The blog of Kwan is home to Kwan's Old & Bad movie reviews as well as Theoretical Inquiry; a series of writing that takes a look at a large variety of theories ranging from religion to popculture and icons; with the sole intent to uncover the one thing in life that matters: truth

Thursday, February 9, 2017


In fiction, Zombies are considered to be animated corpses that plague humanity with the intent to feast on human brains. Today, Zombies are one of the most over used, repetitive forms of undead creatures seen in movies, becoming all too predictable and boring. In nearly all forms of media they appear  in, zombies haven't done anything significant to differentiate themselves from previous installments in the genre. Because of this revelation, I never could understand how something like this phenomenon would grow to the heights it was able to reach, when most of the movies about them were pretty much mediocre with a seriously weak, basic plot; survive the mindless flesh eating creature. Despite this, many still love these creatures and revere them as a horror movie staple, along with Vampires and Werewolves. To be fair, they have earned that right.

In recent years, zombies have been receiving new films as well as a TV series; further  proving Zombie lore is still relevant and interesting to the mass majority of it's viewers. I myself have never been particularly intrigued by the concept of a walking corpse who tries to devour your flesh, carrying with it the potential to infect others to become just like them after I reached a certain age, so much of it held no true importance to me, but for many that was not the case. Once you break it down, as repetitive and one dimensional as the concept has become, Zombie lore is clever for one reason; the survival aspect. Due to the nature of their films, zombies play off our natural fears when it comes to our own preservation of survival. As a result, the concept also personifies viruses; which can elevate to the same magnitude of a plague, often presenting  themselves as the embodiment of what a plague means.

For many fans of the genre, blood and gore had always been a consistent factor, however, this is only a fraction of what the atmosphere presents to it's viewers. As a result, audiences across the globe are given an opportunity to observe a unique phenomenon; experiencing, a plethora of harsh, relentless, and disturbing, survival methods. Due to the atmosphere of their films, zombie lore allows one to ponder, "What if they are real?", "How would I survive"? Resulting in some who go to great lengths to create their own methods for each situation, both mentally and physically; whether it's for the purpose of excitement or based on superstitious fear, while others regard their existence in the media as a metaphor for humanity's growing dependence on technology.

In closing, Zombie films as well as their TV series have become predictable, repetitive, and highly overrated. However, these creatures deserve praise for what the concept was able to achieve, exploiting our primal instincts, challenging us mentally, and personifying human fears, which provides us with more insight in the form of a psychological experience presented in one of the best metaphorical exhibitions found in this genre. Despite their flaws, surviving zombies as a theme in any form of media, captures our natural curiosity, and fuels our need to survive.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Coming soon

This year I will be working on my next big series: Black Historical Figures! The series will focus on a large number of African American men and women who are underrated figures in history. Originally created the series as a small section of articles where I would give a brief summary on each person with a link to discover their history, however I wasn't satisfied with that and decided to make videos covering the details of their lives for people to learn. Since I plan to make the videos like a documentary this will be bigger than my usual projects and will take some time to set things in motion. Stay tuned for more info in the future.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Media Dissection: Is Captain America: Civil War better than Batman v Superman?

After watching Captain America: Civil War, the only thing I would say is comparable to Batman V Superman story-wise is the lack of decent motivation by their main characters. Beyond that the movies are pretty much night and day and can't be placed in the same light like some have claimed. Between the two I would say that Civil War is the better movie for these specific reasons: 1. Since the MCU was able to establish most of the characters in their own stand alone features and made subtle connections between each of them, this allowed the conflict with the characters in this film to feel more natural, because we know of their history on screen along with the relationships they developed which is what led up to the events unfolding.

2. Compared to Batman v Superman, Civil War is better structured and far more cohesive as a story. One of the major criticisms of Civil War has been the plot centering mostly on Bucky and Steve's friendship, to be fair what the plot ended dissolving into was underwhelming compared to what many expected of it (same can be said for it's resolution), however the story itself wasn't bad considering it borrowed small elements from the comic version (lol very small), which opened an interesting debate that would be a topic of interest in the real world regarding superheroes. In contrast, BvS's story felt rushed and unorganized.

3. The movie served as a great opportunity to expand upon the universe and introduce more fan favorites who will be getting movies this year and next year. Unlike BvS, Civil War utilized these characters in a smart way rather than cramming them in extremely small cameos that felt more like padding than anything else.

