Sunday, August 27, 2023

Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar


Note: This review contains spoilers for Metalocalypse and The Doomstar Requiem - A Klok Opera.

For about ten years, the [adult swim] series Metalocalypse, an animated series about the unrealistically popular death metal band Dethklok, never had a conclusion. Following the conclusion of Season 4, the show had an hour-long special, The Doomstar Requiem, which ended on a cliffhanger with the intention of an additional fifth season to finish it off. Long story short, this sadly never came to pass, leaving fans with no sense of closure. That is, until 2021 when the network greenlit a direct-to-video finale movie, Army of the Doomstar, which finally released in August 2023. As a fan of both Metalocalypse and Dethklok, the wait felt truly excruciating, but receiving closure made the incredible and emotional finale very much worth the wait.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox

Note: This review contains spoilers for The Flashpoint Paradox.

In the leadup to DC’s (in)famous New 52 reboot in 2011, a now famous The Flash storyline known as Flashpoint was ran, which featured a limited series with a number of tie-in comics that all explored an alternate timeline. This arc would later be adapted in 2013 as Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, the first installment in the DC Animated Movie Universe (DCAMU). While I will admit to not caring too much about the movie when it first came out, I became more curious over time due to a combination of Reverse Flash memes based on it and watching the 2023 The Flash film, which also adapts the Flashpoint arc. After finally sitting down to watch it, by streaming it through Max, I liked it more than I thought I would, going so far as to find it a better Flash movie than the actual Flash movie.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Stubs - Nancy Drew. . . Trouble Shooter

Nancy Drew... Trouble Shooter (1939) Starring Bonita Granville, Frankie Thomas, John Litel. Directed by William Clemens. Screenplay by Kenneth Gamet. No Producer Credited. Based on the character "Nancy Drew" created by Carolyn Keene. Run time: 70 minutes. Black and White. USA. Drama, Mystery, Comedy

Nancy Drew first appeared in the book The Secret of the Old Clock (1930) and was created by publisher Edward Stratemeyer as a female counterpart to the Hardy Boys series of books. The Nancy Drew books were written by a series of writers using the same pseudonym, Carolyn Keene. Nancy Drew would appear in 175 novels from first publication to 2003.

The book series was so popular that Warner Bros. bought the rights to make “B” pictures. Fifteen-year-old child star Bonita Granville, who had already been nominated for an Academy Award for her role in These Three (1936), was picked to play the lead in a series of films. Warner Bros. wanted the series to resemble the popular Torchy Blane films starring Glenda Farrell, which mixed comedy and crime.

There were four films in all: Nancy Drew... Detective (1938), Nancy Drew... Reporter (1939), Nancy Drew... Trouble Shooter (1939), and Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (1939).

Shot during February 1939, this, the third film, was released on June 17, 1939.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach – Ruin (DLC)

Note: This review contains spoilers for Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach

Although the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise remains as successful as ever, the most recent entry from Steel Wool, Security Breach, has fought an uphill battle. The game launched in a blatantly unfinished state, with glitches galore and a story too vague for its own good. Even with numerous patches that addressed countless issues, its reputation hasn’t quite escaped the one it had since launch. Despite its troubles, however, it still received a free piece of DLC, Ruin, that offered a glimmer of hope in addressing remaining questions from the base game. While it doesn’t quite fix everything within its roughly four-hour runtime (when playing normally), Ruin does still represent a substantial improvement over the original Security Breach to the point where someone would wonder why Steel Wool didn’t simply play to their strengths the first time around.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Stubs - Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer (2023) starring Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Josh Hartnett, Casey Affleck, Rami Malek, Kenneth Branagh. Directed by Christopher Nolan. Screenplay by Christopher Nolan. Based on the book: American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. Produced by Emma Thomas, Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan. Run time: 180 minutes US/UK Color Biography, Thriller

In mankind, there have been moments when things seemed to change. Most of us would say 9/11 was such a day. Life in the US has not been the same since. Another such moment was the birth of the atomic bomb in 1945 and its creator, J. Robert Oppenheimer, is the subject of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, the bottom half of Barbenheimer, a duo of films that hit US cinemas on July 21, 2023.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Stubs - Barbie

Barbie (2023) starring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Michael Cera, Will Ferrell, America Ferrera, Ariana Greenblatt, Rhea Perlman Narrator: Helen Mirren. Directed by Greta Gerwig. Screenplay by Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach. Based on Barbie by Mattel. Produced by David Heyman, Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley, Robbie Brenner. Run time: 114 minutes. Color. USA. Fantasy, Comedy, Adventure

Note: This review contains spoilers for Barbie.

The summer of 2023 may well be remembered as the summer of Barbie, as it, perhaps surprisingly, turned out to be the biggest movie of the year. The film’s boffo box office, which is already over $1 Billion worldwide when this is written, had a bit of a built-in audience as it is based on the iconic fashion doll invented by Ruth Handler in 1959, with over a billion sold to date.

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

The success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has evidently had an impact on the animation industry, as it led to DreamWorks Animation taking risks with The Bad Guys and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. This new wave of experimentation has now hit Nickelodeon, with the latest installment in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) franchise, Mutant Mayhem, featuring a unique style not seen before in other TMNT media or even any major animated films of recent memory. As a TMNT fan whose entry point was the IDW comic (and whose personal favorite iteration is the criminally-underrated Rise of the TMNT cartoon), I had mixed feelings on the announcement due to producer Seth Rogen’s reputation, though the visual style and premise were interesting enough that I still went to see it on opening day, ultimately leaving curious to see more.

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Stubs - Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (2023) starring Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Esai Morales, Pom Klementieff. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie. Screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Erik Jendresen; Based on Mission: Impossible by Bruce Geller. Run time: 163 minutes. Color. USA Espionage, Action

In a summer of blockbuster films, and, of course, sequels, comes Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, the seventh in a series that dates back to 1996. The last film was Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018). If you're like me, five years, due to COVID, is a long time between engagements and some of the relationships established in that film have faded for me. However, the central core of the IMF group, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) return; a secret rogue group of a secret rogue organization. These three have each other's back but no one has theirs, you know the drill.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Tron: Identity (PC)

Around the release of Tron: Legacy, Disney had given the franchise a good amount of legacy support, only for the IP, and plans for a third film, to be put on ice following the under-performance of Tomorrowland. In recent years, and following a string of rumors, Disney is officially bringing Tron back with a third film, Tron: Ares. Prior to this, a new game in the franchise was revealed at a recent D23 Expo, a visual novel known as Tron: Identity, which instantly caught my interest due to its interesting premise and a lack of Tron content in the interim, though I opted to wait until it was at a discount through the most recent Steam Summer Sale (with some Steam Wallet funds applied) before playing it. While I did overall enjoy the game, I’m not sure it would have been worth it if I bought it at full price.