Monday, November 23, 2020

Kamen Rider (Super Nintendo/Super Famicom) Review.


You know how some gamers swear that a game is good because they spent a ton of money on it?  (*Cough* The people that bought the Double Dragon 4 Collector's Edition *Cough*)  Well, today's game is a very expensive one to find and it's a tokusatsu game.  So, going by that logic that means that this game should be a twenty out of ten game that only the game collecting gods should experience.  This is Kamen Rider for the Super Famicom and I have huge doubts that this game will be worth spending a king's ransom on.  Let's see shall we?  (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)

Sunday, November 22, 2020

A Review of "World of guns: gun disassembly" PC

    You probably saw the title and went, "ooh a shooter game!" Well, while it has guns in the game and yo can technical shoot them, it is more of a puzzle game. While the title tells you about how you will disassemble them, It doesn't tell you that you have to put it back together. This is where it being a puzzle comes in as every little screw has to go back in its right hole.

World of Guns: Gun Disassembly on Steam

Friday, November 20, 2020

Green Phoenix - The Future of Film Reviews

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to give you all a little heads up regarding the lack of article this week and the plans for Film Reviews going forward into the new year.

My review of Clear and Present Danger was originally going to be released yesterday, but sudden delays and unexpected prior commitments made that date impossible. In addition, I've been thinking long and hard about changing up the structure of my film reviews and this latest review was the straw that broke my back as it were.

And it largely has to do with the points system I have been using. For those of you who have been following my reviews for the past couple of years, you would know that I split the reviews into four specific categories for consideration: Visuals, Soundtrack, Characters, and Story. And when it comes to actually score the film, these points work out fantastic and with little issue. I have no desire to remove the point system on its own.

But where I have been growing dissatisfied with articles is in my splitting up of my review to talk about each category specifically and independent of each other. I just don't personally think of films in that divided and isolated way and it has begun to seriously impact my emotional conveyance of the quality of films.

As a writer and critic, I feel motivated to give you guys the best possible portrait of my opinions on any subject I discuss, and in my editorials and more free-form articles, I feel like you all get a better grasp of my humor and thought-process on any particular subject. So I want to adopt a similar approach to reviews going forward with the hopes that my emotions and enthusiasm will be better conveyed.

I already employ a similar style with my Literary Recommendations, this will simply extend, with modification, the format to Film and TV reviews. But in order to do these things, I will need to switch up my expected schedule for the rest of the year.

So my review of Clear and Present Danger will be pushed to the 8th of January, 2020, being the first film review of the new year. Next week will be my experimentation with the new format with a review of the 2019 documentary They Shall Not Grow Old before I join the rest of the Emerald Rangers in taking December off, with a special Christmas editorial being the last article of the year.

I want to thank all of my readers for sticking with me through this absolute pisser of a year and hope that my new style will help to better entertain and inform.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Drew Carey's Green Screen Show - A look back at a failed show

 



Here is a short lived Improv Comedy show I have found memories of, only lasting 12 episodes + the pilot. Airing from fall 2004-2005 on WB and Comedy Central, this show was created by Drew Carey after Whose Line is it Anyway had finished its run and the show easily felt like a continuation as it featured several of the same games and cast. So, click "read more" and let us take a look back at this failed experiment.


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Among Us - Moble/Steam Game Review




Games which use social engineering have been done before, but they are few and far between. Other notable entries into this niche sub-genre are Trouble in Terrorist Town and Spy Party. Now along comes a little game called Among Us. This mobile game, now ported to Steam, utilizes social engineering, fast matches, solid online play and low cost access ability to make the perfect storm.


Saturday, November 14, 2020

Green Phoenix - Let's Talk... Adapting The Jack Ryanverse

 Welcome back to another edition of Let's Talk...

I have spent the last few weeks intermittently reviewing the 1990s Tom Clancy film adaptations, with plans to conclude the series by reviewing Clear and Present Danger next week. However whilst reviewing this series, I was struck upon a particular thought. The possibilities of adapting the entire Jack Ryanverse into a film or television series, ala the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

This has been a thought that has long dominated my mind, with the current reviews only being a further impetus for my thought experiment. Could such an adaptation occur in today's cinematic climate? What alterations might have to be made in order to forward such an adaptation? What restrictions might exist that could hinder such an adaptation?

***

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Could Power Rangers work without Sentai Footage? - News & Rambles

 



Over the past few months, there have been reports that the current owners of Power Rangers, Habro, are cutting ties with Toei, as in they will no longer use Sentai footage. Supposedly, their contract with both Toei and Nickelodeon is expiring which would mean that Power Rangers Dino Fury, (which is set to air in 2021) would be the last traditional encarnacion. While I have no way to confirm or not if this will happen, if raised a good question about how Power Rangers could work as a stand alone. So, click "read more" and I will give my take.


