Movies and Tea #16 – Pacific Rim

Time for the next podcast episode as we dive further into the Guillermo Del Toro films. Its time to discuss Pacific Rim with a special guest from Asian Cinema Film Club and Gweilo Ramblings! Head over to give it a listen and give us your thoughts on the film! 🙂

Movies and Tea

Having both critical acclaim and mainstream recognition with Pan’s Labyrinth Del Toro would suprisingly enter into a period of development hell as he struggled to find both funding and studio backing for his next project before finally returning with his love letter to monsters and Kaiju movies Pacific Rim

On this episode we are also joined in this episode by Stephen Palmer (Gweilo Ramblings / Asian Cinema Film Club) to see if there is more to the film than giant robots battling monsters aswell as the inspiration for Del Toro’s vision.

Further Viewing

Kong skull island
The Meg
Starship Troopers
Gamera Guardian of the Universe
Patlabor
Gundam Wing
Mothra vs godzilla
Destroy all Monsters
Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla
Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah

Music on this episode

Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare
Ramin Djawadi – 2500 Tons of Awesome
Ramin Djawadi – Pacific Rim Main Theme

Listen to the Show

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Movies and Tea #15 – Pan’s Labyrinth

Check out our latest episode of Movies and Tea as we dive into Guillermo Del Toro’s next movie, Pan’s Labyrinth. This time, we are joined by guest from Flick Hunter for this discussion. Head over to give it a listen and remember to share your thoughts about Pan’s Labyrinth in the comments over at Movies and Tea!

Movies and Tea

An adult fairytale set against a backdrop of the Spanish Civil war, here Guillermo Del Toro’s blending of styles delivers powerful results which resonated not only with critics and foreign language cinema fans, but also mainstream audiences. Del Toro forgoing the offers from Hollywood Studios to ensure complete freedom for his vision.

Norman from Flick Hunter joins us to discuss this breakout film for Del Toro, aswell as sharing his thoughts on this years Oscar nominations and more!!

Further Viewing

Sucker Punch
Beasts of the Southern Wild
The Shining
Edward Scissorhands
City of Lost Children

Music on this episode

Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare
El Refugio – Javier Navarrete
Long Long Time Ago –  Javier Navarrete

Listen to the Show

Anchor
Itunes
Spotify
Podomatic
Castbox

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Ultimate 2000s Blogathon: The Twins Effect (2003) – Asian Cinema Film Club [Podcast]

Kicking off Week 3 of Ultimate 2000s Blogathon is the Asian Cinema Film Club hosted by Elwood and Stephen. AC Film Club is a monthly podcast that takes a look at  different Asian films ranging from Chinese, Korean, Japanese and other films. It doesn’t stop there as you can follow their blog to see monthly mixtapes for a variety of Asian music as well as reviews and essays, etc. You should give them a follow and join them as they are about to pass their 25th episode milestone. For their choice for the Ultimate 2000s Blogathon, they are sharing their podcast of 2003’s Hong Kong vampire action horror film, The Twins Effect.


The Twins Effect

The Twins Effect (2003)

Elwood and Stephen kick off 2019 looking at “The Twins Effect” a wonderfully random mash up of vampires, romantic comedy and special friendly appearances?
On this episode, they dive into this star-studded movie vehicle for Cantopop duo “Twins” while also looking at the many scandals which rocked the various cast members.
Stephen has another tale from the dark side of Asian cinema, this time looking at the actress Bai Jing, plus podcast recommendations, 2019 releases much more!!

Further Viewing

Mr. Vampire
Rigor Mortis
Diary
Beyond Our Ken

Shoutouts

The Feminine Critique
Cinema Recall
Forgotten Filmcast
Exploding Helicopter
Simplistic reviews
French Toast Sunday
Blade Licking Thieves
That’s Weird
Debatable

Listen To The Show

Itunes
Podomatic
Spotify
That Moment In


Thanks to Asian Cinema Film Club for joining us with this fun choice! Be sure to check out their podcast every month to see which films they choose to review and expand your knowledge of Asian Cinema! Remember to give them a follow and check out their other episodes

To see the full list of blogathon entries, you can find it HERE.

