Advertisements

Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Posts tagged “No Spoilers

Not Reviewing Endgame

It took me a month… a whole month to get through Infinity War. Seriously, here are the articles:

Spoiler-Free Study – The MCU & The Avengers: Infinity War 1/4
Super Team Ups – The MCU & The Avengers: Infinity War 2/4
A Darkness Falls – The MCU & The Avengers: Infinity War 3/4
A Generation In Cinema – The MCU & The Avengers: Infinity War 4/4

And they were some of my best work, I was seriously proud of that content! 6128 words and that’s only a fraction of the content I’ve written on the subject of the MCU as a whole. This is the crowning glory of ten years of cinema, twenty-something films and a host of supporting content, the greatest minds in the industry, the biggest budget, and the finest talent, has been poured into a saga of films. Almost as many titles as James Bond crammed into a little over a decade, all drawn from the pages of comic book history, and featuring actors who have played the same characters in a stunning number of films.

So far as I am concerned, the MCU is over. I might go see the others, I would like to watch Far From Home, which will be Tom Holland’s fifth appearance as Spider-Man, outdoing his other predecessors; I am curious to see Baron Mordo return in a new Doctor Strange, and I am pleased that Gunn has been taken back onto Guardians 3… but ultimately, this feels done. This is my review, Endgame finished the saga in the best way it could be ended. It is not perfect, it has some glaring flaws that I will not go into yet, but will inevitably discuss in future.

It was beautiful, and it has simultaneously made cinema better and worse. I recommend looking on YouTube for the One Marvelous Scene collaboration started by Nando v. Movies and taken up by some of his friends and cohorts, and then onwards to dozens of other film analysts on YouTube, where they look back on the entire project and pick a scene that they love for its incredible depth of character, implications, or ramifications that ripple out across the series.

For what it’s worth mine may very well be the fight between our first three “main” Avengers, Thor, Stark, and Rogers, as they throw down for custody of Loki while the trickster god sits casually above them all. It’s a wonderful moment of synergy in which they learn a great deal about the ways in which they conflict and complement one another, every moment revealing a little more about themselves: Rogers the tactician, acting with authority and fighting in the name of a diplomatic conclusion; Tony acting recklessly but willing to get “experimental”; Thor, accustomed to victory is shocked to take a beating, all while Loki watches with a wry smile. Note the two conspicuous pair of crows that fly by the Asgardians, as father watches his sons squabble from afar. And let’s not forget “the gong strike”. Action and characterisation in perfect harmony.

In short, I’ll be talking about Endgame for quite some time, watching it again soon enough, and I might review it on the back of some other grandiose Marvel analysis series… actually I’m watching the scene on the lab in the Helicarrier following the custody battle, that’s an article in its own right. Maybe I need to get onto YouTube sooner rather than later. But three hours of Endgame that successfully ties up a decade of cinema with a wonderful cluster of callbacks and conclusions, it’s more than any one review can dissect. I look forward to talking about this for years to come.

Next week I want to talk about the two big wars of the week, Endgame and the Siege of Winterfell. There will be spoilers.

Advertisements

Film Review: Logan

These old bones won’t heal, at least the old bones of the titular hero Logan won’t. What an utterly gripping film! Well worth the trip to the cinema and, as one of the first films we suggested would ne worthwhile this year, I can gladly say I was not disappointed. But for those of you who haven’t seen it, here’s our spoiler-free review of the most action-packed film in March.

(more…)


Star Wars: The Force Awakens – A Non-Star Wars Fans Opinion

This is the second post on Star Wars this week! Those who know me well know that I’m not a fan of Star Wars, so why on Earth did I go to watch it on Boxing Day? Well it was a family outing, but never mind that, I went and saw it: This is how I felt about the film.


 

(more…)


Steins’ Gate – What’s with all the hubbub?

Published by: Manga Entertainment (UK), Funimation Entertainment (America)
Year aired: 2011

If you have already seen this series then you should know the first and last episodes have very similar names: Prologue to the Beginning and End, Prologue to the End and Beginning. So, now that I’ve said that, you might be able to guess some of the basics of what this series is going to be like.

So, Steins’ Gate aired in 2011 but started life in a rather different way to most anime series, which are usually adapted from manga comics or an anime is the cause of a manga. Rather interestingly, Steins’ Gate started life as an interactive story which started life on the Xbox360. There’s not much to the game play as it’s mostly just the retelling of a story with some button pressing but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. It suits the series and suits the genre, that of a “Science adventure”.

