Wednesday, July 27, 2022

5 Things From Shenmue 2 That didn't make it Into the Anime

With only so many episodes to the anime, most likely anything deemed non-vital to the plot was cut. Shenmue 2 had a lot of optional events that made sense to cut. So, just for fun, let's countdown 5 of these things, based on nothing more than my observation as a fan.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Green Phoenix - Thor: Love and Thunder Review

Thor Love and Thunder poster.jpeg

It's time once again to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It seems like it was only a few weeks ago that I was taking a look at Marvel's action pseudo-horror action film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, to only moderately good reviews. Truthfully, I've been struggling with Marvel properties as of late as I desperately wish to see the direction that the universe wants to take as we enter what is now I think the sixth film in Phase Four and I still don't have a clue how everything connects beyond minor narrative references and overall theming (just as a point of comparison, Phase One was composed of six films in its entirety).

And now with all that baggage, I have to take a look at the next entry in the Thor franchise, which has been rather hit or miss in the past. Under the direction of Taika Waititi, who did a phenomenal job at re-contextualizing Thor for Thor: Ragnarok, I decided that I needed to see Thor: Love and Thunder, and I couldn't see it alone.

With TrotCon having occurred last weekend as I write this article, I went with my girlfriend and a company of close friends were at the convention with me. Their perspective gave me plenty to think about and its left me with a clearer idea of what I think about this fourth entry in the Thor franchise.

Is it a game-changer like Thor:Ragnarok that will completely re-imagine the series going forward. Or is it a average treader of similar grounds?


Friday, July 15, 2022

Green Phoenix - Jurassic World Dominion Review

JurassicWorldDominion Poster.jpeg

Going to be honest. As much I absolutely love the Jurassic Park franchise, I was not chomping at the bit to see the latest entry in the series Jurassic World Dominion. I just had such a weird ambivalence from my prior experiences with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which was easily the worst film ever set in the Jurassic Park universe.

Which is a real shame, as the Jurassic Park franchise formed an integral part of my childhood and really helped foster my love and passion for dinosaurs and paleontology (as well as science fiction). The first film was literally the first "grown-up" movie that I ever watched and I never miss an opportunity to watch the movie when it comes on screen.

Which just made my overall reluctance for Jurassic World Dominion all the more painful for me. I should've been chomping at the bit to see this film. However, much like Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, my enthusiasm was curtailed by the poor quality of the previous installment. I knew I would watch the film, but it was more out of loyalty to the franchise than any real excitement on my part (though I will say that some of the side projects and shorts associated with the film's marketing were absolutely fantastic and would've been almost better in my mind for the future of this franchise.

But was my reluctance warranted? Is Jurassic World Dominion its predecessor, or does it actually manage to capture some of the magic from the original trilogy of films?


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Shenmue The Animation Episode 13: Shenmue - Summary/Review


This is it, the final episode of what I hope is only the first season of what has been a fantastic adaptation of my favorite video games series. Ryo and company have reached the roof of the Yellow Head Building and the final brawl from Shenmue 2 is about to begin. Click "read more" for my full coverage.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Green Phoenix - Building Better Backstories VII

A man with a suitcase on a foggy city street. Behind him are two women and a man.

I have made it no secret that I have a rather neutral, leaning-negative, perception of the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Several weeks back, I had the "pleasure" of reviewing the third film in the franchise and while I will admit that I enjoyed it significantly more than its predecessors, even then I noted that it had a tremendous amount of problems attached to it that were simply systemic of the franchise as a concept.

Which is a real shame because I absolutely love the Harry Potter franchise and it made an incredible impact upon my childhood and teenage years. The world-building was superb and was deeply connected to the characters that inhabited that. While I have grown to hold some reluctant hesitance with regards to uncomfortable subtext within the universe due to the reputation of the author, the series as a whole still holds up.

This enjoyment of Harry Potter, but general ambivalence towards Fantastic Beasts, has been a consistent mystery to me and motivated me to explore and figure out what about the prequel series has me so frustrated and disappointed. The conclusion I came to, and the solution that I would prefer, was something that I absolutely knew needed to be my next issue of Building Better Backstories, especially in the wake of The Secrets of Dumbledore. As you will see in the article below, that film had an element present that the other films were mostly missing. A crucial element that truly helps set the tone and genre of the Fantastic Beasts.


Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Shenmue The Animation Episode 12: Guidepost - Summary/Review

 We are almost done with this season, only 2 episodes left. Everything should come together in this episode with Yuanda Zhu, Dou Niu, and Hong Kong in general. Let's not waste anytime, click "read more" and may the journey continue.

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