Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Magic of The Library

The new show The Liberians just finished up its first season and I have nothing but good things to say about it.

For those unfamiliar with the show, it is a follow up to a series of made for TV movies titled The Liberian. The stories revolve around The Library and the man picked to head it up. The movies were fun and had some intriguing ideas to them, so I was not surprised at a series being created to continue the world.

In the pilot episode The Library gets attacked and is pulled into a safe zone outside of reality. A guardian is chosen and three new co-Liberians are introduced as magic is reintroduced to the world. The Liberian from the movies is now a reoccurring character, instead of the focus of the show. The series instead follows the new team as they travel around the world to keep things balanced.

There is a blending of mythology in the show that is enjoyable. Folk Tales and Greek Myths are just as relevant in this world as Biblical stories are. They end up with a fun collection of artifacts from all over the place, that end up being used in interesting ways.

The characters are fun and all feel as lived in to begin with. They have been around and are already damaged in various ways. The cast is really good at playing off of each other and the stories do a great job of allowing each character they own development that does not feel forced.

There is a good mix of humor, action and plot in each episode. While special effects are there, they are not going to be what the show gets known for. It is not F/X heavy in any way, relying more on actual story telling and characters to keep you entertained. I very much would like to see Michael Bay learn from this approach.

One thing that stood out for me is in one episode the Liberians fail and are left wondering if they could have succeeded if they would have been willing to take a bigger risk. You rarely see a show like this allowing an episode to end with everything not being wrap up nicely for the good guys. While I am willing to bet if they get another season, they will revisit the town from that episode and try to fix things, it still works to have your heroes know failure.

The end of the season finale did a great job of both giving us an ending and leaving things wide open for future stories. Which is really how a first season should end. That way if you nylon get the one season, you feel that it was fulfilling, while at the same time if they get to keep things going you already have the sense that there is already ideas on where they want to go with the bigger storyline.

I have high hopes that we will be getting a second season. It is a series that truly deserves to continue.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

It Is Not Always A Good Thing To Be Right

I really love it when I go into a movie not expecting much and ending up enjoying the film. I have been pleasantly surprised many times in the past. I think it is one reason why I often risk seeing a movie I think is going to be real bad.

In this case I never once was excepting anything good. I was warned by many that it would disappoint. I still hoped that there would be something enjoyable in it.

Wow was I wrong.

The movie in question is 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)'.

It lived up fully to my expectation, in that I was positive before hand that it would truly suck on every level and it did. I seriously cannot think of one good thing to say about the movie. There was 100% nothing about it that I enjoyed.

I never once laughed at any of the humor in it, as it all fell flat and was forced.

Shredder, the big 'bad ass' villain was silly. I could not take him seriously at all. His armor and million knives and well everything about him did not make him menacing in any way. The design did not work. He was an eight year old's doddle of a 'cool' bad guy brought to life.

The turtles were... I guess they were the same turtles, but they seemed simplified in their characters. I really didn't care about them or find myself drawn to them. The turtles have been done a good half dozen times now, and generally you like them and get into their development as characters. This time around there was just something missing in that department,

As if to make a point as to the complete lack of creativity this time around, it also stole its whole opening from the live action movie version from 25 years ago. No attempt at all made to do anything new or creative with the story.

I could go off on how this time they had Splinter learn his ninja skills from a book he found in the sewers. Yeah, he becomes a ninja master all on his own through a self help book that someone threw away.

I had to rewatch the big climatic fight scene several times because I figured I had to have missed something. Yet I am positive that in the end the turtles failed in saving the city. They make a huge deal about how they cannot let the tower fall or a bunch of people will get poisoned. The physics are completely ignored as the tower then starts to fall until magically it is stabilized by the turtles. Then the tower falls, but is caught between buildings so it doesn't really fall I guess. Then the tower breaks apart and the area of the tower that has the poison in it breaks away from where the turtles are, falling to the ground bellow, where it should break and kill all the people if we are to believe what the turtles told us just minutes before.

After that the turtles still cling onto the remains of the tower for some reason as it crashes from building to building. They somehow end up on ground level, in a manner that should have broken every bone in their legs, if not their bodies.

Oh, and their shells are now bullet proof.

I truly found nothing enjoyable in this latest take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It is one of the worst movies I have seen in some time. regretfully they are already working on a squeal. We are at a time when any piece of crap movie based off a popular 80s property (G.I.Joe, Transformers) is able to make money and pollute our theaters with more of the same crap.

I no longer go to see this movies in the theater. I wait until I can rent them for cheap and then torture myself. I wish the rest of our society would vote with their money as well and send a clear message to Hollywood that we deserve better quality films.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I Bet It Will Be A Surprise Hit

Over the last few years, ever since it got announced, Ant-man has gotten a lot of snarky remarks made about it. Check out the trailer

I am fairly confident that it is going to be a good movie myself. So far Marvel studios has done an incredible job of making all their movies work (Remembering that the first Hulk movie was before there was  marvel studios). No one expected Guardians of the Galaxy to be a huge hit, with unknown characters and ridiculous characters with a talking racoon and a walking tree.

Yes Ant-Man is not a hugely popular character and yes there are several silly areas in the concept. Our hero will be riding an ant into battle and his main ability is that he can shrink. If done right, and it looks like that is what they are doing, it can work.

People need to understand that Ant-man is one of the older Marvel character and is a founding member of the Avengers in the comics. He has been a key part of the Marvel universe for a long while now.

I personally am hoping that they will have the Hank Pym Ant-Man do a cameo in Avengers: Age of . It would be real easy to do and it would work as a nice surprise for the fans. I still fidn it off that it is going to be Tony Stark who creates Ultron and not Hank Pym. At the minimum they need to mention Pym is some significant manner.

I have faith that they will give us a solid story that shows respect to the comics while at the same time making it unique with-in the Marvel cinematic universe, which is what Marvel Studios has shown us they are really good at doing.

I am fairly sure Avengers: Age of Ultron will be the big movie of the year, but Ant-Man is going to surprise many and prove the nay-Sayers wrong. I have full faith that it will be another enjoyable addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Friday, January 2, 2015

It Will Still Take Some Getting Used To

It really is odd to see the 'Disney' logo on Star Wars products now. I know Disney owns the franchise, but that doesn't mean they needed to put their logo on everything.

It is not like Star Wars needs the Disney logo. The Star Wars brand is going to sell itself just as well without any connection to Disney. If anything the Disney logo might turn away some fans. There was no need to so blatantly connect the brands.  I know I will never view it as being Disney's Star Wars, that would just be wrong.

What becomes puzzling though is that Disney has not gone and done that to everything Marvel. Marvel is doing just fine using only the Marvel brand.

Just one of those odd things that caught my attention.