Ultimate 2000s Blogathon: Queen of the Damned (2002) by 18 Cinema Lane

Next stop in the Ultimate 2000s Blogathon comes to us from Sally Silverscreen at 18 Cinema Lane. 18 Cinema Lane is a place for all kinds of film however Sally Silverscreen is a fan of Hallmark films and the stop for a lot of reviews on those types of films. This time, Sally comes to us with something a little different as she takes a look at 2002 drama Queen of the Damned with an editorial looking at the Toxic Valentine.

queen of the damned

Toxic Valentine: Why Lestat and Akasha’s relationship is very problematic in Queen of the Damned (2002)

Ah, Valentine’s Day. A day when the general theme of love is celebrated. The colors of red and pink are a signature staple whenever February 14th comes around. Hearts are the official shape of the holiday, sometimes filled with candy. This special day is usually known as a happy occasion, a time we can set aside to show the people around us how much we truly care about them. Movie fans sometimes take part in Valentine’s Day festivities by talking about their favorite cinematic couples, sharing their opinions on why they think these relationships are romantic and using select movie quotes and scenes to prove their point. However, we movie fans know that not every cinematic relationship is a healthy one. Some of them are down-right toxic.

In this editorial, I will be talking about a cinematic relationship that I, personally, feel is very problematic. By looking at the title, you might already know which on-screen couple I will be talking about. Last October, when I reviewed Queen of the Damned, I mentioned that, to me, Lestat and Akasha’s relationship was one of the most problematic relationships I’ve ever seen in a movie. However, I was only able to briefly explain why I feel this way. Because of my involvement in the Ultimate 2000s blogathon, I now have a chance to explain, in detail, why this particular cinematic relationship is not a healthy one. Before I begin this editorial, I would just like to say that I am only creating this post out of pure honesty and based on my opinion. I am in no way creating this post to be mean-spirited or be negative toward anyone’s cinematic preferences/opinions. In this editorial, I will specifically be referencing the characters and story from the Queen of the Damned film. I will be bringing up specific scenes and quotes in order to prove my point. Now, let’s talk about why Lestat and Akasha’s relationship is problematic by looking at five key areas: lack of consent, lack of communication, a power imbalance, intentional harm toward a significant other, and a not-so-loving significant other.

Lack of Consent

One of the most important components to any romantic relationship is consent. Asking someone’s permission and making sure that both members of a relationship are comfortable before putting themselves and each other in any situation is usually seen as a sign of how much the other person cares for the one they love. Unfortunately, Lestat and Akasha’s relationship is lacking in this department.

In my Queen of the Damned review, I mentioned that Akasha is the one who controlled the relationship, using the analogy of Akasha driving a car and Lestat being stuck in the passenger seat. This is not only true, but it’s also important to keep this truth in mind when discussing these five key areas of Lestat and Akasha’s problematic relationship. The first instance of Akasha not asking for Lestat’s consent happens at his concert. During a performance at his concert, a group of vampires climb up on stage and try to hurt Lestat. Marius tries to fight off these vampires in order to protect Lestat, but eventually he and Lestat are surrounded by even more vampires. While Akasha shows up, in the middle of the concert, and defeats these vampires, she ends up taking advantage of the situation. Akasha crashes through the stage, (as if the concert were her own, making a showstopping entrance in the process) takes Lestat against his will, and leaves. We, the audience, never see her ask Lestat if he wants to go anywhere with her or if he even wants to leave his concert. In fact, we never see Akasha make an effort to contact Lestat and make plans with him ahead of time. While Akasha took away Lestat’s chance to choose whether or not he wanted to leave, this is not the last time Akasha refused ask for his consent.

