(37M) Just finalized divorce yesterday, and it feels great AMA
I wish I had found this sub years ago. Reading through these posts is really eye-opening and I see so many similarities to my own marriage. Long post ahead. I married at 18 for all the wrong reasons. She was 21. We were high school sweethearts. We were in love, but, in retrospect, neither of us were ready to get married. I kind of knew it at the time, but I went against my gut and did it anyway. We were married for 19 years. No kids. There were so many red flags over the years, but, in my eyes, none of them were worth ending the marriage. I never cheated. To my knowledge, neither did she. It just became a never-ending cycle of her treating me like a man-child which got progressively worse over the years. I even have a text message thread from several months ago where she claimed I wanted her to be "my mommy" (this couldn't be further from what I wanted) and that's why she treated me like this. She pushed me (not in a good way, but I'm glad she did) to advance my professional career. Any job I had was never good enough for her, and I never made enough money for her. Red flag. However, this caused me to rapidly climb the corporate ladder in my 20s. At 29 I was able to quit my FT 6-figure job and start my own business, doubling, then tripling, then quadrupling my income over the next couple of years. Certainly no regrets here. We have also been able to buy several houses, become landlords for 6 years, and pretty much live where we wanted. But she resented me for it. I was required to be at the office *a lot* and she hated that I wasn't home until 9 pm on any given weekday. Our last house was a solid 2-3 hour drive (depending on traffic) from the city center. So I often had to leave the house by 6:30 am and wasn't back until late in the evening. Yeah, she was lonely. She wanted me to watch TV with her every night (I became very disinterested in TV anyway) which just wasn't possible. I could have kept a somewhat cushy corporate job that wasn't demanding in terms of hours, making much less money, but that wasn't good enough for her. Rewind back to 2001. I put her through college and sacrificed my own college education for her. I worked 2 jobs, 7 days a week, for years to support us when I was 18-21. We were living in a crappy apartment and barely making ends meet. But she was going to make something of herself, then I was going to go to college and do the same. Like you are supposed to do. I tried to go to college while working 2 jobs for 60-70 hours per week, but it was way too much. My grades made it unable for me to advance, so I dropped out. She graduated in 2004... then never really tried to get a decent job. The 'best' job she ever had was a retail store manager for a small store (making like $15/hr) and she hated it. She was perfectly capable of making 6-figures at a corporate job, but she never even made an attempt. She hopped between entry-level and minimum wage jobs, never spending more than a couple of months at any of them. Don't take this to mean I ever really cared about how much money she made. What I cared about was the effort she put into being a responsible adult. We were still having trouble making ends meet. In 2006 (married for 5 years) I got my first big pay jump when I switched companies. I increased my income by 70% overnight and I was starting to see light at the end of the work-till-you-die tunnel. It was finally going to be good with my new income and hers, right? Wrong. A couple of months into my new job she brought up the idea of her quitting her job to be a 'full-time homemaker'. Remember, we didn't have kids and didn't want any, and she is the one with the degree and the college debt we would be paying down for the next 15 years. It started as an idea, then over a couple of weeks, it turned into her begging me to let her quit her job for good. I resisted, explaining to her that it made no financial sense. Besides, how was she going to keep herself occupied throughout the day? Laundry only needed to be done once a week, dishes only take a few minutes a day. So, against my wishes, she quit working for good and never looked back. She did take to cooking more, but she basically sat at home and watched TV. This went on for years. She knew I was against it. Without her income, we were in a worse financial situation than before I got my new job. But, (her words) because I was the man, "I was supposed to support the family" She was bored all the time. The free time gave her much more time to find things to get upset about and dwell on. For example, she would start a big fight if I left a single bowl in the sink for *me* to wash later. Or if I used the stove or microwave and she found a single spec of splattered food. Or if I turned a perfectly functional knob on the washing machine to wash my own laundry. She would absolutely blow up -- "I did [insert thing here] on purpose so I could get out of doing [the thing] in the future." Thank god we had our own bathrooms. She resented me for these things and I had no chance for retribution. She did do most of the housework for a few years, but I always did 100% of the yardwork. And almost 5 years ago we bought and lived on a farm -- got several dozen animals from horses to sheep to donkeys to ducks and geese. Just like in her professional 'career', she helped take care of them for a little while. Until she decided it was too much work. Then I was the one left by myself rounding up the animals, fixing broken fence, thawing out frozen water pipes, etc at 2 am on a weeknight when I had an 8 am meeting the next morning. As you would expect, the sex decreased significantly over the years. It was good when we were in our teens and early 20s. But she became less and less interested over the years. It went from several times per week, to several times per month, to every few months, to... almost never. She wanted sex to be very mundane. She didn't like it when I went down on her. She absolutely refused to go down on me, and never did. She didn't like it when I tried to use my hand to please her. She didn't like foreplay. She never wanted to do anything other than missionary. We talked about how to spice up our sex life for years. I brought all sorts of ideas from the table from roleplaying to toys to things on the kinkier side, but she never actually wanted to do anything about it. I had also been struggling with PE throughout my later 20s which made the situation worse. And the PE was "my fault" and "I needed to do something about it". I did see a urologist who diagnosed me as perfectly normal and sent me on my way. He suggested both of us see a sex therapist together, which she was not ok with -- because this was "my problem". Until we separated and I put myself out there, I hadn't had sex in about 4 years. Fast forward to 2018. I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer -- like fewer than 100 cases per year in the entire country. The physician knew very little about it -- the hospital hadn't seen a case of it in over 5 years -- and referred me to a specialist in a city a few hours away. It was a few months before I knew anything definitive or could get it treated. When I told my ex about the diagnosis, she preceded to inform me how I don't "have cancer" (but I did) and made it clear it was my own problem. I had an all-day surgery with the specialist to remove it -- I told her it was going to be an all-day surgery in advance. A couple-hour drive each way. Did she offer to drive me there or support me in any way? Nope. I got to drive myself there and back. Did she help me clean the huge surgical wound (it was like 10 inches in diameter) I had for the next 3 months? I even asked for her help cleaning and dressing it. She refused. So I had to figure out how to do it by myself. Did she express the slightest interest in talking to the specialist about it to get her own answers and put her mind at ease? Nope. She already knew better. This when it became painfully obvious she didn't care about me at all. And I still financially supported her 100%. At this point, she hadn't had a job for over 10 years and spent most of any given day watching TV. In 2017 she started an Etsy sewing shop -- which didn't take much of her time, but it gave her something to do. We were vendors at lots of local festivals together when those were still a thing. We were doing this almost every weekend from April through December. She didn't have more than 200 orders per year until 2020. When the lockdowns and mask shortages started in March she started sewing cloth masks. She did really well for a couple of months, doing 50-100 orders per day. I told her I was proud of her. I also tried to help her when she was having trouble keeping up. I spent a whole day helping her get caught up on orders. I can't sew, so I was helping her pack envelopes, print shipping labels, and iron decals onto the masks. She showed me how to do the iron-on transfers. It's so easy a 10-year-old could do it. I did a couple hundred of them that afternoon. She came to inspect them before they got shipped out. And she blew-the-fuck-up. I did it *exactly* how she showed me and they looked great. But she could still see a crease in the fabric where it was folded. It was "my fault" and, as usual, I had done it "on purpose" so I could get out of helping in the future. Sound familiar? I immediately stopped helping and left. I was done with her acting like a child. She is 40 years old and still acts like she is 12. Did she ever thank me for helping? No. Did she still ship the orders? Yep, so they weren't bad were they? Did she apologize for blowing up again? Nope. And I forgot to mention -- we have been basically separated for the better part of 4 years. Sleeping in different rooms in the house. I've been living in an 'apartment' in the basement of my own house. She kicked me out of the bedroom when she was throwing a fit about a short business trip I was going on. I needed to "tell them I wasn't going". She threw all of my stuff down the stairs and that was the end of that. I wasn't allowed to use the stove that I paid for. If I had food in the microwave and she wanted to use it, she would throw away whatever I had in there. She would throw away my dishes if I wasn't watching; I found them in the trash all the time. I spent the next several months thinking about all of this and much more. One thing I came to realize: in the 19 years we had been married I couldn't think of a single instance where she apologized for blowing up about something meaningless or admitted she was wrong. Not a single one. I even challenged her about it. Could she think of a single time she did either one of those? She couldn't come up with one concrete example. BTW, I apologized thousands of times. I never once blew up about anything in our entire relationship -- that's not the kind of person I am -- but I have apologized for things I said that made her feel bad and admitted I was wrong many, many times. At her insistence, I even admitted to doing lots of meaningless things that I didn't actually do just to put a fight to bed and keep the relationship in-tact. There is no point in fighting over BS. 2020 also brought on a lot of financial stress. At the beginning of the year, I had signed contracts that would make this the biggest year since I started the business. Clients were in sports, restaurants, casinos, and live entertainment. I lost all of them, and most of them are unlikely to survive 2021 without a bankruptcy. I laid off my entire staff. Our income took a nosedive. We burnt through most of our savings because she couldn't control her spending habits, and she had zero interest in financially contributing to the household. This was the straw that broke the camel's back. She made it abundantly clear she didn't care about me, and, at the same time, she expected me to financially support her do-whatever-she-wants consequences-be-damned lifestyle. I prepared the divorce papers and presented them to her on a whim when she was blowing up about dishes in the sink or something like that. I just couldn't deal with it anymore. I don't know why she acted surprised. She had told me she wanted a divorce plenty of times in recent years, and a couple of times in 2020. But she never had the balls to do it. This was something I had been thinking about for a few years, but I was likely to be on the hook for $10k/month in alimony for the rest of my life if it weren't for COVID. We live in a midwest state with divorce case-law which strongly favors women, and I have lots of male friends/colleagues who got screwed royally in a divorce -- even if their spouse cheated. So it was kind of the perfect storm. Depleted savings and drastically reduced income meant there was nothing for the court to grant. All we really had left was retirement savings and home equity. The house sale is closing in 10 days and we already liquidated the 401k, which she used to buy her own house. That was everything. Sorry for the long post, but I needed to rant to some strangers on the internet. There is obviously much more to tell over 19 years of marriage, but I'll leave it here for the sake of brevity. This post may sound very one-sided, but I really tried to keep it together. I tried to be a good husband. To give my wife what she wanted. To be there for her when she needed me. To make her happy, at the expense of my own happiness. Happy wife, happy life, right? As I put in the title, the court granted dissolution yesterday. It was very easy. No attorneys, we didn't fight about any remaining property. We each own our own vehicles free and clear and had no interest in the other's. She stole a few thousand more dollars from our joint account and sold some valuable things without my permission, but it wasn't worth fighting over. I just let it go. I'm finally free and I feel better than I have in years. Ask me anything.
Polo shirts are possibly the most ubiquitous clothing item of the 21st century, undergoing a long journey from aspirational 1930s sportswear to becoming the default smart-casual option for millions of men. We’ve researched and tested 14 of the best polo shirts and think that the best polo is the Sunspel Riviera with its great fit, unique fabric and strong range of over twenty colours. If you’re looking for an elevated take on the polo then the John Smedley Adrian Polo is incredibly soft and will smarten up your wardrobe. Finally, if you’re on a budget the H&M Cotton Polo Shirt is a good quality take on the classic item at an affordable price point. The original garment as we know it was based on a design worn by French tennis star René Lacoste aka “the Crocodile” in the 1930s as a practical, flexible, comfortable sports shirt. Unfortunately, from the 1980s onwards, creeping “casual Friday” dress codes made the polo shirt with badly fitting chinos an American business-standard. Later, it was the uniform of golfers and delivery drivers, security guards, and coffee chain staff not to mention the sometime uniform of the American far-right, in almost a parody of conformity. What saves the polo shirt from fashion irrelevance is its potential for reinvention. Its been reclaimed by subcultures ranging from punks to skinheads and mods. As the tie disappears and the suit becomes increasingly relaxed, the polo shirt has become a place to experiment with shirting alternatives and continues its long tradition of reinvention, molding itself to the zeitgeist. For our review we tried to cover this range, from semi-activewear to knit-fabric classics to find the best polo shirt overall, looking as always at specialists who’ve produced these styles year after year in an attempt to find an ideal.
Sunspel Riviera Polo With a smart fit, retro-inspired basket weave fabric, and a huge range of tasteful colours, the Riviera is on its way to becoming a contemporary classic. $105
The Riveria was introduced by Sunspel in 2006 after a design by Linda Hemmings for the James Bond film Casino Royale. The Riviera became something of an instant classic for a brand which up until then had been known largely for its undergarments. The references here (as the name suggests) are much more Talented Mr.Ripley than contemporary sportswear but it doesn’t feel like a period piece either. There has been some clever thought put into taking the best of that golden era and updating it. The fabric has a looser, wider weave than most piqué polos, and a nice spongy texture with none of the coarseness that some piqué can have. After researching I found that the brand created the fabric with a vintage lace making machine in Sunspel’s HQ in Nottingham, and none of the competition I tried have a similar quality. The fit is trim but not overly slim. The sleeves fall flatteringly halfway down the bicep, the length is standard and it has the classic split tail. The sleeves didn’t pull up into my armpits and I still had movement through the body. The collar is a fairly small point collar that sits well when buttoned up but also folds down easily into a camp collar shape when undone which allowed it to be worn cleanly both ways. The buttons are a discreet tonal plastic and the placket is a simple 2‑button design. I’m a fan of the pocket design though in a practical sense it’s not good for much and makes the shirt much more of a casual style. Colours are another area where Sunspel gets it just right. They always have a strong seasonal palette which this year covers 20 options including a deep chocolate brown (seen above) an intense Yves Klein blue and a great brick red. Compared to their competitor’s depressingly basic ranges of pastels and neons, this quiet tastefulness is refreshing and it means that season to season it will be easy to update your wardrobe with some new additions. Through washing and wearing over a number of weeks, I noticed no noticeable shrinkage or discolouring and the fabric kept its softness (which wasn’t always the case, especially if a garment has been chemically softened). I also kept an eye out for loose threads and buttons but found no faults. Which brings us to the final question of value. Polo shirts are an interesting category in this sense as they are so tied up to a certain idea of aspirational dressing — and priced accordingly. Our testing found that the general quality and feel of a £10 polo from H&M didn’t massively improve when compared to its £80 Lacoste equivalent. But that’s to ignore the fact that you are paying for what that £80 polo says about you, what it represents in our culture, and the semiotics of that logo — a francophile or a football causal, a preppy or a punk. That said, if you’re like me and the branded polos aren’t your niche but you want something that feels premium, then, for the cost, you will have a beautifully fabricated, European-made polo shirt of notably better quality than its competitors in the same price bracket and that’s enough for us to award it the top spot.
