Saturday, September 28, 2019

The First Tree (PS4)


When The First Tree was released last year, the visual direction intrigued me to play it, as did the premise of the stories of a fox and a human intersecting. Though I did not purchase the game digitally when it first launched, I did obtain a physical copy for PS4 through Limited Run Games, which included a fold-out poster and a full color manual that contains notes from the developer. After getting around to playing it, the experience was short, though I still thought it was worth the price.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Stubs - Downton Abbey


Downton Abbey (2019) Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton, Penelope Wilton Directed by Michael Engler. Screenplay by Julian Fellowes. Based on the television series Downton Abbey created by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame. Produced by Julian Fellowes, Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge Run time: 122 minutes United Kingdom Historical period, Drama

For fans of the British TV series Downton Abbey, hearing in 2018 that they were going to make a film with most of the original cast returning was music to their ears. That film, which opened on September 20, 2019, was that weekend’s number one film at the US box-office, showing the show's popularity three years after it went off the air.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genndy Tartakovsky's Primal


Genndy Tartakovsky has made a name for himself in the animation industry, best known for works such as Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003) (and, to a lesser extent, Symbionic Titan), along with directing the Hotel Transylvania series of films (of which I have seen the first). As a fan of his work, including [adult swim]’s Samurai Jack Season 5, I was excited to see what he’d do when his next [as] series Primal was announced, for which a selling point was a complete lack of dialogue, a step up from Samurai Jack’s more conservative use of dialogue. With Primal’s air date drawing nearer, I stumbled upon a limited theatrical screening of the series at the Downtown Independent LA (still going as of this writing) that would take place prior to the TV premiere, and so I took advantage of the opportunity to see what the show would be like. After taking the chance, I walked away highly impressed with what Tartakovsky had accomplished.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Lilo & Stitch


When Lilo & Stitch first came out in 2002 (following Atlantis: The Lost Empire), I will admit I was not too interested in it as a kid, mainly due to its advertising campaign, however I was aware enough of it and its subsequent franchise that I knew who the character of Stitch was without knowing his full backstory. However, after seeing the character make appearances in the Kingdom Hearts series as well as positive word of mouth in recent years, I decided it was time I actually gave the film a chance. To my own surprise, the movie was far better than I initially expected it to be.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Megamind


What if Lex Luthor actually defeated Superman? That is the question Dreamworks Animation sought to answer with Megamind, the studios’ satirical take on the superhero genre, back in late 2010. Unfortunately, the trailers didn’t do much to incentivize me to see it in theaters at the time, so I didn’t actually gain an interest in watching it until about recently about nine years after the initial release, when Megamind was suddenly in vogue for internet culture. While it’s not a perfect film, I now wonder why it took so long for me to see it.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Metal Wolf Chaos XD


If you hadn’t heard of Metal Wolf Chaos before, no one would blame you. The game, developed by FromSoftware of Armored Core and Souls fame, was originally released in 2004 as an Xbox-exclusive, but never made it outside of Japan. Its increasing cult status would eventually warrant a remaster, named Metal Wolf Chaos XD, courtesy of Devolver Digital. Now, nearly 15 years later, Americans finally have the chance to play what is perhaps the most American game ever made. While I was excited to play it and enjoyed my time with it, I have to admit it’s certainly rough around the edges.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Review Hub - Animated Movies


While animation as a medium and art form had been experimented with since the early 1900s, animated shorts would eventually see their way to becoming a popular form of entertainment attached to film screenings (long before the advent of television). The art of the animated short arguably became a lot more popular with the debut of the classic Mickey Mouse short Steamboat Willie in 1929, though Walt Disney had begun to sow the seeds for this runaway success (and entertainment juggernaut) with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in 1927. Though animation had proven itself in the short form, Disney would prove the medium's potential as long form entertainment with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. Though the success of Walt Disney's efforts helped spur the medium forward, animation lives on in the efforts of several major and independent studios, with its full potential as a powerful means of visual storytelling still being explored to this day.

Below is a list of links to every animated movie/short review on this blog, sorted in alphabetical order and by company where applicable (links to alternative reviews are listed next to the main link in parentheses).

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Second Look - Catherine


Note: The following review contains spoilers for Catherine.

In 2011, Atlus, developer behind the Megami Tensei series and Persona sub-series, released an odd-sounding game called Catherine in 2011, which detailed the story of a man going through an affair, with some block puzzles mixed in. The ideas presented in the trailers intrigued me and the result turned out be more interesting than I expected. Eight years later, a re-release with extra content dubbed Catherine: Full Body was announced, among its new features being a new character that leads to new story paths. While the game is already out in its native Japan, the announcement of the English version’s release date led me to play the original game again, both to see how it holds up and to have a comparison point for the Full Body version. After playing the game three times to view multiple endings, I can say that the game is just as good as I remembered it being, though it doesn’t quite hold up as well in some areas.