Entries in review (14)

Sunday
May252014

NNN Episode 155: #LongHidden Review


[Download MP3]

Topics: Review of "Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction From the Margins of History".  

An anthology featuring stories from the margins of speculative history with main characters who may be enslaved people, indigenous people, people of color, queer people, laborers, women, people with disabilities, the very young and very old, and religious minorities, etc.  

 

Did you miss Post Noire?   Listen to our show... after the show -->  [Link to Post Noire]

Monday
Mar172014

Let It Go

I watched Frozen recently and ever since I've been listening to the soundtrack. One song in particular. If you watched the Oscars you know that Idina Menzel performed it live.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov212013

NNN Episode 136: Zodiac Slander

Thor 2 The Dark World



Topics: PS4 and XBox One, TV fandoms, review of Thor 2: The Dark World and 12 Years A Slave.

[Download MP3]

Nerdtastic News:

Friday
Jul132012

NNN Episode 71 - British Nerdvasion

Topics: Our special guest Martin from SuperJawnCast joins use in the discussion of Cisco trying to be Big Brother, Thousands Pounds and a Negrita documentary crown-funding campaigns, G+ on the iPad, Penny Arcade being jerks.. AGAIN, True Blood, Newsroom plus a review of the movie Drive featuring Ryan Gosling. [Download MP3]

SPOILER ALERT:  Discussion of The Amazing Spiderman and Magic Mike movies

Nerdtastic News:

 

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Wednesday
Dec142011

Mini-Review: Princess Tutu Anime

Synopsis:

Before the story of Princess Tutu, there was a writer named Drosselmeyer.  He had the power to make stories become reality.  The townspeople became fearful of this power and chopped of his hands then killed him.   Drosselmeyer's last story, The Prince and The Raven, was left unfinished leaving the Prince and the Raven to battle each other forever without release.  Eventually, the Raven figured out how to break out of the story into the real world.  The Prince pursued the Raven and shatter his own heart with his sword in order to seal the Raven away.

Unbeknownst to the townspeople, Drosselmeyer longed written about himself before dying and was able to continue control events.  He decided to changed the direction of the story.  He changes a duck aptly named Duck to Princess Tutu and gives her the power to restore pieces of the Prince's heart to him.  Duck can never tell the Prince her feelings for him or else she disappears in a flash of light.

Mini-Review:

At first, I thought Princess TuTu will be just another "Magical Girl" anime but I was pleasantly surprised.   It's more of a ballet fairy-tale with Magical Girl elements throw in.  The anime takes some story elements from Swan Lake and other fairy-tale ballets.    The biggest concept in the anime is fate versus free will.  Do we really have no say in our future or can we beat the odds of our situation?   It also explores how our outside persona is used to cover up the real emotions inside.  Someone who tries to please everyone may just experiencing loneliness and going overboard to placate that raw feeling.

The artwork is beautiful.  It feels nostalgic and fragile if that makes any sense.   Conflicts in Princess Tutu are not solved through violence but ballet dances.  I have to admit during some of the "fight" scenes I got a bit emotional.    The combination of the beautiful art, dance sequences, music, and words can tug a bit at the heart strings.  If you like character driven anime and ballet, I think you will enjoy Princess Tutu.   Let me say this, Mytho (the Prince) is a bit dead but I guess since he's suppose to not have a heart or emotions..  meh...

Rating: Hells Yea!

 

Cross-posted from Shiny Things Goes Here

Thursday
Nov242011

How To Train Your Dragon: Retrospective



[Warning! This post contains spoilers for How to Train Your Dragon and the animated short How to Train Your Dragon: The Gift of the Night Fury]



On November 15, DreamWorks released a short based on the popular CGI animated movie, How to Train Your Dragon. The story is a holiday special, and one of its subplots briefly deals with the topic of Toothless and how missing part of his tail wing has impaired him greatly, and how Hiccup copes with the realization that, even after constructing a new tail for Toothless, he is stillimpaired.

It brought up some old talking points and opinions I had on the movie, specifically the ending wherein Hiccup, our protagonist, loses his leg during the final confrontation with the big bad dragon.