The downsides for the Riviera really come down to preference. I could imagine if you want a more classic fitting polo you may find it too slim or if you want one without a pocket that could turn you off. But as for the construction of the shirt itself or its fabric I couldn’t find any faults. Even the plastic buttons which might in other brands seem like a cost-saving measure feels more like a thoughtful design choice. It’s also more sportswear-adjacent than actual sportswear, but that feels like a quibble and true of any of the major polo brands at this point.
John Smedley Adrian Polo Made from incredibly soft sea island cotton, this knitted polo is perfect if you want a softer, more formal style of polo. $298
The Adrian Polo from John Smedley comes a close second to the Sunspel Riviera. The main attraction is the sea island cotton fabric which is incredibly soft with the best hand feel of any polo I reviewed. The placket length and knitted collar means it feels much more like the elegant mid-century polo shirt than something that would be mistaken for a 21st-century corporate uniform, albeit with some nice updates that make it feel more contemporary than other knitted polos. Smedley is to fine knitwear what Burberry is to trench coats, or John Lobb is to shoes and considered to be the best in the world in the category (it’s where the Queen gets her knitwear). The Adrian genuinely felt like a luxury. Everything from the feel of the fabric to the way it fitted just right with substantial ribbing on the waist and sleeves (near the bottom of the bicep) with just the right amount of tension spoke to the care and attention that had gone into making it. It’s also versatile, working just as well under the lapels of my suit when I got married a few weeks ago as it did in our 35 degree London heatwave when worn with a pair of shorts although, it is a bit too formal to work with tracksuit bottoms. Out of all the styles I reviewed it felt much more like a smart option. What the Adrian definitely isn’t on the other hand is a piece of grab-and-go sportswear that can be washed and thrown on like a t‑shirt or folded up at the bottom of your bag for destination holiday. I found myself hand-washing the delicate fabric to avoid rips and the collar, though it stands well, needs shaping with an iron after washing. Like a lot of luxury items, it’s delicate and requires a bit more care and attention than most and at £145 it’s not quite affordable enough to be a staple. That’s not saying it’s bad value necessarily, you can see the care and attention that was put into it and it’s UK manufactured but it’s probably not what most people are looking for when it comes to an everyday polo shirt, and those not quite the all-rounder that could hold the top spot. If you’re more likely to wear smart trousers than jeans and prefer a knit jumper to a hoodie then this is the polo for you.
H&M Cotton Polo Shirt A great price paired with good fabrication and quality, the H&M polo offers the best value for money with their straightforward take on the classic polo shirt. $12.99
If you’re unconcerned with logos and just want a classic polo shirt as a wardrobe staple you could do a lot worse than the H&M Cotton Polo Shirt. The piqué is soft and drapes well, the fit is classic, and straight (though as is often the case with H&M group, a bit long for me). In a blind test, I’m not sure I could tell the difference easily between this polo and the Lacoste L.12 which it’s clearly based it’s detailing on. And at £9.99 it’s extremely good value. Ethical clothing site Good on You’s review gives the brand an “It’s a start” rating for it’s environmental and ethical credentials noting that it’s environmental record is consistently improving while some issues with it’s supply chain labor remain.
What to look for
Range of colours: More than most sportswear, polo shirts are about colour, and we wanted our staple pick to have a good range of quality seasonal colours. Flexibility: We wanted a Polo that looked good with a range of clothing from the formal to the ultra-casual (a pair of shorts or sweats) Fabric: Has to work well in the heat, for most people a polo is a summer item and anything too heavy or coarse wasn’t going to cut it for us, we tried a range of synthetics and cottons of different qualities. Fit: Piqué and knitted cotton are unforgiving fabrics so having a good fit is key to making a polo shirt work. Collar: Does it stand up well, does it look okay when unbuttoned? is it easy to fold down or does it look sloppy. Length: Long enough to wear tucked in but not long enough to look sloppy on its own. Sleeves: We wanted the sleeve length to flatter the bicep but not ride up too high into the armpits, we also wanted easy movement as you’d expect from sportswear. Easy Care: The best polos, like all good sportswear, should be easy to wash and care for. Aesthetics: We wanted a polo that was more than a billboard for logo’s or an anonymous boxy t‑shirt alternative, the best would have a strong aesthetic quality.
The Fred Perry M12 & M3's are the most solidly constructed of all the branded polos I tried, and I was particularly keen on the thick ribbing on the sleeves and collar and the wide, reinforced placket. The collar had a slightly wider spread than most and which I found more flattering. The fit is trimmer than Lacoste and the hem is square so overall it has a neater, less sporty look. It's also nice that it's been continuously made in the UK since its introduction in the 1950s. The M12's aesthetic with its twin tips on the collar and sleeves have deep roots in the mod, Britpop, punk and skinhead subcultures in the UK and it can be a bit overpowering if you're looking for something more casual, but I love the simplicity of the M3's laurel crest and it has the same fit. Our favourite if you're looking for a logo. We ordered from Lacoste as they're the originators of the style. The Lacoste L.12.12 is their staple and comes in a huge range of colours. It's hard to judge it fairly as it seems to be the most duped of all polo styles—the Ralph Lauren polo is said to be a copy of their pre-60s model after the designer was disappointed with the synthetic blend polos they produced in the 70s. It has a straight fit, flattering sleeve and fairly flat collar. The fabric is softer than most piques and the split tail is nice but there is nothing particularly stand out, though the mother of pearl buttons are a nice touch. In terms of transparency, they were probably the most disappointing of the branded styles as there was absolutely no place of origin for manufacture, not even a "made in" on their label (though I believe they are produced in Peru). The Lacoste Paris Polo Shirt is their more contemporary update to the classic style and it features a slightly smaller collar, a bit of elastane in the fabric (6%) and a longer, narrower hidden placket and tonal crocodile patch. It's an interesting update, but if you're going for something so subtle I'm not sure why you wouldn't go for something completely unbranded. The Ralph Lauren Classic Fit Mesh Polo Shirt was an interesting variant. Its piqué was solid and soft feeling, It had a really thick placket and nice mother of pearl buttons, but it was largely indistinguishable from the Lacoste L.12 and its dupe status makes sense. It has a slightly lower stepped hem and a surpassingly slim fit for a "classic" style. It comes in a huge range of colours (some pretty dubious) and is the most expensive of the branded options we tried, coming in at £85. It's also shorter than most of the polos we tried so could be a good option for smaller guys. Kent Wang is one of menswear's best-kept secrets and we're a big fan of the Kent Want polo shirt. It splits the difference nicely between the more casual sportswear elements and smarter styles like the Adrian with thick quality pique, mother of pearl buttons and a high spread collar designed to look good under a suit jacket or jumper. If you want something with the formality of the Smedley and the easy-care of a classic polo then this is probably your best option and it has some of the most tasteful colours of any brand we reviewed (as well as a wide range of long sleeve options). It should be noted that the fit is quite slim and it's worth sizing up. The Uniqlo Airism Jersey Polo is sleek and technical without seeming dorky. It kept me from sticking to the sofa when the heat in London got to a high of 35°C (95°F). It would be the ideal choice for a warm-weather tech enthusiast and looked pretty cool and sleek worn with my black running shorts. The other Uniqlo style I tried was the Uniqlo DRY PIQUE polo, which I was less of a fan of. It was fine but not particularly interesting fit wise and has a slightly coarse plastic-y feel to the fabric. I tried ASKET's Pique Polo and while it has the brands great fit range (you can choose the length from small to large) was a disappointment overall. The piqué was soft and mercerized but also the most transparent of all the ones we tested which meant nipples showed through. The collar was strangely floppy and unstructured so looked messy when buttoned up but also had trouble sitting flat when opened and the placket looked visually off centre. As usual with the brand, the environmental and social tracing is excellent and I hope they can perfect the style. Finally, I also gave the H&M COOLMAX Polo a try and while I might appreciate it if I lived in a much warmer country, the texture just suffered in comparison to the pure cotton pique of their standard polo. This is a new guide from Typical Contents, the “wirecutter for clothes”. It’s by the team behind Epochs, a now defunct menswear blog. *We’re reviewing categories of clothing in hopes of finding the best item(s) in that category. All items tested in this guide were purchased with our own money. This post does not contain affiliate links. Check out our previous guides on boxer briefs, plain t-shirts, low top canvas trainers, and summer socks.
Note: The particularly important details and music artist names are in bold text. Licensed music track names are in italics. The year is 1973, five years after the events of the Mafia III, and 22 years since Vito Scaletta’s seen or heard from his old friend Joe Barbaro. The canon ending of Mafia III with this Mafia IV story is Vito taking over the city after Lincoln skipped town, however Cassandra and Burke are left alive and loyal to both Vito and Lincoln still. Burke was able to survive his liver cancer by getting a black market liver transplant in Mexico, like he did in his ending, except with Vito running the city. On Vito and Lincoln’s behalf, Burke and Cassandra agree to stay behind in New Bordeaux and keep the city locked down, incase Leo Galante and the Commission try anything. The beginning cutscene is Vito answering his telephone after getting up in the morning in his new penthouse, on the top floor of the New Bordeaux casino he finished that was once Sal Marcano's, and grabbing a cup of coffee. It's Alma with some urgent news. Lincoln Clay came down to the cigar warehouse to visit her after 5 years of silence, and he has big news. Joe is alive in Empire Bay and has been this entire time. However, as punishment for his actions, he's become Leo Galante's personal driver against his will and is forbidden from contacting Vito ever again, or else him and Vito will be killed. Alma then tells Vito to meet Lincoln at the airport to learn more, as he's already there awaiting Vito's arrival. When they're away from anyone who could listen in on their conversation, Lincoln tells Vito he has a friend named John Donovan he's going to introduce him to, hiding in the outskirts of Empire Bay, ready to help Vito and Lincoln with their new mission Vito gets dressed in one of his signature trench coats with a suit and tie, ready to rain down hell on the Vinci crime family and their allies, and finally be reunited with his lifelong friend he previously thought was dead, Joe Barbaro. Here is my idea for the kill list, all related to the Commission in Empire Bay and their allies.
Leo Galante - Top target on the list, Vinci family consigliere who's in with the Commission and the man you thought put Joe in the ground for the past 22 years. Bury this wrinkly old cocksucker.
Johnny Galante - Vinci family capo and younger relative of Leo's mentioned in Cassandra's ending, possibly Leo's cousin even. John Donovan knows that the two are close, and that Johnny's a valuable asset to Leo's organization. Kill him both to hurt Leo's earn and influence, and to hit him straight in the heart by taking away his family and everyone he loves
Michele Galante Jr. - Another Vinci family capo, and Leo Galante’s youngest brother. Killing Leo’s little brother will both take away one of his most reliable allies, and leave him stricken with grief and enraged, and more prone to making mistakes.
Nunzio Galante - Leo’s seasoned older brother by 3 years, and yet another Vinci family capo. He knows enough about smuggling that he worked out an ingenious plan for smuggling military grade weapons into the city. He pays off corrupt officials at Empire Bay International Airport, to allow guns to be loaded inside the walls and floors of planes, unknown to everyone onboard save for the palms the Galantes and Frank Vinci have greased to cooperate and keep quiet. The time has come to put this crafty old bastard in the ground.
Don Frank Vinci - Frank Vinci is the boss of the Vinci crime family, the family Leo's been a consigliere of for decades, and a lifelong friend of his. Kill Frank, and Leo loses more ground than he could ever imagine, and will be forced to deal with both the loss of his boss, and the loss of his lifelong childhood friend.
Don Ennio Salieri - Longtime close friend of both Frank Vinci and Leo Galante, Don of the Salieri crime family, and a third party Frank and Leo call in to crush Vito's uprising, when it becomes too big of an issue for Vinci alone to handle. Salieri was eventually able to grease enough palms while behind bars to have his life sentence overturned, and he got released from prison on good behavior in 1953, after he served 15 years of his sentence. He’s since relocated to his main operations to Empire Bay, having already had connections and men present there while he was in prison, backed by the Commission and the Vinci crime family. He's seasoned, but he’s nothing Mr. Scaletta can't handle. Give this tired old fuck the gangland ending he's had coming.
Isaac - Isaac is the personal assistant to an influential loan shark named Bruno Levine, who handles the money of the Commission, including the Vinci crime family and the Salieri crime family. He does anything from serve his boss coffee, to count incoming and outgoing money for Bruno. Because of his duties, he's aware of Bruno's location at all times. You’ll need to get to Isaac to get information on his boss out of him, and dispose of him afterwards if you want to get to Bruno.
Bruno Levine - Bruno is a Jewish-American loan shark who kicks up all of his earn to both Frank Vinci and Ennio Salieri, and the Commission in Empire Bay. Killing him kills a lot of earn for the Commission, and they loses a valuable asset. In addition to getting rid of him being practical, to add insult to injury, he gave your father that loan. It's about time to put this asshole out of business.
Mr. Chu & Mr. Chu Jr. - This old man has been leading the Empire Bay Triads with an iron fist since before you were even born. The bastard has a son too, who eventually went on to become his underboss. The Empire Bay Triads became a close ally of the Vinci crime family, the Salieri crime family, and the Commission shortly after Vito killed Don Carlo Falcone in 1951, forming a lucrative partnership with the Commission. Mr. Chu and his eldest son are valuable assets for Leo Galante who give him extra reach. Melt their iron fists and show these two pricks just who they fucked with.