After Akasha and Lestat leave his concert, they arrive at her house. During their conversation, Akasha briefly mentions her deceased husband. When Lestat asks Akasha about her late husband’s whereabouts, she tells him, “He’s no more. Now you are my consort”. Here, Akasha is not only forcing Lestat to be her new husband, but also forcing Lestat into a marriage with her that he has very little interest in being a part of. Once again, Akasha chose not to ask Lestat if he was okay with being in a relationship in her or if he wanted to be married to her at all. Instead, she refuses to give him a choice or a chance to voice his concerns. After this conversation, Lestat and Akasha have an intimate moment with each other in a tub filled with water and red rose petals. We, the audience, don’t see Akasha asking Lestat if he’s comfortable with the situation or if he even wants to be in the situation. During this scene, it appears, at times, that Lestat is comfortable sharing this intimate moment with Akasha. However, there are a few times when Lestat appears as if he’s slipping out of consciousness. While body language can be helpful in figuring out what someone wants or needs, body language only tells a part of the story. It seems as if Akasha only relied on a select portion of Lestat’s body language in order to receive the message she wanted to hear. Whenever Lestat appears to be slipping out of consciousness, Akasha never addresses Lestat’s reaction or asks him if anything is wrong. She just acts like nothing out of the ordinary is happening.

Lack of Communication

A necessary component that is interwoven with consent is communication. In a romantic relationship, words are needed to share feelings, address concerns, and build/strengthen a bond. As I mentioned before, Akasha is the one controlling her relationship with Lestat. Therefore, she is controlling their conversation. During their first conversation at her house, Akasha is talking at Lestat and not to him, leaving very little room for Lestat to contribute to their conversation. In fact, half of this conversation is about Akasha. For example, when she tells Lestat about things she has observed about him, she says “You live your life in the open, like I did”. After she tells Lestat that he is now her husband, Akasha tells him “That’s why I kept you safe. Alive”. It seems like Akasha always finds a way to insert herself into the conversation. She doesn’t want to bother with Lestat’s perspective on anything. It is clear that Akasha is not interested in participating in an equally balanced conversation between her and Lestat.

It’s also important to observe how Akasha talks about Lestat. She mostly refers to him as “my love” or my king”. However, she only addresses Lestat by his name on less than three occasions. Based on this observation, it appears that Akasha wants to highlight her connection to Lestat, almost as if she holds a sort of ownership over him. During the film’s climax, when Lestat is drinking some of her blood, Akasha tells the other vampires in her presence “You see how he obeys me”. In that sentence alone, Akasha not only refuses to address Lestat by his name, but also seems like Akasha does not see Lestat as an equal sigfinicant other to her, but instead something she feels she can control.

A Power Imbalance

In a healthy relationship, both members should be equal to one another. Any type of power should be shared amongst each other and a balanced amount of control should be given to each member of that relationship. Unfortunately, this is not the case for Lestat and Akasha’s relationship. Because Akasha is a queen and one of the first vampires ever created, according to Queen of the Damned, Akasha feels she has the right to do, say, act, and treat others whatever and however she wants. This is why Akasha is the one controlling her relationship with Lestat, because she feels she is the most important and powerful vampire in that particular cinematic world. In the morning, after Akasha takes Lestat to her house, she tells him “This is but a taste of what we shall share, my love. My king. Behold our kingdom”. However, Akasha purposefully leaves him out of the process of building their “kingdom”. Lestat wakes up all alone and, later, finds several dead mortals at the pool and on the beach. He has no idea where Akasha is until she shows up minutes later. During this conversation, Lestat appears to be unhappy with what Akasha is telling him, even looking disgusted when Akasha talks about the dead mortals on her property. In their relationship, Lestat and Akasha never make any decisions together, don’t discuss any matters of importance, or contemplate Lestat new “title”. It honestly feels as if Lestat and Akasha aren’t on the same page, let alone the same book.

