On Poetry, Prose, and Videogames

JLawrence Kenny

Friends on the Other Side Cover

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Friday Night Retro: The Lion King

Disney certainly has quite a relationship with animals, in many different ways. Sometimes, they can talk. Sometimes, they help the protagonist clean a house. Other times, animals will take center stage. When they do, Disney will be pushing the message of the wonders of nature, while wooing us with wonderful art and scenery. They give us equal amounts of laughter, awe, and sadness, as we learn the tough reality of life. No movie better exemplifies this than Disney’s The Lion King. Read the rest of this entry »

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Maniacal Monday: Gilderoy Lockhart, from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

What can I say about the Harry Potter books besides the fact that I think they are some of the best things to ever happen to this world? Well, I guess that says it all, really. And like in any decent story, Harry Potter has his fair share of enemies. From the maniacal Lord Voldemort to the control freak Dolores Umbridge, the villains of the Wizarding World are diverse and colorful, each bringing their own brand of evil to the table. And before we return to the more sinister villains that I love, I thought it would be nice to end our little trip into the world of humor with the wonderful character known as Gilderoy Lockhart. Read the rest of this entry »

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Maniacal Monday: Gaston, from Beauty and the Beast

Disney is full of the most wonderful stories of our generation. But “The Happiest Place On Earth” certainly has some of the most frightening villains as well. From the insane Cruella de Vil to the pious Minister Frollo, Disney certainly knows how to play to the fears of all people. However, not all Disney villains are quite as obvious as the audience is led to believe at the beginning of their films, at least not until they show their true colors near the climax of the movie. Many times, they seem like a genuinely good guy, or just an annoying character that serves to set the events in motion. “Beauty and the Beast” illustrates this perfectly with Gaston. Read the rest of this entry »

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Friday Night Retro: Fiddler on the Roof

Growing up, many of the things to which I was exposed was as a direct result of my parents rather than what was popular at the time. When other kids were watching Power Rangers, I was watching Monty Python. When they were listening to N’Sync, I was listening to The Beatles. And by far, one of the more memorable movie/musicals I recall from my childhood was the epic tale of The Fiddler On The Roof. The tragic story of a Jewish family in the small Russian town of Anatevka, as the main character, Tevye, struggles to hold onto the traditions of his faith in a rapidly changing world around the turn of the 20th century, from his daughters to the oppressive regime of the Russian Tsar. Phenomenal casting and a wonderful script combine to create an experience that is difficult to forget. Read the rest of this entry »

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Maniacal Monday: Darth Tyranus, from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

While all villains terrify us, not every villain is of the sort that haunts the deepest, darkest corner of your nightmares. Some bad guys are more refined, possessing elegance about them, a certain presence that changes who they are. More often than not, these villains are of noble background, corrupted by the world around them into doing evil things in order to fix what they see as flaws in society. Sometimes they are aware of their Evilness, sometimes they aren’t, but the way they act about their actions, one would think that they were playing nothing more than a game, where the pieces are people, and the rules are undetermined. It is into this niche of villain that this week’s character, Darth Tyranus, finds himself. Read the rest of this entry »

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Friday Night Retro: Pokémon: The First Movie

The Pokémon game franchise has been one of the most successful of our generation. Go up to any early-20s, late teenager and say the word Pokémon, and it will be recognized. (If they don’t recognize it, pity them, for they had no childhood) Whether they grew up with 151 Pokémon or 649, few are the children who don’t recall the adorable game about enslaving… I mean, catching… various monsters that exist in the Pokémon world, from the adorable Togepi to the terrifying Onix. So popular is the series, that it has spawned not only an abundance of videogame spinoffs and sequels, but also highly successful anime and movie franchises, both of which center around the eternally youthful Ash Ketchum, whose dream is to become a Pokémon Master. So secure was the company in the longevity of their franchise, they actually entitled the first movie Pokémon: The First Movie, so without further ado, let’s jump right into the wonderful world of Pokémon. Read the rest of this entry »

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Maniacal Monday: Darth Maul, from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Star Wars is highly regarded as the Holy Grail of the entire Science Fiction genre. George Lucas created a highly diverse universe, populated with countless worlds, species, and technologies, while also managing to throw a healthy dose of fantasy in the mix. It has even become self-sustaining, as the Star Wars series has expanded far beyond the 6 movies that Lucas created as numerous writers have written novels from millennia before the story to millennia after. And out of these stories, many evil villains have arisen. From the original movies, however, the villain that stood out most to me was the evil Zabrak Sith, Darth Maul. Read the rest of this entry »

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Friday Night Retro: Aladdin

Just like many, if not all, children in the past generation or so, I was exposed to quite a lot of Disney films in my youth. Though riddled with historical inaccuracies and quite a few offensive moments, Disney remains one of the most recognizable brand names in the world, and deservedly so, as Walt Disney and his company were the masters of entertainment from their conception. And of the many masterpieces that Disney has created, one of my favorites would have to be Aladdin, that Arabian classic. Read the rest of this entry »

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