Eddie Scarpa - This cocksucker used to be Carlo Falcone's underboss for as long as you could remember. After you whacked Falcone in the fall of 1951, he decided to throw in with Vinci to save his own skin. He took over the smuggling and dock union extortion that fat fuck Derek Pappalardo used to run. You know all too well how to deal with this sorry fuckin' rat.
I'm thinking Vito and Joe work with Lincoln Clay and John Donovan to split up Empire Bay and distribute territory to three other factions not unlike what Lincoln did with New Bordeaux. This time though, this is a much larger city in a much, much different part of the United States. The empire building mechanics would be a lot smoother, more robust, and streamlined compared to Mafia III. They would work similarly a more modernized version of how the game Scarface: The WorldIs Yours handled it's empire building and management mechanics, minus the whole switching to other characters lower on the ladder to do your bidding. This would be ideal for a story rich organized crime game in my opinion. Here are my ideas for those factions, all close allies of the up and coming Scaletta crime family. The Cuban mob led by Alma Diaz. Vito goes way back with Alma, and she does not hesitate to answer him and Lincoln's calls to save Joe's life and royally fuck both Leo Galante and the Vinci family. Conti crime family, led by Enzo Conti. This Conti crime family formed sometime in late 1968, months after Lincoln helped Enzo flee New Bordeaux and drop off of Sal Marcano's radar. It turns out he fled north to Empire Bay and finally formed his own family, having more than enough years of experience in the underworld to handle the job. Lincoln's tight with him and manages to recruit him to Vito and Joe's cause. The Yakuza, based out of Empire Bay's Japantown. Longtime sworn enemies of the Empire Bay Triads, with bad blood going back decades. They would greatly enjoy seeing Mr. Chu and his son's heads mounted on pikes, along with whacking everyone who's ever supported their organization. You don't know them well, and they're known to be very unpredictable and ruthless. Use these traits to your advantage when taking on the Commission of Empire Bay and their friends. I should mention as expected, this entire 1973 section where you play as Vito is much shorter than Mafia III. Vito's takeover is shown much more quickly over time than Lincoln's, and there's time skips during it, to keep it short and sweet, and to show onscreen only what's important. There is also no option for your underbosses to betray you, as to reduce confusion and keep the story consistently the same each playthrough, like the first two Mafia games. However, unlike Mafia III, after all of these tasks are completed and every single assassination target on Vito’s kill list is dealt with, the game does not end. In fact, it's not even anywhere near close to being over yet. Vito's 1973 section was merely the beginning act. It was really a lead up to an entirely new Mafia story, centering around a newcomer to the American mob. Fast forward two years following Vito’s rampage that led to him taking over Empire Bay and the Commission, in the year 1975 him and Joe now rule Empire Bay, with Vito as the Don of the Scaletta Crime Family, and Joe working as his loyal underboss. You play the rest of the game as a young up and coming soldato named Louis in his 20’s, who’s a rising star in Vito’s organization. Do right by Mr. Scaletta and Mr. Barbaro, understand kid? My basic idea for the character and his backstory is that he's a young Italian-Canadian mobster from Toronto, Ontario, or whatever Mafia's equivalent of it could be called. Let's call him Louis DeAngelo. (No relation to Tommy Angelo) His family hails from Tuscany in Italy and moved to Toronto, Ontario in 1939, shortly after World War II broke out in Europe. Louis DeAngelo was born in July 1952 in Toronto, and was raised in Toronto's Little Italy. Louis fled south to Empire Bay when the feds started cracking down on his old family and put his boss in prison, and he ended up finding a new home with the Scaletta crime family. The first few missions playing as Louis DeAngelo involve shooting your away out of an arrest by a Toronto Police Service SWAT team in Toronto in December 1974, seeing the rest of the members of your old crime family either get arrested or shot in front of you as you make your escape. You spend the next two missions fleeing Ontario through Quebec and upstate New York, before finally arriving in Empire Bay in early 1975, late January to be exact. Winter is in full force with snow everywhere, Louis' arrival to Empire Bay for the first time in his life mirroring Vito's return to Empire Bay in 1945 30 years earlier, except under far different much more dire circumstances. Louis' older brother and his father, both capos in his old crime family in Toronto, are shown to be arrested by the TPS SWAT team in his first mission, the same one that attempted to gun him down when he resisted arrested. Louis knows someone had to have ratted out his old crime family, and he wants to find out who someday. The thing is though, he doesn't just want to kill them. He wants to get out of them why they did it before he kills them. More than anything else, he just wants to find out why his crime family was betrayed and served up to the feds on a silver platter, having most of his biological family sent to prison in the process. He’s out to uncover the mystery of why his family fell apart, and he’s more than willing to help people like Don Vito Scaletta and his underboss Joe Barbaro to eventually get the answers he seeks. I came up with the idea for this character because I figured that playing as a fugitive from the law made sense for the mob life, and I'm surprised we haven't had a fugitive protagonist in the Mafia series yet. In the 1975 chapters while playing as Louis, the Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon’s resignation, and the official end to the Vietnam War are both discussed on the in-game radio during news segments. In the last 1979 chapter, the beginning of the Soviet-Afghan War is also the subject of a news segment on the radio. The story eventually transitions into the 1980's as years pass, with the scenery, cars, and music changing accordingly, and historical events of the time discussed in the game. By the time the game ends, it's 1992, and significant historical events from the past few years at the time that are covered on the radio in-game include anything from the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the 1992 L.A. riots. The rise of the internet and home computers are briefly touched upon during news segments on the in-game radio during the early 1990's section of the story, but not greatly delved into given their relative infancy in that time period. During this entire 1975-1992 stretch of the story, Vito is no longer playable, and Don Scaletta takes a backseat in the story as a main supporting character, similar to Don Salieri throughout Mafia: Definitive Edition. You now play as the Italian-Canadian Scaletta family soldato Louis DeAngelo, who is later promoted to being a capo in 1985. However, unlike Don Salieri, Don Scaletta has much more integrity, and has more genuine loyalty for his men and his associates. If you've beaten Mafia 1 or Mafia: Definitive Edition, you'll know this is something Salieri lacked in the end. The game will include a number of hit music from the 70’s that played on the radio back then, such as Bobby Womack’s Across 110th Street and Tony Christie’s (Is This the Way to) Amarillo, The Grateful Dead's Casey Jones and at least a few songs by the then new American rock band Cheap Trick, as well as popular songs from the 1960’s people still listened to at the time, such as Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs’ Wooly Bully, King Crimson’s 21st Century Schizoid Man,Zager and Evans' In the Year 2525, The Zombies' Time of the Season, and Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made for Walkin'. When you progress through the game, especially after you switch to playing as Louis DeAngelo for the rest of the story, years change, and the music changes. Different songs start playing on the radio, such as Sylvester's You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),Randy Crawford's Street Life, and The Village People's Y.M.C.A., Cheryl Lynn's Got to Be Real, Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive, and the Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive start playing in the 1979 portion of the game. After you've completed the 1975 section of the game, Foghat's Slow Ride starts playing on the radio. Starting in the 1977 section of the game, Cheap Trick's I Want You to Want Me and Heart's Barracuda start playing on the radio. In the 1980's portion of the game, Thomas Dolby's songs Hyperactive! and She Blinded Me with Science, in addition to Night Ranger's Sister Christian also start playing on the radio. If Hangar 13 can afford the licenses, I also think a few Michael Jackson and Madonna songs should definitely be on the radio during the 1980's portion of the story, given the immense popularity and regular radio airtime those two had in that decade. If this ended up being possible, I imagine that Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Bad, and Billie Jean being on the radio in the 80's sections would be a must, Smooth Criminal especially because of how well it suits the series. Madonna's Lucky Star, Burning Up, Like a Virgin, and Borderline would also be perfect for the 80's portion of the game to me. Also mentioned by NPCs and civilians in the game are topical events of the time period, such as the release of the groundbreaking 1973 horror film The Exorcist at the end of Vito's playable portion of the game. Other music of the 1980's segment when playing as Louis DeAngelo for the remainder of the game includes hits of the era such as Joe Jackson's Steppin' Out, The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star, Corey Hart's Sunglasses at Night,Laura Branigan's Self Control and Gloria, The Weather Girls' It's Raining Men, A-ha’s Take On Me, Men at Work's Down Under, Kim Wilde's Kids in America, The Gap Band's You Dropped a Bomb on Me, Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon, Twisted Sister's I Wanna Rock and We're Not Gonna Take It, Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead or Alive and Bad Medicine, Loverboy's Working for the Weekend, Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) and That's the Way (I Like It), Tiffany’s I Think We’re Alone Now, Daryl Hall & John Oates' Maneater, Aneka's Japanese Boy, Mötley Crüe's Dr. Feelgood, Girls, Girls, Girls and Kickstart My Heart, Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire, Huey Lewis And The News' Hip To Be Square, Bill Medley's (I've Had) The Time of My Life, The Police's Every Breath You Take, Whodini's Magic's Wand, Tears For Fears' Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Rockwell's Somebody's Watching Me, Regina's Baby Love, Nena's 99 Red Balloons, Earth, Wind, and Fire's Let's Groove and September, Billy Idol's Eyes Without a Face and White Wedding, Rick James’ Give It To Me Baby, Wham!'s Everything She Wants, George Michael's Careless Whisper, Toto's Hold the Line and Africa, Blondie's Heart of Glass and Atomic, and Mai Tai's History. Note that not every single year and moment of the 17 year 1975-1992 section playing as Louis DeAngelo is playable or chronicled. My idea is it would be handled similarly to how the time skips in Mafia 1/Mafia: Definitive Edition were handled. Time skips of two or more years, or in this case, even longer such as 4 years sometimes, the game skipping from 1979 to 1983. This is to keep the game and story length ideal, and not risk it getting boring or repetitive, or going on for too long. Repetition was a big problem in Mafia III even if I still thought it was a superb game, so I think it'd be best to learn from that for the next big entry. The games story will skip ahead and show onscreen only what's significant, similar to the first Mafia game and it's remake, as well as certain aspects of Mafia II. Louis starts his section as a 22 year old fugitive soldato who got picked up by another crew south of the Canadian border, and in the epilogue of the game in 1992, is promoted to the consigliere of the Scaletta crime family at the age of 40, being set to take over the family once Vito and Joe become too old to run the day to day on a regular basis. The years chronicled in the main gameplay segments are as follows: 1973 1975 1977 1979 1983 1985 1986 1987 1989 1990 1991 1992 Much more of the rural areas and countryside outside of Empire Bay are included than what was available in Mafia II. The way rural environments are handled for this hypothetical Mafia IV is akin to how Mafia: Definitive Edition and Mafia III handled their rural environments outside the main cities, except much larger in scale, given the increased power of the current new consoles such as the PS5 and Xbox Series X. This region is based off of upstate New York and the surrounding areas across multiple states in the Northeastern US, and includes forests, fields, mountains, rivers, lakes, beaches, and small towns. Also included are other cities and towns, based off of other large cities in New York like Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester, where other story missions, business activities, and side missions take place, along with smaller notable places like Ithaca, Binghamton, and Utica. The entire states of New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Delaware, Maryland, and Ohio are also included, including places based off of all of their major cities and most of their notable towns in between. Large portions of Pennsylvania are included as well, including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton. Large portions of the eastern half of the Canadian province of Ontario are included as well, including cities based off of Toronto, Ottawa, and Niagara Falls. There's even a small portion of Quebec included, including Montreal and the surrounding countryside of the province outside that city, including a few small towns in southern Quebec. The player must pass a quick border patrol check when crossing the US-Canada border in a car or other ground vehicle. Wildlife is present in the game, mostly to add to the background, scenery, and immersion in rural environments on the map. These are all animals native to the Northeastern US, ranging from white tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, Canada lynxes, rabbits, hares, groundhogs, gophers, beavers, raccoons, opossums, bats, chipmunks, red and gray squirrels, mice, and rats to more formidable and potentially dangerous animals that may sometimes attack the player, such as grey wolves, black bears, mountain lions, and moose. These last four animals are known to spawn in the mountainous regions, especially in New York, Ohio, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Ontario, including the rural regions based off of the Catskills and the Adirondack mountains. Dogs are present in the cities, towns, and settlements where humans live and keep them as pets, being walked and sometimes found in people's yards. Some are used as guard dogs by enemies and are aggressive towards the player on sight. Domestic cats are also present in the background of residential areas, and both Louis and Vito own them as pets throughout the game in their safe houses, as well as other onscreen characters we see the homes of throughout the game. Aircraft make their first usable appearance in the Mafia series too, from airplanes to helicopters. Vito cannot use planes or helicopters in his playable 1973 portion of the game, as he does not know how to pilot, being a paratrooper in World War II who never actually flew any of the planes himself. Aircraft are unlocked to use when Louis DeAngelo gets his pilot’s certificate offscreen in 1977, and at the end of a chapter set that year, Louis has to fly Vito in a helicopter to a penthouse in Downtown Empire Bay acting as a family safe house, equipped with a helipad. Louis frequently serves as a personal driver and pilot for both Vito and Joe afterwards, having done a lot in his time serving the family to earn their trust and respect. Melee weapons also make a return from Mafia: Definitive Edition, with even more variety this time. In their respective sections of the game, Vito and Louis may use anything from baseball bats, pipes, shovels, brass knuckles, golf clubs, police batons, switchblades, kitchen knives, bowie knives, ice picks, 2x4s, claw hammers, crowbars, tire irons, chain links, machetes, meat cleavers, pickaxes, hatchets, sledgehammers, to fire axes. This amount of melee weapons is so no matter what environment the player finds themselves in during a mission or any other game activity, there is usually a weapon of some sort nearby. If the player has obtained piano wire, you may also strangle an enemy to death with it from behind as a stealth kill, this being a classic assassination method infamous for being used by the Italian Mafia. Rope can also be found and used for similar strangulation stealth kills, appearing in the gameplay environments where piano wire can’t be found. There is a wide variety of new guns and explosives to use in this concept for Mafia IV, going with the new weapons of the time the game takes place that criminals quickly got their hands on. This includes the SPAS-12 combat shotgun, the Beretta 92 pistol, the AK-74 assault rifle, the mini uzi, the MAC-10 submachine gun, both suppressed and unsuppressed variants, the Beretta 92 pistol, the Taurus raging bull revolver, Glock handguns, the TEC-9 machine pistol, illegally modified to be full auto, the Ruger Mini-14 full auto variant, and even Vietnam war era flamethrowers, which I think is only natural given that as of Mafia III, we already have RPGs and grenade launchers. Late in the game from the 1989 section and onwards, the Benelli M3 combat shotgun becomes available. The Milkor MGL grenade launcher becomes available beginning in the 1983 portion of the game. Attached grenade launchers are also available for the AK-47, AK-74, and M16 assault rifles. Free ride makes a return in Mafia IV, with the player having the options to change the weather, time period, and an option to play as Louis, Vito, Joe, or Lincoln. Naturally, a multitude of new free ride missions are available as well. I previously posted a much earlier and less detailed draft of this on the old Mafia3 subreddit 3 years ago back in 2017 as an idea for a hypothetical Mafia 3 expansion where you play as Vito, but have since updated and revamped it to a possible Mafia IV plot, and fixed any plot holes I noticed and made it much more fleshed out and in depth, and focus on more than just Vito in the end. You may view my original here if you so desire, to compare. https://www.reddit.com/Mafia3/comments/6sldhp/spoiler_mafia_iii_vito_dlc_basic_plot_idea/ Feel free to give me constructive criticism on this, as I encourage this discourse and believe it is integral to growing and improving, to build upon or improve these ideas I've come up with, or say whether or not you think something like this should happen in the future. Thank you for reading!
