Monday, March 28, 2011

SMCS Companion Piece #16: Beast Wars


Sorry this is (again) so late.  I've been having a rough week and a half, I'm afraid.
Today This past weekend on the Saturday Morning Cartoon Show we “watched” Beast Wars.  For those of you who may not be aware I LOVE Transformers.  As it premiered about a week before I was born and my mother liked watching cartoons I have been a fan of the series literally all my life.  One of my first blog posts, a SMSC blog, was a timeline about the franchise and if you recall I think of Beast Wars as being the line that rescued Transformers after the failure of the Generation 2 line.  To reiterate this line of toys was created after Hasbro acquired former toy company rival Kenner and basically allowed them to do “whatever” with the TF toys since they were already in the trash heap anyway.  Thus they were retooled utilizing new action figure technology and a new setting and theme.  The gambit paid off big time but had it failed its likely Transformers would be vastly different today, assuming they would even exist at all.
With renewed interest in Transformers it was decided that a new cartoon, the first in years, would be commissioned to draw interest in the toys.  While the storyline differed wildly form the one featured in the toy packing (The early ones, anyway) and that many fans were greatly upset by the changes I LOVED this show.  It featured significantly more mature storytelling than the original Generation 1 show, borrowed heavily from the beloved Marvel comic, and had lots of character development due to having a smaller cast.  Much of this formula was used in its predecessor Transformers Animated, which was also really awesome.   In a lot of ways, since I was about twelve at the time, it may be safe to say that this is MY TF series more so than the original one.
Click below for more on Beast Wars (Or for my Canadian friends “Beasties”.  You poor bastards).

Monday, March 21, 2011

SMCS Companion Piece #15: The Real Ghostbusters


This is really late.  Meh, what can you do?
Who doesn’t know about the Ghostbusters?  Perhaps maybe you’re a younger person whose parents have never shared this wonderful film with you because they hate things like “joy” and “happiness.”  Or perhaps a you’re hermit who has been living in a cave the past twenty-seven years.  In that case if you’re reading this that would imply you’re new to the internet.   In which case, welcome; please mind the porn.  Anyway for the few, and almost certainly imaginary, of you who don’t know Ghostbusters was a 1984 movie that was both one of the best comedies and science fiction films ever made.  Like many, many other films both good and bad it had a cartoon made from it.  Today [EDIT: And by "today" I mean "two days ago"] on the Saturday Morning Cartoon Show DJ Muppet and I “watched” The Real Ghostbusters
This show was freaking awesome…at first.  Things slowly went nutty after awhile, but I fondly recall watching the shit out of this cartoon as a kid.  I was far more connected to this series than its source material for years.   But even seven year old Beta (Who believe me wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed) eventually wised up and turned his back on the show.  Why?
Click below to find out.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Review: Dragonball Evolution


Okay, so full disclosure: I am a Dragon Ball fan. Mostly.  I actually hate the anime for all sorts of reasons but I do very much so enjoy the manga.  Although I find Akira Toriyama to be an extraordinarily poor character writer, especially in regards to women, I do think he’s crafted an incredibly interesting world.  Obviously with this in mind I’m likely biased against Dragonball Evolution, the American live-action adaptation of the comic.  It can’t be helped, but I’ll try to keep things as objective as possible.
Screw this movie!
Okay, okay, I realize that’s not professional.  Released in 2009 and directed by James Wong this film may well be the first of several dubious Hollywood live action remakes of popular anime and manga (Along with the Speed Racer movie).  Akira is apparently in preproduction and now I hear rumblings of a Star Blazers film (Though Japan just recently released a live action film based on Space Battleship Yamoto, the original series Star Blazers is dubbed from).  Apparently 20th Century Fox wanted to snag writer/director/actor/comedian Stephen Chow to helm this film and I suspect that, judging from Chow’s comedic timing and the fact he’s (Clearly) a fan of the source material, that movie would have been at least a little bit entertaining.  Alas he turned it down instead coming onboard as a producer, which makes him at least an accessory to the crime.  And yes, a crime was indeed committed here: a crime against intelligence and a crime against cinema. Ignoring what alterations to the story it may have made this movie is horrifyingly bad.  I mean beyond “So Bad it’s Good” and into “Holy Christ, what in God’s name am I watching?”  If you ever wanted to know exactly what makes a terrible movie then look no further.
Full review after the jump.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Review: Legend of the Guardians - The Owls of Ga'Hoole