When I went to see the original movie, I already knew Hiccup was going to lose his leg beforehand. I had accidentally spoiled myself, but since spoilers aren't a big deal to me, I went on anyway. This prior knowledge did not make the scene where they reveal this any less tragic or hit me any softer - it was a punch in the gut. A lot of people I talked to afterward said that Hiccup losing his leg was a step too far, that it shouldn't have happened and it was unfair, or just misplaced.

I disagree.

One of the reasons why I liked the addition of Hiccup losing his leg is it, in a way, brings to light what happened to Toothless. The movie doesn't shy away from the gravity of what happened - Hiccup shot Toothless with a net-launching machine of his own design, and during the dragon's crash to the ground (or perhaps one of the contributing factors to him crashing in the first place), Toothless loses a wing on his tail - a small, but vital wing for flight.

Toothless wasn't a pet or a tool or a macguffin or a background element, he was a character, and losing his tail wing had an impact on him the same as someone losing a limb. It was sudden, jarring; it impaired him, and made it hard for daily life to continue. Toothless would have, without exaggeration, died had he been allowed to continue in the way he did, but Hiccup helped him. The scene wherein Hiccup is revealed to have lost his leg, he tries to stand on his own and stumbles from the shock and pain of it all - and Toothless catches him. That moment says, without using words, what the two went through, and how unified they are. Now, more than ever, they are on even field - Hiccup is just as broken as Toothless was, but, like before, they were going to get through it together. It was like Toothless had said "It's my turn to carry you."

It's all visuals, and nothing hurts.

Now, in the holiday short, Hiccup, realizing that the prosthetic wing he made for Toothless requires a rider, and that without one Toothless is grounded, Hiccup makes Toothless a wing that he can manipulate on his own. Immediately, Toothless takes off and Hiccup doesn't see him for three days. When he returns, they share a moment where Toothless wants to go for a ride with Hiccup in his old rig, with the wing that needs manipulation from a rider. Hiccup, not understanding, tells Toothless to stop kidding around, but Toothless breaks the tail and throws it away, shyly nudging the old rig at him. There's a moment of shock, confusion realization, and happiness that overtakes Hiccup's face when it all sinks in.

I loved every second of it. I was with Hiccup - I didn't get it until he did.

I prescribed to the train of thought that Toothless would prefer a tail he could manipulate himself, if given the chance. He would still want to ride with Hiccup - the two are friends, after all, but being self-sufficient would be important to him as well. During the Toothless scenes in the movie, all he wanted for the time it focused on him was to fly. Fly, fly, fly. Fly or die. A downed dragon is a dead dragon. Birds could fly, but Toothless could not. In spite of myself, I always felt myself turning against Hiccup during these scenes, because Hiccup just did notget it. Oh, sure, when he built Toothless the prosthetic tail, it helped to ease my frustrations on Hiccup a bit, because it gave Toothless the ability of flight again, but there remains a problem:

Toothless still cannot fly without Hiccup. At all. Oh sure, maybe he'd be able to glide around short distances around the island, but if he wants to maintain lift or have any significant change in direction during those glides, he's SOL.

Hiccup is sick? Toothless can't fly.

Hiccup has chores? Toothless can't fly.

Hiccup has a date? Toothless can't fly.

Hiccup doesn't feel like flying? Toothless cannot fly.

It bugged me, and I always hoped if they made a sequel this would be addressed. How does Toothless feel about this? There's got to be at least a bit of resentment, right? Flying fast and hard is a Night Fury's thing - I'm sure even with Hiccup, Toothless has to hold back lest he hurt his rider.

It didn't feel rectified until Hiccup lost his leg. I got the feeling that, after the end credits, he would start to understand just what he had done. He didn't mean it, and I don't think he deserved to lose his leg, per se, since he was clearly regretful and repentant for everything he had done to Toothless, but I was glad to think that Hiccup understood when the same happened to him.

That scene just...it was just perfect.

And while I wish Hiccup had modified the tail to make it so it could be both controlled by Toothless as well as by a rider, I don't think flying matters as much to Toothless as having a friend. I mean, did you see any other Night Furies? I like to think Toothless, as a general rule, looks out for other dragons (why else would he try to knock down the trebuchets at the start of the movie when he could have so easily just flown away), but I think Toothless was alone. If Toothless couldn't fly, it would surely have meant death, but without a companion, it wouldn't have been life.

