Why I Love the Emma Roberts Nancy Drew Movie

Let me take you back to the summer of 2011. To say it was hot in the state of Texas is an understatement, and I decided to become a cart pusher for Target. So my days went as followed. Wake up at noon. Go into Target and push carts inside until the sun went down. Then, when I was thoroughly exhausted, come home and watch the 2007 Nancy Drew movie until I fell asleep. I did this for two months straight. I don’t remember why I settled on this movie to be the background noise that I used to soundtrack my slumber but nevertheless, this is the one. And you know what, this movie is amazing.

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I don’t care that is has a 49% on rotten tomatoes and stars secondary characters from Disney Channel t.v. shows, Nancy Drew did something that children’s movies nowadays would never do. I was a completely serious plot about a murder that never felt like it was trying too hard. At no point in the movie did I feel like Nancy was in over her head. The film reassured me time and time again that Nancy was a capable young lady who could take care of herself and I was just a spectator along for the ride. It doesn’t even downplay the fact the CPS was called on the mother in the movie and her daughter was taken away from her. It deals with loss, love, and acceptance in a way that is very mature for a movie aimed at children. It also gets points for expert use of a Corinne Bailey Rae song in a scene that makes me cry to this day.

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The mean girls have Sidekicks!!!

Last but definitely not least the soundtrack of this film is astonishing. A mix of pop and alternative with just the right amount of indie to compliment Nancy’s personality. In the beginning, a song is playing over the film and it turns out that she is listening to it while doing research in a scene that is oddly human. Not only that but I found myself understanding her more based on the music she listened to. This movie may not be a cult classic or one of the best movies of all time and I’m sure this didn’t help Emma Roberts career that much but her portrayal of a character that I  grew to love so much will forever be in my top ten movies of all time.

Why Batman Should Have Been The Villain In Injustice

By now we’re all mostly familiar with the story of the Injustice fighting games, but if you’re not then be warned that spoilers lie ahead.

Superman, after being tricked into killing Lois Lane, his unborn child, and Metropolis, falls well off into the deep end. It’s an unforgettable story, detailing what happens when the world’s ultimate Boy Scout becomes the world’s worst dictator. However, I’m here to submit an alternate storyline that I feel would have hit home even harder. What if instead of Superman going off of the handle, it was Batman?

Batman as a whole is a far more interesting character than Superman is. Watching a man fight alongside gods, machines, and aliens all the while keeping up with and even outpacing them is inspiring. Batman isn’t the strongest man in the room. It is his ability to outthink his enemies that makes him a match for even the strongest beings in the multiverse. And yes, I know we have already seen a take-no-prisoners Batman in FlashPoint Paradox but that was Thomas Wayne, not Bruce, so I’m willing to overlook that one.

With that out of the way, on to why Batman would’ve made the perfect bad guy in Injustice 2.

Batman Already Deals With Morality

Let’s get this point out of the way since it’s the most obvious one. Batman already struggles with his darkness, though Bruce’s no-kill policy always seems to be brought into the spotlight. Whether by his dead protege brought back to life Jason Todd or his murderous biological son Damien Wayne, Bruce is always having to defend his reasoning to keep his dangerous rouges gallery alive.

Maybe it’s because he thinks he can help them. Maybe it’s because he realizes that they share a common ground. For the most part, people like Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, and Killer Croc are just trying to survive. Life dealt them a bad hand and they are simply doing their best.

It’s these reasons why Batman going dark would be a whole lot scarier than Superman. Whereas Superman sees the good in humanity, Batman understands it for what it really is. That is why it was so easy to sway Clark’s opinion, as he never really got it to begin with.

Batman Has Plans To Take Down The Justice League

It is commonly known that Batman has contingency plans. It is the argument that is used in almost every Batman vs X fight ever. Justice League Doom proves that Batman already doesn’t trust the League and has a way to take each and every one of them down if the time comes. This is why Batman would have been such an entertaining villain to watch. Even with Superman “unchained” in the first Injustice, Batman was still several steps ahead.

[Credit: Warner Bros.]
[Credit: Warner Bros.]

In fact, the best part about an evil Batman is that you wouldn’t see it coming. Bruce is already slightly detached from reality, believing himself to be Batman at all times. To him, Bruce Wayne died with his parents. If he were to go off the deep end the heroes wouldn’t see it coming until it was too late.

Batman’s Villany Would Force Superman To Be Smarter

Clark Kent is at his best when he is in investigator mode. It’s that brilliant side of Clark that wasn’t featured in the Injustice games. They were so focused on his strength that they forgot that Superman is a very complex character. He has had his powers taken away on multiple occasions, and every time he has used his head in order to solve problems. One of the first things an evil Bruce would do would be to take Superman out of the equation. If not killing him outright, he would probably resort to de-powering him.

[Credit: Warner Bros.]
[Credit: Warner Bros.]

A Clark with no powers and nothing to lose would be an interesting perspective to explore. It would bring new meaning to the gear system as he would need something to give him the competitive edge.

Wonder Woman Would Have A Hard Choice

If Superman is the hero and Batman is the villain than the moral grey area would have to be Wonder Woman. It was easy for her to follow Superman to the dark side out of her love for him, but what happens when it’s Batman who takes the plunge? Wonder Woman has already proved that she is willing to kill if necessary, taking Maxwell Lord’s life when she realized that he had become too much of a threat. It would have been interesting to see whose side she would have fallen on.

[Credit: Warner Bros.]
[Credit: Warner Bros.]

Superman’s Character Would Gain Depth

The best thing to come out of an unhinged Batman would have been the Superman who has to take him down. I never really liked Superman as the villain, if that wasn’t obvious already. It’s not like I hold The Boy in Blue to any high regard, it’s just that he is kinda boring. All throughout the first Injustice he can’t see that most of the people around him are just using his new found position to get what they want. He was a pawn pretending to be a king.

