Here’s To You Bonnie Bennett

Last night The Vampire Diaries came to an end after eight seasons. In saying farewell to the gang from Mystic Falls, it seemed only right to take this opportunity and give the spotlight to the series’ most valuable player.

You guessed it, Bonnie Bennett, played flawlessly by the beautiful and immensely talented Kat Graham.

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Womyn Warriors of The Great Wall

The Great Wall was, as the movie posters implied, about how we should all say #ThankYouMattDamon. Yes, he comes up with the brilliant plans that the Chinese hadn’t figured out in the last 2,000 years (even though there was a clue in ancient texts) and all that white savior stuff — fittingly, the movie was written by the same guy who wrote The Last Samurai. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up). But I’m not gonna talk about it because you can find it all over the internet.

You can read about the plot here — or read Valerie’s review here — so you know what I’m going to be talking about, but it’s basically Starship Troopers in ancient China. But there was a theme that made me not want to slit my wrists and go screaming out of the movie theater (which was the case when I saw Kubo and the Two Strings, but that’s for another day). What was it? It was the portrayal of womyn.

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The Great Wall Review: Is It Worth The Watch?

Originally posted at Black Girl Nerds

All that is lacking in substance is made up for with gorgeous imagery in a Zhang Yimou’s new and pointless film, The Great Wall. Whomever his set people are, give them all the awards because they bring their A-game when it comes to costume and set design. But I digress.

I’m not sure what I expected, but I certainly wasn’t expecting the Silk Road version of Edge of Tomorrow featuring giant Komodo Dragons. Shouldn’t a larger budget allow more time to work on perfecting the CGI? How many Adobe-editing programs did they use to get these monsters to look as fake and silly as they do? Zhang Yimou should stick to martial arts dramas because he is out of his element with The Great Wall.

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Fantastic Beasts is Not So Fantastic with Diversity

Update 11/25/16: The original version of this post stated that Tina was simply white. I have since realized that Tina’s full name is Porpentina Goldstein, and that she and her sister Queenie are likely of Jewish descent (and thus both have only conditional whiteness). I have updated the post with this information in mind. 

The Harry Potter universe is a world that’s followed most of us since we were kids. While in many respects it’s aged along with us — we see Harry grow up and have kids, and the film Fantastic Beasts is certainly aimed at an older audience — in other aspects it has remained disappointingly behind the times. In particular, Fantastic Beasts is yet another example in the Potterverse of how marginalized folks, particularly queer people and/or people of color, continue to be exactly that: marginalized.

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Why Black Speculative Fiction Month Matters

October is Black Speculative Fiction Month and like legions of others, I am celebrating it something fierce.

Why does Black Speculative Fiction Month matter?

Black Speculative Fiction Month matters because now more than ever our stories must be told and our voices must be heard. Black Speculative Fiction Month matters because too often at cons and writing events, I’m the only nonwhite guest in attendance.

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Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children: Another Tim Burton Borefest

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is the YA/action adventure film directed by the master of macabre, Tim Burton. This is the live-action adaptation of the book by author Ransom Riggs. Rumor has it that the books have potential and are engaging. That’s too bad because the movie isn’t any of those things. This painfully slow adaptation isn’t a return to form for Burton. It’s the same old hokey filmmaking, but time actress Eva Green is the victim! He really wants to show the audience that he still has that Beetlejuice, Mars Attacks charm. He wants you to know that his version of what is weird is acceptable. In a time where weirdness, geekiness, is the new norm, his message, and Miss Peregrine seem 10-years too late.

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The Lost Boys of Hook, 25 Years Later

Ready to feel old?

This December, Steven Spielberg’s Hook — the film that imagined what happened to Peter Pan (the late Robin Williams) after he grew up — will be celebrating its 25th anniversary. Recently, Entertainment Tonight reunited the movie’s Lost Boys — who were all child actors at the time — to get back into their Neverland costumes one more time. Fortunately for us, our pal Dante Basco, Rufio himself(!), brought a camera with him and shot some behind the scenes video of the photo shoot!

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To Shanshu and Back: An Angel Retrospective

For a special Throwback Thursday, a buddy and I rewatched the Angel series finale, “Not Fade Away.”

Afterwards we got on the topic of the Shanshu Prophecy. In the series, the word Shanshu itself means “to live” and “to die.” While the prophecy doesn’t specifically mention Angel, it states a vampire with a soul will at the end of his numerous trials, live as human once more.

Throughout the course of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff, the prophecy served as Angel’s true north. The potential reward at journey’s end, it motivated him to stay the course as a champion for the innocent and the Powers That Be.

 

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Harry Potter and the Magic Loving Black Girl

Not so long ago, my family and I went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, in Southern California. In a word, it was amazing. Despite my being too broad-shouldered (and totally crushed) that I couldn’t fit into the seat for “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” (my wife and daughter said it was the single best ride of their lives), the trip was worth the drive to get there. So was waiting in the horrendous lines. What rendered moot any complaints of inconvenience was the near-constant look of awe and wonder on my daughter’s face.

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The Creation of Kaya, Magic: The Gathering’s First Black Woman Planeswalker

On August 3, I was excited to unveil a project I’d been working on for nearly a year. I had been working with Magic: The Gathering to produce a brand new character; a character who is a biggie for their Planeswalkers cast of characters. Kaya, Ghost Assassin has made history as the first black woman Planeswalker, and I’m honored to have been a part of her creation.

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