Please support How To Train Your Dragon and How to Train Your Dragon: Gift of the Night Fury, by buying a copy at your local store. The more support we show, the more seriously they may take the planned sequel!

Originally posted on Sketchy Dezzi 
Thursday
Nov172011

Dezzi's Thoughts: Delgo



Because of technical difficulties, I couldn’t record all of my recap, and opinions on Delgo, so they’ll be posted below:



When introduced to the Silurian Slitheen Lokni and the Nohrin’s struggle, and I think I’m supposed to be reminded of Americans and Native Americans – with less downplayed genocide, but I honestly don’t feel the hatred or the intensity. I guess this is points for mediocrity. There’s no passion or ambition behind it at all [read: kind of like my life]. it all boils down to the clearly evil Sedessa, who I will refer to as “Stubs”, being racist with no real reason (not that racism has meaning, of course). Ms. Stubs clearly did not learn anything in dragonfly kindergarden..

Early in the movie, after committing treason, our antagonist Stubs is sentenced exile, and has her wings cut off. Her wings came off so easily, there was no blood or even stubs (negating the nickname, but screw you), and the dress seemed to have stitched itself back together quite nicely. At first I thought it was skin, but further viewing revealed she was wearing something different earlier! It’d make sense if it were just cool skin, though, since she’s been wearing the dress for the FIFTEEN YEARS. Early in the movie she comments that she wants to change her clothes, but she puts on the same wingsand dress. It sort of draws attention to the fact that the budget for this movie wasn’t spent on costume changes (except one). It’s a nice dress - fifteen years, still in good condition. Seriously, Stubs, can I have the name of whoever dresses you? You know so long as I’m not subjected to a curse where my clothes stick to my skin forever.

Also, what was the point of giving her fake wings? A shot of her taking them off would be fine, but the camera just lingerson them in one scene that seems like hours. Is it symbolic? Shameless padding? Pandering to the wing fetishists in the crowd? [read: you know who you are] I just don’t get it.

And at the end, it’s revealed that Stubs can’t fly to save her life. Literally. The wings she made didn’t work. Her wings were cosmetic? Sure, add another half hour of finding the right wings to your lengthy morning routine of not changing your clothes or tending to the gangrene that’s probably cropping up. What was the point of showing us she made wings if theydidn’t workWas it symbolic? What was the point? What is it more padding?

And it’s not the only time.. The opening focuses on credits and a single desert landscape for  a full (however many) minutes before we get to the opening prologue. It shows Delgo first playing with his dad, learning how to live in peaceful ignorance of the bloodshed and carnage impending…and this scene adds nothing. It just feels like padding, when the movie is already long enough. The credits could have rolled during the voice over, or when we first see Delgo and….Filo.

Oh, I’ll get to you

We’re told the Lokni have powers over stones. Instead of using them to bludgeon themselves right out of this thing, we see them playing with zen gardens and being mystical, and healing broken bones.

What?

You’ll excuse my confusion, but we don’t see them using rock powers in the prologue, let alone for healing. Why not? It’s just thrown at us out of nowhere. It would be a better introduction instead of “BAM ROCKS!” They are seriously not making good, bloody, gristly, victorious use of their powers.

Delgo’s flaw seems to be his arrogance, and yet nothing about him makes me care about what he thinks of himself or anyone. You know, less than the usual. His best line is one he gets in rock training, when his mentor tells him he needs better control of his rock powers:

“Oh, I can control the stones.”

-and I don’t even get it. Was that supposed to be sexual? What does that even mean?…are you coming out?..Mazel tov?

He’s just so bland. The only vague hint of chemistry he has on screen is when he’s snarking at Borgobas – the only half decent character because he’s got a gambling problem - , and sometimes I wonder if he should use his go live on a farm in the hills somewhere with him and leave the chick in a jogging suit behind. I’m pretty sure they introduced a ’wacky side character ‘– and no, I haven’t forgotten Filo– just to make him look good in comparison.

The lady lead is….well, her name is Kyla and…she’s a princess…and she wears a jogging suit…loves her people..and wants everyone to get along…hooray?

Seriously, she’s so uninteresting it hurts. They try to turn her into an action girl, but it comes off feeling last minute and forced.

