Friday, March 27, 2020

Green Phoenix - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Review

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom PosterB.jpgThe Indiana Jones franchise was originally pitched by George Lucas as a trilogy of films, much in the style of adventure serials of the 1940s. Raiders of the Lost Ark was a tremendous success, popularizing and revolutionizing the fantasy adventure genre in much the same way that Star Wars had revolutionized science fiction film. And so with that success in mind, Director Steven Spielberg and Producer George Lucas set about working on the next film in the trilogy.

When Lucas conceived of Temple of Doom, he imagined the film would stand within the Indiana Jones franchise much like The Empire Strikes Back stood within the Star Wars saga. The darker and grittier middle child that was more experimental and adult-oriented. Something that could steer the direction of the entire future franchise down an unexpected course, despite the intention of each film to be standalone adventures.

But where The Empire Strikes Back succeeded in its dark tone, Temple of Doom was much more controversial. The film was too dark for many audiences and especially the MPAA, who refused to give the film a PG rating. Knowing that an R-rating would kill the film in its cradle, Spielberg and Lucas worked with the MPAA to design an entirely new rating system, creating the PG-13 rating.

Temple of Doom's legacy within the Indiana Jones franchise remains a black sheep. Its middling performance revealed that it was more than the pure spectacle that drew audiences into the franchise. But was it deserving of its lukewarm reception?

***

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

New Video Game Releases of the Week Spotlights (March 25 - 31) - Predictions



Any new games look interesting this week? Click "read more" and I'll point out a few stand outs.


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Team Fortress 2 (steam)

-intro
      Team Fortress 2 (TF2) is a Valve developed game that was released all the way back in 2007. It became free 4 years later in 2011. There are many ways of looking at the game as many people play it differently. As such, I will have to cover those ways differently.




Friday, March 20, 2020

Green Phoenix - Walking With Dinosaurs (1999) Review

Walkingwithdinosdvdcover.jpgAs stated many, many times during my various Jurassic Park reviews, I was absolutely obsessed with dinosaurs and paleontology growing up. A love I have actually healthily maintained to this day.

While I enjoy the fictional portrayals of dinosaurs, that passion also helped me to develop a love for documentaries and educational television and films. So much so that I even have a subscription to CuriosityStream simply because I want to have access to documentaries that I can't get on Netflix, Disney +, and Amazon. I had considered acquiring the documentary streaming service for a few months, due in no small part to the recommendation of some of my favorite YouTube educators and theorists. But the information that finally convinced me to purchase CuriosityStream was the knowledge that they had the entire Walking With... series available for viewing.

In the wake of the release of Jurassic Park in 1993, public interest in prehistoric life reached a fever pitch. This public excitement inspired Tim Haines with the idea of using ground-breaking computer effects and animatronics, similar to Jurassic Park, to create a dinosaur-centric documentary miniseries. Collaborating the Jasper James and special effects artist Michael Milne, Haines succeeded in creating the most advanced paleontological documentary ever seen to that point.

Walking with Dinosaurs is easily one of the most notorious and influential nature documentaries in recent memory and the progenitor of an equally influential franchise. It was a game-changer in the field of nature documentaries, utilizing state of the art animatronics, computer graphics, and the top paleontological knowledge of the time to bring the world of dinosaurs to life.

While dinosaur nature documentaries are a dime-a-dozen nowadays; back in the late 90s, Walking with Dinosaurs was truly revolutionary and the chance to talk about it in detail is exhilarating to me.

***

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Dynasty Warriors 2 (PS2) - Review (Dynasty Warriors Retrospective)



Continuing this look back on Dynasty Warriors, we have the second title that is the first hack & slash that this series in known for. While marketed as a sequel in America, it was actually the first in another series in Japan under the title Shin Sangoku Musou. This title change lead to a numbering difference in regions that still persist to this day. (Shin Sangoku Musou 2 = Dynasty Warriors 3, ect.) But, enough history lessons, (for now), click "read more" and let's see how this title holds up.


Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sonic Movie Sequel Ideas - Red Shard Prime


So I posted my review on the Sonic movie and went into great detail about what I thought of the film.  However, as the ending set up the way for a sequel and the movie is doing well enough, I want to express my thoughts on what I feel would be good for a sequel and what I feel should be some ideas to go through with and ones to not go through with, at least not for the second film.

Also, MASSIVE SPOILERS, so heads up!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Green Phoenix - Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) Review

Sonic the Hedgehog poster.jpgA few weeks back, Red Diamond and I decided to check out the new Sonic the Hedgehog film. While I initially had no plans to review this particular film, I felt motivated to do so after seeing all the effort on the part of the production to...correct...some rather infamous glaring issues.

Video game films tend to have a, not all undeserved, reputation for terrible quality and when this film was first announced last year, it looked like that statement would continue to hold water.

And it all had to do with the design of Sonic himself.

Being as honest and as frank as possible, Sonic looked like absolute dogshit in the very first teaser posters and trailers. Looking far too cartoony to be real but far too realistic-looking to ever be considered cartoon cute, the original Sonic design essentially took a massive deuce in the uncanny valley.

And the internet made sure that absolutely everybody knew about it.

It was actually kind of incredible to watch a video game movie implode before it even reached the theatres in real-time. The design of Sonic could've very nearly sunk the entire project just from the teaser alone. It was then that the production team behind the Sonic the Hedgehog film decided to delay the film's release and completely revamp Sonic's design.

The result is what was delivered to theatres. A level of post-production on this scale for a video game movie due to public backlash is almost unheard of. And it is an incredible achievement what the CGI artists were able to accomplish. I felt like I had to support such a project.