Because of Akasha’s title and her amount of control in their relationship, if appears to be negatively affecting Lestat as a person. Earlier in the film, Lestat is interacting with two female fans. When one of the fans tries to physically take advantage of him, Lestat pushes her hands away and tells her “Don’t do that”. Since there was no power imbalance present in this interaction, Lestat appeared comfortable addressing this fan’s error in not asking for his consent. In his relationship with Akasha, Lestat says very little to her. In the two conversations they had at her house, Lestat only asks short questions. At Marahet’s house, during the film’s climax, Lestat mostly stays silent, more often than not speaking when someone is addressing him. During their intimate moment in the rose petal filled tub, Lestat doesn’t say a word to Akasha, even when she bites his chest. Based on his reaction, it seems like Lestat was negatively affected by her actions, but doesn’t speak up about it to Akasha. It hard to tell if he is remaining quiet out of fear or to play along with Akasha’s plan in order to defeat her. Throughout their relationship, the audience doesn’t receive any voice-overs from Lestat like in previous scenes within this film.

Intentional Harm toward a Significant Other

When we think of a typical, healthy relationship, we think of significant others who treat each other with kindness and respect. Images of loving actions, such as hugging and snuggling on the couch, sometimes come to mind. In Lestat and Akasha’s relationship, we never see them perform loving actions toward each other, such as hugging. Even though they have an intimate moment on two separate occasions, both of them involving a lot of kissing, that is the closest thing to a loving action we see throughout their relationship. During Lestat and Akasha’s intimate moment in the rose petal filled tub, Akasha decides to bite Lestat’s chest. This causes him to flinch in pain and have a bloody wound on his chest. Akasha, however, does not seem to care that she has physically hurt her “husband”. Instead, she continues to kiss Lestat as if nothing ever happened. Lestat also never mentions this incident to Akasha or anyone else. The next day, at Maharet’s house, Lestat drinks some of Akasha’s blood. When Akasha is trying to make Lestat stop, she physically pushes him to the point of, practically, throwing him. This causes Lestat to fall on cement stairs. Fortunately, Lestat does not appear to receive any injuries from this incident. As for Lestat, the only thing closest to a harmful action toward Akasha happens on two occasions;

a) When Lestat is drinking her blood, but in this situation, he is pretending not to stop in order to provide a distraction so the other vampires can have a chance to defeat Akasha and;

b) When Lestat drinks Akasha’s blood again, but this time, to protect himself and the others at Maharet’s house from Akasha’s dangerous and villainous ways.

A not-so-loving significant other

For any romantic relationship, there needs to be a significant amount of love between those two people. A true love where both individuals love that person for who they are as well each other’s characters is an important ingredient. In Lestat and Akasha’s relationship, however, it never feels like they truly love each other. Because Lestat was forced into the relationship by Akasha, it doesn’t seem like he is invested in the relationship. Meanwhile, Akasha claims to love Lestat, but her reasons for loving him make one wonder if her intentions are self-centered. Earlier in Queen in the Damned, Akasha visits a vampire bar. When she arrives, she sees Lestat on television. When a patron at the bar asks if she likes Lestat, Akasha replies by saying “He reminds me of someone”. Days later, when Akasha forcibly takes Lestat to her house, she tells Lestat “Now you are my consort. That’s why I kept you safe. Alive”. As Lestat asks her if she really did save him at his concert, Akasha asks him “You thought it was all you” and then says “The ego of a king as well”. Based on what Akasha has said, it seems like she loves Lestat because he reminds her of her deceased husband. Though she never directly tell Lestat or anybody this, it is left to be assumed by the audience.

