"I love being alive." These are lyrics from the theme song for the classic Japanese TV series, Kamen Rider Black. Yes! A Kamen Rider Black game! With all the crazy stuff that went down in the show, it sure needed a video game. Sadly, be careful what you wish for. Not all that glitters is gold and this game is one of those cases. They need to change one of the lyrics of the show to, "I don't like being alive!" it's that bad. Why is it bad? Read my review to find out. (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)
Thursday, December 31, 2020
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
In a time before Masked Rider aired on American TV back in 1995, there was another attempt of exposing Kamen Rider to an American audience. In the previous year of 1994, America got an unexpected release for the Sega Mega CD. (Yeah, I know it was just called the Sega CD in the US. I'm Australian. Get over it, mates.) Kamen Rider ZO the game hit US shores under the name, The Masked Rider: Kamen Rider ZO. A silly name for sure. It translates to The Masked Rider: Masked Rider ZO. But that's enough of the Wikipedia history lesson. Let's see if this sucka is any good or not. (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)
Friday, December 25, 2020
Merry Christmas everybody!
As this year finally comes to a close, I figured that I would end the year with a little bit of fun by discussing a topic that was on my mind all the way since last December. The Rankin/Bass Christmas specials have long become a staple of the season, being almost mandatory viewing for everyone despite an almost universally acknowledge lack of quality.
The stop motion animated company was founded in 1960 by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass. And until their demise in 1987, the company released dozens of cheap animated Christmas specials that have become icons of the holidays. Starting with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 1964 and lasting until The Wind in the Willow in 1987, the company released numerous animated specials over its tenure.
With this in mind, I began to wonder about the interconnection of some of these Christmas specials. Thanks to Marvel and Disney, the idea of a cinematic universe is incredibly commonplace. But what if I told you that Rankin/Bass may have unintentionally created a Christmas cinematic universe back in the 1970s?
The more I looked into it, the more I just had to talk about it. So Let's Talk...The Rankin/Bass Cinematic Universe.
Monday, December 14, 2020
Going to do something different with today's review. Normally I like to stick to the stiff, basic formula of breaking down a game (if you can call it that) by categories such as sound, graphics, gameplay, etc, etc, etc. Those are gone for this article. My experience is going to be presented as one solid piece. Some may like it, some will pick on me for it (mainly my fellow co-workers), but stiff. This is my experiences with the Mario Game & Watch. Will it be a must have throwback? Or will it be just another novelty for you to throw back into your closet. (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Viscera Cleanup Detail is a janitor game where you cleanup the very bloody mess of what appears to be shootout battles, sometimes involving aliens. But, this is not a review of the main game, instead a DLC Stage called Santa's Rampage. Click "read more" I will tell you all about it.
Monday, November 30, 2020
Prepare your rods, master your bait, and get ready to have a reel good time. This is Umihara Bazooka, the arcade-ish spin-off to the Umihara Kawase series. Not gonna lie, the title lures me into this game and what mysteries it beholds. So let's dive in and fish for answers. (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Ring Fit Adventure Kept Me Active During 2020: A Retrospective On What Might Just be the best Exergame ever made.
Look at this image above you. This image was taken on September 8th of 2020. The culmination of a Tuesday night, dedicating my evening to a final gauntlet of exercise after a long day of work. The grind of retail wage-slavery still wore at me to the point where I had to have eaten immediately after getting home, and yet I was determined. I was going to beat this beast back and claim my victory. It was late into the night, just shy of midnight, but I had to beat it. And in proper JRPG Fashion, after two phases of boss battle in a grueling battle of endurance, I had done it. Awash in exhaustion and post-exercise afterglow, I sat down on my bed and watched the credits roll.
I had beaten Ring Fit Adventure. Now, let me tell you about the journey of getting there.
Friday, November 27, 2020
My initial plan for this review was to have it released two weeks ago, on the 13th of November. My reasoning was largely symbolic, as the 11th is the anniversary of the Armistice which ended the first half of the greatest and most impactful war in human history thus far. However there ended up being other reviews and delays which had to be taken which ended up messing with my schedule and plans; but at least I was able to give a somewhat symbolic gesture with releasing this review the day after Thanksgiving.
This year is coming to a close, and it has truly been a trying year. Next week will begin my December break and this is to be my last review of the year. To that end, I can think of no more proper send-off for this year than to speak on a film that I not only enjoy but deeply respect for what it sought to accomplish.
Released on the anniversary of the 100th year following Armistice, They Shall Not Grow Old brought Peter Jackson's filmmaking talents to bear against the memories of the First World War. Utilizing revolutionary digital effects and restoration techniques, Jackson and his team sought to bring the lives and tribulations of soldiers from both sides of the trenches into vivid detail. What WingNut Films shows is both stunning in its humanity and in its horror and as we give thanks for all that we have, perhaps we can use this occasion to also give thanks to those souls who are with us no longer.
Monday, November 23, 2020
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
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.
Friday, November 20, 2020
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
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
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.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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
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
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."
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Monday, August 31, 2020
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
Friday, August 28, 2020
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
I Want Cookies
Monday, August 3, 2020
Friday, July 31, 2020
...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.
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
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.
Sunday, July 26, 2020
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
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.
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