Summary of AEW Angles and Storylines leading into Full Gear, with links to Video
Here is a relatively quick summary of the major angles leading into Full Gear. Links to AEW's Youtube, Twitter and Instagram with highlights and clips of what is going on. I'm including other angles that I feel might end up being relevant to Full Gear, but am not attempting to summarize everything. The Buy In: Serena Deeb (NWA Women’s Champion) vs Allisyn Kay Summary: Serena Deeb is a wrestling veteran, very skilled in the ring, who has just become the NWA champion, in addition to being an AEW wrestler. Allisyn Kay, a former NWA Champion, wants her old title belt back.
John Silver vs. Orange Cassidy Summary: Orange Cassidy is a lazy wrestler who can go toe to toe with the best, if he bothers to try. John Silver, a member of the Dark Order, is a little bundle of hyperactive aggression. Orange Cassidy took on the leader of the Dark Order, Mr. Brodie Lee for the TNT championship. While Mr. Brodie Lee won, the Dark Order, and John Silver in particular, want to punish Cassidy for even trying in the first place. This will be a pretty comedic match, by two people who are genuinely good in the ring.
TNT Title: Cody Rhodes (TNT Champion) vs. Darby Allin Summary: Cody is the son of legendary wrestler Dusty Rhodes, a charming talker and face of the company. He is the TNT Champion. Darby Allin is a reckless daredevil. They have faced off often over the past year, with Cody barely managing to win every time. Will Darby finally win over Cody?
World Tag Team Titles: FTR (AEW Tag Team Champions) vs. The Young Bucks Stipulation: If the Bucks lose, they can never challenge for the Tag Team belts again. Summary: FTR are arrogant brawlers who say they're the best tag team in the world, and they have the AEW Tag Team titles to prove it. The Young Bucks are arrogant high-fliers who say they're the best tag team in the world. They've both been arguing over who is the best for years, and now finally get to prove it. Previously, FTR messed with the Young Bucks by manipulating Hangman Adam Page, taking the Bucks out of the last title match, and the Bucks are still upset about it.
10/28 - FTR and The Young Bucks are interviewed. FTR leave when they think the Young Bucks are getting preferential treatment. The Bucks announce that if they lose this match, they’ll never challenge for the tag titles again.
Women's World Title: Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Nyla Rose Summary: Hikaru Shida is the AEW Women's champion, who had been doing an open challenge for her title. Nyla Rose is a bruiser of a beast, loving to slam women through tables. She's recently gotten Vickie Guererro as her manager. Nyla lost her world title to Shida earlier this year, and has been waiting for a rematch.
World Title Eliminator Tournament Final: Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Page Summary: Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page until recently were tag team champions. Hangman's bad decisions lead to their defeat at the hands of FTR. Now Kenny wants to go back to being a singles star, and Adam Page feels abandoned and hurt. Can the sad drunken cowboy beat his former partner, one of the best wrestlers on the planet? Winner of this match gets a shot at the World Championship. The saga of Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page is one of the best storylines in wrestling to date. The first chunk of it is summarized here, and the second chunk was summarized by me here. I am not including the Being The Elite segments here too, even though Hangman has been doing some REALLY good work there, because they are really tied up with other plots and hard to summarize briefly.
Chris Jericho vs. MJF Stipulation: If MJF wins, he can join The Inner Circle. Summary: Chris Jericho is a raging egotistical rock star, and leads the villainous Inner Circle. MJF is a spoiled egotistical rich guy, with a massive bodyguard in Wardlow. MJF wants to join the Inner Circle, but has to beat Chris Jericho to prove he has what it takes.
9/9 - MJF and Jericho meet and compliment each other, but each secretly call the other a loser.
Elite Deletion: Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara Summary: Matt Hardy, a legend in the ring, has been trying to get Sammy Guevara to reach his full potential by leaving Chris Jericho's side. Sammy doesn't want an old man telling him what to do. They've been feuding for months now, with both of them getting injured along the way. It really needs to end. This will be a cinematic match, filmed at the Hardy Compound.
9/5 - Matt Hardy is legitimately injured during his match against Sammy at All Out, but finishes the match anyways, despite that being a really really dumb idea, beating Sammy Guevara. Probably AEW's worst decision to date.
11/4 - While Matt Hardy is coaching Private Party before their match, Sammy Guevara attacks him from behind.
AEW World Title "I Quit" Match: Jon Moxley (AEW Champion) vs. Eddie Kingston Summary: Jon Moxley is a tough bastard, who spent years in the WWE, and beat Chris Jericho to become the AEW World Champion earlier this year. Eddie Kingston has been an indie wrestler for years, struggling to make ends meet before recently joining AEW. Eddie thinks Moxley is a sell out. Moxley thinks Eddie has become bitter and jealous. Once friends, now they're going to practically murder each other in the ring. NOTE: The promos that both Moxley and Kingston are giving are PHENOMENAL.
I remember my daughter's drowning death in the 1800s
I have had a series of very vivid dreams about "my" daughter's death over the course of about 5 years. I'm 32, so they started in my late 20s. Some backstory: I have ALWAYS had an irrational fear of drowning in a confined space. It is my only phobia. You may not notice it if you don't share my phobia, but a LOT of popular media contains this trope. Characters stuck in a submarine or ship that's slowly filling with water, etc. Sometimes a scene like his will materialize out of nowhere in a movie where I was not expecting it, like Casino Royale or San Andreas. There was recently a film called The Old Guard with Charlize Theron where one of the characters, who is physically immortal, is thrown into the ocean in an iron cage. Once she hits the ocean floor, she drowns, briefly dies, then wakes up again, inhaling water, drowning, dying, etc in an infinite loop for eternity. The idea of this was SO upsetting to me that I started crying, and it's just a stupid popcorn flick. Anyway, I have no experiences with nearly drowning in my current life at all. In fact, I love being in the water and swimming, and have even gone scuba diving on several different occasions. I would just never go cave diving, or go on a submarine (not that I can imagine a situation where I'd have the opportunity to). Anyway, all of that is to say that in my dreams, I'm a man in his late 30s (I'm a woman right now), who is an American homesteader. Kind of down-and-out, but I don't really know it. My life is very hard, but I take everything in stride because I have very little else to compare it to. I have a farm, or a ranch, or something. It's not on the East Coast--it feels like the frontier, like I'm trying to build a life for myself out of nothing but my own blood and sweat. It's hard to describe the mental state that this past life me is in--it's just completely different from my current life of luxury and modern conveniences. I perceive danger and death totally differently--they are simply part of my life and I am used to loss and hardship, but I am not depressed or unhappy. The moment in the dream that sticks with me, is that my homestead is flooding due to an overfull river nearby. I have ascertained information about the flooding somehow in advance, maybe from other farmers, or maybe just from knowing the weather patterns. There has been a MASSIVE storm, washing out my property, but in the aftermath pretty much everything is okay, except for the fact that my best horse is outside of her pasture, in the river, stuck in the water up to almost her neck. I have a teenage daughter, she is about 13 years old. She is my only family. I don't have a wife, and I don't have any other children. She is a strong and capable farmhand and my partner managing my homestead. She wears pants and shirts, not skirts or dresses. She has light brown hair and a dirty face. I love her, but am not physically affectionate toward her. The work of running our ranch is all-consuming and it's all we talk or think about. We are standing on a fence with water all around us, trying to hatch a plan to lasso this horse and bring it back to the farm. Words cannot describe how important this is to me. I need this horse to come back--it is one of my most valuable belongings and if it dies or washes away I will not be able to recover financially. My daughter makes several unsuccessful attempts to lasso the horse, who is shying and may lose its foothold in the riverbed at any second. She curses, then dives off the fence, into the river water, and swims capably over to the horse, who is getting more and more nervous. She is able to attach the lasso to its neck, but gets caught in the current, and is swept behind the horse, who promptly kicks her in the head and she goes under the water. I see that there is tension on the rope implying that it is tied around her wrist or something, and the current is pushing her under like a fish caught on a fishing line. I watch in dismay as the horse panics, loses its foothold, and both my daughter and the horse are swept away. The crazy thing is that, despite how big of a life event this is, I am still thinking about money and the future as my own daughter is dying before my eyes. I have had this dream 8-10 times in the past 5 years.
Resident Evil "battle royal" game idea/suggestion?
Hello everyone ! First post here - I don't know where to post this, so I hope it will be welcomed here. So I heard about the possibility for a "Battle Royal" themed on R.E. and the few of reactions I witnessed about it were pretty negative - and I could agree as R.E. isn't well known for its PvP content... But I think I have an idea for something that people could enjoy - with originality, re-playability, difficulty and keeping a game close to events happening in the R.E. universe (based on the last "remake" version of the games). So, let me start: - date & place : 2X september 1998 ; Racoon City - Casino-Hotel Yes, "again Racoon City"; but this time you won't live the last days of the event, but one of the hot-spot at the begining of the outbreak. Umbrella, to test the virus on a bigger scale, tried different methods to spread it in the City. One of them was to infect a good number of patient within the City to release them all at once. The Casino-Hotel, was selected. Opening a good number of events, the building-complex is currently hosting hundreds of people. The Casino-Hotel: An impressive complex, with several floors of apartments, a great looking casino, a party-room (which is today for a wedding) and an opera-theater. There is also a specific floor for the security & direction of the Hotel; an underground facility & hidden corridors for the maintenance. - players : 2 to 20-ish? Each player wil incarne a random NPC - like this, no one is supposed to recognize who is a player or not at first glance. Everyone start in their appartment (1 playeroom); equiped with a combat-knife (no durability), on ordinary map of the hotel (no indication of back-doors, restricted areas). But there is still some customisation possible: the dressing allows you to change your clothings to hide better on some areas (tuxedo; tourist outfit; ...). - objectives : (1) survive the event (duh) - (2) escape by completing one of the multiple-routes. Once the game start, the phone in your room will ring : if you are new / beginer or want informations as a reminder, you will use it. The HUD will show you 3 main faction-quests - you can choose to "select" one (the quest will remain apparent on your HUD) or not. But here's the twist : accepted or not - you can choose to stick with this faction, or to betray it! The factions: (1) Umbrella's agency - find the spreading devices (2-3 existing on the map); select a way to use it (different possibilities as water-tanks (infect apartments & lodges) & fire sprinkler systems (infect a specific room)); once you get a critical number of infected : rendez-vous at the rooftop for extraction by helicopter (2) RCPD - find clues of Umbrella's terrorist activity; try to catch the devices or to sabotage Umbrella's agents; as the virus will spread anyway (slowly or quickly depending on players' actions) : call the RCPD to quarantine the buildings & for extraction (a timer will be set and you need to defend the exit that some Players will try to open. (3) Mercenaries - your objectives are to get a sample of the virus, steal Umbrella's document and use all the chaos made to exit (the underground should be the best bet) - working alone or in group, you are without any assistances from the outside. Remember: whether you succeed or not at your quests, the Casino-Hotel will fall to the virus. Gameplay: If people didn't formed a squad before the game, you start as a lone-wolf without any indication if your neighbor is a player, or not, and what could be its faction/intentions. Some areas are overcrowded (and with a type of outfit; wedding-hall = tuxedo), for you to hide, infect. In the first part of the game: all players want to get to restricted areas; and you decide your strategy : open-violence, taking a Casino's security outfit, stealing a key or simply following an other Player doing the dirty work for you. If you succeed to sneak behind someone, you could have a special 1vs1 melee interaction : during the animation, you will have to smash some buttons to execute the performance. But if you are on the defensive position, it isn't an insta-kill as you will have yourself an interaction to resist. Sadly for both of the player struggling : the animation could be stopped by a third-party, killing one or both. => this sneak-attack will then play a lot in the first stage of the game, but could also create epic moments. For the gun-gameplay: not much to say. All Casino's security is equiped with stun-gun, or 9mm pistol; some rare Hotel's clients could also have a weapon on them / or apartment; the security-floor is also well-equiped and a secret cache in the underground could provide Hunk's style of equipment. Add to that: you should have the ability to barricade doors; sabotage elevators to stop the Players & Zombies, but it would only slow things down (for them to get in, or you to get out...). End result: who win? First - the ones who survived ; then you get a result for each Faction's accomplishments: if you're route is linked to the ranked #1 one, you get a bonus in your Total Score. My guess on the Time per Mission : between 20min to 40min? Rewards: you should be able to buy with your scores, additionnal clothes, custom appearances for your weapons -------------------- tl;dr : a 3rd person-shooter, on a big Hotel-Casino map; playing like a spy-game at first, you end-up fighting for your survival while innocents are trapped and become part of a zombie-crowd. Help, make alliance, or use & betray other players to get a better score. Hope you had a good read at my engrish and that you like my idea/concept.
