Doctor Who

So this is the first time I’m watching Doctor Who. I have only the basic idea that the Doctor regenerates into a different person every so often. Then they go around in strange adventures with some regular people. It’s a science fiction show, but a lot of the stuff that happens just feels like magic. It’s a space fantasy.

Overall, this show feels half-baked. There are good ideas at the start, but the resolution is usually lacking. The only episode I felt that was good from start to finish was the one with Yaz’s grandmother. Things that were introduced earlier had meaning and there were twists that made sense. In the other episodes, things just sort of happen until they resolve.

It’s a shame the plots are so uneven. The cast is pretty good when they get a chance to shine. That, unfortunately, isn’t often, unless you are the Doctor. Now, I like the Doctor. She has some kind of joyful wonder. I like how she acts around all these situations. However, it’s tough to see her as clever when most of her ideas are just random things that might as well be magic.

As for the companions, it feels like there are too many of them. When they get some focus, all of them are great. But most of the time, they don’t and the episode struggles to find something for them to do. The problem comes from them not getting any better at adventuring with the Doctor. They always defer to her and don’t do anything unless the Doctor tells them to. It reminds me of a similar problem with the British Sherlock show. Unless you’re Sherlock, you’re not doing anything important.

It’s a shame how all of the great setup done by the first half of the episode is let down by the conclusion. Sometimes, it’s the message that’s unclear and confused. The episode is uncertain about what it wants to say. Other times, it’s just the solution is so snappy and out there that there’s no sense of tension or struggle.

The cast is good, and the Doctor is fun. The writing needs to be better, though. Also the Doctor’s companions need to be more competent so they don’t need to rely on her to come up with everything. I mean, one of them is a police officer (rookie), but nothing she does reminds me of that part. It’s a shame.

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Tomorrowland

This movie is about Tomorrowland, a place where scientists gather and solve the world’s problems. Things don’t work out, of course, but that’s what the purpose is. A young girl, Athena, goes out to find potential recruits, such as our two main characters, Frank and Casey. Frank has turned bitter and old after getting kicked out of Tomorrowland while Casey is still bright-eyed and optimistic. Together, they need to stop some kind of mysterious machine.

This film isn’t subtle about messages. It wants people to feed hope and do good in the world. It’s a fine message, but it’s still delivered strongly. And how much you enjoy the movie might come down to how much you agree with their way of saving the world. I really like science and technology, so that part is fine for me.

The movie is okay, mostly. It could be much better, though. Hmm. There’s a lot that might be spoilers, so I’ll have to talk about it later. For the main characters, though, I liked all three of them. Athena is the best part of the film, for certain. She has that low-key sass where you don’t realize it’s happening until it’s too late.

Frank and Casey are fine counterpoints while still being on the same side. They’re both amusing in their own way.

The movie does drag on a bit. There are a lot of action scene that are fun when taken on their own, but all they do is draw out the length of the film. It’s alright, but it could have been better.

Time for spoiler thoughts, which I’ll get more into my problems with the film.

Tomorrowland, Tomorrowland. For being the title of the movie, Tomorrowland almost feels unimportant. It’s the goal of the characters to reach there, but we don’t see enough of Tomorrowland. Perhaps it’s budget or something, but for most of the time we’re in Tomorrowland, the characters are indoors with not much going on.

Most of the film is about just getting to Tomorrowland. We don’t spend much time in the city at all. And when we do, the city feels really different from how it was shown earlier without much of an explanation why. The film should have focused more on Tomorrowland, less on the world outside. And when we were in Tomorrowland, everything felt small. There were only a few characters shown at a time and all the indoor shots hid the scale of the city.

And solving Tomorrowland’s problem felt too easy. Just replace the leader. Yep, that did it. There’s no system of people in place that liked the old leader or disliked him. We didn’t see any of that.

Tomorrowland is a movie that wants to have hope and dreams in the world, and that’s great. The movie itself is merely alright.

The Secret Life of Pets

The Secret Life of Pets, all about the secret life of pets. Who woulda thought it? Cute talking animals and their perilous journey home. This is a fun, if standard film. Our main characters are Max and Duke, two dogs that get captured by dog catchers and escape. They must then make their way back home while bickering with each other.

Instead of having a unique plot, this movie has style and pizazz. It’s funny and fast-paced. In fact, this movie is lot more about funny situations rather than characters. Out of everyone, the most fully-realized character is the Bunny. I enjoyed his crazy antics, and I think he has the most depth of out all of them, even if it gets glossed over quick.

The other character I like is Gidget. She’s great, but I did think she needed more interaction with Max in the beginning. The movie moved on too fast from them so her later desire to help Max felt like it came out of nowhere.

The rest of the characters in the movie are mainly their for a joke or two. They do their one task and then are relegated to being in the background.

When I enjoyed the movie most was seeing the pets in their apartments having their secret lives. I also enjoyed the secret lives of the discarded pets. As for Max and Duke trying to find their way home, it’s a thing I saw a lot. And thanks to the fast pace of the movie, I never felt their conflict. They got over not liking each other really fast.

I also really liked the opening scene and the ending scene. It’s just unfortunate the plot of the movie is rather mundane.

After NaNoWriMo

How did I do? Well, you can check for yourself at my Works page since the sixth book is up and available for reading. It is not yet finished, though I did complete at least 50 thousand words for it. Yay, NaNoWriMo accomplished!

I’ll go more into my notes about it after putting up my notes for the fifth book. I am so behind on that. Still, this book was a bit more challenging due to the plot I chose. In previous books, it was easy to get stuff to do since I could have Milly wandering about and making up random stuff. This time, I had a new main character and a plot that needed a bit more structure. Still, I didn’t plan things out, so I had to make up a lot of things on the fly.

The games and puzzles could probably be more clever if I had time to think about it, but maybe not. I’m not that good at it, and I don’t think it’s that necessary in books. The character is going to solve it, whether the reader does or not. And, speaking for myself, I won’t stop reading just to puzzle something out before continuing to check my answer.

The new character did allow me to spend a lot of time on meaningless thoughts. Perhaps there is way too much of that. If I ever get around to editting these books, I might have to do a lot of editting for this one in particular. Also, the new main character allowed me to focus on just her rather than Milly and all of her friends. Milly is having a birthday party, so there was going to be a huge amount of friends from the previous books there. It could get far too busy if all of them were around.

With the plot being a game, there had to be a lot more structure. I couldn’t just have the characters be randomly wandering around. It was a bit toughter to show off the magical world that way, but I still tried.

I think I’m about 70% done with the book by the end of NaNoWriMo. I’m going to finish it up soon. I hope.