Back with my thoughts on Warcraft, Arrow Season 3 & 4

Well, I’m back!  After MONTHS of not writing I’m coming back with a new blog post.  So much to catch up on but I’m looking forward to it.

Warcraft Trailer

So, I’ve watched this trailer several times.  I have also played the Warcraft games.  No, not World of Warcraft; there were Real Time Strategy (RTS) games before WoW.  I played Warcraft I, II and III plus the expansion packs.  Unlike most people who played for the online competition, I played because I loved the story and the lore.  The story of Warcraft is so rich and deep.  I even have read the Warcraft books.  So I have an affinity for the property.  I’m also very aware of how bad video game movies have been.  The best one, Mortal Kombat, is decent but not great.

However, I love the movie Moon.  The director of that movie, Duncan Jones, is in charge of this.  I’m thinking that there is talent involved with this film.  Uwe Boll isn’t directing this, which is already a victory.  There is more talent and investment made into this film than in other video game movies.  So, I have a lot of hope and optimism for this film.

But what I saw in the trailer has made me very concerned.  There is WAY too much CGI, to the point that it just looks like a video game and not something real.  What I loved about Lord of the Rings (another property that takes place in another world) was filmed in New Zealand.  The thing is, we live in a beautiful world.  There is so much aesthetically pleasing scenery in our world.  Take advantage of it!  And the CGI didn’t look great.  The humans looked like they were behind a green screen.  I hate that.  So, that’s why I’m disappointed right now.  Then there were some of the dialogue.  It was not good and very cliché.  So there’s that.

What I did like was how it was setting up the big ideas.  There is an actual culture that goes with the orcs; they aren’t just mindless killing machines.  They have motivations, emotions and you can empathize with them.  The humans’ actions are also understandable.  There aren’t villains and heroes in the way we are used to seeing.  This could spur on deep discussions and deeper themes than what we are used to for video game movies.

Overall, I’m still optimistic about the final product but the use of CGI and the actual lines said in the film have made me very concerned.

Arrow

So, I have finally caught up on Arrow.  I do love this show.  The third season follows Oliver Queen and his allies face off against Ras Al Ghul and the League of Assassins.  When Sarah (Black Canary) is killed, Ras blames the not-so-dead Malcom Merlin and sends the League after Merlin and Thea.  It turns out Thea did kill Sarah but under the influence of some drug.  Oh, and Thea has been training with Malcom.  Oliver goes and challenges Ras to make up for Thea’s crimes.  Oliver is killed (but later resurrected).

After that, the season moves to Ras offering Oliver the chance to lead the League of Assassins. Now, Oliver doesn’t want to accept but Ras, being his evil self, stars destroying Queen’s reputation and life.  The season ends with Oliver killing Ras and giving the leadership to Malcom.

Now, there was a lot involved in this season.  I’m not sure how I feel about the backstory.  Normally I have loved the backstory in the series but this one was not as strong.  Mostly because he got off the island and was an agent of Amanda Walker.  I did end up liking the side characters and they really came into play later on in the season.  I also enjoy that they left out the death of the kid until later in the season.  It was a great slow burn on that.  And about halfway you realize that the kid is going to die.  But you still didn’t want it to happen.  I thought that the father (I forget his name) did a great job.  I really felt for him and when he was killed you could really tell that the weight was off his shoulders in the end.

Actually, I enjoyed all the guest performances.  Ras was great and Nissa was fantastic.  I thought that Diggle, Oliver and Felicity were great.  But my main concern with the characters are Laurel and Thea.  They are awful characters.  Thea can only express 2 emotions, anger and sadness.  My goodness is she annoying.  I can’t believe anyone would want to help her.  I was so excited when she was killed by Ras but then she HAD to be resurrected by the Lazarus Pit.  I was so pissed about that.  She has become less annoying in season 4 but that’s because she’s hardly talked in that season.  Laurel is even worse.  Keeping secrets from her dad for no fricking reason is annoying.  Why does the CW develop such terrible lead female characters?  They are just annoying.  She’s awful being a superhero as well.  She’s not believable, she isn’t likable and I wish she would just go away.

I also don’t like how no one stays dead in this series.  I know that Sarah and Ray Palmer arecoming back to life because she’s in another TV show.  That is really hurting this show.  The other thing that is hurting the show is the idea that dramatic tension can only be built up through secrets.  No.  Dramatic tension can be built up in a variety of ways.

Overall, I liked this season.  I’m liking the lore that is being built here.  This show deals more with the mystic side of the Arrow-verse than Flash.  I like that it is dark, it deals with these ideas and issues and that it has a different feel than Flash.

However, I think that season 4 is far superior.  It is dealing with the relationship between Oliver and Felicity which I have liked.  It really is cool to see how these two characters have worked together.  It felt weird (and still does) but I’m getting used to it.  I like how much Palmer Tech matters in this show.  I like that they are at odds and how Oliver is still trying to save the city.  And I love that Arrow is now GREEN ARROW!!!  It took 4 seasons but they are embracing what they are: a show about a superhero.  I also really like the new villain and that he uses magic.  Speaking of which, CONSTANTINE!  I loved that cameo.

Season 4 is getting me excited for this show again.  It is dealing less with the stupid drama secrets crap that have been bringing it down for the last 3 seasons.  They have also reduced Thea’s role which helps and Laurel is less annoying somehow.  I think it’s because she has more of a purpose for a reasonable reason.

Anyway, that’s what I got for today!  Glad to be back!

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