Monday, November 9, 2020

Pepper's Puzzles (Steam) Review.


There's a lot of puzzle games out there on Steam.  A lot of them are crappy, a lot of them are pornographic, and a lot of them are both.  There are quite a few good ones on there too, but sifting though the crap to get to one can be a difficult task.  However, Pepper's Puzzles could be one of those diamonds in the rough.  Then again, that bar is set so low on Steam, even roadkill can jump over it.  (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Saints Row II - PC/Xbox 360 Game Review

The Saints Row series is a timeless classic that has done a great job filling the void in the very long gap between Grand Theft Auto games. The second in the series is the earliest game available on multi platforms, so most PC gamers start here unless you are ready to dust off that X-Box 360 and order a copy of the original game.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Green Phoenix - Let's Talk...The West Wing

Hey everybody!

I hope that you have managed to keep yourselves in high spirits and good health given all the anxiety and stress that this last week has likely given quite a few of you. I know that I personally had some serious anxiety attacks as thoughts of the election have continued to pervade the back of my mind. Thankfully, some R&R and loved ones has ensured that I am in decent mental form for you all and enabled me to focus on providing you all with a different kind of article this time around.

Up until now, my style of articles have been of four general varieties: Reviews, Countdowns, Editorials, and Literary Recommendations. Today's article is going to be a variation of Editorials that I'm calling "Let's Talks". Whereas my editorial articles are usually me trying to discuss a specific point or debate a topic that I'm focusing on in that article, Let's Talks will be much lighter in tone and more free-form. Let's Talks have no objective or point beyond me talking about some topic on my mind, be it a review or a rant, etc.

And for my very first Let's Talk, the recent election drama has brought my mind to one of television's greatest Presidents. So we are going to talk about just how great of a show The West Wing was and what I liked and missed about it.

***

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Win the White House - Flash Game Review


In "celebration" of the 2020 election, I have decided to play a presidential election flash game. Free to play HERE. This game has nothing to do with Biden or Trump, which is fitting because I am in no position to write a proper political article. Anyway, let's click "read more" and see what this quick little game has to offer.


Sunday, November 1, 2020

Kamen Rider SD: Shutsugeki!! Rider Machine! (Super Famicom) Review.

When it comes to getting Kamen Rider game released in English back in the day, we got the short end of the stick.  Out of the many Kamen Rider games released in Japan, we only saw so few.  We got a pretty decent arcade game (which you can read my review of that right here) and a very lousy Sega Mega CD game.  Oddly enough, the Sega Mega CD game got rated T in America.  Sure, most of the Kamen Rider games are lousy and I've reviewed a few of those stinkers here.  Some of them are surprisingly decent and should've been released outside of Japan.  This is one of those Kamen Rider games.  This is your captain speaking!  Today's gaming cruise ship voyage takes us to Kamen Rider SD: Shutugeki!! Rider Machine! A game released for the Nintendo Super Famicom.  (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Green Phoenix - The Nightmare Before Christmas Review

Happy Halloween everybody!

I was struggling to figure out what would be the best film to review for the season. While I absolutely could have done your standard horror film, those films have never really been my thing. I can certainly appreciate the nuances and subtext and many classic horror films but for this particular Halloween, I think I will go for a more light-hearted fare.

First developed as a poem by Tim Burton in 1982, The Nightmare Before Christmas would stew at the back of Burton's mind throughout the 1980s; the director slowly developing a name for himself with films like Batman (1989) and Beetlejuice (1988). In 1990, Burton approached Disney, slowly coming into its own with its animation department, with the idea to adapt his poem into a stop-motion animated movie, inspired by animated shorts like the Rankin-Bass Christmas specials. Disney accepted the idea under their Touchstone Pictures production company, which catered to those films which were considered more "grown-up" than was appropriate for the Disney brand.

As Burton was busy with the production of his sequel to Batman, Batman Returns, he got his friend Henry Selick to direct The Nightmare Before Christmas, which released in 1993 as an enormous financial and critical success. And in the decades have followed, the popularity of this movie has only gotten stronger, with The Nightmare Before Christmas now being considered a cult classic. the film helped to not only solidify Burton's unique visual aesthetic but paved the way for future high-budget stop-motion animated feature films. Films like Coraline, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Paranorman owe so very much to their spiritual ancestor.

