Seth MacFarlane's In Full Swing

Monday, November 6, 2017

Right after his debut episode of The Orville on Fox, Seth MacFarlane also decided to release another project he had been working on, specifically a new jazz album, 'In Full Swing'.


This is MacFarlane's fourth studio album. His style and voice has remained the same through all of them, the big band jazz genre and baritone vocals shining through. As many people know, Seth trained with the same vocal coaches of Barbara Streisand and Frank Sinatra, which is where he gets most of his vocal influence from.

This album is very different from his previous one, 'No One Ever Tells You', because the songs are less somber and gloomy. The songs MacFarlane picked for this album were more about dealing with the ending of a relationship or being away from a significant other, so the songs sounded sadder. That being said, No One Ever Tells You is a phenomenal album and I listen to it almost every day.

The songs picked for In Full Swing are much more upbeat and happier in terms of the music and vocals. Producer and arranger Joel McNeely was a big part in revamping the songs for the album.
The album includes delightful ballads like 'But Beautiful' and 'I'm Glad There Is You', as well as toe-tapping upbeat songs like 'I Like Myself'. The album proves to be much more diverse and has more of a content variety than the first. My favorite songs are 'For You, For Me, for Evermore', 'That Face', 'You Couldn't be Cuter' and 'A Kiss or Two'. The collaboration with Elizabeth Gillies, My Buick, My Love and I, is also very catchy and I'm always singing it in my car.

In Full Swing was definitely not a let down at all, and is a great new addition to Seth MacFarlane's discography. I can't wait for his next project planned for his music career.

October Word List 2017

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October was a really good month, happy Halloween!

precinct - a district of a city or town as defined for police purposes
capricious - given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior.
caustic - sarcastic in a scathing and bitter way
relegate - consign or dismiss to an inferior rank or position
exorbitant - unreasonably high.
concur - be of the same opinion; agree
indict - formally accuse of or charge with a serious crime.
despondent - in low spirits from loss of hope or courage
abate - (of something perceived as hostile, threatening, or negative) become less intense or widespread.
sanguine - optimistic or positive, especially in an apparently bad or difficult situation
charlatan -  a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill; a fraud
congenial - pleasant because of a personality, qualities, or interests that are similar to one's own
sophistry - the use of fallacious arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving
effervescence - to show liveliness or exhilaration
transient - lasting only for a short time; impermanent

What I want from TWAU Season 2

Sunday, October 29, 2017

What I want from TWAU Season 2. (beware S1 spoilers)

Finally, after three long, grueling, years, Telltale Games has finally decided to continue their highly acclaimed series; The Wolf Among Us.


Wolf Among Us has been extensively celebrated and highly acclaimed since it came out. The game has won every award in the book, so it seems about time Telltale brings some much-needed attention to the series' sequel. Basically, I'm going to go over what I want exactly from the second season, and what I think could make the series better.

1.) Fresh Storyline

First and foremost, I want them to completely leave behind the Faith/Lily murder-storyline. It was really well done, but I want them to start off with something fresh and new because, towards the end, when I was constantly postulating and trying to figure out how everything happened, the plot got very tired and nagging fast. I want a new storyline that will be just as engaging, but at the same time doesn't follow the same path as the first mystery.

2.) More Action

More action is desperately needed! There were plenty of times Bigby got into fights with plenty of suspects and people trying to stir things up with him, but the choreography and animations for some of them could've been better. I loved the evolution of Bigby from a monster-man hybrid to full out wolf though, so I'd love more of that.

3.) Environments and Graphics

The beginning environments in Episode 1 of the game were absolutely gorgeous. I loved the neon feel of the game, and the city scenes were really pretty. I hope in the second seasons there are more late night parts because I loved the look and feel. And as many people know, around a year ago, Telltale changed their gaming engine for making their games, so their textures and graphics are completely different now. I hope the second season still upholds the comic book feel.

4.) More Characters

After reading the comics, it's unfortunate that Telltale couldn't include more characters from the comics in the game. I would've loved to see Pinocchio, Boy Blue, Rose Red or Briar Rose in the game. I hope they bring more characters into the next season, especially household name characters! It's so cool to see them in the game.

5.) A Love Interest

A love interest is absolutely needed in the next season!! I'm not sure if I want one for Snow or Bigby yet, but some romantic drama would be a great component to add. The reason I say these two is because clearly in the first season they were always going around each other and not talking about their relationship. A love interest might create some angst with their relationship. Since the game is in canon with the comics, I already know they already get together, but some drama would be nice.

