Saturday, July 11, 2020

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie

With the success of the 1998 anime Cowboy Bebop, worldwide demand for a continuation led to the development of a film, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (aka Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door), which released on September 1, 2001. Series director Shinichiro Watanabe had the idea for the film in his head while working on the original series, which he had already treated as a series of miniature films, so the transition to a feature felt natural. With an increased budget and runtime, the production team incorporated elements originally considered impossible in the anime. Though we wouldn’t watch it until more recently through a recording of a Starz broadcast, we firmly believe that this film holds up to this day as both a part of Cowboy Bebop and as a standalone cinematic experience.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Little Nightmares: Secrets of the Maw (DLC)

Shortly after the release of Little Nightmares, a three-part DLC was released called Secrets of the Maw, which follows a different protagonist known as the Kid as he explores new areas of the Maw. My plan was to play the entire thing after all three episodes had been released, however I ended up putting it off for some time until I noticed that the Season Pass was discounted to $5 instead of $10. Even then, I couldn’t access the DLC right away until I learned that, despite purchasing the pass, I still had to claim and download each chapter individually. After finally getting to play through the DLC, I found it to be a worthy addition to the world of Little Nightmares.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated (PS4)

Around the time I got around to actually playing SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom on the PS2, THQ Nordic announced an HD remake of the game developed by Purple Lamp Studios, known as SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated, for modern systems in a similar fashion to Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Since I was going to anyway, I played through the original game and thoroughly enjoyed it, anticipating what they would do to bring the game up to modern standards. Building the anticipation further was the announcement that they would reintroduce content that was cut from the original game, including an entire boss fight known as Robo-Squidward. After getting a chance to play the PS4 version of the remaster upon release, I had just as much, if not even more, fun as I did with the initial release even with some flaws.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Transformers: Devastation

While I haven’t played many games made by PlatinumGames, and I probably won’t, one game I was instantly attracted to was their take on Transformers in the form of Transformers: Devastation, thanks in part to the developers’ usual gameplay style and their attempts to capture the feeling of the 1984 The Transformers cartoon as close as possible. While I did play this game when it came out and liked it, I never gave the game a proper review since I was losing my enthusiasm for writing reviews at the time. After deciding to go back and do the game better justice, it’s still one of the better Transformers games out there and it manages to create a world with some interesting potential that will sadly never get properly fleshed out.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Review Hub - Scooby-Doo

First airing in 1969, Scooby-Doo has since gone on to become one of Hanna-Barbera's most recognized and popular franchises. While the general formula of four teenagers and their dog solving mysteries remains largely the same, there have also been a number of attempts to shake up this formula, some more successful than others. While our first real exposure to the franchise was the Kids' WB TV series What's New Scooby-Doo? alongside the DTV film Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, what truly began out on-off relationship with the brand was the Cartoon Network series Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. As such, due to the sheer amount of material produced for the franchise, we only decide to watch and/or discuss whatever catches our interest.

Below is a list of links to every Scooby-Doo review on this blog, arranged in release order and categorized accordingly.

Direct-to-Video Films (Hanna-Barbera)

Direct-to-Video Films (Warner Bros.)

Live-Action Films

Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Stubs - Heat Lightning

Heat Lightning (1934) Starring: Aline MacMahon, Ann Dvorak, Preston Foster, Lyle Talbot, Glenda Farrell, Frank McHugh, Ruth Donnelly Directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Screenplay by Brown Holmes, Warren Duff. Based on the play Heat Lightning by Leon Abrams and George Abbott (New York, 15 Sep 1933). No Producer Credited. Runtime: 64 minutes USA Black and White Drama, Pre-Code

Some films are sadly forgotten over time even though they were, in their own time, controversial or milestones. Case in point, Warner Bros.’ Heat Lightning (1934), which was not only banned by the Legion of Decency but was also one of the last studio releases before the Production Code was fully enforced. A lot of times with so-called Pre-Code films its hard to see what made about the film couldn’t have been made during the run of the PCA (Production Code Administration).

Friday, June 26, 2020

Second Look - Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark (PS3)

After playing through Transformers: War for Cybertron and its sequel Fall of Cybertron again, I decided to take another look at a third game in the series, Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark, developed by Edge of Reality rather than High Moon. What made this game stand out, however, was that it was advertised as a crossover between the aforementioned Cybertron games and the live-action film continuity, specifically the then-new Transformers: Age of Extinction. On my initial playthrough my thoughts on the game were a bit mixed, however after a second playthrough and some additional continuity research, I found my impressions a little more negative than they were before.