Film Rankings with Explanations, Ratings, and Tiers
During quarantine, I've had the opportunity to rewatch every movie in relatively short succession. I've seen them all 2-10 times and have been a lifelong Bond fan. I enjoy every Bond film, even the "bad" ones, but I wanted to try and rank them. I used a scoring system to help me, but ultimately went with my gut (e.g. License to Kill MUST be better than The World is Not Enough). I thought a tier system of ranking was useful, because it really is splitting hairs to rank some of these. Feel free to critique my ratings, my ratings weightings, and opinions! You could say I have too much time on my hands Tier 7: The Worst
Die Another Day: Best Sword Fight
- Why it's not irredeemable: For being the lowest ranked film on this list, it's not without its moments. Bond getting caught, tortured, then escaping from MI6 was interesting and novel. The ice hotel was neat, as well as the chase scene. I'll even defend the much maligned invisible car, as the Aston Martin Vanquish is quite a car. - Why it's not higher: Personally, I think Halle Berry is a terrible Bond girl, alternating between damsel in distress and super woman as the plot demands it. Moreover, Graves and the plot in general is pretty cheesy and boring. Perhaps most damaging is the deadly serious tone of the movie, which doesn't even provide the fun and excitement Brosnan's films generally provide the viewer. - Most under-appreciated part: The fencing scene is the best action scene of the entire movie. It's surprising it took Bond this long to fence, but seeing them go at it across the club was a blast. Tier 6: Disappointing
Quantum of Solace: Best Car Chase
- Why it's this high: The action is quite good, likely meriting the distinction of the best car chase in the entire series (the pre-credits sequence). Mathis is a good ally and it is sad to see him go. - Why it's not higher: My biggest beef with Craig's Bond films is that they are too serious, so when the plot and script isn't top-notch, the movie watching experience is just kind of dull. Quantum of Solace takes a bold risk in making the first Bond sequel, but unfortunately it's just not that good. Greene seems like a rather pathetic Bond villain, and his henchman (the worst in the series?) ends up in a neck-brace after getting tripped by Camilla. Also, the shaky cam is distracting and exhausting. - Most under-appreciated part: I actually thing the theme song is pretty good! Maybe I'm just too much of a Jack White groupie, but I think it rocks.
Moonraker: Best Locales
- Why it's this high: I'm pleased to see Jaws making a return, as he is an amazing henchman. On that note, the pre-credits sequence with Bond and Jaws falling out of the plane is exhilarating. Holly Goodhead is a very good Bond girl, beautiful, smart, and competent. Roger Moore always does an excellent job playing the role with suavity and wit. - Why it's not higher: Gosh it's cheesy. Particularly egregious is Jaws' love story. The theme song is terrible and Bond doesn't have any solid allies besides Goodhead and Jaws. - Most under-appreciated part: They really go all out with the settings here. Obviously, space is pretty polarizing, but I think Bond clearly should go to space at SOME point during the series. In addition, Italy and Brazil were gorgeous views, while Drax's estate is magnificent.
Spectre: Best Shooting
- Why it's this high: Rewatching this for the second time, I realized Lea Seydoux does a good job as the Bond girl, and it's actually quite believable she and James could work out, as she is the daughter of an assassin and can understand him (as Blofeld points out). Seeing Bond show off his marksmanship was quite satisfying, especially that one long shot during the escape from Blofeld's compound. Bonus points for Bond's DB10 and resurrecting the DB5. - Why it's not higher: The fatal flaw of this film is making Blofeld Bond's adopted brother. How did Bond not recognize him? How is Blofeld able to keep himself secret from British intelligence yet every criminal worth his salt knows of him? The worst part is that it actually cheapens the plot of the other Craig movies. I believe the Bond franchise should stay clear from sequels from here on out. Yes, they can weave a great story if done correctly, but it's so much more difficult to make great sequels (e.g. Star Wars only made two worthy sequels in seven tries) than to do one-offs. As usual for a Craig film, Bond has little charisma (save for his surprisingly good rapport with Moneypenny) and little in the way of jokes to lighten the mood. - Most under-appreciated part: The train fight scene with Dave Bautista is great! Gosh it was awesome to see them go at it, break through walls, and a priceless expression on Bautista's face when he knows he's done. Bautista is the first decent henchman since the 90s, so glad to see the series go back to this staple.
The Man with the Golden Gun: Best Potential, Worst Execution
- Why it's this high: This Bond movie frustrates more than any other, as it has the potential to be an all-time great. Bond's debriefing starts off with promise, as it turns out the world's top assassin is gunning for Bond! For the first time in the series, Bond seems vulnerable! M makes a hilarious quip as to who would try to kill Bond ("jealous husbands ... the list is endless"). Furthermore, the legendary Christopher Lee is possible the best Bond villain, a rare peer of 007. - Why it's not higher: Unfortunately, the movie opts to change course so that it's just Maud Adams trying to get Bond to kill Scaramanga. Goodnight is beautiful, but maybe the most inept Bond girl of all-time. They used a SLIDE WHISTLE, ruining one of the coolest Bond stunts ever (the car jump). - Most under-appreciated part: Nick Nack is a splendid henchman, showing the role can be more than just a strongman.
Diamonds Are Forever: Great Beginning and Ending, but Bad Everywhere Else
- Why it's this high: Is there another Bond with such a great contrast between the beginning/ending and everything in between? Connery shows his tough side, as he muscles his way through the pre-credits scene. Particularly good was the part where he seduces the woman, then uses her bikini top to choke her. At the end, Bond expertly uses his wine knowledge to detect something is amiss, then dispatches Kidd and Wint in style. Other cool scenes include Bond scaling the building to reach Blofeld and Bond driving the Mustang through the alley. - Why it's not higher: This is one of the films that I find myself liking less and less over time. Vegas, and especially the space laboratory scene, just seem cheesy. Connery is officially too old at this point, and Jill St. John just isn't a very compelling Bond girl. I would've preferred to have seen more of Plenty O'Toole, but alas 'twas not meant to be. Leiter is uninspired as well. Having Bond go after Blofeld for the millionth time just seems tired at this point. - Most under-appreciated part: Mr. Kidd and Wint are the creepiest henchmen in the Bond universe, but I'd argue they are some of the best. Their banter and creative modes of execution are quite chilling and thrilling.
A View to a Kill: Best Theme
- Why it's this high: Is it a hot take to not have View in the bottom five? Let me explain. I contend Duran Duran's theme is the very best. The ending fight scene on the Golden Gate Bridge is actually one of the most iconic ending set pieces in the series. The plot is stellar on paper, as the horse racing part was a very Bondian side story, and the idea of an attack on Silicon Valley actually seems even more plausible today. - Why it's not higher: It's self-evident that Moore is way too old for the part. Some parts are just mind-blowingly ridiculous, such as the fire truck chase scene through San Francisco and the part where Stacey is caught unaware by a blimp behind her. Speaking of Stacey, she may be beautiful, but she spends most of the movie shrieking whenever something goes wrong. - Most under-appreciated part: The scene with Bond and Ivanova is cool (I always like it when he interacts with other spies) and quite entertaining how he fools her with the cassettes. Tier 5: Below Average
Octopussy: The Most Characteristically Roger Moore Bond Film
- Why it's this high: Maud Adams has great screen presence as Octopussy, and her Amazonian-like women are cool to watch fight. Bond's deft swipe of the egg was nicely done. On a related aside, I wish Bond films would emphasize Bond's intellect more, as it seems the 60s and 70s films would allow Bond to showcase his vast knowledge more frequently than he does today. Gobinda is a fierce henchman, while India in general is a cool location. The plot is realistic, yet grand (war-mongering Russian general tries to detonate a nuke to get NATO to turn on itself). - Why it's not higher: This is the first Moore film where he simply was too old and shouldn't have been cast. Yes, it's too cheesy at times, most infamously during the Tarzan yell. Bond also doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: People tend to focus too much on Bond dressing as a clown, but the scene where Bond furiously tries to get to the bomb in time to defuse it is one of the tensest moments in the series. Moore's "Dammit there's a bomb in there!" really demonstrated the gravity of the situation (I get goosebumps during that part).
Tomorrow Never Dies: Most Tasteful Humor
- Why it's this high: Brosnan really settles into the role well here. He gives the most charismatic Bond performance in 15 years or so. His quip "I'm just here at Oxford, brushing up on a little Danish" is an all-time great Bond line. Teri Hatcher is stunning as Paris Carver, delivering a memorable performance with her limited screen time. The plot is original and ages well, highlighting the potential downsides of media power, while Carver is an above average villain. - Why it's not higher: Wai Lin is good for action, but the chemistry between her and Bond is non-existent. By the end of the movie, Pryce just seem silly (especially the scene where he mocks Wai Lin's martial arts skills). There aren't any good Bond allies, as Jack Wade doesn't impress in his return to the franchise. In general though, the movie has few things terribly wrong with it, it just doesn't excel in many ways. - Most under-appreciated part: Dr. Kaufman is hysterical. At first, I thought "this is weird," but by the end of the scene I'm cracking up. I genuinely wish they found someway to bring him back for World, but c'est la vie.
The World Is Not Enough: Less than the Sum of its Parts
- Why it's this high: According to my spreadsheet, this is a top 10 Bond film, while on my first watch on this film I thought it was bottom five. I think the truth is that it's somewhere in between. I like the settings, everything from the temporary MI-6 headquarters to Azerbaijan. Elektra is an all-time great Bond girl, with a nice plot twist and character arc. The glasses where Bond sees through women's clothing are hilarious. The sense of danger is strong, with everyone from Bond to M being in danger. The return of Zukovsky is a nice plus. - Why it's not higher: I think two things really doom this film. First, Renard is totally wasted a henchman. The idea of him not feeling pain is a cool one, but he just seems boring and extraneous. I don't even think Carlyle acted poorly, he was just misused. Secondly, the ending (after Bond killing Elektra which is quite good) is rather terrible. The whole scene in the sub just isn't entertaining or engaging. - Most under-appreciated part: I'm going to defend Denise Richards as Christmas Jones. Although no Ursula Andress, Richards is absolutely gorgeous and did not actively make Bond's mission more difficult, which is more than some Bond girls can say *cough Britt Ekland. In particular, I found her introductory scene to be quite memorable and convincing. Also, the Christmas quip at the end is quite cheeky. Tier 4: Solid
The Living Daylights:
- Why it's this high: Dalton brings a breath of fresh air to the franchise here. His more serious take makes for interesting movies that seem more unique than most. I'm happy to see this subreddit appreciate Dalton more than the casual fun does, but I wouldn't go as far as the Dalton fanboys and say he's the best Bond or anything like that. I do wish he got the role sooner and did more films. Moving on to Daylights, it's got a good intro for Dalton and good plot in general. Surprisingly, Bond's fidelity doesn't bother me one bit, as it actually makes sense that Kara falls in love with James by the end, given all they've gone through. - Why it's not higher: The biggest reason is that the villain is just terrible. Whitaker seems silly and pathetic, a terrible contrast to Dalton's serious nature. I think Whitaker might be the worst in the series, and a Bond movie can't be great without a good villain. Also, Dalton doesn't have much charm and is abysmal at one-liners, which, in my opinion, IS a facet of the perfect James Bond. - Most under-appreciated part: The Aston Martin Vantage is a beautiful car, and the chase scene across the ice is great! It's both exciting and funny! Not sure why people don't talk about this chase scene and this car more; it's arguably the highlight of the movie for me.
Thunderball: The Most Beautiful
- Why it's this high: Thunderball used to be top five for me and here is why. The underwater scenes, the setting, the score, and the Bond girls are beautiful even to this day. Domino is excellent, while Volpe is a tour de force, oozing sexuality and danger. I think the underwater parts are interesting and novel, creating a staple of sorts for the franchise. The DB 5 is always welcome, and the jetpack use was quite cool for the time (and to some extent now). - Why it's not higher: Some would say it's boring, while I would more generously admit the plot is slow. Furthermore, the theme song is all-time bad (apparently they could have used Johnny Cash!!!), and there is no great henchman for Bond to dispatch. - Most under-appreciated part: Two plot ideas I liked a lot: Bond being injured and needing rehab, plus the part where all the 00s meet up and then are sent to the corners of the globe.
Never Say Never Again: Guilty Pleasure
- Why it's this high: Rewatching Never for the third time, I was struck by how fun this movie is. It's exciting, funny, and fast-paced. Basically, it's a more exciting version of Thunderball, with better pacing and better humor. I think Irvin Kershner did a great job managing this star studded cast. Carrera is a firecracker as Blush, Sydow is a convincing Blofeld, and Basinger is a classic Bond girl. Connery clearly has a blast returning to the role, doing a great job despite his advanced age. If anything, this one might not be ranked high enough. - Why it's not higher: The music is terrible. Normally I don't notice these things, but one can't help but notice how dreadful this one is. The theme is awful as well. I'd argue this is the worst music of any Bond film. - Most under-appreciated part: The humor! This is one of the funniest Bonds, as I found myself laughing out loud at various parts (e.g. Mr Bean!).
The Spy Who Loved Me: Best Intro
- Why it's this high: There's a lot to love about this one, so I get why this ranks highly for many. It is simply the best introduction, starting with Bond romancing a woman, followed by a skii chase, then jumping off the cliff and pulling the Union Jack parachute! The Lotus is a top 3 Bond car. Jaws is a superb henchman. Triple X was an excellent Bond girl, deadly, charming, and beautiful. Of course, Moore is charming and the locations are exotic (Egypt was a cool locale). If I had to pick one Moore movie for a newcomer to watch, it would be this one. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is bad, and Stromberg is a below average villain. I also think the last 45 minutes or so of the movie kind of drags. - Most under-appreciated part: The whole dynamic between Bond and Triple X is great. Whenever Bond movies show Bond squaring off against other spies (see View to a Kill, Goldeneye) it's just a pleasure to watch.
