Monday, August 31, 2015

Review - The Matador

So, yeah, reviewing the Street Fighter movie wore me out to the point that I really didn't have anything planned for today.

I mean, sure, I have projects I'm working on, and there's always the other Street Fighter movie, and I'm almost at my 600th post, but today...I just hit a wall.  I had nothing really jump out at me as something that would be simple and enjoyable to write about.

Then it hit me.  If I'm trying to make this easy, it means I don't want to try.  I also spotted a movie I watched not too long ago and completely forgot to review while it was still fresh in my mind.  Strangely enough, I do remember almost all of it pretty clearly, so I think I'll discuss it.

Here it is, the best movie to ever star Pierce Brosnan.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Street Fighter: The Movie - Part Two

I was not prepared for what I was getting myself into with this project.  I thought "hey, wouldn't it be fun to watch a movie that I know is big and dumb but still kind of fun?  Wouldn't it be great if I just did reviews of video game movies?"

And to think I have both the Chun-Li movie waiting in the wings for after I finish this one.

I did not really think this through.

Where did we leave off?

Oh right, the fate of the world rested in the hands of Jean-Claude Van Damme, a pop star, and Not T. Hawk.

Let's get back into it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Street Fighter: The Movie - Part One

Video game movies.

I really don't need to say much more than that.  We just had another movie based on the Hitman franchise come out, and it's currently pulling a score on Rottentomatoes on par with the new Fantastic Four movie.  You'd think making a movie about a bald guy who goes around shooting people would be pretty easy to make, but apparently they just can't find a way to make it work.

I think it's telling that the highest-rated video game movie on Rottentomatoes is Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.  Granted, I liked that movie, but I know I'm in the not very vocal minority there.  Next up is the Prince of Persia movie and then you know what's in third?  Here's a hint, I took two days to review it.

That's right, that movie came out ahead of both Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil.

But there are certain video game movies people talk about when they talk about video game movies.  Super Mario Bros.  Mortal Kombat (and the awful sequel).  Tomb Raider.

And then there's this one.  This one always gets a bit of a pass because it was the last film Raul Julia ever worked on, but I remember enjoying it slightly even before I really knew to appreciate his work.  There was just something about it that I thought was pretty great when I was fourteen years old.

I'm sure I'll think of it.

So let's start watching.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Black Science

It's strange, but for how much I love comic books and think they're an important storytelling medium on their own merit, I sure haven't talked much about comics that weren't pretty darn terrible.  This is a shame, because people I know (and worth with) will know I keep digging comics out of my bookshelf and throwing them at people to get them to read them.

So, on that note, anybody else fondly remember the TV show Sliders?  I'm not joking when I say it was my favorite thing in the world when it was on the air, and I used to dream about the ability to visit alternate worlds and see amazing things with the help of a remote control.

Having now read Black Science, I think I'll wait for someone else to map out the good parts first.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Song of the Sea

In a strange way, Tomm Moore reminds me of the early days of Hayato Miyazaki, frequently regarded by anybody who's ever seen one of his movies (or just wants to sound like they know what they're talking about) as the greatest animated filmmaker with the possible exception of Walt Disney.  It's not that all of his stories are necessarily the most amazing things ever created.  It's more that there's such a fresh innocence provided by the characters and the fact that it never takes a cynical eye to its own story that makes me mentally compare the two as I'm watching their works.

Both directors have the ability to tell solid stories, but I think it's telling that even some of Miyazaki's early works aren't held as high as a lot of his later work, but even a "not as good" Miyazaki movie is still pretty good.  The same seems to hold true with Tomm Moore, who tells a story that isn't quite on part with stories like Spirited Away or Frozen but stands close behind them by the things it brings to the animated film "party" that other sources don't.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers - Episode 15: Search For The Castle's Treasure!

Okay.  I have a frosty drink (root beer), some snapea crisps (truly the food of kings) and I'm ready to work with you, series.

Sure, you hurt me last time when you brought in Whipla- er.  When you brought he He Who Will Not Be Named.

I was just really starting to feel comfortable with you as a series, so to suddenly see that side of you was just really unnerving.  However, I'm willing to give this another shot.

So please.  Be kind.  I've been hurt by animated series before.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins

Every now and again I like to dust off (read: blow in the ports and stuff a cartridge in) my old Game Boy and see if I still remember how to play a game.  A while ago I took a look at one of my favorites, Nintendo World Cup, but while that was a fun way to blow off steam, when I think to my Game Boy days, there's one game that tends to rise up above the others as one I'd play over, and over, and over again, finding every hidden secret and memorizing every stage until I could probably talk my way through it like some twisted version of Lifeline.

But man, putting it in now and playing through it...this is one messed up game.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Review: Ant-Man

Technically, this review is really late because it's been some time since I've seen Ant-Man.  However, rather than immediately rush home and type up my impressions, there was a thought I had that made me hesitate.  I wanted to think about it some more, mull over what it means, and consider what it means for superhero movies as a whole.