But how good is this movie? Does its influence on the modern zeitgeist far out shadow its standalone presence?

Let's take a look and find out.

***

Friday, October 30, 2020

Green Phoenix - Halloween Article Released Tomorrow

 Hey everybody,

With Halloween tomorrow, I felt that it was better for me to release my Halloween-oriented film review on the actual holiday. As such, my usual Friday review will be rescheduled for this Saturday at noon.

Be sure to check back this Saturday for my review of The Nightmare Before Christmas and the following Friday will hopefully be a return to form.

I hope all of you stay safe out there while you spend some time with family and friends. Take care of yourselves as this holiday season approaches, as it is likely to be a tremendously difficult and stressful time for many.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Chouriki Sentai Ohranger: Ep2 - Assemble!! Chouriki Sentai - Summary/Review


 

Back again with the second episode of Ohranger. It can be expected that the other 4 core rangers will appear in this episode as previously, only red appeared. Click "read more" and let's see how they handle this.


Friday, October 23, 2020

Green Phoenix - Patriot Games Review

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f2/Patriot_Games_theatrical_poster.jpg

I am so excited to finally get a chance to review Patriot Games. When I decided to do a review of the Tom Clancy trilogy of films, this was the reason I ultimately decided to do it. I make no secret of my love for this film in particular and honestly just want to give it the most amount of love and affection that I can honestly give it. So much so, that I've actually given myself two weeks to work on this review rather than the usual one week and decided to leave this as something of a birthday present to myself.

Released in 1992 as the sequel to the 1990 film  The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games was itself an adaptation of Tom Clancy's 1987 bestselling novel. Though disavowed by Clancy for being too different from his original story, the film was critically and commercially well-received upon its release, considered a much more emotional and engaging viewing experience when compared to the much slower The Hunt For Red October.

While the general consensus of the film post-release has leaned towards its many differences to the source material, the quality of its set pieces and strength of performances, especially by Harrison Ford, has endeared this film in the hearts of many, myself included. With the opportunity to sing the praises of this film and share it with a wider audience now available to me, I cannot wait to go into a deeper dive with the film that I believe to be the best of the Clancy adaptations.

***

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Disney's Recess S1 Ep2: The New Kid - Summary/Review

 


Back again with the second episode of Recess. Well, since every airing showed 2 segments in the half hour run, this is actually the second half of the first episode and it serves to introduce the 6th member of the group, Gus. Let's click "read more" and see how this episode plays out.


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Disney's Recess S1 Ep1: The Break In - Summary/Review


 

Do you ever have a cartoon where you remember loving it but stopped liking it when you grew up? This little cartoon is the opposite for me. I did not like it as a kid because of how serious it took itself and the politics, but watching it as an adult, I have gained a lot of respect for it. So, let's take a look back at the first episode, The Break In. Before beginning, I feel it is necessary to point out that this is one of those cartoons with halved run time because it showed two segments per episode. But, for the sake of writing quality, let's focus on the first in this article.


Monday, October 12, 2020

Running Gods (Steam) Review.

Okay!  Another review about a running game?  Is this some sort of joke now?  A running joke perhaps?  Yes, yes it has.  Hack jokes aside, today's review is of another runner and this time we take a trip to visit the ancient gods.  This is your captain speaking, this weeks review is of Running Gods for Steam.  ALL ABOARD! (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)

Friday, October 9, 2020

Green Phoenix - Songs That Sound Like Bond Themes

I have now reviewed two James Bond films and one of the elements that I haven't quite been able to speak on, but am deeply excited to explore once we reach it in the third film in the series Goldfinger is the theme songs.

The unique theme songs have always been an iconic element of the franchise and the first and best way to distinguish one movie from another. It is so essential to the James Bond franchise that more often than not, the first thing asked when a new Bond film is announced after who is playing Bond is usually who is performing the opening theme.

Given that the James Bond series is such a cultural touchstone and the music is tied so definitively into that identity, it should come as no surprise that other musicians will often draw inspiration from the iconic sounds of the Bond franchise in their own songs. This is what I mean when I talk about a song that sounds like a "Bond theme". That unique mix of eroticism and action that is distinctly Bond is what I am searching for in this list of songs that, to my ear, sound so much like the themes to James Bond films.
***

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Denshi Sentai Denziman Ep 1: Take the Express to the Super Fortress - Summary/Review

 


Here we are with the 4th Super Sentai and the second highest viewed one just under the original which ran from 1980 to 1981. Denshi Sentai Denziman which roughly translates to Electron Squadron Electromagnetic - Man. source Looks like we got a theme that involves ancestors from an ancient civilization. So, click "read more" and let's take a trip back to first 80s season.


