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

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.

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