4. One of the other complaints about the movie and even the MCU as a whole (minus their Netflix shows), is how it comes off as light, childish, and lacking some kind of grittiness that comes with mature storytelling; the problem with that is interpretation. Throughout the first half of the film, there were several instances of adult themes on display. Could they have gone darker? Yes they could have, but would that make it better? Not really. As much as I love the more adult themed side of comics, making everything dark and gloomy in comic based movies doesn't make up for shitty writing.

Beyond that though I wouldn't say it was a perfect movie by any means. Cap's motivation appeared bias as fuck once you throw in the plot centered on Bucky. Before that it held up better, but went downhill as it went on. Had they stuck with the angle and expanded on a better argument on Cap's side without him blindly defending Barnes it would have been better. Noticed a plot hole or continuity issue in the movie that you'll know what I mean if you have been watching Luke Cage. The resolution of Civil War was underwhelming. Not to say the fight scene before it wasn't epic, but the ending was average, nothing overly spectacular. Overall I would give this movie a B+. It was a good movie that had some incredible fight scenes, but the potency of the plot loses it's edge once you run pass midway.

Many of the problems found in Batman v Superman centered around the portrayals of Clark and Lex Luthor. Superman did not embody the symbol of hope in this film and expressed no form of a moral code and does not have any regrets on things which should matter to a person making themselves out as earths protector you should have some warmth to you that presents the hope you claim to stand for.  In fact his whole issue with Batman and his methods making no sense and serves as an incredible contradiction. The concept of Luther's character wasn't bad, but it was the delivery of his portrayal that felt off and he could have done better. Considering I have seen him do better with roles of talented geniuses, I was disappointed he didn't go deeper....

In the end, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice could have been a much greater movie than it was; it had the potential to be the greatest comic book movie of 2016 with two of the most iconic characters in the world of fiction, however the film failed to deliver and suffered from poor writing, incoherent storytelling, and an inaccurate portrayal of comic book characters.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Clayton vs. Gaston

                                                                        Character bios

Clayton: After joining an expedition to Africa, William Cecil Clayton served as a guide and bodyguard to professor Porter and his daughter Jane. As a result, Clayton appeared to be a chivalrous gentleman, using his experience as a hunter to protect the Porters on their journey.  Once the trio began their search for Gorillas in the African jungle, Jane wanders off and is pursued by a group of baboons. Despite this encounter, Jane manages to survive after being liberated by a Wildman. With the introduction of Tarzan, Clayton made several attempts to gain the location of his gorilla family; However, Tarzan was unable to cooperate since Jane's teachings were a distraction. A few days later, a cargo ship arrives to pick up the explorers.

As the captain's crew began to pack their luggage, Jane tries to reason with the Captain, requesting more time to explore. However, the commander denies her requests due to his fear of falling behind Schedule.  As a result, Clayton blames the young maiden for wasting their resources to educate a Wildman. Once his plans appear to be thwarted, Clayton prepares for his journey back to England until he subsequently discovers Tarzan's affection for Jane. As a result, the poacher manipulates Tarzan's emotions, causing him to release his family's location. Not long after the trio meet the gorillas in his troop, Tarzan's adopted father, Kerchak attempts to kill Clayton. Because of this, Tarzan wrestles Kerchak to the ground and places his father in a chokehold. Eventually Clayton reveals his true nature once he betrays the Wildman's trust and captures all the gorillas in his troop. 

Despite the poacher's best efforts, Tarzan managed to rescue his family from captivity. As a result, Clayton opens fire on the jungle king, killing his father in the process. After the death of Kerchak, Clayton engages in a fierce battle with his former ally. Near the climax of their confrontation, Clayton descends into madness and loses his life after being hanged.

Gaston: Once regarded as the local hero, Gaston was a an arrogant, hunter who owned a large tavern; located in a small French, village. As a hunter, Gaston gained popularity after killing several animals, collecting their heads as trophies. After returning from a hunting trip, Gaston pursued an intelligent young woman named Belle. Despite his status amongst the women in his village, Belle, often rejected his advances, showing no signs of romantic interest. As a result, Gaston became smitten with her beauty and attempted to gain her affection with an organized wedding; However, Belle managed to escape his proposal. In order to lift his spirits, villagers in the tavern begin to sing about the hunters greatness. Not long after the festivities, Belle's eccentric father; Maurice, arrives at the tavern and warns the villagers that his daughter was  being held captive by a monster. Despite his best efforts, the villagers find his claims to be absurd and throw him out of the tavern.