6.) A Partner for Bigby

That being said, if Bigby were to get a love interest in the next season, I think it should be someone close to him, like a partner. It was obvious that in the first season, Bigby did not have many friends, so if he had someone as a partner, he'd be forced to trust and be vulnerable with them. They would be the perfect love interest. And if I could choose who, I'd go with one person: Cinderella. In the comics, she was a badass private spy for Fabletown, and she already had perceptive detective skills. Her and Bigby could be the perfect pair for solving crimes, and they would have so much chemistry.

7.) Timing and Pacing

Although I don't want the Faith and Lily storyline to continue, I want the second season to not take place so far into the future. I'd rather have it only take place a max of 10 years later; besides I think it would be pretty hard to make it later because the comics pick up thereafter. The reason I don't want it so far in the future is because in the first season it felt like a lot of events had already happened that were glossed over and not really explained fully, I don't want to miss too much plot again. Also, I liked the setting of summer too, but I guess I wouldn't be opposed to it being set in winter. I'd like to see all the more different environments, because honestly, the pacing in the first season seemed a bit slow for me. I'd like time to go by a bit faster in the upcoming season.

8.) Serious Character Development for Bigby

I feel as if Bigby didn't have as much character development in the first season. Sure you could choose whether you wanted him to be 'evil' or good in your own playthrough, but whichever one you chose, it felt like everyone got the same ending, with everyone still seeing you as the Big Bad Wolf. The second season needs Bigby to have more conflicts for Bigby and his character. And hopefully his detective skills get better as well because I feel like in the comics, his detective skills were much better and intuitive.

For some reason, when TTG announced season two, I had this vision in my head of a scene that I really wanted to be real. It was Bigby in a big park(Central Park maybe) and the smoke from his cigarette was rising in the air as he held it in his hand. It was raining, and it looked very late at night, the purple and pink from the buildings were illuminating the streets and you could hear cars and the buzz of the city as the background noise. Oh, and Bigby was wearing a trench coat. That part is very important. That's where the vision ends, I don't know why it was so specific in my head, but I feel like it really embodies the feel of The Wolf Among Us.

Even though I was crossing my fingers for a new Wolf Among Us game, I'm a bit surprised they didn't release a DLC first. A DLC on the first issue of the Fables comic, the mystery about Rose Red's death, would be a great DLC, but I don't know. Maybe they'll release one after S2, which will be in a long time. Since the game is coming out the same year as The Walking Dead Game S4, I think they'll do what they did in 2013, which was one month release TWD and then the next, TWAU.

To conclude, TWAU has a lot to live up to in its 2018 release. Many people are expecting a great deal from Telltale in terms of story, graphics, characters, and release. Hopefully, it won't be rushed out and underdeveloped, but I trust Telltale to give their best shot in this sequel.



3 things I hope I never do

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Everyone has a life fulfilling bucket list. See the wonders of the world, travel to foreign places, or achieve real happiness. Some of my personal ones include working on a triple-A title game or being a part of a Disney Animation movie, but I could go on about those forever.

The things I'm talking about here are things that are on my 'anti-bucket list'. Things in life I hope I never have to go through, or even have the option to.

1.) Fall from a high point

I am absolutely terrified of heights of any immensity. Last year I skipped out on a school field trip to Six Flags because I knew I'd be the one at the ride entrance holding everyone else's bags because I most definitely wouldn't be on the ride. I remember being on the pirate ship-esque ride at a community bazaar when I was little, and crying because the ride went upside down twice. My best memories in life are not when I am more than 10 feet off the ground, thank you very much.

It goes to say from this that I will not be skydiving or cliff diving into water anytime soon. Although, it's weird because I have no phobia of flying or being on a mountain while hiking. I think maybe it's the danger of these activities. I can't put my finger on it, but for the time being, I'll stay on the ground.


2.) Be on a 'Murder Mystery' Train/House/LocationX

Trust me, I'm more excited for the Orient Express movie than anyone else, but I'd rather experience it from the comfort of my reclining seat rather than in person. Those movies scare me, not only because the tension level is up to 100, but also because whenever I watch these movies with my friends (Clue, Psycho, Memento) we can't stop making jokes about how the butler did it, or how bad the story arc may be.