[Credit: Warner Bros.]
[Credit: Warner Bros.]

If Batman was the villain to force Superman to try and reason with him, I could see Clark trying different solutions. Sending Dick Grayson after Bruce. Exposing Bruce as Batman in order to try and sway the pull he is gathering. Maybe Bruce would hire Clayface in order to trick the public into thinking that Superman is a liar. A brilliant cat and mouse game that ends with Superman having to make a choice. Bruce isn’t going to stop. He has outplayed Clark at every step of the way. The only answer Clark has left is to try and put Bruce down for good.

Injustice told the story of Superman’s sadness turned into rage. However, I would have rather seen the story focused on how Batman’s fine line between vengeance and justice shattered.

Raids, the Savior of Pokemon Go?

A long time ago, when Pokemon Go was just a secret wish in the hearts of Pokemon fans, I longed for a co-op game based in my favorite monster hunting universe. A game in which I and my friends could go out and capture lightning mouses and annoying pigeons together. Then, as if out of nowhere, Niantic swooped down and graced us with an AR game like no other (if you refuse to count Ingress).

Enter Pokemon Go in the summer of 2016. PKGO was a buggy mess that was mostly used for capturing rats and birds, yet there was something about it that made the game a hit. If I had to give it my best guess, it would have to be the player interaction. Even though we weren’t really playing together it sure did feel like we were. Now, with the launch of Raids and Gym upgrades, I am starting to see some of that magic that I did the first night I went out to play.

Let me start by saying that Raids are a ton of fun. Even though my first one ended up being a Magikarp, (something that made me laugh harder than it should have) I had a great time planning out my team in order to take down the super-powered fish of doom.

The game is set up to where you can only get one free Raid Ticket per day, however, you can buy extra Raid Tickets from the store for only 100 coins. That means that for $0.99, plus tax, you have the potential to score a super powerful Pokemon and some pretty sweet items. I got two rare candies, a golden razzberry, and 3000 experience from beating that fish into the dirt. Then, after ti was all over, I got to throw balls at it until it decided to do my bidding. Great times were had by all.

I can already tell from my short experience with the Raids that they are going to be better with friends. The feeling of taking on a big challenge with fellow players is something that Pokemon Go was missing. Now, I can finally do something with those heavy hitters I have been working on. (Bellossom has now been renamed DeathPlant).

With that being said, the Raid system isn’t perfect. Far from it if you ask me. Battles are way too glitchy and the bosses tend to flop from easy to overwhelmingly difficult without any real middle ground. It would be awesome to see Raids adjust to the level of the player but this seems to be wishful thinking. For now, Raids are a great excuse to get out and play again.

How Netflix’s 3% Could Become A Reality

In the last year, Netflix’s original programming has introduced me to some of the best shows I have ever seen. From Love Sick (formally Scrotal Recall) to The OA, The Marvel Series (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage), Stranger Things, and last but not least,  Black Mirror. The point is, our trust pal Netflix tends to do no wrong on the show side. Enter 3%, a series involving a world that has been split into a very noticeable hierarchy. Every year the youth of the world take a group of test called The Process. You are only allowed to take the test once, and if you pass you are allowed to join the best of the best in a place called The Offshore. If you fail, you are to forever live in poverty.

Sounds like a great binge watch right? However, as fun to watch as the Brazilian dystopian future show 3% is, it is also a very dangerous warning. While watching the events unfold on-screen I couldn’t help but notice the striking similarities to the world around me. It wasn’t like in Hunger Games where children were being taken away to die. These children all had a fighting chance. They had time to prepare and most of them wanted to pass the trials ahead of them.

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The first thing that threw me off about The Process was how fair it was. These kids aren’t geniuses. Nobody is being forced to fight anyone else. The tests are mostly psychological. The kids are put into a situation and have to figure out how to get out of it or how to solve a certain problem. Success is rewarded with praise and treats. Failure gets you eliminated. Even as the world gets darker it never spirals out of control. It always seems to be based in reality, and that is why it scares me.

See, if it was based on violence I wouldn’t be concerned. For the most part, I believe that something like The Hunger Games would never happen, or at least it would never be televised. However, we already go through The Process. Every year kids prepare to go to school for the first time. Attendance is mandatory. If you succeed, you move on. If you fail, you face the consequences. As schooling goes on it gets increasingly competitive. By the end you are fighting to get into a college you like. You have lost friends. Some have dropped out. Failed. Died. And yet here you are, fighting for something that someone else made you believe was the right choice from a young age.

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This is all normal right? Is it just the way the world works? Well, that is exactly how the world of The 3% got to where it is today. The 3% look down on the other 97%. They control them through militant actions and constant surveillance. They torture and dispose of anyone who is against their Process. Their way of life. Because they passed, why can’t you? It’s all fair, right? Everyone gets a chance. People murder, cheat and steal in order to pass The Process. They are willing to let their families rot in poverty just so that they can have a better life. The test takers are constantly forced to choose between what is right and what is for the good of the 3%.

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Now, I’m not saying that our society is going to change overnight, the seeds of a 3% future have already been planted. And as we all know, reality and art tend to mimic each other. I don’t know if Netflix is going to give this show a second season, or where it would go even if it got one, but I am curious to see what they do with it. A lot of storylines were left unresolved and the viewers never actually got to see the Offshore. I’m curious to see what happens to the characters who failed the test. It seemed as if a civil unrest was brewing in the 97%. If you didn’t catch this one in your suggestions that I would fully recommend seeking it out and giving it a good old fashion binge.