last act. Then the aliens appear and, if I’m being honest, they do look pretty scary. That is until they discover their weakness. Water.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Yes, that’s right. Water. Water is deadly to them.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I know this has been brought up before, but I’m just gonna say it again just because I can. Why would the aliens invade Earth – a planet that is MOSTLY WATER by the way – when water is their weakness? Would that be as silly as vampire’s invading a village made out of garlic? Even if they did invade Earth, all it would take to stop them would be for it to rain and they were pretty much buggered (especially if they invaded England). Did the aliens not do any recon beforehand? I dunno, maybe these aliens were the recon. But even so, they could EASILY see from space that Earth is mostly water. What made them want to invade this planet in the first place?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I dunno, maybe the aliens had a plan, but it was a stupid one! As such, this twist makes the threat of the aliens that little less – well, threatening. It ruins an otherwise decent horror movie. Between this and the ending of<em> War of the Worlds</em>, I dunno which is sillier. Well, if anything, at least this movie taught me to keep a few bottles of water spare in the event of an alien invasion.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="370" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_33d05794c2d4478b8436dd90858c4fde.png" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 226px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong>3. Frozen – Hans’s heel turn</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I just can’t seem to leave this film alone, can I? In fact, if you remember, when I did my review of <em>Frozen</em>, I actually did say that Hans revealing himself to be a villain was actually a good twist. Well – I kinda want to take that back. Because, the more I think about it, the more this twist doesn’t work in the way that it should.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I’m sure by now EVERYONE has seen <em>Frozen </em>and knows the story, so I won’t waste too much time explaining. Just for the benefit of those who don’t, in the film, Hans is introduced as the “Handsome Prince” that is popular in a lot of early Disney films. Anna immediately falls in love with him – and then later it’s discovered that Hans plan was to kill Elsa all along so that he could take her place as ruler of the land, with Anna as his consort.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Here are the reasons why I don’t think this twist works. For one thing, at NO point in the film does Hans EVER show any signs of being wicked. He’s kind, caring for Anna and even deliberately tells the Earl of Weaselton’s men that Elsa is NOT to be harmed. In fact, when he goes after Elsa, he tells her “don’t become the monster they think you are”, showing that he does care for her. He even speaks to her in a cell very kindly and tries to understand her. So when this twist is revealing, it completely contradicts what Hans is like earlier in the film.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Also, if his plan was to kill Elsa all along – WHY did he bring her back to palace? That was just pointless even for a villain plan. I guess you could argue that Hans had to convince the other nobles that Elsa was a monster and had to be destroyed – but seeing as they already thought she was a monster (and the Earl of Weasleton even hired two guys to kill her), then he could have just killed her and no one would have been any the wiser.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I know some of you may think “but surely if he didn’t show any villainous tendencies beforehand it makes this twist that more impactful, right?” Well, for me I say no. You can’t just have a character act one way and then have him act another without any rhyme or reason. Yes, I know Hans felt insecure about his brothers and wanted to do better than them – but to me, this twist just felt like the writers got so far and thought “oh s***! We forgot to add a villain! (though they kinda did in the Earl of Weaselton) I know! Let’s pick Hans!”</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Ok, that’s not what Disney thought at all. In fact I can understand why they would pick Hans as the villain – they wanted to move away from the conventional Disney tropes in previous films. So having Hans as the bad guy wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, but the way it’s done doesn’t entirely work in my eyes. I would accept this twist a lot more if they had hinted towards Hans being a baddy (I.E. being overly possessive about Anna, little evil grins or even treating Elsa with contempt), because there are ways to foreshadow a characters actions without outright revealing them.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> As it stands, this twist feels more like an asspull than a shocker. In fact, I’m just gonna say it – Hans got screwed over!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="181" original-width="425" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_cf2f95743e2849618474ec1026a6faeb.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 425px; height: 181px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong>4. American Psycho – It was all in his head</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The breakout role for Christian Bale (and a role for Jared Leto of Thirty Seconds to Mars fame) sees him as a slick businessman named Patrick Bateman that appreciates the finer things in live. Expensive suits, lavish restaurants, diets and exercise and high class living. He lives a life that many would dream off and seems to have it perfectly. Oh, and I did mention he’s also a part time serial killer?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Juxtaposed with his modern day living, and his struggle with the banal mediocrity of his material life (and the company he keeps) with his violent side. Throughout <em>American Psycho</em>, Bateman narrates to the audience his inner, nihilistic thoughts, his lust for murder – and even one point he narrates at how jealous he is just because a co-worker has a better business card than him. It all makes for an interesting, yet disturbing character – acting as a parable for how someone can have everything, but still not be enough. I also like to think this film serves as a commentary for how modern life can sometimes drag people down and drive them insane. At least that’s what I think.