3.) Be buried alive

When I was in middle school, Pretty Little Liars was my life (I'm actually currently re-bingeing all 7 seasons it on Netflix at the moment, beware of spoilers). In one episode where the four girls are learning what happened to Ally, a flashback reveals that she is not dead, but rather was buried alive and managed to escape. This was so scary for me because I can't even imagine being suffocated and breathing in dirt underground, whilst trying to get out. I still have bad nostalgia from watching that episode and imagining Ally as me.

Animation in Perspective

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I've noticed, 2016 and 2017 have been phenomenal years for animation movies. I've found that almost every movie I've seen in these months has been very above average, and much better than other animation movies I remember from my childhood. So, being the animation buff I am, I wanted to make a hierarchy of all my favorite films in the past year and a half.

2016


Zootopia 


Zootopia has become my favorite animated movie of all time, the message, visuals, and story are all 10/10. The movie has brilliant character development, plot points where it really surprised and stunned the audience and tapped-in commentary about life. The first time I watched the movie I couldn't get enough of all the references to real-life issues, and how the characters embodied different groups of people. And when I went to the forums for the movie on Reddit and saw comments on YouTube, it was interesting to see how people had different interpretations of what the references meant. Many people saw it as conflicts between races, others saw it between cis and trans, and some saw it directly between political party stances. Whichever one you saw it as I think the movie did a good job portraying these conflicts, but still did a good job watering it down a bit so that it could be easily explained for the age group targeted. It got the message on the nose, which was very important.

I can't wait to see Judy and Nick in another installment soon, and I also give big kudos to Rich Moore and Bryan Howard for directing such a masterpiece.

Storks 


After the first time I watched Storks, I realized that it was the funniest kids movie I'd seen in a while, it has the over the top humor that's usually in kids films, but it wasn't obnoxious in this movie. Junior became really likable fast, and he was my favorite character. The story was told very well and the pacing of the entire movie was well done. I didn't like Sarah very much, but the scene at the end where she is reunited with her family was really heartwarming, especially when they welcome Junior too. The end scene with all the different parents who called for the Storks was also very heartwarming.

I don't really know if the movie will get a sequel but if it does I want to know more about the backstory of why the Storks changed their business. Great movie!

Sing 


I only recently watched this movie, only because the trailer was a bit corny and I didn't have a huge motivation to watch it. But after I found my infatuation on Seth MacFarlane, I needed to watch that movie.

It was phenomenal, second favorite movie of 2016, after Zootopia. The casting was brilliant, and each of them played their parts greatly. It was a rare thing where I like all the characters in a movie like I did in Sing. I have a whole post on the movie here.

Your Name 


This movie is not exactly like the others, this is an anime film released last year by Mikoto Shankai (who has been said to be the next Miyazaki), and it has instantly become the best anime movie I've seen ever. I don't think I can serve it justice in this short spiel, so here is my breakdown on this great movie in this blog post.

Moana 


I jumped on the Moana train very late, which was unfortunate, I wish O had gone on sooner. The best part of this movie definitely happened behind the scenes. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the Broadway show Hamilton, was a part of writing the score for the movie, and I am not exaggerating this when I say, I listen to that sound nearly every day. It's so good. The Rock is also in the movie, which is also a plus. The Rock is such a badass and a film mogul, I've become a big fan of his stuff. Also, the character who sings my favorite song (Tamatoa, Shiny), is also the voice of Nigel in Rio.

2017


Cars 3 


I will admit, the sequels of the Cars series can't compare to the original, but the 3rd was definitely better than the second. It did feel weird while watching because the movie didn't do what I expected in the beginning. At first, it felt weird when Lightning gave up racing, but now looking back I guess it was the right decision. I also liked his new paint job, even though it was really sad to see him retire. The movie gave much-needed closure for the beloved series and I feel comfortable with it ending the way it did.

The Lego Batman Movie  


The first time I saw Lego Batman was on the 14 hour flight I took to China, and I could barely contain my laughter in my seat. The movie has really clever jokes and references to current pop culture, my favorite being how 'swol' Batman is, his overcompensating during battles and how he doesn't pay taxes. Yet it still has meaningful story points and a really entertaining relationship between Joker and Batman.

This year isn't over yet and I know greater animated movies are coming soon, but I have confidence that the highs (Cars 3) will definitely outdo the lows (Emoji Movie).

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