As a result, Gaston Seizes the moment at hand, striking a deal with  Monsieur D'Arque; owner of the local asylum, to blackmail the young maiden with allusions pertaining to her father's captivity. After Maurice returns to the cottage with his daughter, Gaston assembles the villagers and alerts the asylum owner. Once the villagers have gathered outside, D'Arque orders his men to drag Maurice towards their carriage. As the men prepared to carry her father away, the arrogant, hunter pressures the young woman into marriage with threats alluding to him serving time in a mental institution. Appalled by his actions, Belle refused to marry Gaston and managed to prove her father's claims by using the magic mirror that the monster gave her. Once his plans begin to unravel, Gaston descends into madness and grabs the mirror from Belle. Consumed by anger, Gaston manipulates the villagers to storm the monster's castle. In order to spare the prince's life, Belle tries to reason with the hunter, but ultimately fails once he discovers her affections for the beast.

As Gaston reached the castle of the cursed prince, the hunter and his troops manage to infiltrate the monster's fortress. After the villagers began to raid his castle, Adam's servants launch an attack on the intruders, forcing them to retreat. Amidst the chaos of their battle, Gaston sneaks into the prince's room and fires an arrow at the monster. As the creature writhed in pain, Gaston knocks him through a glass window and kicks the monster off the balcony. Near the climax of their confrontation, the cursed prince begins to fight back, using his strength to knock the hunter off balance. As the fight continues, the monstrous beast grabs his enemy by the throat and holds him over the roof. Once Belle appears in the courtyard, Adam tells the hunter to leave; However, Gaston stabs him instead. In the end, Gaston loses his balance and ultimately falls to his death.

                                                             Combat skills/ weaponry

Clayton: As a hunter, Clayton is a skilled gunmen, brandishing a 12 gauge double barrel shotgun and a machete. Although it wasn't made clear as to which model he used, based on his preference for high quality craftsmanship, the best comparison for his weapon, is the Purdey, London, best 12 gauge double barreled shotgun. ca. 1886. The Purdey DB shotgun is a long range fire arm with a 12 gauge double barrel made from steel, with 1/2" wood butt extension under a 1/2" horn butt plate. Clayton's bullets consist of two shells; which are self contained cartridges that have been loaded with multiple small, metallic projectiles. In combat Clayton appears to be a brawler and hasn't displayed any significant skill in hand to hand combat, relying on his shotgun to devastate his opponents. However; judging by his build in addition to the high interest in boxing during his era, it can be implied that Clayton was exposed to the sport and might have been trained in the art of boxing. In terms of melee weapons, Clayton used his machete for short-range offense/defensive tactics.

Gaston:  As a prominent figure in his village, Gaston was a very skilled marksman, displaying a high level of proficiency with a bow and arrow, in addition to his mastery of the Blunderbuss, a single shot, muzzle loading firearm with a short, 54 caliber barrel, which is made from solid steel and is flared at the muzzle, taking the shape of a trumpet. The Blunderbuss is a short range weapon and typically uses a set of 100, 54 caliber round, lead balls. In terms of melee weapons; Gaston brandished a hunting knife in order to perform a short range offensive/defensive strategy. Despite his initial lack of intelligence, Gaston proved he can be very manipulative and cunning, black mailing Belle to take his hand in marriage in addition to persuading the villagers to attack the beast's castle. In combat Gaston appears to be a brawler who is capable of beating multiple men, using his strength and size to pummel his opponents into submission.

Edge: As a villain, Gaston displayed a cunning and manipulative nature, exploiting the ignorance of the villagers in addition to bribing the owner of the local asylum in order to blackmail a woman to marry him; however, Clayton is much more methodical and deceptive. In his first appearance, Clayton was several steps ahead of his adversary, examining his every move, patiently waiting to set his plan in motion, before luring him into a trap. In terms of combat, both hunters appear to be brawlers without any known training in hand to hand, making it hard to determine which villain is the superior fighter. Based on Clayton's muscular build in addition to the popularity of boxing during his era, one could argue that the hunter might have trained in the sport, which would give him a slight advantage. However, this claim is mostly speculative and hasn't officially been proven. When it comes to their weapons; both hunters are exceptionally skilled gunmen. Gaston's Blunderbuss is a well crafted fire arm that is powerful enough to cause a significant amount of damage at close range, but Clayton's shotgun provides him with a longer range, quicker re-load, and is much more efficient. Clayton gets the edge in combat skills/ weaponry.

