Saturday, March 25, 2017

Now That Was One Geeky Conversation

My son and I were out doing some Pokemon hunting today.  We got talking about how the Remoraid (A sardine like fish style Pokemon) makes no sense at all to evolve into a Octillery (Basically an octopus like Pokemon). It is the kind of thing that makes it very clear the creators of Pokemon were on drugs while watching Animal Planet when they came up with most of these creatures and their evolutions.

We went through most of the Pokemon and made judgement calls as to how much sense the evolutions made. I think less than half of them really looked right. The creators clearly didn't care at all about logic or study nature when they came up with most of them. They have a basic teddy bear somehow turning into a monster grizzly bear with nothing more than them being bears connecting them, as they physically are clearly not the same species. There is a fat flying rabbit/squirrel then somehow becomes a ferret. Seriously, WTF were they on?

And of course if you get enough gold fish (Known as magikarp in the game) you can turn one into a giant sea serpent...

Then beyond the clear we don't give a damn about rational biology that s obvious, some of the Pokemon are a little disturbing and not necessarily well thought out with their storyline.

Cubones are little rodents who wear their mother's skulls on their heads, as they deal with the death of their mothers.... So I guess all females cubones die when they give birth for the first time to just one offspring. Not a good trait for survival there.

Then we have the truly creepy Drowzee, a creature who sneaks into people's bedrooms and steal their dreams through their nostrils while they sleep... Yeah, no drugs involved in the creation of that one.

I am enjoying Pokemon Go well enough, but it is really hard to take the franchise seriously when so much of it seems to have just been thrown together without any thought put in. Of course we are dealing with a 'cutified' concept of cock fighting where it is considered sad if the creature you are having fight using deadly powers, gets hurt.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Taking on The Round Robin Challenge

Good friend of mine and fellow Blogger, Mr. Smith, has drawn my attention to a Round Robin Blog Challenge that he has participated in.

 
 
This week's challenge is called Two Great Tastes That Are Great Together.

This challenge is actually an easy one for me, as the topic I am going to talk about is one I was planning on doing. DC Comic has been doing a He-Man and Thundercats limited series crossover event. I was going to wait until the series finished up to write about it, but it fits this challenge too well.

The series starts off with Mumm-ra and the Spirits of Evil working on a plan to find a way defeat the Thundercats by acquiring a weapon more powerful than the Sword of Omens. They are able to move Third Earth to the orbit of Eternia during a coming of age ceremony for Prince Adam. Of course all chaos break loose.

I'm not going to go much into the details of the storyline, as right away things get interesting and I don't want to spoil it for anyone. Just trust me that it does not take long before you ask 'did that really just happen?'. Of course Skeletor and Mumm-ra do team up, but it is not as simple as you might think.

Right away we are given a good connection between the two worlds that made sense. As these two franchises have a lot in common with their mixture of magic and technology, so connecting them was not an issue as they fit together just fine. In fact I have always felt it was fairly obvious that Thundercats was trying to get in on the popularity of Masters of the Universe.

What I found most interesting was what canon was used from both.

They both came out it the 80s with their basic storylines, although Masters of the Universe did take a years or so to stabilize its best known storyline. While thanks to what MotU started, Thundercats was able to come in strong with their storyline from the get go. Both of the franchises faded away and had recent reboots that were actually much better than the original, but regretfully neither took off even though both were worth watching.

So in He-Man and Thundercats, the writers went with the most basic Thundercats canon, staying with the original characters unaltered from what we had been given in the 80s cartoon, not even making use of any of the characters introduced later in the series.

For MotU however, they used the hybrid storyline that Mattel has been using for their on-line collector's club figures. This storyline is a mixture from just about all things MotU starting with ideas from the early pack in mini comics all the way through the last cartoon reboot. The official canon is about as complex as it gets with all these elements mixed in there, even though He-Man and the Thundercats does not do much in exploring this new hybrid canon.