Another interesting point about this series is the constant use of a form of theoretical science. Theoretical science isn’t proven but it’s a concept, a theoretical concept.

Steins Gate was also released on the PC as an interactive novel.

Story

We’re already talking about the most important part of Steins’ Gate. If you watch this series, you entirely watch it for the plot.

Featuring a fantastic mix of sci-fi and romance, this series revolves around Okabe, who declares himself to be a mad scientist. Always nice when you’re honest with yourself. He enjoys a good bit of science and as such starts the series by going to a talk about time travel!

So, when things go very wrong indeed, Okabe sends a message off to alert his super hacka super hacker, Itaru Hashiba, to the thing that went very wrong indeed. Only, much to Okabes chagrin, it appears that Okabe had managed to send a message back in time himself.

This series revolves around time travel, fixing things that shouldn’t have happened and a sort of trial and error approach. The dynamics between the characters, especially the dynamics between the Future Gadget Laboratory: Okabe, Mayushii (Mayuri Shiina, a childhood friend of Okabe. She is a part-time maid at a maid café and makes cosplay costumes) and Hashiba. With Hashiba accidently blurting out things that could be seen as innuendos quite often and with the innocence of Mayushii, it’s usually up to Okabe to defuse any potentially “damaging” situation.

With the rather silly nature of Okabe, too – This series is pretty amusing. WARNING: This video has a naughty word.

This is one series I don’t want to say too much about the story of as if I did, it might spoil the fun. Watch this series for the story – Trust me there!

Music

Something feels missing from the theme of the series for me.

I cannot fully put my finger on it, but this feels cold to me. It doesn’t feel like a theme that makes me want to know more. This is rare for me to actually knock a theme to a series, but there is something very lax and missing about it (This is just a personal opinion).

I might not be well liked for saying that about this theme, but it also doesn’t feel very original. Sure, it’s not the same theme as any other series and it doesn’t directly “rip anything off”, but something in me has clicked to say “I’ve heard this before” in a round about way. But that’s fine, as this series is one to make you think rather than sit back and chill with it. You don’t want the distraction of J-Pop in your mind throughout the series, you want it to be relatively clean and simple. For that reason, the music has done well enough here!

Artwork

Now, the artwork in Steins’ Gate is good enough, however it’s just that. Good enough. There’s nothing in this series that blew me away, unlike some other series that I’ve reviewed.

The characters are all realistic which is nice for once, however at the same time, this to me isn’t a great thing. In anime, I (personally) like to be transported to the land of crazy. I like to see outlandish characters or otherworldly lands. Give me something interesting to look at, not an exaggerated reality.

With this being said, as I mentioned earlier: There’s nothing wrong with the art in this series what so ever. It’s pleasing to look at, but there’s nothing that truly throws you off or looks out of the ordinary. It doesn’t need to, the story sells it.

The characters of Steins Gate, nicely done, but nothing too zany.

So, I’ll give Steins’ Gate:

The “almost there” 4/5

There’s nothing truly wrong with Steins’ Gate, really. The problem is, there are so many elements of this series that is done… Nicely… But there’s not much that actually dropped me to my knees to say “Wow!”. The higher mark for this series is due to the story being superb. Now don’t get me wrong here, the characters are likeable and in most cases they are in fact, fun! The story is well done but with the “nicely done” artwork and the “Nicely done” music, something is missing for me.

What do you all think about Steins’ Gate? Care to leave a comment and flame the heck out of me for saying that the theme wasn’t great and the art left a lacking taste in my mouth? I welcome your comments, as this series has a fantastic story – It just didn’t quite hit as high as it could have done for me.

Steins’ Gate – What’s with all the hubbub?

Published by: Manga Entertainment (UK), Funimation Entertainment (America)
Year aired: 2011

If you have already seen this — Wait a minute, I sense deja vu!


InuYasha – My objection!

Published by: Viz Entertainment
Years aired: 2000-2004

To all the InuYasha fans out there, this is not a dig at the series, this is not me being a mean guy about the series or for any of the good points to InuYasha, but gosh darn it, I feel like I need to vent this frustration I’ve had with the series since I was a 14 year old dude.

That’s right, dude.

I asked quite merrily for the box-set that came out of this series and remember being very happy when I received it, in its lovely brown casing and how it was the first anime I had ever had bought for me, too.