During their relationship, Akasha doesn’t really make an effort to get to know Lestat. In fact, she assumes she knows enough about him in order for their relationship to work. In their first conversation at her house, she tells him “all your wishes are come true”. When Lestat asks Akasha to specify what wishes she’s referring to, she tells him “For a companion. To share eternity”. Prior to this interaction, Lestat never mentioned anything about wanting or needing a companion. In fact, when Marius visits Lestat in Los Angeles, he tells Marius “I only have myself. You taught me that”. Also, during Akasha and Lestat’s first conversation at her house, she tells him “You’re bold, like your music” and “I know you, Lestat. I know that you crave to have the world at your feet”. Two things happen because of Akasha’s assumptions. The first thing is Akasha is basing her knowledge of Lestat on the image he’s presented as a musical performer. She’s only listened to a few of his songs, seen him on television once, and interrupted his concert. The musical side of Lestat is only a small part of him, so Akasha does not have as much information about him as she thinks she does. The second thing is Akasha assumes she knows what Lestat wants. Throughout the film, Lestat has said that he wants to walk in the light and not hide in the shadows. But, because Akasha does not take the time to ask Lestat what he wants, she gives him a royal title that he did not want or ask for. In Lestat’s case, he knows enough about Akasha to know what kind of a person she is. All of his knowledge of her comes from Marius, after Lestat stumbled across Akasha’s statue-esque being in Marius’ house. While in Los Angeles, Marius shares with Lestat that not only has his music woken Akasha up, but that she also killed her husband and took his blood and powers.

As I’ve said before, Akasha is the one controlling this relationship. This causes her to feel like she can do and say whatever her vampire heart desires. Despite the fact that she is the film’s villain, she doesn’t seem to have any trace of kindness or empathy toward others. At Maharet’s house, during the film’s climax, Akasha asks Lestat if he loves her. When Lestat says “Yes”, Akasha says “Then prove it” and orders him to kill Jesse, a woman that Lestat not only knows quite well, but also would rather be in a romantic relationship with. If two people love each other, they do not need to prove anything to the other person. Their actions and choices should speak for themselves. By Akasha forcing Lestat to prove his “love” for her by hurting someone else shows that Akasha doesn’t really think that highly of Lestat or anybody that he personally knows. If their relationship was healthy, Lestat’s love for his significant other would be enough proof that he cares about that person. It seems no matter what Lestat does or says, it will never be good enough for Akasha.

While Lestat and Akasha’s relationship is very problematic, it fortunately does not last long. Lestat and the other vampires at Maheret’s house are able to successfully defeat Akasha. This allows Lestat to escape this toxic relationship and enter a healthy, romantic relationship with Jesse. When I’ve read reviews for Queen of the Damned, no one had brought up Lestat and Akasha’s horrible, but short-lived relationship. It also doesn’t help that this film’s marketing campaign paints their relationship in a very different light. On the film’s poster, Lestat and Akasha are the only two people featured in the image. In the trailer, not only are Lestat and Akasha the only two characters who are prominently featured, but the movie’s footage and the voice-overs are set up in a way that makes it seem like Lestat chose to be in a relationship with Akasha and had contemplated turning to the dark side. As my editorial and the film itself shows, this is far from the truth. Even though movie fans would, probably, rather talk about the cinematic relationships worth rooting for, it’s important to take the time to talk about the not-so-healthy relationships in film. When observing these choices and behaviors, we movie fans and people in general can learn how not to treat others as well as leading a better example in our own real-life relationships, whether or not they’re romantic. It will not only make for a better Valentine’s Day, but also for better and many years to come.

Have fun at the movies!


A huge thanks to Sally for joining the Ultimate 2000s Blogathon with this insightful and thorough editorial. Be sure to head over to her site, 18 Cinema Lane and give her a follow to check out her great content!

As always, you can find the full list of entries updated daily HERE!

A Busy Day For Podcasts!

Last minute changes and something I should do more frequently is do a round-up of podcasts release!

Holiday hiatus is finally over and we’re getting back into the action of things on all projects and last week and specifically today, we just released three podcast episodes. Why not share it with all of you.

Let’s go project to project and at the same time, divert you all to their respective blogs so you can follow it if you are interested and haven’t already.