So we have one issue of this crossover event that was a long time in coming remaining. While I do expect somewhat a cliche end to the story, since they have done an impressive job with surprising us so far, I am looking forwards to seeing how they wrap it all up and what final surprises they have waiting for us.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Still as Bad as I Remember it Being

It is always interesting to watch something from your childhood and see how it lives up to your memories. I've had a mixture of such experiences.  Something actually have gotten better and work on a whole different level that I didn't realize as a child.  Many have aged well and are just as enjoyable now as they were decades ago.  Some of it I can see how bad it is, but I can appreciate the corniness of it due to when it was made and the various elements that might have limited the production.

Then you find something that was horrible back then and is still undeniably horrible now.

Today I just rewatched the live action film version of Masters of the Universe for the first time in thirty years. I only watched it once all the way through when I was young and didn't remember it well. It didn't draw me in and from what I could remember it was bad all around.

Well, it is still just as bad. And bad on every level.

Some bad movies can be enjoyable, with a corniness that works. Prime example of this is the classic 1980 Flash Gorden movie. It is a highly enjoyable bad movie that I have never grown tired of. I know many dislike Howard the Duck, but that is a bad movie I enjoy and feel is highly under rated.

Masters of the Universe is just bad. Idiotically bad. I know why that in thirty years I have had no real desire to watch it again and there is a real good chance I will never watch it again. There is just nothing in it even remotely enjoyable.  Horribly written, acted, directed with really bad fight scenes with cheap special effects that just didn't work. It was clear there was just piss poor choice after piss poor choice.

So this is one movie that held no nostalgic value for me and in the rewatching of it has left me knowing why.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Most Perfect Movie Trailer Ever?

The next movie in the X-Man film franchise is to be Huge Jackman's last time playing Wolverine. This is his third solo Wolverine movie. The first was a true flop and the second was good, but felt to be missing something.

A few month ago we got this trailer:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny3hScFgCIQ, for the third movie simply titled Logan.

I was at a full lose of words when I saw it for the first time and it still has not grown old. It is a powerful trailer than does everything needed to get you interested in the movie. And the music pick is beyond brilliant.

They just released a new trailer:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH3OxVFvTeg, and it works, but it was never going to be able to match that first one.

The first trailer is worth watching over and over again. It tells a story that you want to know more about. It makes you care about the characters. And the music just fits the character of Wolverine.

Could this be a case where the trailer is more worth watching than the movie?

I hope not. This looks as if it will be the best movie of the X-Man franchise. Just a month and a half before we find out.

Hollywood needs to learn from this trailer.  This is how you do trailers right.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

20 Years Later, Gargoyles Is Still A Great Series


Recently I was able to acquire all three sets that make up the complete series of Disney's Gargoyles from the mid 90s. I loved the series when it first aired and caught all the episodes back then.  However this as the first time I was able to watch the full series for start to finish.

It has aged well and is actually better than a lot of the popular cartoons out now.

Gargoyles is the story of a clan of gargoyles, who are stone by day and flesh by night. It ran for three years as part of the Disney Afternoon programing.  Unlike most of the other Disney Afternoon cartoons, Gargoyles featured all new characters and told an on going story.  Most of the other shows with Disney Afternoon were basically half hour long Disney cartoons, based on already known Disney characters, that reset after every episode. From the get go it was clear that Gargoyles had a story line and a history that mattered throughout.

The world of Gargoyles is interesting. It is modern day New York for the most part (Although we do get to see much more of the world at one point) but where Shakespeare meets Arthurian Legends with a huge dash of myths from all over the world mixed in, all connected together. And it works so well.

They also did a remarkable job of building up to some of the big reveals near the end of the series.  Watching it from start to finish for the first time I saw this build up and just how well done it was. The seeds were clearly there early on.

Not sure if I am going to go after the short lived follow up to Gargoyles, Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicle. I don't remember it being as good and it does not tell a complete story in its 13 episodes.

There is no doubt that Gargoyles have stood the test of time and does not feel dated in the least. I recommend them for anyone who enjoys good story telling and well done cartoon shows.

Friday, January 6, 2017

A Fantastic Trip Back to That Magical Universe

Opening weekend for it we got out and saw Fantastic beasts and Where to Find Them. While I enjoy the Harry Potter universe, I am not a huge die hard fan of it. As I wrote in a previous post here Cursed Child was disappointing. I also have issues with a fair amount of not too well thought out aspects of the original seven book storyline. I understand why it is a fun series and why so many people enjoy it, but I too often felt it was overrated and that many fans tried to turn the series into something greater than it was.

