Angry Birds 2: Best Sequel Of 2019?

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Angry Birds.jpgAngry Birds 2; was it angry? Did it birds? The answer may surprise you.

As the writer and of the first Angry Birds review, I have to note that I reviewed the first one a bit begrudgingly. Mostly I was trying to push back against another CGI film with anthropomorphic characters that came out that year that was getting way too much attention. The first film hasn't aged well and certainly wasn't a gem at the time.

I only remembered a sequel was coming out earlier this year, and so did most people I think given the reactions online. Why did this movie warrant a sequel? The movie based on an app? Why?

The film opened this past Tuesday, and so I of course had to see it on opening day with a group of friends I had dragged along to presumably suffer with me.

But to my surprise, it was actually good.

Peter S. Beagle awarded $332,500 judgement in lawsuit against ex-manager

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Peter S. Beagle, known for writing the classic fantasy novel The Last Unicorn, has finally been awarded $332,500 in a lawsuit against Connor Cochran. His lyrical language would need barbs for revisiting his career with Cochran, his ex-agent/publisher/business manager -- or whatever title was most profitable for the moment.

In the early 2000's, Cochran pitched himself as a savior to rescue Beagle from past mismanagement. As time went on it became clear that the manager's relationship was more vulturous than a healthy partnership. Beagle sued him in 2015. Four ugly years later, the ex-manager had been given a new title by the author's friends: convicted fraudster.

File770 covered the judgement, and Deborah Grabien, Beagle's friend and editor, wrote about the document on Facebook:

Below is the judge's final decision in Peter's suit... It's a thing of beauty. Peter won, flat out, on four of six causes. On at least one of the two Peter wasn't awarded, the judicial language makes it pretty damned clear that the only reason for that was lack of proof that Cochran did what he did with the intent to actively harm. Spread it far and wide, if the fancy so takes you. There's no chance of the dude in question going off on one of his patented "I WILL SUUUUUUUUE YUUUUUUU!" screeches, because this is the judge's final decision in this case.

The full statement of decision can be found here.

Could the Phillie Phanatic return to New York?

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Phillie Phanatic by Terry Foote/CC-BY-SA This mascot will be licensed, not sold.

Designers of the Phillie Phanatic 'sculpture' have threatened to terminate their copyright transfer after 35 years, per a lawsuit filed by the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team.

Crucially, the Phanatic was not originally a "work for hire", but owned by its creators:

Initially we leased the Phanatic to the team for appearances and paid a royalty to them for the licensed products we did. The first year of licensing we did over two million dollars in sales in the Philly area. Eventually we had a number of successful programs with teams who wanted to be able to control of the characters and were able to enforce the copyrights so we sold the Phanatic and then others to the teams.

Many made light of the mascot's pending "free agency", with the Washingtonian promoting a move to D.C. But for teams in a similar situation, such disputes could mean serious payouts - at least for lawyers - and given the time periods involved, the issue might soon touch on works in furry fandom.

Review: Aggretsuko Season 2

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aggrestsuko.jpgAggretsuko has launched its second season on Netflix. The first season won the Ursa Major awards for last year and the show has become a hit among the fandom with its theme of worklife in the modern era. Will the second season be able to retain its title this year?

In short, I personally found the second season to be a bit tamer than the first as far as content goes. The red panda, Retsuko seems to have adapted more to her stresses in life and the duality of her underlying rage seems to have been numbed a bit this season. The moments she did do a scream-fest it seemed more forced and circumstantial than prepared and thought out. It also looks to be that the season focuses on the social obligations outside the workplace this season. Items such as friendship, family, and the future of Retsuko’s life outside of work seem to be the focus of her stresses.

Given this, those that like the first season may have differing feelings of the direction of this season. My thoughts on them are a bit complicated. I think the first season was far punchier and excellently paced, where as the second had good moments but also some questionable decision on character usage.

Spoilers ahead.

Newsbytes archive for July 2019

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Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, BlindWolf8, dronon, earthfurst, GreenReaper, and TyphonDog.

Review: 'The Lion King' 2019

Your rating: None Average: 4 (10 votes)

thelionking.jpg"Be prepared!"
- Boy Scout motto

"No, hold on. Sorry, that's The Lion King."
- Doctor Who, "The Christmas Invasion"

The Lion King is a 2019 movie directed by Jon Favreau. It is a faithful adaptation of the 1994 animated movie of the same name, using cutting edge, realistic CGI animation to create it's cast consisting entirely of talking animals.

The original version is considered a classic of animation; this movie follows the original closely enough that most of its positive attributes are contained. There is enough deviation from the original that those familiar may get something new from the experience. Like most adaptations, most viewers will find the "original" is preferable, however.

So, that's the review, okay, bye!

Shoe ad drops - gets furries to "converse" about marketing and fandom

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (8 votes)

In Brazil in March 2019, a furry bowling event had gathered under the name Furboliche. In attendance was Crash Azarel, a popular fursuit performer who had been guest of honor at Brasil FurFest the previous year. At the bowling event there was also another group in attendance to take photos of the fursuiters, to show them wearing sneakers for an advertising campaign for Converse (a brand bought by Nike in 2003). These adverts have been recently released on their Argentinian and Australian sites. Crash shared the news of the marketing launch on his Twitter feed.