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Bateman murders various people whilst keeping his personal life separate as much as possible. But all too soon, both lives converge as he murders strangers and co-workers alike. At the end, it becomes too much for him and he leaves a message revealing all the crimes he has committed. Here’s the catch – they never happened. Everything that happened in the film was in his head.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now, maybe I’m alone in this, but I find this ending a cop out. Especially given the bloody scenes before this reveal, it doesn’t feel as satisfying to learn that none of it happened. Let’s face it, when has the whole “It was all a dream” ending really been a satisfying conclusion. It may have worked in <em>It’s a Wonderful Life</em> and<em> Wizard of Oz</em>, but in this film it just doesn’t work for me.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Some might argue that this is, in its own way, a reasonable ending for Bateman. Because part of him WANTS to be punished for the crimes he has committed and the fact that he continues to escape them (inside his mind) means he is stuck in his own personally hell. But I think I think a MUCH better ending would be that all these things did happen, but Bateman got away with it somehow. I dunno, I guess I was expecting something a little more with this.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>American Psycho</em> is a fantastic film, but the ending for me spoils it a little. I dunno, maybe I’m alone in this, but I think the way this film ended could have been a lot better.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="240" original-width="360" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_ac3d611a81f14ca890c393d997455937.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 266px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong>5. The Number 23 – The reveal</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> This film got panned critically, but actually I don’t think it’s as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It’s an enjoyable thriller with a lot of tension and mystique and Jim Carey does actually give a good performance. But the pay off is really weak.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In <em>The Number 23</em>, Jim Carey plays Ned, an animal control officer. His wife gives him a book for a present called “The Number 23”, written by Topsy Kretts (Top Secrets – gettit?). The book is about a detective that murders his lover – but as he reads it he suddenly notices similarities between him and the character in the book. It’s then he starts noticing connections and links with the number 23 (which is considered an unlucky number in some cultures).</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> As he becomes more and more obsessed with the book and the number 23, he goes on a mission to discover the truth. He discovers that one chapter is missing (Chapter 23, of course) and he eventually finds a hotel room (yes you guessed it, room 23) where he finds the missing chapter written on the wall and hidden behind the wall paper (um... ok...). What it boils down to is that HE was the one that wrote the book, it was his confession. He murdered someone, tried to commit suicide by jumping out the window of this hotel room, got amnesia, then forgot all about it.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Yeah... not the best endings I must say. Not only that, it brings up a few plot holes. For instance, his wife (who knew all about his condition) was the one that brought him the book. Why would she do that when she was trying to keep him from finding out the secret? Also, if wanted to confess to the crimes, why not just go to the police instead of going through such a convoluted way of writing this book and put the last chapter on the walls of the hotel? Not only that, but the movie seems to hint that the number 23 would have a major impact on the story – but ultimately it just turns out to be one huge macguffin. They could have easily used ANY number and it would have been the same effect.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Like I said, this isn’t a bad film really – but the ending is really disappointing and could have been a lot better in my opinion.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Agree? Disagree? What plot twists left you unsatisfied? Please let me know in the comments below.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks for reading!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: left;"> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242);">-------------------------</span></div> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PandragonDan" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <em>All images above are copyright of their respective owners</em></p> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 11:01:35 GMT f3bea223-11b7-44b4-8c6e-8ec2ce37ee27 First Look: Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/first-look-amanda-moonstone-the-missing-prince <div class="_5pbx userContent" data-ft="{&quot;tn&quot;:&quot;K&quot;}"> <p> Check out this trailer for my forthcoming novel through Paper Crane Books - <em>Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I've mentioned it on my blog a couple of times, but this is the first official look at the story. Check out the video on Youtube here.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/wInZ8kAWqaU?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe> </div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp; </div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp; </div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp; </div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp; </div> </div> <div style="text-align: left;"> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242);">-------------------------</span></div> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PandragonDan" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;<u style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 14:10:29 GMT ac3df595-0f2c-4a1c-bb36-87fbed526ef0