Friday, October 2, 2020

Green Phoenix - From Russia with Love Review


Released one year after Dr. No, 1963's From Russia with Love drops many of the more science fiction and exploitative elements from Dr. No in favor of a more grounded and realistic James Bond outing, at least for the time. 
 
Back again with yet another look at the James Bond franchise. This time, we turn our attention to the second entry in the series. Where Dr. No was a prototype for the James Bond formula, it is really From Russia with Love that would become the benchmark for future entries in the series. It showed the series creators what worked from Dr. No and what truly needed to be workshopped.
 
With that in mind, let's take a look at From Russia with Love and see if its better or worse than its prototypical predecessor.
 
***

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Mahou Sentai Magiranger Stage 1: The Morning of Departure - Summary/Review



Time for some magic with this 2005 Super Sentai season about a family of mages. Yes, all the core rangers are siblings. Mahou Sentai Magiranger or Magical Squadron Magicranger and the origins of Power Rangers Mystic Force. I don't know much about this one so, click "read more" and let's find out more.


Monday, September 28, 2020

Run or Die (Steam) Review.


Wait a sec?  Didn't I review another runner game not that long ago? Drat! Yes, I did.  Meaning that I can't re-use my same hack-cliché intro about introducing a runner game.  Well this puts me in a pickle.  How am I going to introduce todays review?  Oh! I know! This is your captain speaking.  Today on my review cruise we've got a neat little indie title for you.  This is Run or Die for Steam.  There! That should be hack enough to fulfill the intro section.  (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Among Us-mobile review

    Hello readers, I am reviewing the mobile version of this game as it is free. As some of you may know, I was originally going to review Yakuza Kiwami 2, but due to the popularity of Among Us, I am doing that one next month. If you didn't know, Among Us is a game from 2018 based on classic classroom games such as "mafia" and "werewolf."         Among Us - Apps on Google Play 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Spyro: Year of the Dragon (PS1) - Review



Here is a not at all obscure title, the third Spyro The Dragon game and the last one created by Insomniac Games. One of my personal favorites for the Playstation 1. Let's go ahead and click "read more" for my review.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Riddled Corpses EX (Playstation 4, Playstation Vita) Review.


Sexy women and the undead is a bizarre blend that works about as well as peanut butter and jam.  Meaning that it works much better than what it should.  People love sex, people really love violence, and combine that with retro game graphics.  Well, you've got something that's potentially entertaining.  This is Riddled Corpses EX and this is your captain, James T. Kaiser speaking.  All aboard the review cruise ship. *TOOT TOOT* (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)

Friday, September 18, 2020

Green Phoenix - 1634: The Baltic War Review

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/11/Cover_of_1634_The_Baltic_War.png 

 


 Looking at the analytics for my various articles, my book recommendation tend to be the least viewed of all of my article formats (though given the usual content of the Emerald Rangers, perhaps that isn't too surprising). In truth, these book recommendations are designed more along the lines as a passion project, where I get to promote some literary properties that I might not otherwise get to do.

The fact that my book recommendations also tend to be the easiest articles to write and be very brief and succinct is also not a bad reason to continue them, though I do hope that more people will check out some of the series I recommend and review and come to appreciate them as I do.

Which brings me to 1634: The Baltic War. I've made it no secret of my absolute adoration of Eric Flint's Ring of Fire series. The fantastically detailed of world-building built around countless well-grounded characters and a truly unique and strange point of divergence make it both inviting for new readers and very memorable in terms of its dedicated fans, with many people having favorite story threads, characters, and arcs.

In this particular field, 1634: The Baltic War is my favorite book in the entire series. It is the culmination of baseline trilogy that forms the narrative core of the every other book in the series. After 1634: The Baltic War, the 1632 series would begin to diverge into its countless varying story-lines and character arcs. As such, The Baltic War serves as a conclusion to the old model for the series and the introduction to how the succeeding books will work from thereon out.

***

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Chouriki Sentai Ohranger Ep 1: Invasion!! 1999 - Summary/Review



Going back to 1995 - 1996 we have the 19th Super Sentai Chouriki Sentai Ohranger which roughly translates to "Super-Powered Squadron King Ranger". link Funny enough, not 1999 like the title of this episode would suggest, but rather this season takes place 3-4 years in the future oddly. This is the original Sentai for Power Rangers Zeo and one that is not talked about often. What could this season have to offer? Click "read more" for my full coverage of this first episode.