Afterwards, some furs began to be critical of the collaboration, concerned about using one's fursona for the profit of another, and fears of corporate culture and marketing infiltrating the fandom. True to its brand name, the shoe being worn by the furs of Brazil were starting a conversation on outside marketing within the fandom.

Update 7/27: Brasil FurFest has announced a sponsorship by Converse since this article was published.

Trailer: 'CATS'

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (5 votes)

Just two months after the live action Sonic the Hedgehog movie's character design caused such a backlash that the movie was delayed to 2020 to fix it and on the very day the controversial "live action" Lion King hits theaters, we have yet another entry in 2019's "was 'live action' really a good idea here?" canon. The trailer for Cats is out now, and to quote the villain of the aforementioned Lion King (which is also a Boy Scout motto), "Be prepared."

Will you be seeing The Lion King (2019)?

Newsbytes archive for June 2019

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Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, dronon, earthfurst, GreenReaper, Rakuen Growlithe, and Sonious.

FurBuy down for 'months' after spat with security researcher

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (10 votes)

FurBuy pack-rat mascot by FurryVenus Furry auction site FurBuy remains offline, a month after it was abruptly taken down, leading to severe corruption of the 19-year-old site's database.

Site owners say May 23's emergency shutdown was intended to recover from a freeze triggered by a self-styled security researcher's access, and announced a months-long renovation.

The researcher revealed their involvement, claiming to have been blocked by FurBuy after contacting them on Twitter. They said they did not access the database, but that someone using the vulnerability they found would be able to do so - which is disputed by the site owners.

Modern database systems and server hardware are meant to cope with unanticipated downtime by writing to disk in such a way that the data can always be recovered to a consistent state; however, this requires appropriate configuration, and tends to decrease overall performance. It is also possible for hardware to fail under stress.

The last successful backup of the site was made in October 2017, but this remained unnoticed after the death of long-time system administrator Mordrul last August, from thyroid cancer.

Indycision: Programming plan for IndyFurCon's 10th year causes backpedal

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (9 votes)

Being a con's programming director may sound easy on paper. You take a bunch of panel submissions, and assign them to rooms. However, there are a bunch of logistics involved. Like the conflicting interests of the panelists, who want to attend other events themselves, or making sure there are no schedule overlaps by knowing which rooms are available, and when.

And now to that list of concerns we can add: Making sure that inviting a particular headliner won't cause interpersonal issues with other performing talent who'll be attending.

IndyFurCon, a furry convention that takes place in Indianapolis with a Hawaiian theme this year, found itself in the midst of a gnarly programming snafu last week when it began to announce its guests for this year's gathering.

In order to celebrate their tenth anniversary, there was a decision to try and bring back the special guests they'd honored in all their prior years of operation. Things have changed in that decade though, and one of the returning alumni, 2 Gryphon, was seen as being too controversial. This led not only to Internet outrage, but other performers to back out of their planned attendance.

Review: SLoP 2: SLoPpy Seconds

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (8 votes)

gidget-5c746a080706b-1.jpgLook, the best joke in the first Secret Life of Pets is that if you do the trendy thing of acronym-ing it's title, it becomes SLoP, which is funny because it's true.

Honestly, I can't even say I remember the first movie very well. I did see it. I mostly recall that I didn't really like it that much. So, as you can probably deduce, I wasn't entirely looking forward to the sequel. The trailers also prominently featured coprophagia, so that wasn't helping anything.

But about those trailers— if you take out the inter-titles and the music, you just watched that scene in the movie. That's exactly how it's cut in the movie. All of the trailers are like that. They're just scenes from the movie. The movie is cut like a trailer.

And the weirdest thing about this movie is that, somehow, despite being just scenes from the movie, this is a case of bad trailers being way worse than the actual movie. This is a very weird movie.

Newsbytes archive for May 2019

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Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, BlindWolf8, dronon, earthfurst, GreenReaper, InkyCrow, mwalimu, Rakuen Growlithe, and Sonious.

Look out firefighters, fursuiters arrive onto the charity calender scene

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (12 votes)

It can be difficult to raise money for good causes. In doing so, a bit of creativity can be king. So in the late 1990s the New York Fire Department had created an interesting idea to titillate some interest in giving money to help raise funding for their organizations. This calendar of heroes would be a yearly staple for the Big Apple, each month having one of their own posing with a warm smile, usually shirtless. This idea has been emulated by other firefighting organizations following its success.

Whether this was the inspiration when Artwork Tee when they decided to round up a bunch of fursuiters for their idea for their own charity calendar, I am not sure. What is certain is that these costumed furs will be far less exposed than their firefighter counterparts. In fact they will be quite heavily dressed in their animal costumes as they try to "Save the Baby Horses".

From the Yerf Archive