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Let’s talk a little bit about Zack Snyder.
The number of films under his belt is relatively small in and, in many ways, he came out of nowhere as a force in Hollywood during the mid-2000s.  After making the successful Dawn of the Dead remake Snyder went on to direct movie adaptations of the comic books 300 and The Watchman, both to a somewhat mixed fan reaction.  But in any case he’s made darker, R-Rated films for pretty much his entire career as a major motion picture director.  So upon hearing that he was directing an animated feature based on the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series of books many people were confused, myself included.  Written by Kathryn Lasky from 2003 to 2008 and fifteen books strong it is one of many fantasy book series being turned into big budget Hollywood films in the wake of the ultra success of Harry Potter.  In fact the first warning sign about this film is that it strangely is not based on one book but rather the first three books of the series, The Capture, The Journey and The Escape.  Uh oh.
Actually the first warning sign is that a guy best known for a zombie film and a flick about three hundred dudes killing all of Persia is directing a film supposedly made for young folk.  But hey, maybe this film is a turning point for him.  Maybe he’s getting away from the more violent style he has been known for and more towards a family friendly affair from now on.  What’s his next project, anyway?
Hot chicks w/ Guns & Swords.  Plot: Optional
Oh.  Well.  Um.  He’s directing a new Superman movie as well at some point.  That counts, right?  Right?
Full review after the jump.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Shameless Self-Promotion


Well something like this was bound to happen sooner or later.  Let’s face it: this blog isn’t the only pie I have fingers in.  I’m theoretically a writer so one would assume that eventually I’d have some project to share at some point.   So in case you somehow missed it during the last year I was (Am?) in a band called Zombie Apocalypse NOW! but its currently on hiatus as the three remaining members are all living in different cities making it impossible to properly book shows.  But I’ve launched a blog detailing our brief history (Or it will once it gets going).  Now I’m not sure how many of you are into this sort of thing but I think it’s a decent enough read.  Basically it’s a collection of stories…well actually right now there's barely anything there, I guess.  But more content is coming!
Click here for the blog.
The Doomsday Pumpkin
The official logo of ZAN

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Anime Review: Darker than Black


Darker than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha is an original anime series aired in 2007 and created by Studio Bones, the same studio behind Soul Eater.  As an added bonus the music is done by Yoko Kanno whom I mentioned once before but to reiterate she is a famous anime composer who is best known for her brilliant work on Cowboy Bebop and one of the reasons why that show is considered one of the best, if not the best, of all time.  FUNimation brought it to North America starting in 2008.  I’ve seen this show floating around for months and I’ve been trying to ignore it but I finally broke down and went through it.
Click the link below for the full review.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Black Superheroes: Outro


First of all I apologize that this Outro didn’t actually occur in February.  A combination of being sick and being really, really busy has severely disrupted my update schedule.  It’s time to play catch-up now that things have settled down.
Mr. Terrific: An awesome character who I'm saving for a later blog
Just look at him!  He's amazing!
Anyway as I mentioned last month there are a ton of black superheroes, but a lot of them are under the radar.  I learned a lot during the research for these articles and I hope you did as well.  There’s certainly a lot of messed up stuff associated with characters of color but there’ s a lot of potential there as well.
Before we wrap this project up I wanted to briefly talk about few characters.  I may one day revisit these guys in greater detail but for now let’s take a brief look at a few characters I wanted to profile but was unable to due to time restraints.
Click below for more.