Not-So-Master Quest | The Legend of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses

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One of the greatest aspects of Nintendo’s varied and venerable franchises is the music. From Mario to Metroid, these melodies have managed to embed themselves into our collective consciousness (I mean, who doesn’t know the Super Mario Bros. theme by heart?). But I’d argue that the one franchise Nintendo has consistently composed the best music for is The Legend of Zelda.

Zelda is a special brand of video game. Each game is woven into an intricate, three-pronged timeline, creating a living, breathing history of legends that all tell the same basic story. The courageous hero Link must save, and then work together with Princess Zelda to overthrow the dark lord, Ganon. It’s a franchise that many other developers have tried to replicate, but none have been able to capture the essence of what makes The Legend of Zelda great — and that is largely thanks to the music.

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Doctor Who Review | Before the Flood

Picture shows: Peter Capaldi as the Doctor with The Fisher King
Picture shows: Peter Capaldi as the Doctor with The Fisher King

**Spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen the last two episodes of Doctor Who!**

*collects pieces of brain matter off of the ceiling and walls*

Ahem. Sorry. Had to do a bit of housekeeping, because this was a phenomenal episode of Doctor Who. I was curious how Whithouse was going to keep the momentum going after last week’s amazing episode, and he did not disappoint! From the get go, I was hooked — how awesome was the Doctor’s 4th-wall-breaking opening monologue about Beethoven’s 5th? — and I loved how the episode jumped back and forth from the past (before the flood of the army base) to the present. It’s a narrative choice I’ve never really tired of, especially when events of the past shape the events of the future.

But nothing is ever quite as grand as the fact that the Doctor was (seemingly, again) die.

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Doctor Who Review | Under the Lake

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***As always, SPOILERS abound in the review below, so read at your own risk.***

I’ve already talked about my qualms with the current vision for Doctor Who, so I won’t continue to run down that rabbit hole. What I will say is that after I sat down to watch the latest episode, Under the Lake, with almost no expectations, I had to walk away from my laptop to make sure my jaw wasn’t broken by the end of the episode. Why?

Because this was the best episode of Doctor Who in a long, long time.

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The Weight of Gravity

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Gravity is a movie I’ve wanted to write about for a long time. Rarely has a film left me on the edge of my seat as much as Alfonso Cuarón’s 2013 masterpiece, and few have come close to leaving such a profound impact on me — both personally, and how I now watch and process cinema. It’s quite the feat for a movie with such a simple premise — a man and woman get stranded in space — and one would think such a short runtime (91 minutes) would hinder plot development and character growth, but everything in this movie just clicks. From Cuarón’s direction, to Bullock’s and Clooney’s performances, and the incredible score by Steven Price, it all comes together to form a perfect, harrowing storm.

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Doctor Who Review | The Magician’s Apprentice & The Witch’s Familiar

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SPOILERS AHEAD for the latest two episodes of Doctor Who, and the show at large. You have been warned.

I’ve been a Doctor Who fan since the beginning of Matt Smith’s run back in 2010 and, man, what a time it was to be a Whovian! There was a brilliant new Doctor, a fiery new companion, a new showrunner, and a bigger budget than ever before. I’d even venture to say that, as far New Who goes, Season 5 is the best season since Eccleston’s single-season run as the infamous Doctor back in 2005.

After Smith’s first season, I was hooked, and I immediately took to Netflix to catch up. I watched all of Tennant’s episodes, and then I jumped back again to watch Eccleston’s. Sure, there were a few hokey episodes, and I didn’t really care for Russell T Davies vision for the show toward the end of his time as showrunner… but even Davies worst episodes still had heart and consistency, which I think are missing in Moffat’s last few seasons of the show.

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Star Wars | Confessions, Reflections, and a New Hope

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I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am so flipping excited about The Force Awakens. It looks like a true return to form for the Star Wars franchise. J.J. Abrams seems to be utilizing practical effects over excessive CG, John Williams is back scoring the music, and the original cast is back. It’s going to be amazing, and blah, blah, blah.

You get it. I get it. We all get it. Star Wars is amazing, and Episode VII is going to break all the box office records of past, present, and future.

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Selma Review | A Reimagined Dream

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Having just returned home from the theatre after seeing Selma, my mind is a maelstrom of thought. My first reaction is that this film is a masterpiece of cinema and storytelling, and now I know why there is such an outcry about it being snubbed by the Academy. For starters, David Oyelowo gives an utterly captivating performance as Dr. King. Each time he delivered one of his (several) rousing speeches, the whole of my being rippled with goosebumps, and my core radiated heat from the fervor of his words. It felt like I was sitting in the same room as him, and more than once I almost clapped out loud with his on-screen audience. This man was born to play this role, and I truly believe that he should have been nominated for Best Leading Actor, and that he easily could have won that award.

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How to Train Your Dragon 2 Review | A New Class of DreamWorks Animation

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Someone once told me that animated films are for children. I tried to convince them otherwise, but they would not be swayed in their obstinately anti-animation opinion. That was several years ago, but the memory still clings to my mind because it left me feeling a profound sense of sorrow. Not because that person thought animated films were for children (some of them are very much geared toward a younger audience) and not because they didn’t like the movies I was referencing; no, the reason I felt, and still feel sorry for this person is because they willfully denied themselves the chance to experience one of the purest expressions of the human soul.

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Noah Review | Not Your Children’s Bible Story

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I went into the theater knowing full well that Aronofsky’s Noah was not going to be Biblically correct. Hollywood has a wonderful habit of taking creative liberties when it comes to adapting books or stories into movies, and Bible stories are no different. I also knew that this particular version of Noah was going to incorporate the mythical Watchers (aka fallen angels) from the non-canonical Books of Enoch, so I was prepared for some rather large deviations from the Genesis tale.

Honestly, I’ve never experienced a film that has so deeply and viscerally impacted me as Noah.

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