GAME WARP PODCAST

Game Warp Podcast kicked off the year pretty much in style.  This month, we had quite a few shows go up already. After ending the year with our Top 10 Games Reviewed in 2018 and our Year in Review 2018 (for gaming, of course), we started the year in a great way by doing a review for a new free Steam game called What Never Was which is only about an hour long so, the show itself is only 10 minutes long to avoid spoilers.

Fast forward back to today where we release our latest feature piece. Last year, we did our Top Anticipated Games as a written post, we’ve decided to change it to podcast format and combined it with the look forward to 2019 that we usually do. In today’s episode, we take turns to discuss our Top 15 Anticipated Games of 2019.

If you like gaming and haven’t followed us yet, you can find us over at our blog HERE.

MOVIES & TEA

Its been over a month since our last podcast for the second season. A lot of reasons for this but we finally did get around to recording and editing and it finally was released today. The next movie in our second season Guillermo Del Toro journey is The Devil’s Backbone, his third directed feature film. Its a movie that I’ve personally heard a lot of great things and have been recommended to me over and over again. Finally, I have ticked off my list and I’ll be getting the written review up there soon.

However, today is about the podcast and we had our first guest on Movies and Tea join us and that’s Greg from The Debatable Podcast/Action A Go Go. You can listen to it below.

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You can also find our podcast on a ton of avenues including Podomatic, etc. If you haven’t followed us over at Movies and Tea, head over there via HERE.

We have our individual takes on each of the films we’ve done podcasts on and some other random features that matches with the director that we’re highlighting that season. 🙂

That’s it for this Podcast recap!
Things get back to normal programming soon!
I just wanted to give some love to my other projects today. 🙂

Movies and Tea #11 – Mimic

Season 2, Episode 2 of Movies and Tea is here! This time we look at Guillermo Del Toro’s Mimic and dive into the subway system of New York. Head over to the blog to give it a listen.

Remember that you can find us also on various other avenues as well:
Itunes – https://tinyurl.com/y8chswn3
Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/y82rqg84
Podomatic – https://tinyurl.com/ybrt4rru

Thanks for listening and feel free to share your thoughts on this film and the show!

Movies and Tea

Having announced himself as an exciting new voice in horror with “Cronos” Del Toro chose to follow it with his first English language feature “Mimic” based on the Donald A. Wollheim short story as Del Toro brought to the screen a tale of shape shifting bugs living in the New York system in a production hampered by the interference of producer Harvey Weinstein leaving Del Toro with a film he was unhappy with until his directors cut finally saw the light of day in 2011.

Come Join Us in the Booth as Elwood and Kim go on a bug hunt to see if this might be a hidden gem in Del Toro’s filmography.

Further Viewing

Bug (2006)
Bite
The Relic
Them
Phase IV

Music on this episode

Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare
Marco Beltrami – Bathtub
Marco Beltrami – No Sweat

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Movies and Tea #10 – Cronos

Its time to kick off Season 2 of Movies and Tea Podcast after a little break on our end. This season, we’re looking at Guillermo Del Toro’s films and we start with his debut, Cronos which gives a new spin on vampires. Head over to our blog and listen to the podcast! Perfectly timed for Halloween on top of that! Enjoy and give us your thoughts on Cronos or the show!

We are looking for guests for some of the shows. If you are interested, drop us an email and we’ll see if we can work something out.

Movies and Tea

Elwood and Kim return from thier break with a new season and a new director’s filmography to dive into as this season they turn thier attention to the films of the visionary Guillermo del Toro whose love of horror and fairytales have lead to him crafting some of the most original cinema of the last few years.

Kicking off this season is Del Toro’s feature debut “Cronos” which sees him bring his own spin to the vampire mythos as a clockwork scarab which grants eternal life is discovered by an elderly antiques dealer.

Come join us in the booth!

Further Viewing

The Lost Boys
Near Dark
Fright Night
Daybreakers

Music on this episode

Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare

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