Friday, September 11, 2020

Green Phoenix - Building Better Backstories V

So this editorial was always going to be a real pain in my ass. For one, it seems to have become culturally "cool" to rip into the Star Wars sequel trilogy and mock it relentlessly without taking into account any of the positive traits that the series does possess. And there are a few truly positive elements of the sequel trilogy that I think need to be given their due credit, especially if we are going to try and improve upon the franchise. The trilogy has some truly inspired cinematic and narrative moments that, if properly explored, would've been absolutely inspired.

That being said, I would be lying if I didn't understand and at the very least agree that the Star Wars sequel trilogy overall wasn't a steaming hot mess almost from the word go. Which is a damn shame because the acquisition by Disney had all the hallmarks of being a momentous achievement and a chance to restart the series from all of the enormous weight of the Legends canon; that is the Star Wars material released independent of the Lucas-era films up until the Disney acquisition.

I've known ever since the release of The Rise of Skywalker that some kind of Building Better Backstories was going to be necessary for the sequel trilogy, but I also struggled to figure out how best to fix the franchise.

It will be difficult, but I think I have a solution. It may not contain many specific narrative elements, but we will take a look at what went wrong, what they could've used, and how that might have worked for a better trilogy overall.

***

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Fidget Spinner (Steam) - PC Game Review



Well, this is a real game title that gives little hope for quality. It was gifted to me as a joke so, I may as well give it a quick review. Click "read more" to see said review.


Friday, September 4, 2020

Green Phoenix - Walking With Beasts Review

 https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/dc/BBCWWB_large.jpg


A few weeks back, I took a look at the BBC Documentary series Walking with Dinosaurs. I've gone on record stating just how much I adored that series and its influence on my cinematic tastes and experiences.

Knowing how important Walking with Dinosaurs was to my childhood and cinematic sensibilities, it really should come to no surprise that I would keep the show going by taking a look at the other entries in the Walking with... franchise at some point down the line.

Well...today is the day.

Released in 2001, 2 years after its predecessor, Walking with Beasts uses the same combination of animatronics and computer-generated imagery to tell the story of life after the extinction of the dinosaurs. With Kenneth Branaugh reprising his narrator role from Walking with Dinosaurs for the British version of the series, Walking with Beasts brings together much of the same crew and team that brought dinosaurs back to life to tell the story of the rise of mammals and their transition into a world dominated by human beings.

But does Walking with Beasts live up to its predecessors legacy? Or was Walking with Dinosaurs to big of a shadow to shine against?

***

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Chojin Sentai Jetman Episode 2: The Third Warrior - Summary/Review



Back again with more Jetman. The first episode came and went with only 3 Jetmen introduced. So, we continue on to the second episode in order to possibly get the full introduction to this season. Click "read more" for my full coverage.


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Something Phishy This Way Comes: Steam "Fraudulent Purchase" Scam is Back. How It Happens, and What You Can Do to Prevent It.

It started as any normal evening; Just browsing the internet, looking for deals, and playing games I liked. I had work the next evening and was already looking to get ready for bed. Then, I get a message on Steam. Someone I don’t know with a familiar name tells me that they had accidentally reported me for a “fraudulent purchase.” It struck me as odd, but not unbelievable, given I was one to occasionally search for cheap games through sites like Fanatical, Green Man Gaming, and occasionally more out of the way sites of potentially ill repute. Thus, I had asked who I had to talk to. I am sent to someone who appears to be a Steam Administrator. The script I had installed to enhance my Steam browsing experience even said as much. I was also given a Discord username to contact, alternatively.

Monday, August 31, 2020

MOP: Operation Cleanup (Playstation 4) Review.


You'd be amazed at how many deep cut PS4 games are so widely overlooked.  (They wouldn't be called deep cuts if they weren't overlooked.)  There's more than you'd think and I am reviewing another one of those games today.  This is MOP: Operation Cleanup for the PS4.  (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Yakuza Kiwami [ps4] reveiw

    Yakuza Kiwami is a remake of the PlayStation 2 classic Yakuza, in which you play as Kazama Kiryu as he fights with many enemies ranging from Yakuza to the Japanese police force. This game is held together by a gripping story, and a beautiful combat system. (note: I haven't played the first yakuza game, so this review isn't a comparison]
Yakuza Kiwami on Steam

Friday, August 28, 2020

Green Phoenix - Dr. No Review

 In the foreground, Bond wears a suit and is holding a gun; four female characters from the film are next to him.

Last week, I discussed several times how the character of Jack Ryan, from Tom Clancy's most popular works, is a bit of a parody and critique of the 1960s spy archetype best exemplified by the likes of James Bond. 

