Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review: Twilight (2008 Film)

I did not want to watch this movie. It was forced on me. When it came out I didn’t want to go see it in theaters, when it came on video I still didn’t want to watch it, and now, four years after the fact, it doesn’t even seem relevant enough to devote any time to this blog. However a misguided person in my life literally forced me to watch this flick, supposedly with the sole purpose of me writing a negative review on this blog. I am not happy with this arrangement. But sadly for me I do have an opinion on this film so I might as well write something.

Twilight is a 2008 film based on the young adult novel of the same name by Stephanie Meyer. The book series, and the film series, are pretty much known for three things: 1) the dubious re-imagining of the vampire myth, 2) the incredibly strong fan base which of percentage of possesses some of the most ignorant human beings in the world and 3) an equally strong base of haters who think that Meyer is one of the worst writers to ever become popular (Although lately this group of people have tended to move their anger towards 50 Shades of Grey, but that’s another story). Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, who has directed quite a few films I’ve never seen, this movie received pretty poor reviews, though it wasn’t like it was universally despised. So here I am reviewing it long after the iron has cooled down. I’m late to the party here, guys.

Full review after the jump.

[WARNING: Some spoilers ahead, but really; everyone who was interested in seeing this flick has already seen it by now, right?]

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review: Prometheus

Before we get into this review should point out an important truth about myself: I’ve never seen Alien, Aliens (except for the last ten minutes for some reason), Alien 3, or Alien Resurrection (Nor have I seen the Alien vs. Predator series, but I suspect that doesn’t matter as much). Because of that I guess a lot of details from this movie that went over my head. For example I saw a video review of this film after I watched it that kept using the words “Space Jockey” like it was supposed to mean something. I had to look it up because I had no idea what the hell it was. So while you’re reading this review just take in mind that I can’t really compare this film to any of the Alien movies like so many people have been doing. My review will just be based on whether or not this movie was any good.

Anyway Prometheus is a film by Ridley Scott who for some time now had been making vague statements about whether or not this flick is a prequel to the original Alien, which he is of course famous for directing. This film, or at least some sort of Alien prequel, has been in development for years and has finally come to fruition in 2012. There was a huge amount of hype going into this film, probably too much for this film to live up too but on the other hand it has a really badass cast. It features Noomi Rapace from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (The version, not the American one), Michael Fassbender from X-Men: First Class, Idris Elba from Thor, and Charlize Theron, who between this movie and Snow White and the Huntsman, is probably feeling kind of smug right now.

Full review after the jump.

[WARNING: There are some spoilers in this review but it shouldn't be anything too bad. Just be aware.]

Saturday, June 16, 2012

SMCS Companion Piece #21: Captain Planet and the Planeteers


It’s been a while since I’ve done a Saturday Morning Cartoon Show Companion Piece. Last weekend we did Captain Planet and the Planeteers. Based on an idea from Billionaire Ted Turner this cartoon was about a superhero that battled eco-villains for the sake of the environment. In theory the show’s purpose was to teach kids to help the environment and there’s nothing terribly wrong with that at all. In fact this show isn’t technically bad, but I think it’s the lowest end of watchable shows from the 90s. It’s a series that isn’t so awful it’s can’t be watched but it’s also not quite on the list of Best Cartoon of that decade.

It began airing on TBS (Of course) in 1990 and ran until 1993. Due to various cast members leaving the series it was retooled as The New Adventures of Captain Planet which continued on from 1993 to 1996. The show had a total of six seasons. It's also what Lavar Burton and Whoopi Goldberg did during their downtime from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

More on the Captain after the jump.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: Doctor Who - Series Two (2005 Revival)

Today we’ll continue looking that revived Doctor Who series. Because the first episode of series one was so well received the BBC commissioned a second season of the new show. Russell T. Davies’ plan to bring back Doctor Who was a rousing success. This series was extremely important to the revived TV show because it introduced the 10th Doctor who, even today, is pretty much the most popular version of the character in the new series and can make an argument for being one of the most popular version of the character in the entire metaseries. I’ve heard somewhere that David Tennant, the actor who takes over the role from Christopher Eccleston, was actually cast when the first series was in pre-production and was always tagged to come in at the end of the first series but I’ve also heard that Eccleston just wanted leave the show and Tennant was simply his replacement. I have no idea what the real story was but regardless after just one season a new actor has taken over the title role (Tennant actually first appeared in the previous season’s finale).