But here it is, my review of Ant-Man.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Guinea Worm

Imagine, for a moment, that you one day have a shooting pain in your leg.  You start to develop some rather common but troubling symptoms such as a fever, a rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dizziness.  Maybe it's just the flu, you think.  Maybe it's something you ate.  Maybe bird flu finally got you, just like you were always afraid it would.

But then a blister develops.  Usually on your leg or foot.

You try to think of what could be causing this.  Was it that guy on the bus sneezing next to you while you rode to get your bagel?  That small child who was covered in sticky stuff that bumped into you at the mall?  Your coworker who showed up anyway despite coughing the whole day in the cubicle next to yours.  That bird.  That scruffy looking pigeon that followed you around the sidewalk and eyed you warily.  Surely, that bird had a hand in this.

What you don't know, and won't know until you finally give up and decide to soak your feet in a nearby pond while you walk your dog is that it's something much worse, much more terrifying...and something that, in another couple of years, nobody will ever need to worry about again.

I'm going a bit more "real" this time, by talking about the Guinea Worm, a parasite that has caused grief for too long across the world, and whose extinction is nigh.

Don't worry if you have a nervous stomach, I'm not posting any pictures of the worm.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers - Episode 14:The Man Who Controls The Whips Of Darkness!

After a brief reprieve I'm back in the thick of watching cartoons about superheroes!  You know, for writing purposes.  It gives me something to use to fill a post on Thursdays as opposed to having to go out and find something that costs money to enjoy different each time, and it connects each week to each other.

But enough justification of my hobby, it's time to get into the thick of things!  Let's dive right in for a story  And darkness.  And a guy.  And- okay, did I wander in to the Fifty Shades Of Grey animated series?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The League of Regrettable Superheroes

Superman.  Batman.  Spider-Man.  Captain America.  Deadpool.  Black Panther.  Ant-Man.  Aquaman.  Some comic book characters just have something about them that sticks with pop culture, whether it's something amazing, something refreshing, something real, or something that makes you want to mock them despite how awesome (yes, I'm aware some pictures there aren't loading, no I don't know why) they actually are.

But not every new character succeeds.  Sometimes they're an idea that's been handled better somewhere else.  Sometimes they just don't connect.  Sometimes they're either ahead or behind their times.  Sometimes they're just terrible.  Just so, so terrible.

Thus, we have the book The League Of Regrettable Superheroes, a collection of the weirdest, most misunderstood, and downright worst superheroes (and some villains) who ever existed.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Review: Shining Hearts

Some time ago I did a review of a game for the Playstation 2 called Shining Tears.  It was a simple Japanese role-playing game that I felt had a lot of neat features and ideas that rose it above a lot of the (let's be honest here) mundane RPGs that were flooding the market in those days.  What I didn't learn until much later was that the world was deeper than just one game, and other games and animated series linked to it were steadily coming out in Japan and not making the slightest effort to make their way over here.

Seriously, I will pay someone to sit beside me and translate Shining Wind for me as I play it.

One thing that did make its way over here, however, was an animated series called Shining Hearts, and seeing that it had some of the same things I liked about the original game I played (amnesiac swordsman, Tony Taka's artwork), I figured I'd give it a watch.

Never before has bread mattered so much to a story.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Let's Talk: Changes

I've never been a big fan of huge changes.

Actually, that's not quite true.  One of my favorite things in the world to do is explore new places, whether it's walking through the streets of Venice late at night simply wandering down a new street of New York City to see what I can find.  I enjoy hotel rooms for what they're meant to be, "places to sleep between awesome daily adventures."  Travel, if nothing else, is all about experiencing constant change.  I love it.

However, I can also get into holding patterns (or "ruts" if you're being negative).  Part of this is tied to depression, as it's possible to simply let your life spiral out of control around you and you just slide through, not being at all proactive about making it better.  But sometimes it's just about comfort.  It's nice knowing that you don't need to pull your whole life out by the roots to adapt to things.

I don't mean that in a negative way.  There are lots of things a lot of us take a lot of comfort in.  Waking up each day knowing you have a job.  Coming home to discover your home hasn't burned down.  Eating comfort food instead of daring to put a lot of effort into something that could turn out horrible in the kitchen and you're just so hungry.  There are so many routines and "holding patterns" that so many of us have because without them, life would be terrifying.  Sure, I could spend every day hunting for a new job/apartment/car/brand of underwear but what I have now is reliable and has more positives than negatives, and that's what counts.

So, as people know, I haven't really posted anything for the past few weeks, and that's partly due to my taking advantage of some overtime at work, but it's also partly due to a rather huge change that's hit me recently, and it's taken me some time to think about it and what it all means.

My parents moved.