Live and Let Die: Most Suave
- Why it's this high: Roger Moore superbly carves out his own take on Bond in an excellent addition to the franchise. The boat chase is my favorite in the series, and Live and Let Die is my second favorite theme. Jane Seymour is a good Bond girl, while Tee Hee and Kananga are a solid villain/henchman duo. Unpopular opinion: I find J.W. Pepper to be hilarious. - Why it's not higher: The introduction isn't very good, as Bond isn't even included! The second climax with the voodoo isn't great. Bond blowing up Kananga has aged terribly. - Most under-appreciated part: When Bond is visited in his apartment by M and Moneypenny, Bond rushes to hide his girl from his coworkers. Finally, when they leave and he unzips the dress with his magnetic watch is one of the best uses of a Bond gadget in the series, showcasing why Moore might be the most charming Bond of them all.
You Only Live Twice: Best Blofeld
- Why it's this high: Just your classic, fun Sean Connery Bond movie. It was a great decision to send Bond to Japan for his first Asian visit, giving the movie a fresh feel. The ending set piece battle is potentially the best of this staple of 60s/70s Bonds. Tiger Tanaka is one of Bond's cooler allies. Pleasance killed it as Blofeld; when I think of Blofeld, I think of his take. In what could have been cheesy, he is actually somewhat frightening. - Why it's not higher: The whole "we need to make you look Japanese" part seems both unrealistic (who is he really fooling?) plus surprisingly impotent coming from Tiger Tanaka who seems to be a competent and connected man otherwise. Honestly though, this movie doesn't have a major weakness. - Most under-appreciated part: The fight scene with the guard in the executive's office is probably the best hand-to-hand fight in the series up until that point. Tier 3: Excellent
Dr. No: The Most Spy-Like
- Why it's this high: Nearly 60 years later, this film is still a blast to watch, due in no small part to its focus on the little things of being a spy. I adore the scenes where Bond does the little things spies (presumably) do, such as putting a hair across the door, or showing Bond playing solitaire while waiting to spring his trap on Prof. Dent. I also enjoy the suspense of Bond sleuthing around the island, while he and the viewer are completely unaware of whom the villain is until quite late in the film. It's easy to take for granted now, but this film established so many series traditions that were ingenious. My personal favorite is Bond's introduction at the card table: "Bond .... James Bond." - Why it's not higher: The film just doesn't have the payoff it deserves. Maybe it's just a result of the time and budget, but from the point Bond escapes on, it's just mediocre. Particularly egregious is the "fight" between Dr. No and Bond where No meets his demise. - Most under-appreciated part: Ursula Andress was a surprisingly well developed Bond girl, with a shockingly violent backstory (she was raped!). Obviously, she is beautiful and the beach scene is iconic, but I was pleasantly surprised to conclude she is more than just eye candy.
License to Kill: The Grittiest
- Why it's this high: On my first watch, this was my least favorite Bond film, as I thought it was too dark and violent to befit 007. By my third time watching, I've decided it's actually one of the best. Fortunately, I don't have to go on my "Ackshually, Dalton did a good job" rant with this subreddit. I liked the wedding intro and the concept of a revenge arc for Leiter (although come on he should've been killed by a freaking shark). Also, Lamora and (especially) Bouvier are great Bond girls. Bouvier is both competent and beautiful, and it's great to see Bond choose her at the end. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is atrocious, Dalton is so angry (dare I say charmless?) the whole time it's almost puzzling why Bouvier and Lamora fall for him, and Bond doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: Sanchez is actually a sneaky good Bond villain.
For Your Eyes Only: The Most Underrated
- Why it's this high: I think Moore is a bit underrated as Bond. Yes, he was too old towards the end and yes, his movies were at times too campy, but he himself played the role admirably. He was the most charming and witty of all the Bonds, so by the time he got his first relatively serious plot to work with, he hit it out of the park. Anyhow, the climactic mountaintop assault is one of my favorite Bond action climaxes. Columbo is one of the best Bond allies, and the plot twist where he turns out to be good and Kristatos bad was well-done. - Why it's not higher: The intro is just silly. Bibi's romantic infatuation with Bond is just ...er... uncomfortable? - Most under-appreciated part: The theme song is a banger. What a chorus! Tier 2: Exceptional
Skyfall: The Sharpest Film (From Plot to Aesthetics)
- Why it's this high: One of the best plots of the entire series. The idea of an older Bond who had lost a step, along with making M the focus point of the movie, works very well. Seeing Bond's childhood home is also pretty cool. Bardem's take on Silva is delightful and a lot of fun to watch. Even the cinematography is a series peak, while Adele's them is excellent. - Why it's not higher: One thing most Craig Bond films suffer from is the lack of a Bond-worthy henchman. Skyfall is no exception. More importantly, Bond girls are mostly irrelevant to the film. Yes, Severine is both beautiful and interesting, but she's scarcely twenty minutes of the film. - Most under-appreciated part: Setting the new supporting characters up nicely. The Moneypenny backstory was well-done. Casting Ralph Fiennes as the new M is a great choice in of itself, but he also got a nice chuck of background story to help us going forward.
Casino Royale: The First Bond Film I'd Show a Series Newcomer
- Why it's this high: Craig's take on Bond feels like a breath of fresh air. In particular, his hand-to-hand combat scenes are so much better (and more believable) than any other Bond. The parkour chase scene is one of the best chase scenes in the series. Le Chifre is an excellent villain, but, more importantly, Vesper is an all-time great Bond girl. The conversation between Vesper and Bond on the train is probably the most interesting of any film. Bonus points for Jeffrey Wright as Leiter and the Aston Martin DBS. - Why it's not higher: There are hardly any humorous parts or much charm displayed by Bond in general. More importantly, the movie should have just ended when Bond wakes up in rehab. The rest of the movie feels confused and superfluous. - Most under-appreciated part: The decision to change from chemin de fer to poker makes for much better (and understandable!) cinema. The poker scenes are the best of Bond's many gambling scenes throughout the series.
Goldeneye: The Most Fun
- Why it's this high: Wow, rewatching Goldeneye I was struck by how entertaining the whole thing is. The opening jump is breath taking, the scene where Bond drives his evaluator around is hilarious, and Xenia Onatopp is a livewire. Sean Bean is a formidable villain as 006, and a great foil to James. Bond and Judi Dench's first scene together is amazing. Goldeneye feels like the first modern Bond, yet so true to the predecessors. Wade and especially Zukovsky are excellent allies. - Why it's not higher: Simonova is a forgettable Bond girl. She's not annoying, unattractive, or acted poorly, but is just below average in most regards (looks, back story, chemistry with Bond, plot). - Most under-appreciated part: the action is just so much better than any Bond before it
From Russia with Love: The Best Henchman (Red Grant)
- Why it's this high: Interesting settings, beautiful women, and an engaging story make this a classic. I'm not the first to point out that the scenes with Grant and Bond aboard the train are some of the best in the entire series. Grant is one of the few villains who feels like a match for 007. Furthermore, the addition of Desmond Llewyn as Q was crucial and Kerim Bey is one of the better Bond allies. - Why it's not higher: The helicopter scene should've just been omitted, especially when combined with the subsequent boat chase. It's just awkward to watch. - Most under-appreciated part: The gypsy scenes are quite exotic and entertaining.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The Most Heartfelt
- Why it's this high: James and Tracy's love story is charming, and when she dies at the end, this is the one and only time in the entire series where the viewer feels genuinely sad. Diana Rigg did an excellent job convincing the audience Bond could finally fall in love with one girl. The skiing scenes were beautifully filmed, and the score was exemplary. Personally, I quite liked Lazenby's take; however, some of his lines and jokes fall flat. To his credit, he looks and acts like Bond more than any other actor. - Why it's not higher: Honestly, it does drag at times in the first half, plus there is no theme song! - Most under-appreciated part: Bond's Aston Martin DBS is a beautiful car, combining 60's sports-car beauty with Aston Martin's elegance. Tier 1: The Best
Goldfinger: The quintessential Bond
- Why it's this high: From the opening ("Positively shocking") to the seduction of Pussy Galore at the end, this film has it all. Goldfinger is an all time great villain, while Odd Job is an exceptional henchman. Connery delivers a master performance, and drives THE classic Bond Car, ejector seat included. The reason I put it #1 is not necessarily because it is the best film (although it is great), it checks all the boxes of what a perfect Bond film should do. - Why it's not higher: I cannot think of any notable imperfections. - Most under-appreciated part: The golf scene between Bond and Goldfinger is a delight to watch, demonstrating Bond's wits for the first and only time on the golf course.
My take on fixing the "Star Wars" Sequel Trilogy (Part 2)
Part 1 is HERE, if you're curious. This is the first half of my reimagining of Episode VIII. I wanted to fit it all in one post, but it got a little long. I promise: I'll post the second half as soon as it's finished. FAIR WARNING: Full disclosure: I'm one of the Star Wars fans who liked The Last Jedi. In fact, I'd go so far as to call it my favorite movie in the Sequel Trilogy. No, I don't think it was perfect. No, I don't think you're a bad person if you didn't like it. But as I said in my last post, I firmly believe that the single biggest problem with the Sequel Trilogy is that it felt more like an extended tribute to the Original Trilogy than a meaningful continuation of its story; I also happen to believe that The Last Jedi was the major exception to that rule. Love it or hate it, it's hard to deny that The Last Jedi charted its own course, and it was anything but a safe slice of fanservice. It developed the central characters of the Original Trilogy in bold ways, it went out of its way to shake up the classic Star Wars formula, it explored an array of ambitious themes, and it actively avoided following the same plot structure as the Original Trilogy. It's also easily the most visually unique entry in the Sequel Trilogy, with multiple striking set-pieces that look absolutely nothing like anything in the Original Trilogy. The desolate island planet of Ahch-To, the swanky resort/casino of Canto Bight, and the red deserts and crystal caverns of Crait were nothing if not original. I'm not here to argue with people who disliked The Last Jedi; I think we're all pretty sick of arguing about that film by now. But I will tell you up-front: of my three reimaginings of the Sequel Trilogy, this one will be the least changed from the source material. Consider yourself forewarned. The story so far: Thirty years after the death of Emperor Palpatine, an uneasy peace reigns over the galaxy. The New Republic, a democratic regime founded by the heroes of the victorious Rebel Alliance, rules over most of the galaxy from the capital world of Coruscant, its mighty space fleet patrolling the spaceways from the Core Worlds to the Outer Rim. But in the wake of the mysterious disappearance of the legendary Jedi Knight known as Luke Skywalker, the future of the galaxy appears uncertain. Despite the New Republic's best intentions, most of the galaxy's wealth is concentrated in the hands of an elite group of traders and industrialists who profited from the rebuilding of the Core Worlds after the devastation of the Galactic Civil War. Since those dark days, divisions between rich and poor have left the vast majority of the galaxy's population living in squalor, leading to simmering tensions in even the most civilized worlds. On most habitable worlds, the New Republic keeps order with the aid of well-armed Planetary Security forces, who often use brutal methods to quell unrest and root out suspected radical groups. Amid this world of tension, an underground society known only as "The Resistance" claims to champion the ideals of Luke Skywalker, who once stood as a beacon of hope against the forces of tyranny and injustice. Some view the Resistance as dangerous radicals, but others see them as idealistic crusaders keeping the values of the old Rebel Alliance alive. Visually, this era of Star Wars is inspired less by pulp science-fiction of the '30s and '40s (Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, John Carter of Mars, Lensmen, etc.) and more by cyberpunk fiction of the '80s and '90s (Neuromancer, Snow Crash, Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, etc.). The Resistance aren't an upstanding crew of gallant freedom fighters—they're a morally ambiguous band of tattooed street punks who can usually be found hanging out in seedy night clubs at the heart of densely populated cities. "Planetary Security" aren't styled after goose-stepping Nazi Stormtroopers or SS Officers, but after modern-day American SWAT teams or riot cops. Rey didn't grow up on a Tatooine-esque desert planet covered in scrapyards, she grew up in the shantytowns of a sprawling planet-sized city. If you need a visual reference: think this, or this, or this. Anyway... In the Unknown Regions, the splintered remnants of the fallen Galactic Empire fight a long guerrilla war in the darkness of space, regularly launching surprise attacks on unprepared worlds in the Outer Rim as they spin plans to return the Empire to its former glory. Of the dozens of terrorist groups who continue to champion the Imperial cause, among the most merciless is "The First Order", an elusive band of fanatics led by the masked warrior Kylo Ren and his mysterious mentor known only as "The Oracle". Not too long ago, Kylo Ren and his companions (known as "The Knights of Ren") embarked on a mission to the desolate backwater planet of Eravana, looking for an aging old hermit called Lor San Tekka. As it turned out, San Tekka was a former member of the Jedi Order who was among the last people ever to see Luke Skywalker alive—and he possessed valuable information that held the key to revealing his old friend's whereabouts. In a brutal raid, Ren and his companions murdered San Tekka, took the encrypted map that he kept concealed in his necklace, and killed all witnesses in the nearby village that San Tekka guarded in his twilight years. But in the aftermath of the raid, one of Ren's loyal Stormtroopers—designated "FN-2187", but nicknamed "Finn"—suffered a crisis of conscience, and resolved to leave the First Order to defect to the New Republic. Believing that he could buy a new life with information on Luke Skywalker, he stole San Tekka's map and fled to the nearest inhabited world: a densely populated planet called Jakku covered by sprawling cities. Much to his dismay, Finn soon learned that it wouldn't be so easy to outrun his past. Not long after he arrived on Jakku, he found himself fighting for his life when the local Planetary Security force recognized him as a member of an Imperial loyalist group and tried to kill him on the spot. Soon after that, he learned that many of the New Republic's power-brokers were perfectly content to let Luke Skywalker stay in exile, viewing him as a dangerous revolutionary who would provoke unrest among the common people. While on the run from Planetary Security, Finn crossed paths with Rey, an orphaned young woman who was abandoned by her parents in the city's squalid shantytowns when she was just a girl. With the help of Rey and her trusty droid companion BB-8 (whom she built from spare