Following that review, I figured that it might be rather interesting to take a closer look at the titular spy's movie franchise to see whether or not this groundbreaking franchise still holds up.

Now I want to be fully transparent and admit that I grew up watching the James Bond series with my mother, so this has always been a franchise that has possessed something of a soft spot with me. I absolutely recognize that, especially among the older movies, the series has some very questionable and dated narrative and character decisions. And I will not hesitate to judge the film with that in mind.

All this being said, I feel like we obviously should begin our look into the James Bond franchise with the first film in the series. Released in 1962 and based of the 1958 Ian Fleming novel of the same name, Dr. No created nearly every precedent that the series would become infamous for. But even if it began the formula, does it do that formula as well as the rest of the series?

Let's find out.

***

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Chojin Sentai Jetman Episode 1: Seek The Warriors - Summary/Review



Behond, the original choice for the first Power Ranger season that was denied due to rights issues. Chojin Sentai Jetman which roughly translates to Birdman Squadron Jetman. Released in 1991 and inspired by another japanese show, Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman, this season promises flying. Click "read more" for my full coverage.


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Miko Mole (Playstation 4) Review.

When you think about games that were released for the Playstation 4, you're normally thinking of stuff with incredibly good graphics.  However there'll be a game that comes out every now and then that'll leave you thinking, "How the hell did this get released on this console?".  Miko Mole is one of those games.  Looks can be deceiving and maybe this game will end up being a diamond in the rough... Maybe.  (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)

Friday, August 21, 2020

Green Phoenix - The Hunt for Red October (1990) Review

The Hunt for Red October movie poster.png 

The works of Tom Clancy have long been held as the pinnacle of Cold War and post-Cold War era political thrillers. While the works of Tom Clancy are known these days primarily for the Rainbow Six series of video games; during the 1990s, audiences were gifted with a trilogy of very high quality films. Filled with A-cast celebrities and featuring the highlights of late Cold War era politics and intrigue, the Jack Ryan trilogy, as it might sometimes be known, all started with 1984's The Hunt for Red October.

NOTE: I consider Sum of All Fears and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit to be reboots and not sequels.

Based on Tom Clancy's debut novel of the same name, the book and film achieved phenomenal success and catapulted Clancy to international notoriety. Clancy's masterful integration of hardcore science fiction and political thrillers created a tense exploration of the minds of two men. One, an infamous Soviet submarine Captain, and the other a former US marine turned CIA analyst. The struggle to understand each other's motives outside of direct communication and in direct contrast of the interest of their respective home nations create a true sense of thrill and anxiety.

But does the film hold up after nearly 30 years? Are the performances as good as I remember them from when I was growing up? And is the story just as exhilarating with the Cold War now only a fleeting memory in the mind of most moviegoers?

***

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Samurai Sentai Shinkenger Act 1: The Gallant Appearance of the Five Samurai - Summary/Review



Here is a team that made a big impression with their Power Rangers counterpart, Power Rangers Samurai. But, we are here to talk about the original japanese version from 2009. This season is considered one of the best by some critics and I have a lot of fond memories of it. So, click "read more" and let's see if it stood the test of time.


Friday, August 14, 2020

Green Phoenix - The Man with the Iron Heart Review

The Man with the Iron Heart.jpg

I have mentioned it several times before in my previous reviews of alternate history novels, but the genre as a whole has a fundamental issue at its heart. An author of alternate history must be able to balance an interesting and unique premise and point of divergence while at the same time not selecting a subject so esoteric that the general reading audience (which in America is woefully historically illiterate) won't be turned off or too bored.

For most alternate history authors, the solution is to pick a point of divergence and timeline that alters some event that is universally understood or known to American audiences, those two tending to be either the American Civil War or the Second World War. This results in these two time periods being the most discussed in the field of alternate history, almost to the point of parody. Even Harry Turtledove, the man widely considered the master of alternate history, has created dozens of stories based on these two time periods, immediately to great effect.

But today's review will cover one of Turtledove's more comparatively recent explorations into a WW2 point of divergence. In 2008's The Man with the Iron Heart, Turtledove explores not a Nazi victory in WW2,  but an altogether different, yet even more intriguing question. What if the survival of a single SS officer had enabled the creation of a more unified German resistance to the allied-occupation of Germany after World War 2? What would the impact be on Allied post-war sentiments at home?

These questions and their correlation to more modern wars like the Second Persian Gulf War form the thematic heart of The Man with the Iron Heart and it leaves this stand alone novel as easily one of Turtledove's most intriguing and underappreciated, in my opinion.