Anyway this season picks up right where the last one left off and, aside from the addition of Tennant, there’s not much in the way of cast changes.

Full review after the jump.

[WARNING: There are a lot of spoilers incoming, especially concerning Rose Tyler. Read at your own risk!]

Monday, June 11, 2012

Anime Review: Sengoku Basara - Samurai Kings

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed an anime. It’s not that I haven’t been watching any, it’s that the anime I have been watching took me forever to finish despite the fact it was only thirteen episodes. I’ve finally, finally, watched the last episode of what was easily the most exhausting series I’ve watched to date.
  
Sengoku Basara is a series of action video games developed by Capcom that is widely considered a “rip-off” of Samurai Warriors, which has an identical setting (Feudal Japan’s Warring States Period) and is itself a spin-off of the popular Dynasty Warriors games. Now I’m a pretty big Dynasty Warriors fan but I haven’t played much Samurai Warriors. What little I’ve played leads me to believe that Capcom saw the game and said “That’s not nearly insane enough. I say we remake the game and make at least 50 times crazier and 50 times less historically accurate.” And thus Sengoku Basara was born. And wouldn’t you know it; it turns out Capcom was on to something because the game became very popular, beating out its rival. Like many popular properties in Japan it was just a matter of time before it was turned into an anime, which brings us to today.

Tilted Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings in the translation the show was produced by Production I.G (Who also did Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and Eden of the East) in 2009 and licensed by FUNimation Entertainment. Interestingly this show kind of bumped itself to the top of my list; originally I was supposed to be watching Princess Tutu (Which actually might have an English dub so bad that I may be unable to watch it on Netflix) but the first episode of this show got me so excited that I decided to go through this instead. That was a mistake.

Full review after the jump.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

I was hoping to do a Compare/Contrast type of review between Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman but I never got around seeing the former and I didn’t feel like waiting for the latter to hit DVDs before reviewing it . Should I review Mirror Mirror I may revisit this post. For now let’s take a look and judge this film on its own.

Anyway as I’ve said before I think people are too hard on Kristen Stewart because, like Robert Pattinson, she’s the public face of the Twilight franchise. I still haven’t seen any of the Twilight films but I’ve seen her in The Cake Eaters, The Runaways, and Welcome to the Rileys and she was decent in all of them. I’m not saying she’s the greatest thespian in Hollywood but she has a fair range and is well above the line of terrible (Pattinson has yet to do anything for me). Seriously, she’s a whole hell of a lot better actress than January Jones (who I’m convinced with a name like that and her sub-par acting was actually meant to become a porn star but somehow her destiny went array and she broke into mainstream acting instead). And that’s the important thing.

Her latest non-Twilight film is a gritty fantasy adaption of the classic Snow White which seems kind of bizarre but not as novel as it would have been a few years ago. In fact gritty re-imagining of Fairy Tales is pretty much the norm these days. The film has done surprisingly well its opening weekend but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a piece of crap.

Full review after the jump.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: Men in Black 3

I should have included this movie in the Summer Movie Preview from a few weeks back since a) this is a science fiction themed film that is b) based on a comic book, and that’s clearly up my alley. However I literally just plain forgot that this movie existed. That is probably a good clue of what my personal feelings going into this flick. Anyway…


Dear Hollywood, 

 I understand that you’re currently in a phase, a possibly never-ending phase, where you’re banking off brand recognition for your films in order to make profit. So I do understand the logic behind making a sequel to a film that came out ten years ago. But there is question that you don’t ask yourself enough when you green light this stuff: do we, as a society, need this movie? Men in Black 3 fifteen years removed from the original Men in Black doesn’t seem like a film that caters to a clear cut audience. It can’t be aimed at children since how many young kids are old enough to even remember Men in Black? Is it aimed for people my age? Because I feel that the ability to care about such an old franchise passed about seven years ago. I’ll give your credit for bringing in Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and original director Barry Sonnenfeld. But you lose all that credit since Sonnenfeld started filming BEFORE THE SCRIPT WAS EVEN DONE! 

My point is this: Men in Black 3 shouldn’t exist, especially after Men in Black II which was an awful, awful film. Just because you can make a terrible sequel doesn’t mean you should. Do you really think this film will be a huge hit here in 2012? 

Love,

Beta Magnus

Full review after the jump.