parts), Finn sought out the local Resistance chapter in a seedy nightclub, knowing that they didn't share the New Republic's feelings on Luke Skywalker. Upon realizing that Lor San Tekka's map really did lead straight to Skywalker, the Resistance pledged their help in decoding the map, and offered to give Finn and Rey safe passage to their safehouse on the planet Takodana. After the Resistance made a call to a certain space pilot loyal to their cause, roguish Resistance agent Poe Dameron pledged to accompany Finn and Rey on their journey. With both Kylo Ren and Planetary Security hot on their trail, Finn, Rey, and Poe made a mad dash to Jakku's local spaceport, determined to make their rendezvous with the Resistance's pilot. Much to their surprise, they discovered that the pilot was none other than Han Solo, who had gone underground and joined the Resistance along with his faithful co-pilot Chewbacca. During the journey to Takodana, Han revealed that Kylo Ren was actually his son Ben Solo, a former pupil of Luke Skywalker who turned against him and destroyed his academy. While Han didn't know Luke's whereabouts, he also revealed that Luke vanished shortly after Ben's betrayal—possibly because he felt responsible for it. On Takodana, where the trio met Han's estranged wife Leia Organa—who had also gone underground and joined the Resistance—the Resistance set about decoding the map. Before they could, though, the Resistance's safehouse fell under an orbital strike from Kylo Ren, who had managed to track them to Takodana. Entering the safehouse with his Stormtroopers, Kylo took the encrypted map and captured Rey, then departed for his hidden fortress on the planet Ilum. Determined to reclaim the map and rescue Rey, Han took Finn, Poe, and Chewbacca to Ilum in the Falcon, secretly planning to confront his son and convince him to return to his family. After being interrogated by the First Order for information on Luke Skywalker, Rey miraculously managed to escape from her cell in Kylo's fortress by taking advantage of her latent sensitivity to the Force. Later, as Han entered the fortress with his companions in tow, he called out to his son by name after recognizing him from a distance—but Finn and Poe were forced to watch helplessly as a visibly conflicted Kylo ignited his lightsaber and stabbed his father through the chest, killing him. While making her way through the fortress in search of a way out, Rey accidentally stumbled upon Kylo's personal quarters, where he kept a shrine dedicated to his grandfather Anakin Skywalker, the man once known as "Darth Vader". Among the relics in the shrine was the distinctive black helmet that Anakin wore after his turn to the Dark Side, but also the lightsaber that he wielded as a Jedi—which was inherited by Luke Skywalker. Desperate for a weapon to defend herself, Rey took the lightsaber and instinctively ignited it when Kylo cornered her outside the fortress. In a fierce lightsaber duel, Rey surprisingly managed to hold her own against Kylo, and narrowly managed to escape with her life when Finn and Poe spotted her and picked her up in the Falcon. Rey, Finn, and Poe returned to Takodana with the map in hand, and finally managed to decode it, revealing that Luke Skywalker was on the distant ocean-covered planet of Ahch-To. But Leia, who had sensed Rey's budding sensitivity to the Force, urged Rey to make the journey to Ahch-To without her companions, hoping that Luke could teach her the ways of the Jedi and help her master her new abilities. Heeding Leia's advice, Leia boarded the Falcon with Chewbacca and R2-D2 as her co-pilots, and set course for Ahch-To. After a long flight over Ahch-To's endless seas, she landed on a strangely familiar island, which she seemed to remember from her dreams. On the island, a mysterious figure in a hooded robe stood before a lonely stone temple, seemingly waiting for her. When she held out Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber to the mysterious figure, he removed his hood—revealing the face of Luke Skywalker. And now, our story continues... STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII — THE LAST JEDI (Part 1) A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... (cue the fanfare) At the center of the New Republic, legendary freedom fighter Leia Organa returns to the capital world of Coruscant. Accompanied by her two newest companions, Leia prepares to call the galaxy to arms as a new war looms on the horizon. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren—the man once known as Ben Solo—gathers the forces of the sinister First Order for a desperate attack on the heart of the Republic, determined to strike back against the forces of the Resistance who once defied him. In the dark days to come, only the last of the Jedi can restore hope to the galaxy in the face of tyranny. After ten years in exile, Luke Skywalker must confront his destiny... After a long journey through space, a starship drops out of hyperspace in the orbit of a planet at the heart of the Galactic Core. At the bridge of the starship, Leia Organa looks down upon the surface of Coruscant—the world where her father once trained as a Jedi, and where her mother once represented her people as a member of the Galactic Senate. Nearby, Poe Dameron and Finn look down at the capital of the New Republic as their loyal companion BB-8 excitedly chirps and beeps. Finn, who was born on a backwater planet on the Outer Rim, is visibly awestruck at the sight of the planet. Poe, a hard-bitten member of the Resistance with no love for the New Republic, looks down on it with disdain. "This is it?" Finn asks. "Yeah, this is it," Poe says cynically. "The bright center of the universe..." Leia breathes deeply as her starship descends, preparing to dock at the spaceport. "A long time ago, I swore I'd never come back to this cess-pit," she says. "I hate to break a promise. But if we're gonna bring down the First Order, we're gonna need help.Something's coming—and I've got a bad feeling about it." In the darkened halls of his starship, Kylo Ren confers with his companions—the seven masked warriors known as "The Knights of Ren"—as he prepares for a meeting with his mentor "The Oracle". For the first time, we hear Kylo address the seven warriors by name, and it immediately becomes clear that Kylo (once called "Ben Solo") isn't the only one of them who cast aside his birth name. His companions (in no particular order) call themselves "Tarmin Ren", "Mokkar Ren", "Kadori Ren", "Shakar Ren", "Darro Ren", "Yandoss Ren", and "Vorjall Ren". As soon as we learn this, it becomes instantly clear that the surname "Ren" holds some personal significance for Kylo and his seven companions, and that each of them chose to take it. But what does it mean? "There are hard days coming," Kylo tells his companions. "The Force is strong with me, but I am no immortal. If I don't survive the battle to come, you must keep our crusade alive. Long ago, we swore an oath to each other. We swore that this war would only the beginning. Soon, we will embark on the final path toward ultimate power. But until then, you must stay on Ilum and await my return. Stay, train, and remember our oath." As the Knights of Ren bid farewell to Kylo and board a shuttle bound for their fortress on the planet Ilum, Kylo steps into the personal chambers of the Oracle. The Oracle's skin is deathly pale, his limbs are long and distorted, half of his face is covered in a horrific burn, and electrical wires extend under his skin like nerves. Upon seeing him in person, we see that he's strapped to a reclining chair and attached to a life-support machine, and is seemingly too frail and injured to stand. When he speaks, his voice warbles and reverberates with electronic sounds. A holographic monitor above his head displays his heartbeats and brainwaves, and seven armed warriors dressed in identical red armor—his Praetorian Guard—surround him at all times. "My worthy disciple..." the Oracle breathes. "It's coming, Oracle," Kylo says. "The day that you foresaw. The death of the New Republic draws near." "And yet, my visions tell of something else," the Oracle says. "Skywalker lives. The seed of the Jedi Order lives. As long as it does, hope lives in the galaxy." "It won't matter," Kylo says. "I'll burn down everything he built. If Skywalker would return, let him rule over dust and ash." "You forget, boy... I know of what you seek. You and your companions. This war is only the beginning. And when the day comes to seek out the ultimate power, you will not find it without me." "I've forgotten nothing, Oracle," Kylo says, bowing. "And I promise you this: when that day comes, the New Republic will not stand in our way." On the planet Ahch-To, we rejoin Rey. On a barren rock at the center of an endless ocean, she approaches Luke Skywalker and presents him with his father's lightsaber—the noble weapon entrusted to him by his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi, which was seemingly lost forever on Cloud City. Luke steps forward and accepts the lightsaber, clasping it in his metallic hand. For a moment, he seems overcome by memories of his past. But as soon as that moment passes, he nonchalantly tosses the weapon over his shoulder, then walks away without a word. Perplexed, Rey tries to follow him, even as she gradually realizes that the legendary "Sky-Walker" has been changed profoundly by his time in isolation. A far cry from the dashing, handsome war hero worshipped by the Resistance, Luke's hair and beard have grown long, his face is wind-burned, and he dresses in weather-beaten robes. At the top of a hill, she sees a simple hut built of mossy stones, where Luke has apparently lived for 10 long years without a soul for company. As he trudges up to the top of the hill, walks into his hut, and slams the door in her face, he never once glances back at his old lightsaber. Undaunted, Rey follows him into his hut, with Chewbacca following close behind. Luke does his best to blow them off, but Rey persists, following him around the rugged island as he goes about his daily chores. After telling Luke about her recent experiences, Rey insists that she won't leave until Luke trains her in the ways of the Force. Although Luke is devastated to learn of the death of his old friend Han Solo, he stubbornly refuses to train Rey. Having clearly become bitter and jaded in his old age, Luke insists that his training couldn't do Rey any good. "Something inside me has always been there," Rey says. "And now it's awake. And I'm afraid. I don't know what it is, or what to do with it. And I need help!" "You need a teacher. I can't teach you," Luke says. "I will never train another generation of Jedi. I came to this island to die. It's time for the Jedi to end." Rey is utterly shocked to hear Luke so callously reject the Jedi, but she still can't bring herself to abandon her mission. When night falls, she goes to sleep outside Luke's hut, planning to ask him again in the morning. Later that night, Luke creeps into the Millennium Falcon while Rey sleeps, and he finds himself overcome by his old memories as he walks through the familiar hallways of the spaceship that once took him on a fateful journey to the Death Star. While on his way out, he unexpectedly bumps into his trusty old droid R2-D2, who is ecstatic to see his master again after ten long years. Artoo pleads with Luke to leave his self-imposed exile and return to the Republic, but Luke still refuses—until Artoo tugs at his heartstrings by playing the holographic message from Princess Leia that once spurred him to leave Tatooine to fulfill his destiny. As Luke hears the familiar words "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi—you're my only hope!", he realizes that he can't deny who he truly is. He promises Rey that he will begin training her at dawn, but tells her that he will only give her three lessons on the Force. Back on his starship, Kylo Ren strides from the Oracle's chamber and walks into another room. The room is empty—but when he presses a button on the wall, the lights dim, and the room is filled with a massive hologram. Kylo suddenly finds himself at the center of a massive auditorium filled with shadowed figures, all of them dressed in the traditional colors of the old Galactic Empire. Some of them dress in blood-red armor, others in crisp black naval uniforms, others in white robes; in one corner of the auditorium, we see a group of men in grey chainmail with faces covered in black tattoos. "Who summons us?" one man calls out in a mocking voice. "Another pretender to the Imperial throne?" Kylo steps into the light. "I am Kylo Ren—master of the Knights of Ren, and Supreme Commandant ofthe First Order!" he responds. "I am no pretender, and I have come to claim no throne. Only my destiny." Cruel laughter fills the room. "And what of you?" Kylo asks. "Make yourselves known." One by one, the leaders of the various assembled groups step out of the shadows and announce themselves. "The Commander ofthe Crimson Legionstands present!" "The Admiral ofthe Black Fleetstands present!" "The Sovereign ofthe Dark Chosenstands present!" "The Lord ofthe True Sithstands present!" In our last adventure, it was well-established that the First Order are just one of many terrorist organizations formed from the splintered remnants of the fallen Empire, and they've been fighting a protracted guerrilla war against the New Republic while hiding in the Unknown Regions. Now, for the first time, we get a real idea of just how many Imperial loyalists groups are really hiding out on the fringes of the Galaxy. And for the first time in a long while, the leaders of the most powerful groups have come together to discuss an alliance. Some of them are partisan soldiers, others are Dark Side cultists, others command pirate space fleets, and some are adept warriors who practice the secret martial disciplines once wielded by Palpatine's elite Royal Guard. They all have their own private missions and agendas, but they all share a common dream: the eradication of the New Republic, and the rebirth of the Galactic Empire. "The New Republic has spread like a cancer. It is a parasite, corrupting the heart of a galaxy that was once great," Kylo says. "On Coruscant, where the Imperial Palace once stood, the bureaucrats of the Senate rule over a kingdom of beggars and thieves, bowing to the whims of the weak and the cowardly! But I know the same sacred truth that Palpatine knew: the Galaxy belongs only to the strong!" A murmur of approval echoes through the room—but one of Kylo's invited guests remains skeptical. "And you mean to challenge them, do you? Shall the fleet of the New Republic bow to a half-grown boy?" As an answer, Kylo pulls a familiar object from the folds of his cloak and holds it up to the light. His guests gasp in shock as they get a good look at it. It's Darth Vader's helmet! "They will bow to the heir of Darth Vader!" he calls, his voice echoing through the chamber. "Who are you, Ren?" the skeptical guest asks. "Who are you, truly?" A sly smile crosses Kylo's lips. "Once, my name wasBen Solo," he says. "My father was a lowborn smuggler. My mother, raised by the Queen of Alderaan, was the daughter of a Jedi Knight. His name wasAnakin Skywalker—but you knew him by another name." Kylo ignites his lightsaber as he holds Vader's helmet aloft. "I fight in the name of my grandfather, who once led the Empire to victory. I remember those who came before me. And when the time comes, I ask only that youtake what is yours." After a long silence, someone finally speaks. "What do you propose?" he asks. Once again, Kylo smiles. "Stay vigilant for word from Coruscant," he says. On Coruscant, Leia disembarks from her starship with Finn, Poe, and BB-8 in tow, and she's promptly greeted by mobs of spectators—some of whom clearly adore her, and some of whom apparently despise her. Since she went underground and joined the Resistance years earlier, Leia hasn't been seen in public in a long time, much less on the capital planet of the New Republic. A short distance away, Leia's destination looms above the crowds. It's the Galactic Senate Chamber—the building where Palpatine declared himself Emperor over half a century ago. She doesn't say a word, but the implication is clear: Leia has come to address the Senate on the threat of the First Order. Just like her mother, who once appeared before the Senate to call for aid on behalf of her people, Leia plans to call