Thanks, Amazon.

InuYasha was the brainchild of Rumiko Takahashi, who created the humorous series: Ranma ½. In direct contrast, Takahashi wrote InuYasha to deliver a darker, more serious storyline and yes, it delivered. Not only was it serious, it was still able to make you laugh, cry and feel the whole spectrum of emotions.

Story

Kagome is a teenage schoolgirl whose whole world is flip-turned upside down when she falls into a well (that’s in the shrine on her property) after trying to save her cat. No, really. Kagome gets pulled into a well by some evil centipede demon when suddenly out of pure desperation, she awakens InuYasha, the dog demon. InuYasha, the demon had been sealed to a nearby tree 50 years prior to this happening, so he was bound to be a mean thing. Well, he’s actually a half-demon so he’s only sort of mean. Of course.

It turns out that InuYasha wants something specific that Kagome has, the Jewel of Four Souls. Before Kagome was Kagome, back in feudal Japan, Kagome was Kikyo. Kikyo was a high priestess who was responsible for InuYasha being bound to that tree and kept in a slumber for all those years. This is also why Kagome was able to wake him up! She had the jewel! Unfortunately, the key word is -had- as the jewel then shatters into many, many pieces and scatter all across the land. Horr- wait, this is bad.

InuYasha wants the power of the jewel… and Kagome wants to get the jewel back. So, naturally, the unlikely duo go on a quest to bring the jewel back.

This series best feature, to me, is the superb artwork. Especially for an older series!

Music

One part of InuYasha that has stuck with me throughout was the absolutely incredible music. I’m not very well versed in naming anime songs or even singing along with them, but when you’ve done a little bit of watching, there are some tracks that stick with you. For me, this track is one of them:

Purely beautiful, in that it’s a true lullaby.

Artwork

I’ve mentioned this earlier, but the artwork in InuYasha is superb. There’s something very natural about the way InuYasha was animated and drawn to the screen. Something very special about it. As such, I’ll drop this right here from YouTube.

The animation is very fluid and there’s something so “natural” about this series in terms of the artwork. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s certainly a lot of careful attention to detail that you’d probably barely notice. The above clip also shows off some of the humorous side of InuYasha, which, when you just sit back and watch, is highly entertaining.

My objection

It’s a nitty gritty series which starts exceptionally nitty-gritty then slowly loses it’s way there. This is part of my gripe, so I’ll just out and out say it:

InuYasha is a series that has done so damned well, purely because it plays well to all audiences.

That’s it. That’s my big gripe with it and I feel foolish for it being an objection of any kind, but to me it is. See, it feels like at some points, it forgets about what it started life as and where it’s supposed to be going, but mark my words: If you decide to watch a few episodes of this show… You’ll likely get soaked up.

Immersion is a great thing – This anime delivers. The beautiful scenery is all based on Japan, which I think gives the whole idea of feudal Japan just so much more depth. There was a lot of research in each and every part about InuYasha and it’s what annoys me. The fact it’s so good.

Now, this doesn’t mean InuYasha is my favourite anime, but I’ll tell you what it is to me? It’s probably one of the earliest “big” anime series I had seen that had truly made me appreciate the artistic styling of anime. Without InuYasha, I’d probably have never truly gotten into anime in such a way.

I’ve tried to not give a lot away about the series in terms of the story or anything, such as characters (bar the ones you see in the clip above, the main ones of which are mentioned). I feel this is a series that if you’ve not yet seen it and say you enjoy anime, I’d highly recommend you get out there and watch it as soon as you get the chance to. Even with all these superb new anime coming out, InuYasha did it great back in the day – and is arguably one of the greatest anime of all time.

So, I’ll give InuYasha:

The full 5/5

See, the story itself grips you at the very start. Even the bits you don’t like, you kind of end up liking, simply due to how excellent executed this series is. There’s a lot of “Yeah, okay” moments involved, but this is anime damn it. If you can’t appreciate a good bit of fantasy and you watch anime, I would like to see the types of anime you watch. If you can at least appreciate fantasy, I think InuYasha is pretty damn high on the list. Damn, I damned a lot, damn it.

What do you all think about InuYasha? Care to leave a comment and tell me how foolish I was to have mentioned the best thing about InuYasha is the thing that annoys me the most? I welcome your comments, as this is a series worth talking about.