The original eight movies were fun, but too much suffered from the same problems of the books with the added lose of story that is too often seen when turning a book into a movie. I did enjoy them though for the level they were.

So as usual I gave that background of my feelings for what has come before to help put my views on the new movie in perspective.

I though Fantastic Beast was the perfect way to reintroduce the franchise. Movie studios need to take a note from this example and learn just how to break away from the mold and be able to play in an established universe without having to use anything we've seen before. There is no Harry Potter or Voldemort in this movie and that is a good thing. Dumbledore and Hogwarts are mentioned, but are not essential for the story in the least. This could easily be a stand along movie that does everything it needs to in just the one film.

The story is about creature hunter Newt Scamander, who studies these amazing creatures and tries to protect ad help them.  Newt comes to America on a personal agenda.  Much of his philosophy goes against the ideas of the magical community, who seem to believe it is better to kill off a believe dangerous species than study them and try to understand them. The movie shows how ignorance and fear cause problems. Newt also is not a charismatic person and is very aware of this, admitting that he makes people uncomfortable.

Beyond that, the character of Newt is also not a powerful wizard or a chosen one of any of that. We have no prophecies or great expectations of him.  No one is pushing him to be great. He uses his actual skills and knowledge time and time again to make a difference. It is the aspects that make him something of an outsider that allows him to do what he does and it is under appreciated by just about everyone he encounters.  In some ways he is a 180 degree turn from the character of Harry Potter and that makes him far more interesting for me.  Harry fit with what children play as being, a chosen one with great potential and everyone knows it, while Newt is more human and down to earth, a guy who is just trying to do his best with what he has. With that one element we see a maturing of the franchise that is going to help to bring people into this world. I can see it appealing to those who gave up on the original movies becasue they were too childish or repetitive.

While the title itself is not accurate, due to being based on a fictional text book that Harry and friends use, the movie does deliver on showing us a rather impressive cast of fantastic beasts. There are many well down scenes that have a truly magical sense to them showing us these creatures.

And while it does not look like we will see the other three main characters in the sequels, they were well done as well.  The no-mag/muggle Jacob Kowalski was a perfect counter to Newt, as a generally likeable guy who gets caught up in something beyond anything he thought possible.  His fascination with the discovery of the magic world is so perfectly shown. In some ways he plays the average Harry Potter fan getting to play around in the magic world for a bit, with child like wonder at it all.

Porpentina Goldstein and her sister Queenie are a perfectly pair. Fun and charming characters and the main source of our knowledge of the Wizarding World of America.

I am looking forwards to see where this film series takes us. My understanding is that each film will take place in a different country so that in the end we will get to see the magical communities around the world. There is a lot of potential here. It may take ten years for us to get the full story, but if they can keep it all at this level is will be an enjoyable journey.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

This May Be The Worst Comic I Have Ever Read

If you've been reading my blog, then you know I am a big Marvel comics fan and I have a thing for $1 comics. The other day I hit up the $1 comics and picked out a batch of The New Defenders from the mid-80s

First issue I read was 148. It was just horrible. I have no idea why this comic got written or approved for publication.

I think it is supposed to be a murder mystery, but you really don't care in the least about anything that happens in it. It is so boring and pointless that the murder in it just seems to be there to be there.  And all the 'clues' are just put there to have clues for the sack of having clues.

The Defenders themselves are completely unneeded for any aspect of the story and are just hanging out because it is their book. Of course none of the character seem to need to be there, as many are thrown in suddenly just because the writer needed more characters to have more characters in the story.

I also think it was supposed to be a humorous story as they had Groucho Marx showing up, trying to be funny and almost saying Groucho like things, just lacking any real wit or humor. He is more or less just there to be annoying, not funny or useful in any way.

One thing I always try to do with comics is to look at the era they were written in. This is the mid 80s, during a time where comics were maturing and when writers could really start to create some incredible story lines. It was also during the time Marvel was putting out Secret Wars 2, so this was a low point for Marvel Comics. I would put New Defenders 148 as being worse than any issue of Secret Wars 2.

I am going to go ahead a read the rest of the issues I picked up, but I do not see myself buying any more New Defenders comics.