for aid against those who would keep Palpatine's dream alive. Inside the Senate Chamber, a massive multi-species delegation of planetary representatives has gathered to hear Leia's testimony. Before she approaches the platform at the center of the chamber, she orders Poe and Finn to wait on the sidelines for her. "It's been seven years since your last public appearance," one Senator says, as Leia takes the stand. "What urgent matter begs the attention of a princess?" Derisive laughter echoes through the chamber, but Leia stays passive. "I was a princess once," Leia says pensively. "I was a rebel. A diplomat. A smuggler's lover. It never really mattered to me. At heart, I've only ever been a soldier." "Once, perhaps," the Senator fires back. "This is peacetime, Your Highness. Have you forgotten that?" "I don't forget many things," Leia says. "Can you say the same?" A murmur of unrest echoes through the chamber. The Senator, unamused, proceeds forward. "Speak your piece, Your Highness," he says coldly. "You have the floor." True to his word, Luke gives Rey her first lesson in the Force in the early morning hours, encouraging her to reach out with her feelings while meditating at the top of a mountain. As Rey feels herself mentally connecting with the life around her, Luke tells her that the Force pervades all things, and all things achieve balance through the Force. Life and Death, Light and Darkness, Birth and Decay, and all of the forces that shape the universe itself. Rey realizes that she feels that same Force within herself. While the Force once gave the Jedi great power, Luke believes that the Jedi were undone by their arrogance when they convinced themselves that the Force belonged to them. As he tells Rey: even if the Jedi die out, the Force can never truly fade away—and the people of the Galaxy don't need the Jedi to teach them how to connect with the Force. "And this is the lesson," Luke says. "The Force does not belong to the Jedi. To say that if the Jedi die the Light dies is vanity. Can you feel that?" But Rey's lesson suddenly takes a dark turn when Rey senses something truly powerful and truly evil: a dark cavern beneath Luke's island temple, where the Dark Side of the Force gathers and festers. Something in the cavern calls out to her, promising to answer every question that she's asked herself since she was young. Despite Luke's warnings, Rey finds herself drawn to the darkness, forcing Luke to cut her lesson short. Visibly disturbed, Luke realizes that Rey's connection to the Force might be stronger than he realized—and she might be more susceptible to the allure of the Dark Side than he feared. "That place was trying to show me something," Rey says. "It offered you something you needed," Luke says. "And you didn't even try to stop yourself! I've seen this raw strength only once before, in Ben Solo. It didn't scare me enough then. It does now." As Luke strides away, Rey contemplates the unsteady ground beneath her feet, wondering what the cave was trying to show her. "I think my report speaks for itself," Leia says, at the conclusion of a short speech before the Senate. "Yes, quite..." the Senator says. "A terrorist base on Ilum? A fanatic with a lightsaber?" "A fanatic with a lightsaber and an army," Leia corrects him. "Kylo Ren is more than a terrorist. He has ambition. He has charisma. And he has power. Power like I haven't felt in years. Not since..." Leia's voice falters as she remembers her first encounter with her father as an adult. She doesn't finish her sentence, but her thoughts are clear: "Not since I stared Darth Vader in the face." "By all means, Your Highness..." the Senator says, rolling his eyes. "Indulge us with your murmurings about ripples in the Force!" Mocking laughter echoes through the chamber. It's immediately clear that few of the Senators take the Force seriously, dismissing it as an ignorant superstition. For the first time since she arrived on Coruscant, Leia raises her voice. Anger flashes in her eyes as she silences the laughter with a single word. "QUIET!" she yells. "Don't you ever forget: I fought on the frontlines with the Rebel Alliance! I gave everything I had to their cause, and I nearly died for it! I haven't forgotten what I fought against. Thirty years ago, I learned the true meaning of evil, and I stared it down and held my ground. The Dark Side isn't a fairy tale. Believe in it, or don't. It'll rip your heart out just the same." Sufficiently goaded, the Senator rises to his feet. "You would dare befoul this chamber with your superstitious clamor?" he fires back. "And shall we be lectured on evil by the daughter of Darth Vader?" All around the chamber, Senators audibly gasp. Leia stares down her adversary from across the length of the room, and his lips curl into an arrogant sneer. He has mentioned her greatest shame—the one that she could never overcome. "We haven't forgotten the past," the Senator says. "We remember what happened when the Jedi were allowed free reign. We remember what happened when the people of the Galaxy vainly put their faith in the Force. And we remember the Jedi who sat at the Emperor's right hand. Rest assured: the past will not repeat itself. If the Jedi would die, then let them die." Leia's lips tremble as she struggles to speak. "The Jedi aren't dead," she says. "There's one left. And he won't stay gone forever." "Luke Skywalker..." the Senator says derisively. "You say that you've foreseen a dark future for this Republic. So tell us, Your Highness: when that future comes, will one old man be enough to save us?" Leia takes a deep breath. "For all our sakes, I hope so." Kylo Ren's starship drops out of hyperspace, accompanied by dozens of First Order ships. As the fleet courses through the darkness of space, we see that they're flying in formation around a strange-looking starcraft that doesn't look quite like anything we've seen before. Its body is elongated, it's covered with transparent viewing windows, and glowing orbs endlessly spin around its midsection, pulsing and crackling with powerful energy. At the bridge of his flagship, Kylo sits behind a control panel. In the viewing window, a planet comes into view. It's Coruscant. Kylo Ren and the First Order have come to the capital of the New Republic. "Remember the plan," Kylo says to his officers. "And ready theStar Hammer. We've only got one shot at this!" In a pristine Planetary Security station at the heart of Coruscant—similar to the one we saw on Jakku—uniformed officers monitor a series of holographic computer banks, which display Coruscant's defense grid of armed orbital satellites. Suddenly, one by one, the computer monitors begin flashing bright red. "Something's not right..." a Planetary Security officer says, suddenly worried. "We're losing contact with our orbital defense grid!" As his starship enters Coruscant's orbit, Kylo keys a command into a computer panel. Back in the Planetary Security station on the surface of the planet, a look of abject horror crosses one officer's face. "No..." he breathes. "That's not possible!" "What's going on?" his commander asks. "It's our defense grid... We can't get a signal through, but our satellites are still moving on their own! They're turning—and they're aiming at the surface of the planet!" In an instant, the commander realizes what's happening: someone has hacked Coruscant's defense grid, and they're attacking the planet with its own defenses! The commander begins barking orders to his subordinants. "Send a message to every security station on the planet: the capital is under attack!" he yells. In the Senate Chamber, Leia and the Senator stare each other down. But before either of them can say another word, the building shakes, and the ground rumbles. Outside, a massive barrage of laser-fire rains down from the sky as the hacked satellites fire at the surface of Coruscant. Within moments, the center of the city is in flames. Buildings buckle and collapse, and the screams and cries of dying civilians echo through the streets. Inside the Senate Chamber, a Planetary Security squad rushes inside and orders the assembled Senators to evacuate. As the terrified politicians prepare to follow the Planetary Security officers to the nearest spaceport, one of the officers points to Leia. "You! Come with us, Your Highness. We have orders to evacuate you separately!" Leia gestures to Finn and Poe, who look around in terror and confusion as Coruscant collapses around them. "I'm not leaving alone," Leia says. "They're coming with me!" Together, Leia and her companions make a mad dash to the spaceport as chaos erupts all around them. In the skies above Coruscant, the First Order's warships come into view as they unleash a hellish artillery barrage on the buildings below. After a long run to the spaceport, the Planetary Security officers direct Leia to her ride off of Coruscant. To her surprise, it's not a civilian transport—it's the Comet Chaser, a warship in the New Republic space fleet. "You've been designated a critical asset by New Republic High Command!" the officer says. "You have intelligence on the First Order. That means we want you by our side." They board the Comet Chaser. Evading enemy fire, the warship takes off into the sky to join the unfolding space battle. But the worst is yet to come... In Coruscant's orbit, Kylo's elongated spacecraft—the mighty Star Hammer—charges its central reactor, and the glowing orbs spinning around its midsection begin to speed up. On the bridge of his starship, Kylo lays his hands on his control panel and begins making a complex gesture with his hands. The spinning orbs around the Star Hammer's midsection begin to speed up—and somewhere in the distance, a massive object approaches Coruscant... Back in the Planetary Security station on Coruscant's surface, one of the monitoring computers goes haywire. Heads turn as it begins beeping a shrill warning siren. "Something's coming..." one of the officers says. "Gravity fluctuations are off the chart! Whatever it is, it's big!" When he realizes what he's looking at, the commanding officer's mouth hangs open in shock. "No..." In the orbit of Coruscant, we zoom in on the Star Hammer as it shoots a burst of iridescent blue energy into the distance and hits Coruscant's moon. Finally, we realize what the Star Hammer is doing: it's an advanced superweapon that controls gravity, and it's caught Coruscant's moon in a powerful tractor beam. Now, as the First Order rains destruction down on the the New Republic's capital, it's preparing to hurl the moon at the surface of Coruscant, forcing the two celestial bodies into a massive collision that will wipe out all life on the planet. As the moon moves inexorably toward the surface of Coruscant, hundreds of civilian transports take off, desperately attempting to flee to freedom. On the surface of Coruscant, all Hell breaks loose as the moon comes into view, looming large over the seas of panicking civilians on the ground. Earthquakes tear through the surface of the planet, the ground splits open, and buildings collapse by the dozens. The Republic space fleet can repel an enemy space fleet, but they can't fight the raw power of gravity. Somewhere in the distance, Republic starships attempt to fight their way through the First Order's battle lines to take a shot at the Star Hammer and stop the moon—but it's already too late. As the Comet Chaser carries them into space, Finn and Poe can only watch in awe and horror as the moon slams into Coruscant, obliterating the New Republic's capital within moments. Far away, on another starship, a man dressed in Imperial colors watches the destruction of Coruscant unfold on a holographic viewscreen. As we soon see, it's the same man who skeptically dismissed Kylo at his gathering. Suddenly, Kylo's face appears in his viewscreen as he sends him a transmission from Coruscant. He leans in close, staring coldly. "Do I have your attentionnow?" Kylo asks. TL;DR: My version of The Last Jedi begins with Kylo Ren and the First Order forming a massive alliance of terrorist groups who continue to champion the cause of the Galactic Empire. While Rey trains with Luke on Ahch-To, Finn and Poe accompany Leia to the New Republic capital of Coruscant, where Leia attempts to warn the Galactic Senate of the threat of the First Order. Despite her best efforts, Leia's warnings are ignored by the Senate, who dismiss her visions of the rebirth of the Dark Side as superstitious prattle. In the middle of Leia's speech before the Senate, the First Order launches a shocking attack on the capital, using an experimental weapon known as "The Star Hammer" (which controls gravity) to hurl Coruscant's moon at the surface of the planet, wiping out most life on Coruscant. Amid the chaos, Leia narrowly manages to escape in a New Republic warship with Finn and Poe—but the First Order's attack turns out to be the first step in a coordinated assault, signaling Imperial loyalists all across the Galaxy to emerge from the shadows and attack the Republic. Additionally: the Knights of Ren have names, and it's established that they all use the surname "Ren"—hinting that the name holds some personal significance for them. And in a conversation between Kylo Ren and his mysterious mentor "The Oracle", it's hinted that Kylo's war with the New Republic is just the first step in a quest for ultimate power.
Oct 15, 2017 - Explore Debbie Manning's board "Casino Royale", followed by 988 people on Pinterest. See more ideas about casino party, party, casino. May 28, 2015 - Explore Sienna Rose Lord's board "Casino Royale Prom theme." on Pinterest. See more ideas about casino, casino royale, casino theme parties. Any casino-themed party is not complete without the appropriate outfits, and while there are tons of different ideas for casino parties of every shape and size, it’s always good to back to the roots of what made casinos what they are today: Las Vegas. The city of Las Vegas changed the face of both North America and the world, introducing us to all the entertainment and fun that casinos had ... So we re-created Caterina Murino red dress in movie "Casino Royale" at the affordable price, using the most similar fabric and the design are absolutely the same. Caterina Murino Casino Royale dress was a floor length formal evening prom gown, featuring a-line silhouette, lace-up back design and a slit at the skirt. Casino Royale fashion. Elegant dresses, jewels, and stilettos are all de rigueur for a Casino Royale party. Don’t be the guest that shows up in jeans, cotton, or bright prints, you may be asked to leave. Aim for Bond Girl fabulous with long evening dresses, thigh high slits, satin, lace or velvet. Diamonds, real or fake, are encouraged, the ... A Casino Royale casino theme party lets you recreate James Bond’s famous casino scenes. This is a party with class! Your guests are all dressed to the nines, chandeliers light up the room, and a bartender mixes drinks behind an old oak bar. Waiters make rounds of the room to offer champagne and canapes. Maybe you’ve even invited your frenemies for some 007-style scandal and intrigue! Apr 4, 2017 - Explore Marlene Bayley's board "casino royale dress" on Pinterest. See more ideas about fancy dresses, evening dresses, gowns. Dress-Code. It’s a Casino Royale party, so naturally, you want to have a certain dress-code that’s appropriate for the theme. For men, you want tuxedoes and nothing else. You are throwing a classic Agent 007 theme party after all. That said, you may want to give some leeway as to the color of the tuxedo and the design because having each guest wear the same kind of tuxedo could make the ... Casino Royale Dress Code. Now if you are planning to be a part of the glitz and glam of Casino Royale and make like a Bond character, all you have to do is turn up at the entrance looking like the best version of yourself.. That’s right! The casino has a dress code. Although you would not have to waltz in with a designer tuxedo or a luxurious evening gown, there are certain ground rules ... You should never show up to a casino looking like you just rolled out of bed. You need to bring your fashion A-game to the table, and show up looking like you want to win. Glitz and Glam, Casino Style . Some casinos, like those in Las Vegas, are all about the glitz and glamor. If you're planning a night in Vegas, you want to dress in pieces that sparkle and shine. For women, go with a standout ...
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