My Problem with Hermione Granger and Lisa Simpson.

When I was very young, and first came across these characters on screen and in books, I had no qualms about them. I actually liked them. After having a chance to grow up and experience life however, I started to find them more and more unlikeable.

You might be wondering what it is about these characters that I dislike. Believe it or not I think that these characters are poorly written. Let me explain why.

I find that Lisa and (movie) Hermione don’t seem to have flaws, and instead of feeling like properly fleshed out characters, they are the characters who are “always right”. I think the reason for this is that they are inherently “self-insert characters”, that the readers or viewers are supposed to imagine themselves to be like.

I think that writing self-insert characters is okay, but that it is poor writing. As I aged and grew up as a person, I started to find self-insert characters unappealing, in preference to reading and watching well fleshed out characters with their own goals, motivations and flaws.

There is admittedly a great difference in the way movie Hermione and book Hermione are written. Movie Hermione has even the negligible flaws from the books taken away, stealing the spotlight from other characters in the process. Movie Hermione loses not only the wild hair and buck teeth of book Hermione, but her hesitations, fears and insecurities.

In the book however, Hermione is still portrayed as a character who can do little wrong. She doesn’t have a lot of depth to her personality, which can be mostly summed up by a love for learning, a strong desire to help others, and an intellect that keeps most of her peers at bay. These are the exact same traits that Lisa exhibits.

One episode of The Simpsons that cleverly bucks the trend is the Season 6 episode “Lisa’s Rival”, in which Lisa is faced with a new student who could be more intelligent and talented than she is.

(Spoiler Alert)

Within the episode Lisa displays jealousy, and sabotages her rival’s diorama. By the end of the episode her guilt causes her to confess. Throughout this episode the writers introduce a fatal flaw to the character, before following through with a redemption arc. For me, this made Lisa feel multi-dimensional and far more likeable.

After this episode however, the rival along with all traces of Lisa’s jealous streak fade into insignificance.

Hermione on the other hand doesn’t really get any sort of relevant flaw besides the minor ones I’ve already mentioned.

Extremely clever characters can be written quite well, without all of these problems. Take Dr House from House MD for instance, he is an extremely likeable and charismatic character because he is flawed. Rather than it being assumed that people keep their distance from him simply because he is intelligent, the writing makes it clear that it’s because of his personal flaws rather than everyone else’s. House is not always right, he is abrasive and blunt. And he is one of the best written characters on TV.

Now I’m not saying that Hermione or Lisa need to be antisocial drug addicts or anything of the sort, but simply that a defining flaw can add a lot to a character. Lisa’s short lived jealousy is a good example of that.

Not every character can be a font of all the world’s knowledge, and even the most intelligent person will say something stupid over the course of their lives.

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My Thoughts on the Justice League Movie Trailers


First, I’ll tackle the comic-con trailer. It starts off well, it looks rather exciting. However this falls apart when the trailer itself points out the massive gaping holes in the team, the lack of Green Lanterns for example. (Also without any mention of Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl and Hawkman.) It contains a moment mocking the original cheesy batman comics, while attempting to act all serious, dark and pouty. When honestly I’d much prefer the concept of a full on cheesy Justice League movie, a little more in the vein of the old Adam West series. From what I can see, either the script written for the Flash, or the actor who plays him are doing something horribly wrong. They are trying to make Flash the funny-man (It has been done well before). However instead of using witty situational humour to lighten the tone he uses self-deprecating humour, making one of the most powerful and integral superheroes in the DC universe seem like nothing but a useless wimp. Unfortunately I didn’t find him funny at all, instead he’s just kind of pathetic. The introduction of Cyborg was intriguing, but the video didn’t display enough to gain any real sense of what the movie is going to do with his character. Also I’m not sure why DC is so desperate to make Aquaman cool, because I honestly don’t believe that it’s ever going to happen.

Regardless to say, after seeing the Comic-con trailer I was not excited at all. However I then watched the first official trailer, and suffice to say it left a completely different impression.

To begin with the atmosphere in this trailer is completely different than the last, leaving an air of undeniable excitement and mystery. The reveal of the bad guy, shrouded in shadow. I needed to rewind and watch it again to properly see his face, but I did so with gusto! After this it switches to a generally more fun and upbeat tone, a welcome direction for it to go. I much preferred the way this trailer chose to reveal the other superheroes, although I’m still waiting for Cyborg to say “Boo-Yah!”. And the Joke at 1:37 was perhaps my favourite self-referential joke ever. I literally laughed out loud. This enjoyable tone continues all the way to the end, and I have to say that THIS trailer actually got me excited for this movie

So in conclusion, I have mixed feelings about this movie. However if it’s half as good as the last trailer I just watched I may give it a shot. I’d love to know what you thought about it, so let me know in the comments.

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My Thoughts on Spiderman Homecoming

I recently went to see Spiderman Homecoming and walked out of the cinema with one thing on my mind, they stopped production of the third Amazing Spiderman movie, and Sinister Six movie, and yet greenlit this project, which is in my own opinion a far less interesting and a poorly developed version of Spiderman. One of the many problems to be found in superhero movie reboots is that with every reboot the character is dragged back to the point before any previous development, and creates a natural frustration within the viewer. At a certain point it becomes more desirable to see character growth than stagnation.