                                                                       Powers/ abilities


Strength- Clayton is strong enough to support the bulk of Tarzan's weight while standing on one foot, as the jungle king himself remained standing on the poacher's leg. In his final battle with Tarzan, Clayton managed to cut through thick vines and held his own against the wounded jungle king in a brief skirmish.

Speed-  Clayton is extremely fast, moving at speeds far beyond the average capacity of a normal human, placing him among the ranks of athletes in peak physical condition.

Agility- Despite his high level of speed, Clayton is not particularly agile. In his battle with Tarzan, Clayton may have held the upper hand against a weakened Tarzan, but he was unable to outmaneuver the Wildman and hasn't shown any skill to suggest he was capable of performing a high level of evasive action.

Durability- Clayton possessed a high level of durability and was capable of  wrestling a weakened Tarzan. The hunter managed to survive a 20 foot drop after tanking several hits from thick tree branches without any apparent effort.


Strength- Gaston possesses  an incredible measure of physical strength, lifting three fully grown women with one hand. In his battle with prince Adam, Gaston  managed to hold his own against the beast's superhuman level of strength. The hunter was strong enough to knock the beast through a glass window and was capable of kicking him off the roof with one foot.

Speed- Gaston is incredibly fast and is capable of reaching speeds above the average capacity of a normal human, which places him among the ranks of Olympic level athletes in peak physical condition.

Agility-  Despite his athletic build and speed, Gaston hasn't displayed any notable feats of agility. In his fight with the Beast, Gaston managed to dominate the fight, but hasn't shown anything to suggest he is capable of outmaneuvering opponents in combat.

Durability- Gaston displayed a high level of durability, taking hits from several men in a brawl. The hunter managed to survive a fight with the beast after being tackled and slammed hard onto the roof of the castle. .

Edge: In strength, Gaston is capable of lifting 300 lbs. with one hand and managed to grapple with a monster who possessed superhuman strength, while Clayton could barely handle wrestling against a weakened Tarzan. When it comes to their speed and agility, both opponents appear to be equal. However; due to his age, Gaston is slightly more agile. Despite Clayton's ability to catch up with Tarzan after a long drop, his speed in this instant is a product of circumstance rather than natural skill, since the advantage was not consistent. In terms of durability, Clayton managed to survive a drop that would have broken his spine and killed him, but Gaston was able to survive after being slammed against a castle roof by a monster with superhuman strength. As a result, Gaston gets the edge for power/ abilities.

Verdict: In a battle between hunter versus poacher, this fight would be a contest between Clayton's combat experience vs Gaston's physical abilities. This fight will take place in the forest and end in the Beast's castle. There will be no prep time. The fight begins when Clayton reaches for his gun and opens fire on Gaston. The hunter manages to find cover behind a tree. As the poacher began to reload, Gaston fires a series of bullets. Clayton dodges his assault and takes cover behind a group of rocks. The poacher counters his attack by firing multiple shots, causing the tree branches to fall on his adversary. Once the smoke has cleared, Gaston manages to escape.

After fleeing from the forest, Gaston lures Clayton into a castle. Once the veteran hunter enters the building, Gaston leaps from the darkness, knocking Clayton's gun out of his hand, striking the poacher with a left hook. Once Clayton hits the ground, the poacher trips Gaston. As the two begin to wrestle, Gaston manages to toss Clayton into a wall. Near the climax of their confrontation, the hunter throws a right jab, but Clayton dodges and retaliates with an uppercut. Continuing his assault, the poacher strikes his opponent's midsection. However; the hunter catches his fist. Using his strength, Gaston knocks Clayton through a window. As the hunter begins to lift Clayton's body, the poacher pulls out his machete and slices the hunter's chest. Before the final blow is struck, Gaston dodges his attack, breaking the poacher's arm in the process. As Clayton began to draw his last breath, Gaston delivers the final blow, by cracking his skull against the pavement and tosses his body off the roof. I declare Gaston the victor.

At first glance, a battle between Clayton and Gaston seems like a mismatch once you take all of their weapons out of the equation, however; this fight is actually much closer than some might believe. The poacher is far more intelligent than Gaston. Although the hunter held an obvious advantage in strength, the rest of Gaston's physical advantages were only a few notches above Clayton's physical abilities.  Despite his having more experience and  superior weapons, Clayton lost due to Gaston's overwhelming strength, superior fighting skills, as well as his own ability to improvise his tactics in combat, using his environment to his advantage.