***

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters Mission 1: Tokumei Sentai, Assemble! - Summary/Review



Hey, fans of Power Rangers Beast Morphers, fun fact, those suits and footage are from 2012. Yup, time to cover the secret agent/eco friendly energy themed season, Tokumei Sentai G-Busters which roughly translates to Special Operations Squadron Go-Busters. This is the famous season to have major references to Power Rangers and the first to have leather suits instead of spandex. (And only season to do that I think.) I have a lot of memories with this season so, let's take a trip back to it, click "read more" and find out how this season did.


Monday, August 10, 2020

Ultraman Club - Tatakae! Ultraman Kyoudai!! (Arcade) Review.


It's about bloody time that we've covered something Ultraman related on this site.  Nope, it's not an episode from one of the television series.  (That job is reserved for UltraSam AKA Candy Cane Diamond.)  Instead I dive back into the amazing world of Tokusatsu arcade games.  This is Ultraman Club - Tatakae! Ultraman Kyoudai!!  It sounds exciting.  (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)

Friday, August 7, 2020

Green Phoenix - 8 Amazing Anime Openings

I've always been fairly picky when it comes to the anime that I choose to watch. I have just had too many situations where I was uncomfortably surprised with an anime that I really didn't want to watch. This is particularly the case with anime that deals in horror elements, as I am a chickenshit coward when it comes to anything remotely scary, and Japanese anime can be very scary to me.

To avoid getting caught unaware, I often have to rely on the openings of the show in order to give me a good sense of the show's general nature and outlook. This has resulted in me oftentimes finding the openings of anime almost as entertaining as the show itself. Thus the reason for this particular countdown.

This will not be some exhaustive list of the greatest anime openings, but rather an opportunity for me to talk about some amazing anime openings and hopefully inspire you to check out some amazing anime if you haven't already.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

I Want Cookies (Steam) - PC Game Review

I Want Cookies


This is a game that was gifted to me as a joke on Steam and has since disappeared from the store. A game so simple it does not even have a title card. Click "read more" and prepare for one of the simplest reviews ever.


Monday, August 3, 2020

Masked Riders Club Battle Race (Arcade). Review.



It's time for another Kamen Rider video game review.  All of the previous installments of my Kamen Rider game reviews were for Playstation One games.  This time however, I get to dive into the ultra hyper crazy exciting world of arcade games that never got a home port.  This is Masked Riders Club Battle Race.  Yes, this is one of the rare times where I get to used the Masked Rider name instead of Kamen Rider.  (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)

Friday, July 31, 2020

Green Phoenix - Beauty and the Beast (1991) Review

I want to apologize to everyone for the two-week delay in releasing this review. Two weeks ago was TrotCon, a convention that I regularly participate in as a guest, and due to the fallout of COVID-19, I needed to dedicate a great deal of my time and focus to the convention and couldn't finish this article with the level of quality that I expect of myself. As to why I had to delay last week, well...

...Accidentally deleting an entire article the night before you have to publish it fucking sucks.

But all that aside, I am happy to finally present a review of one of the most well-regarded Disney films in cinematic history.

In 1991, Disney found themselves at a crossroads in terms of their Renaissance. 1989's The Little Mermaid had been a massive success that seemed to revitalize public interest in Disney animation, while 1990's The Rescuers Down Under was largely ignored in terms of public interest, due to lack of interest from Disney marketing (though the film would maintain a strong public interest and fanbase on VHS). It was in this environment that Disney released Beauty and the Beast.

To say that this film has a prodigious legacy and reputation is the greatest of understatements. The New York Film Festival gave an unfinished rough-cut of the film a standing ovation. And the film would go on to be the first animated film to ever be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

But does the film still deserve that indelible reputation? Let's take a look at Walt Disney Pictures' Beauty and the Beast and find out.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Super Sentai Saikyo Battle Final Battle: Heading Towards Tomorrow! - Summary/Review



This is it! The final part of this short but impressive special. While there has been a lot one can nit-pick about continuity and clear favoritism for the boy rangers, overall this has been a great experience and a lot of fun. Let's see how they will wrap everything up. Click "read more" for my full coverage.


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Super Sentai Saikyo Battle - Battle 3: The Big Secret Revealed - Summary/Review



Back again with the 3rd part of this 4 week special. Last time, it ended with an unmasked Gaisorg which created a lot of questions as it did not make sense. Better go ahead and click "read more" so we can get some answers.

Also, shout out to TV Nihon for the free fansub.


Monday, July 20, 2020

Kamen Rider Decade Episode 1 - Rider War. Summary/Review.