Stagnation is without a doubt the right word to refer to Spiderman homecoming. This was a Peter Parker without any responsibility and without any real grit or self-determination. He was simply handed a fortune in technology by Tony Stark and allowed to focus solely on the matter of his own popularity rather than having to worry about the troubles of his Aunt May who has become young and hip in this new reboot. The greatest concerns of this Peter Parker do not reflect any real struggle beyond your average teen drama.

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I’m aware that this movie draws heavily from certain runs of the comics, but this reflects the current problem with marvel’s outlook, in that they are attempting to connect emotionally with a demographic who they themselves don’t believe go through any real struggles. By attempting to be “cool and hip” and concerning themselves with the inane problems that almost every teen might face, they are creating a character that will never display any proper emotional depth and a world in which there are no true heroes.

After seeing Peter Parker’s brief appearance in Captain America Civil War, I had one expectation of a certain level of humour, however it seems he made more jokes during his minute appearance in Civil War than throughout the entire movie in Spiderman Homecoming.

This movie was not without its moments. The villains were the highlight of every scene that they appeared in. The transformation of a second rate villain (The Shocker) into an office joke was, in my eyes, a brilliant take on cheesy old fashioned villainy. The black market weaponry business felt perfectly gritty and interesting, and the true nature of The Vulture made for some masterfully suspenseful scenes despite the detachment from his usual Spiderman backstory.

I felt that the acting from most of the young cast was lacking and bland, including Tom Holland in his role as Peter Parker. With the exception being Jacob Batalon playing Peter’s best friend, Ned, who always stole the scene whether analysing tired superhero tropes or simply sticking with his best mate.

Personally I felt that the flaws in Spiderman Homecoming outweighed the enjoyment I got from watching it, but that is just my opinion. Feel free to comment to let me know what you thought of Spiderman Homecoming.

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The Tale of Princess Kaguya Review

Emotional movie

The Tale of Princess Kaguya is a beautiful, but tragic story. It depicts the life of a girl who appeared one day, out of a bamboo shoot, in the country. As she grows, she is taken to the city to live the life of a princess. However, that was not what she really wanted.

This is a movie is what I would call an example of simple beauty. The themes that it presents are powerful and clear. A tone that is compelling and rich with emotional turmoil.

I thought the artwork was perfectly suited to this style of film, complimenting it well with its free and playful nature. It also had a traditional tone to it, serving as a reminder of the story’s roots as a folktale. A picture truly can communicate more than words do.

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There was clearly a great deal of effort and thought put into this movie, I commend those at Ghibli for their work.

This certainly isn’t a movie to watch if you’re looking for something fun or happy. I’m certain you will shed a few tears, as I did. However it is a stunning work, which I would highly recommend.


Please comment to let me know your thoughts.

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The Simpsons Movie Review

Simpsons GC

The Simpsons Movie is based on the incredibly popular television series The Simpsons. This movie is about their home town of Springfield being contained within a dome and the Simpson Family’s journey to rescue it.

I have to praise this film on a comedic level, in this aspect it has certainly achieved what it was meant to accomplish.

One thing that I wouldn’t have expected in this movie was the heavy focus on the environment, which I personally believe was intended as a lesson for the viewers. I found the particular villain they used to be very unusual. I wasn’t really a fan of this, especially since they gave no particular backstory or reason for their actions despite the effects of power on their mind. However their actions were still without any form of provocation, whether it be major, minor, deliberate or unwitting, which is completely illogical despite their form of incomplete madness.

This movie is a typical example of those written specifically for a young audience in today’s current society. To be honest, I found that it had a very different feel from the regular Simpsons episodes. I discovered that past the original hype of the movie, the different atmosphere of the movie along with some elements that didn’t really work gave me a certain hesitancy when rewatching it. I also didn’t think that the more serious nature of this film worked with the nature of the Simpsons franchise in general.


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Big Hero 6 review

Super hero GCBig Hero 6 is what they call a Marvel Anime, which means that it has been created by the widely known company Marvel. It is about Hiro, a young genius who creates robots and pits them against other robots in an underground fighting ring. His brother wants him to go to university like he does, so he shows him the lab operated by himself and his friends, as well as a robot of his own creation designed to give medical help. Hiro is inspired by this and decides he wants to go to the same university. He manages to impress the university enough to be allowed entry. However afterwards, unforeseen events cause his life to spiral into chaos, and he enlists the help of his brother’s friends and the robot, Beymax.

I thought the storyline of this movie was very well done. While there was an element that was synergistic with almost every other American animated children’s movie, it was much less than I was expecting. The plot twist towards the end was unexpected and yet was well set up from the start. Everything was consistent and flowed smoothly, with some well-placed humorous moments thrown in.

I did like the characters, but I felt most of them were fairly cliché. They really needed to put more depth into the college friends, because I felt that they were almost as stereotypical and simple as you can make a character. So much so that they really faded into the background for most of the show, even when it seemed as if they were meant to be main characters. I enjoyed seeing the dark side of Hiro towards the middle because I found it to be fairly unexpected.

One thing that irritated me during this show was that they used voice actors with such heavy American accents. They should’ve used actors with fairly neutral accents, considering that it was based in a fictional city that was a fusion of San Francisco and Tokyo. This applies especially to Hiro.

In conclusion, this is a very enjoyable movie, and while it does have its faults, in my opinion it is definitely worth watching.


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