Archive | Reviews

11 August 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Review: Graphic Story Finalists

The final category I’m reviewing in the Hugo Award review series for this year, this is for the graphic story category. I like graphic stories, but I tend to not do a very good job keeping up with them, so I use this category as a chance to get a sampling from some popular stories.

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07 August 2017 ~ 0 Comments

GAME REVIEW: Kill the Plumber

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Many gamers (especially those from the age of 30-40) grew up with Super Mario Bros. as their big introduction to games.  The music, the visuals, the enemies, the plot are all engrained deep in your heart with a lot of loving nostalgia.

Kill the Plumber is a platformer parody of Super Mario Bros. that turns the tables on the classic original.  A psychotic plumber has invaded your kingdom and he is massacring your citizens to pursue the princess who wants nothing more than to get away from her stalker.  So you mobilize your forces to fight this invader.  The plumber is fast and agile, and sometimes has extra powers like fireballs or invincibility, but you have numbers, and you can try each level as many times as you need to.

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31 July 2017 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The LEGO Batman Movie

written by David Steffen The Lego Batman movie is a comedy/action computer animated movie by Warner Bros. Pictures released in February 2017.  It is a followup, if not exactly a sequel, to The Lego Movie (reviewed here).  The connection with The Lego Movie is slight apart from the obvious connection that they’re Lego-based worlds:  Batman […]

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26 July 2017 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Zoolander 2

Zoolander 2 is a comedy action movie released in February 2016 by Paramount Pictures.  It is the sequel to the 2001 film Zoolander.

In the last movie, male supermodels Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and  Hansel McDonald (Owen Wilson) saved the world from fashion supervillain Mugatu’s (Will Ferrell) nefarious plans, and then founding The Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Who Wanna Learn to do Other Stuff Good Too.  Derek also had a beautiful baby boy with his wife Matilda (Christine Taylor), who they named Derek Zoolander Jr.

The unveiling of the center was a tragic disaster, as the cheaply built building collapses, killing Matilda, and leaving Hans with horrible scars that leave him exiled from the modeling community, and Derek leaves the public eye to become a hermit (or a “hermit crab”, as he would say).

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21 July 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Review: Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form Finalists

Another category in the Hugo Award review series for this year, this is for the novelette category which covers dramatic presentations (most often movies, but it could be dramatic stageplays or video games).

Not reviewed here are Deadpool, because it had cycled back out of Redbox by the time I looked for it, and Stranger Things, which I haven’t gotten my hands on either.

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12 July 2017 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Trolls

Trolls is a 2016 DreamWorks animated romantic comedy adventure film for kids, based on the lucky troll dolls that were popular in the 80s (you know, the little naked dolls with the giant flourescent hair?).

Trolls are tiny creatures of nearly endless happiness, spending all of their time sing, dancing, and hugging.  They also have fast-growing prehensile camoflauging hair which was admittedly pretty neat.  Twenty years ago, all of the known trolls were held in captivity by a race of much larger creatures called Bergens, who live in nearly unending unhappiness but who discovered that they can be happy for a short time if they eat a troll.  So the Bergens rounded up all the trolls and kept them captive in the center of their town, and once a year on the Trollstice holiday, the Bergens have a feast of trolls and as a result have a day of happiness.

But on that fateful Trollstice twenty years ago King Peppy (Jeffrey Tambor) led the trolls on their escape, burrowing out of their enclosure and out of the Bergen city before they could be eaten.  The Bergen chef who was in charge of preparing the Trollstice feast was exiled into the wilderness.  Twenty years have passed and the trolls still live free in the woods, unharrassed by their former tormentors.

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07 July 2017 ~ 2 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Sing

Sing is a 2016 Illumination Entertainment animated musical comedy about an animal singing competition.  Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), owner of the Moon theater, is on the verge of bankruptcy, but makes one last try at success to save his lifelong dream of running a successful theater:  a singing competition with a prize of $1000, which is slightly more cash than he actually has in hand.  Except, due to a clerical error by his assistant, the posters for the competition indicate that the cash prize is actually $100,000, so the contest draws a lot more notice than he expected.

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30 June 2017 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Secret Life of Pets

The Secret Life of Pets is an Illumination Entertainment animated adventure film about dogs and cats and other pets getting into adventures in New York City.  What do your pets do when you’re away at work every day?  What you probably didn’t say is that all the pets in your apartment building sneak out of their apartments and meet up with the other pets in the building to hang out.  But, apparently that’s what they do.

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26 June 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Catch-Up Review: Fafner: Right of Left

Anime Catch-Up Review: Fafner: Right of Left

fafnerrightofleftFafner: Right of Left wasn’t available to English speaking audiences for a long time. Animated back in 2005, it’s the second oldest entry in the long running Fafner series, but never made it stateside, likely due to its status as a direct-to-video prequel.

Right of Left was also skippable when the Heaven and Earth movie came out in 2010, but when the Exodus TV series emerged in 2015, it became clear that Right of Left wasn’t optional viewing anymore, as they made references to characters and the plan that makes up the heart of Right of Left. It was clear I was missing something.

Thankfully, at some point in the past year or so, it quietly slipped into the streaming library at Daisuki.

Right of Left takes place about half a year before the original Dead Aggressor and involves the class ahead of Kazuki and the others who will become the pilots of the first show. As such, we get treated to slightly younger versions of most of Dead Aggressor‘s pilots, back before their worlds got turned upside and raked over the coals.

However, because we know the pilots of Right of Left don’t exist in Dead Aggressor (save for the one who’s killed in the first episode), it’s a safe conclusion going in that Right of Left is going to be a downer. Some tissues may be needed.

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19 June 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Catch-Up Review: Psycho-Pass

Anime Catch-Up Review: Psycho-Pass

psychopass1 Psycho-Pass is an original self-contained anime from 2012 that I missed during initial broadcast. I’m generally not a big cyberpunk dystopia fan, so I only came back when I kept hearing about it. This review covers the first series, which is stand-alone.

I’d never thought about how much different American TV storytelling is from Japanese until I watched Psycho-Pass and realized how western its presentation is. Character development, particularly for the supporting cast, feels paced out like I would expect on an American show, with small nuggets here and there that lead to an eventual payoff, and the world itself draws clear inspiration from Philip K. Dick (particularly Blade Runner and Minority Report).

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