Ahh.  The good old anniversary seasons of Kamen Rider.  Full of crazy action and crazy crossovers.  This is what we expect from these special Kamen Rider seasons.  Yes, we do get all that in this episode.  Will it be any good though?  Find out as I, Kaiser Sensei takes a trip back to 2009 with episode one of Kamen Rider Decade.  (Click on "Read More" to read the full article.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Super Sentai Saikyo Battle - Battle 2: The Secretive Armor of Mystery - Summary/Review



We now face part 2 of this 4 episode mini series. Last episode ended with Captain Marvelous rushed out to the ring to face Gaisorg. Will he avenge his team? Click "read more" for my full coverage. Also, shoutout to TV Nihon for the free fansub.


Friday, July 10, 2020

Green Phoenix - When Dinosaurs Roamed America Review

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f4/When_Dinosaurs_Roamed_America.jpgI've been wanting to cover more documentaries in my articles and the month-long break gave me the perfect opportunity to think long and hard about what documentary I would absolutely love to discuss. As I mentioned in my Walking With Dinosaurs review, dinosaur documentaries just absolutely consumed my childhood and teenage years. I always tried to catch some new show on Discovery or Science channel when they were on, maybe National Geographic or Animal Planet, and for the most part, they were fun but kind of samey. Few ever reached the same standard of quality that Walking With Dinosaurs achieved.

But there was one documentary that I remember growing up that hit all the right emotional and educational beats while maintaining a level of CG quality that I actually think surpassed Walking With Dinosaurs. So it is with immense joy that I take a serious look at a seriously underrated dinosaur documentary.

Released on Discovery Channel on July 15, 2001, When Dinosaurs Roamed America brings us back to the Mesozoic Era, focusing exclusively on dinosaurs that lived in the area that would eventually become the United States.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Super Sentai Saikyo Battle - Battle 1: Who is the Strongest in History!? - Summary/Review



Super Sentai Saikyou (Strongest) Battle is a 4 episode mini series that aired in between Lupin vs Pat and Ryusoulger. (But is a continuity mess.) An interesting concept, a big tournament with 32 Sentai Ranger teams each consisting of 5 members from various teams, 160 total returning rangers. Sounds like pure fan-service. I'm gonna cover all 4 episodes so click "read more" if you're interested.


Friday, July 3, 2020

Green Phoenix - Why I Enjoy Alternate History?

Hello everybody!

I hope that your June was as relaxing as mine. Actually, given everything that happened in June, I hope your month was even more relaxing than mine. I kept myself quite busy, between participating in protests, attending city government meetings, and a lot of fiction writing and reading, I've also been working quite hard on building a stockpile of articles for all of you to enjoy.

In the hopes of easing all of us back into the habit of reading my incredibly entertaining articles, I thought it would be quite fun for me to begin with a short editorial going over one of my favorite topics of all time and one that I wish got a lot more respect in this day and age.

And who knows, maybe my discussion on it may inspire you to look more into it and create even greater works in the field.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger Brave 1: He's Here! The Bright Red King - Summary.Review



Behond, the 3rd dinosaur themed Super Sentai from 2013 and one of my personal favorites, Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger which roughly translates to Beast Power Squadron Dinosaur Ranger. While the lack of a yellow ranger is distracting, (it is rare for them to not use one of the 3 primary colors) I do like these costumes and the dino themed seasons have been some of the best. So, click "read more" and let's take a look back.


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger Ep. 5: Hell's Watch Dog - Summary/Review



Back again with more dinosaur fury. Last episode revealed the black Kishiryu beast for Bamba and now is the time to give it a proper introduction to the season. Click "read more" for my full coverage of this episode.


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Kamen Rider 555 Episode 1: The Start of a Trip. Summary/Review


It's been a long, long time, but it's finally time for a new Kamen Rider TV episode review.  Only this time I'm only doing the first episode of this series as part of the "Kamen Rider Firsts" series where I look at the first episode of each (if not, most) of the Kamen Rider shows.  This time I take a trip back to 2003.  I turned 13, got stuck (and still am) on Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex's load screens, and watched MTV for the first time only to be wowed that TRL was a thing.  2003 is also when Kamen Rider 555 made its debut.  Now then, let's see what we are instore for.  (Click on "Read More" to read the full article.)


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Ep. 1: The Exciting Animal Land - Summary/Review




Behold, the great 40th anniversary season of Super Sentai. Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger or Animal Squadron Beast King Ranger and the second Wild Animal themed season. These anniversary seasons have a lot of hype to live up to so, let's go ahead and click "read more" to see what they have done.


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