CEO: “Quick, everyone else in the world is trying to make their heroines more interesting and compelling! What do we do?”
Suit 1: “We could write her with an interesting personality who, despite having no athletic abilities, is still a compelling person to-“

Suit 2:“Let’s make her kick a guy in the face!”
CEO: “BRILLIANT!!”

And then we have the worst offender …… Filo…

Filo’s only redeeming quality of his rocking head gear, and a Kango is not going to make him bearable. He’s superfluous and not remotely funny [read: kind of like me]. His best joke happened when he accidentally set a tree on fire….hilarity?  Yeah, civilizations dying in a desert brush fire just make me crack up. Seriously, I don’t think this place’s health care will cover the skin grafts you’re going to need when your all charcoal. It’s like watching someone drag their nails across a chalkboard, but with less annoying, teeth-grinding, screechy pain.

And so many things that could have made good plot points get dropped or forgotten: Sedessa’s poison gas [read: never mentioned again], Borgobas has this crystal dragon thing that’s scene important a few times [Read: Metaphor for Borgobas and Raius being foils? Somehow?], Borgobas saving Delgo as a kid [read: summed up in a flashback, like we couldn’t figure that out], Kyla missing her mom [read: which makes a dagger miss when it tries to stab her…?  Makes her intangible to pointy things? (I don’t know..)]

And what the hell were those tail rock things??

All of the background creatures are described on their website, but even if it’s still up, I can’t work up the excitement to look. I’m being factitious; this movie doesn’t enrage me at all. I’m apathetic to it at best.

Please, check it out of you have Netflix or can find a DVD copy, but if only for the idea that everything should be watched once. And when you watch it, don’t operate heavy machinery during.

Originally posted on Sketchy Dezzi
Saturday
Jul092011

NNN Episode 23 - Google+Awesome

[NNN] 23-Google+Awesome

Amazon Cloud Player, Google Music, Google+.

Friday
Jun172011

Mini-Review: Kirikou and the Sorceress


Synopsis:

A young boy named Kirikou is born in a unusual way.  He is very different than other newborns since he could speak and walk immediately after birth.  Kirikou becomes very curious about the state of the small West African villages he lives in.  His mother tells him that an evil sorceress named Karaba has dried all the water and devoured most of the men except one.  Kirikou without hesitation accompanies the last warrior, his uncle, to face the evil sorceress.  This is the start of Kirikou's destiny.

Mini-Review:

I love this movie.  It's a very sweet story.   The characters are drawn flat and two-dimensional surrounded by bright colors and patterns.   The story reads like an old folk tale which illustrates the struggles Kirikou must overcome.    Kirikou is not written as the typical hero.  His bravery, determination and kindness wins his battles.   If you have a problem with asexual nudity, don’t watch it.   Otherwise, you should see this movie!

Rating: Hell Yeas!!

Thursday
Jun092011

Mini-Review: Gantz



Synopsis:

The story of Kei Kurono and his childhood friend Masaru Kato who died in a train accident. They become part of a posthumous ‘game’ where they have to hunt down and kill aliens within a certain time period armed with handful of futuristic items of equipment and weaponry. Ah, but they are not alone! Kei and Masaru are transported to a seemingly ordinary apartment with other recently decreased people. Will they work together to survive? Or will they turn on each other for their own survival?

Mini-Review:

The one thing I can say is the main character, Kei, is not super likable. He’s one of those guys who you don’t love but don’t super hate. It’s indifference which is worse than hate cause you just don’t understand why we even care about the jerk. The anime seems intent on making sure if you start to like him a little bit to dash those hopes. In fact, most of the characters are not super likable. It seems as if bad stuff happens to the characters just because but on the other hand that's life. The only redeeming character in the story is Masaru who is genuinely kind, heroic and moral… but he’s not the central character… Go figure.

The art style is clean and pretty but not so lush that you wonder if someone is going to throw out rose petals any minute. Gantz is a very violent and bloody anime. You will see guts pouring out. Brains oozing out and all that.. um.. good stuff.

Anime has a very interesting premise. Would you hold on to your human nature in this scenario? Would you question the purpose of your life or if you are really living at all?

Rating:

Meh. It’s alright. [For those that love really bloody animes even with paper thin storyline, it’s a HELLS YEA!] It’s watchable but only because you wonder how much of a jerk can Kei become.