Saturday, July 30, 2022

Stubs - Thor: Love and Thunder

Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Jaimie Alexander, Taika Waititi, Russell Crowe, Natalie Portman. Directed by Taika Waititi. Screenplay by Taika Waititi, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. Based on Marvel Comics. Produced by Kevin Feige, Brad Winderbaum. Run time: 119 minutes. Color. USA. Superhero, Action, Adventure, MCU.

While my enthusiasm for the MCU has cooled substantially since Endgame, there were still films in Phase Four that I was still interested in. Following Thor: Ragnarok (2017), one that I was looking forward to was Taika Waititi’s return to the Thor franchise. The first two Thor solo films, Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013), were okay, it seemed the character did better when part of an ensemble. But Ragnarok seemed to change that. Waititi’s humor really helped that film to be more fun and enjoyable than the previous two.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Lucky's Tale (PS VR)

Though I had played both versions of Super Lucky’s Tale before, I had not previously played the original Lucky’s Tale, as it was released for a VR platform (Oculus Rift) that I did not have. By chance when looking at the listing for Moss: Book II, I spotted a digital-only listing for the PlayStation VR version of Lucky’s Tale, which is a port of the Oculus Quest 2 remaster with updated graphics to match the sequel. Although I liked the game after finally getting to play it and thought it held up as a good example of third-person VR, one major issue made it nearly unplayable for me.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Atlantis: Milo's Return

Note: This review contains spoilers for Atlantis: The Lost Empire.

Of all the IPs Disney owns, one of the most overlooked is Atlantis, which revolves around the lost city of Atlantis. Though the original 2001 film, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, has managed a cult following within the last twenty years, it didn’t do as well at the box office as Disney had anticipated. As such, any further plans for a franchise were scrapped, including a TV series called Team Atlantis. Before Team Atlantis’ cancellation, however, three episodes were produced. Not wanting the effort to go to waste, these episodes were combined into a DTV feature, Atlantis: Milo’s Return, with some new animation tying the episodes together. Gauging critical reception is difficult, though Milo’s Return is typically viewed as a subpar effort in comparison to The Lost Empire. Looking as it now, it’s hard not to see why, but the rare window into what could have been makes it more interesting.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach (PS5)

Note: This review contains spoilers for the Five Nights at Freddy’s series.

Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNAF) is a game series that I’ve always found fascinating. Ever since the first game launched back in 2014, I was hooked by the hidden lore and stuck by the series ever since, even reading the original novel trilogy (The Silver Eyes, The Twisted Ones and The Fourth Closet) of my own volition. However, I’ve never actually played any of the games myself, instead watching Markiplier play through all of them and uncovering their secrets. That would change with the formal announcement of the ninth main entry, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach (Security Breach), as the change in presentation and gameplay style felt more in line with my interests. As such, although the game, developed by Steel Wool, launched in December 2021, I intentionally didn’t watch any playthroughs so my playthrough would be as spoiler-free as possible when I finally got around to it. Although I feel proud of myself for finally playing a FNAF game, I can confidently say that Security Breach really needed more time in the oven.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Stubs - Jingle All the Way

Jingle All the Way
(1996) Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Robert Conrad, Jake Lloyd, Jim Belushi Directed by Brian Levant. Screenplay by Randy Kornfield Produced by Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan, Mark Radcliffe. Runtime: 89 minutes. USA Color Christmas, Family, Comedy.

Every so often, a toy will be released at Christmas time that will have a high demand and a low supply. An early example of this was The Cabbage Patch Kids in the 1980s, and the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, and in the mid-1990s, Buzz Lightyear. And if you were unfortunate not to have picked up on the trend and your child’s wish for one, you could be out of luck when the big day arrives and that present is not under the tree.

Making a comedy about this is nothing new, as the TV show Fraiser made an episode about the Outlaw Laser Robo-Geek, the Christmas present his son wanted, in 1995. Another take on this was Jingle All the Way, made in 1996. This time, the toy is Turbo-Man.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Mickey's Christmas Carol

Considering the longevity of Charles Dickens’ immortal novella, A Christmas Carol, and Disney’s penchant for adapting public domain works, it was only inevitable that the two would eventually cross paths. That was exactly what happened in 1983, when Disney released Mickey’s Christmas Carol, an adaptation of A Christmas Carol starring Scrooge McDuck and featuring Mickey Mouse and friends, as well as characters from other Disney films. This featurette would also mark Mickey’s return to theaters after a thirty-year gap, with The Simple Things (1953) serving as his last original venture, and accompanied a re-release of The Rescuers (1977). Naturally, Mickey’s Christmas Carol would also receive its own home video release, which was how we watched it for the first time, specifically through a Blu-ray, and how we concluded that despite its short length, it could still easily serve as a Christmas staple.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Kao the Kangaroo (2022) (PS5)

The revival of 3D mascot platformers, while including the likes of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon, has also included some more unexpected and/or obscure ones, such as Bubsy the Bobcat and TY the Tasmanian Tiger. Kao the Kangaroo falls into the latter category, coming back with a new self-titled reboot on modern platforms after having not had a new game since 2005’s Mystery of the Volcano. I was excited to play this one after having recently explored the older games through Steam and GOG and played the demo through the former, though opted for a PS5 copy rather than PC. Since I’m a fan of physical media, I was disappointed that the US release was through Limited Run rather than the mass retail release in other countries, and so while I did pre-order a US copy in the event of any potential DLC, I also imported a physical copy from the UK just so I could play it in a timelier fashion. Although the game has some issues in a technical level, I still thought it overall one of the better entries in the series.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Stubs - Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Michael Stuhlbarg, Rachel McAdams. Directed by Sam Raimi. Screenplay by Michael Waldron. Based on Marvel Comics. Produced by Kevin Feige USA Run time: 126 minutes. Color. Superhero, Horror

As you may recall from my review of Doctor Strange (2016), I was not a huge fan of that film, thinking of it more as ”taking a required course at college as opposed to an elective one.” The character played better when part of an ensemble in such films as Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). But now he’s back in his own film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But he is not alone; as the title suggests, there is a multiverse, not just different Earths but also Marvel characters. And not only does the film expect you to be familiar with the 22 films in the Infinity Saga and at least three Marvel spinoff TV series (WandaVision, What If...? and Inhumans), but also other Marvel comic universes, X-Men and The Fantastic Four, which Disney reacquired with their purchase of Fox. Talk about required courses, this one comes with homework.

And, in case, you're wondering, I took this as a virtual class, waiting for it to appear on Disney+ rather than in a theater. I’m glad I waited.

Saturday, July 2, 2022


Of all of Pixar’s IPs, Toy Story is easily one of their most popular and the most expansive. Starting from the original 1995 film, Toy Story would go on to have four films, several shorts, a few specials and now two spin-offs focused on the character Buzz Lightyear, including the Buzz Lightyear of Star Command TV series. For over twenty years, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command served as Buzz Lightyear’s in-universe origin, showcasing his adventures as a Space Ranger fighting the evil Emperor Zurg. Now, in 2022, Pixar has released Lightyear, an in-universe film meant to serve as the new official origin for Buzz. While the idea behind creating and releasing an in-universe movie is an interesting one, the execution in this case leaves a lot to be desired.