Perhaps studios would listen to real audience feedback instead of "supposed" audience feedback.

So how did the film turn out? Is it an amazing work of art? Or is it like nearly every other video game movie?

***

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger Number 49: As Thieves, As Police



The story is wrapping up. Everything is changing and the biggest challenges are coming fast. So, let's not waste time, click "read more" for my full coverage.


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (Super Nintendo) Review.


We're finally here! The fourth (and final) part of this month long journey covering the video game adaptations of the Power Rangers Movie games.  If you haven't read those previous reviews yet, you must do so right now.  I command you to!  They are pretty great! 
Now that you're done reading them (or giving me a free view because you pity me), we are at the most crazy, insane, and bat-sh*t game out of the bunch.  This is the Super Nintendo version and oh, boy.  (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)

New Video Game Releases of the Week Spotlights (March 13-17) - Predictions



Like last time, this isn't a fully week because I goofed and was covering 8 days on posts so, I need to let the schedule catch up. But, this is the last time I'm doing that. Now, let's see what's coming out within those 5 days. Also, I'm going to include the game trailers now.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Sonic The Hedgehog (Movie) Review - Red Shard Prime



So I saw Sonic The Hedgehog in theaters on premiere night and a second time and there’s a major flaw with this movie which shows the cast and crew did not do their job properly.  They forgot to make this movie horrible.  Video game based movies are NOT supposed to be good, and by making it good, it means everyone really screwed up here.  So let me explain how they screwed up by making this movie good.

WARNING: MILD SPOILERS IN IMAGES AND WRITING!

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Farewell to Writers

Hello internet, Red Diamond here with a quick message. I just want to inform anyone curious that Orange Scarab and Fenris The Rogue have decided to step down due to personal life problems and losing motivation to write. I would like to personally thank them for everything they have done for the website and wish them luck in life. You will be missed greatly.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Green Phoenix - Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark Review

Raiders of the Lost Ark.jpgGrowing up, I had three great passions. Each of these passions was born out of a piece of media.

The first of my passions was Paleontology. Born of my love of the Jurassic Park franchise, I absolutely adored dinosaurs and desired to learn everything about them. I once even challenged a paleontology major college student (my second grade teacher's son) to a dinosaur naming contest and won.

My second passion was Astronomy. I adored stories of space travel and exploration. Star Trek and Star Wars captivated my childhood and has continued to form a core to my futurist tendencies.

My third passion was Archaeology. And given the title of this article, you can probably imagine which series influenced this passion. The Indiana Jones franchise built a love of history and alternate history that has only grown stronger as my knowledge of history grew with my education. Until I was in High School, there was a genuine part of me that wanted to go into archaeology as a profession.

Naturally, my dislike of busywork and the realities of being an archaeology teacher or museum curator (the only profitable jobs that an archaeology major could reasonably acquire) nipped much of that in the bud. But the love and appreciation for this film remained, especially as my passion turned to film-making and I learned the history of some of my favorite childhood films.

Like how Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark was a collaborative passion project between George Lucas, the director and creator of Star Wars, and Steven Spielberg, the director and force behind...basically the best films of the 1980s and 1990s. Much like Star Wars was inspired by George Lucas' love of Flash Gordon sci-fi serials, Indiana Jones was inspired by the treaure hunter and explorers of 1930s and 40s serials, as well as the romance and danger of characters like Alan Quartermain and James Bond.

Lucas wrote the initial draft, then called The Adventures of Indiana Smith. but shelved the idea for many years, as the means and method to create such a series of films were outside of his capacity. Initially wanting Clint Eastwood for the role of Indiana Jones, prior commitments on Eastwood's part to the film The Outlaw Josey Wales, and the development of The Empire Strikes Back being shifted to a different director to Lucas, would see Lucas and Spielberg team up with Harrison Ford to bring a brand new adventure franchise to life.

To phenomenal success. It is no exaggeration to state that the Indiana Jones franchise fundamentally shifted much of the public perception around adventure blockbusters and even the archaeological profession. Just as Star Trek and Star Wars inspired astronomers and Jurassic Park inspired paleontologists, Indiana Jones has become the benchmark for future archaeologists.

And for very good reason.

***

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger Number 48: The Face Behind the Masks - Summary/Review



It is time for the final countdown with only 4 episodes left. This is the episode that has teased the big moment of the Phantom Thieves revealing themselves. What will that lead too? Click "read more" and let's take a look.


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

New Video Game Releases of the Week Spotlights (March 7-12) - Predictions



Okay, I know what you are thinking, that's not a full week. Well, I goofed and was doing 8 days in the last few entries so, now the schedule is out of wack. Just to catch it up, I will dial it down to 6 for this entry. I would cut this time frame in half and catch it all up at once, but then we wouldn't have any titles. Regardless, on with the list.


Monday, March 2, 2020

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (Sega Mega Drive/Genesis) Review.



One really long week ago (a week that has lasted a month and a half) I took a look at the second of the hand-held releases of the Power Rangers Movie game.  That's all in the past now because the future is fucking here.  We're in the 16-bit century now; full of mode seven, blast processing, parallax scrolling and other awesome features that use silly words.  Kicking it off the rim first (bruh) is the Sega Genesis release.  Will it top its Game Gear brother?  1. Who cares.  2.  Let's find out shall we.  (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy (PC - Steam Review)



I have always had an affection for old school first person dungeon crawlers, but they are definitely bigger in Japan than they are in North America. Today’s modern dungeon crawler, with a few choice exceptions, is a very anime experience. The anime element in this particular game is really strong indeed.

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