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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Ultimate Spider-Man Episode 5 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I’m going to be giving you my review of the fifth episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man. (By the way sorry for my lateness, I swear I’ll get back up to date soon!)

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Oh my god, I swear this show is just trying to annoy me now. I thought that shows were meant to get better as they progressed, but since the second episode the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon has continued to plummet into mediocre territory. I don’t understand how a Spider-Man show can be this frustrating to me, but somehow the Ultimate Spider-Man excels at being bad in so many ways down to its poor humour, weak story development and constant butchering of the Peter Parker/Spider-Man character.

So the story in this episode is as follows:

“When Spider-Man meets his idol Iron Man, he receives a specialized gift: the Iron-Spider suit. However, when Spider-Man tries to master the suit’s abilities, the relationship the web-slinger has with his team is put on the line by the relationship he is developing with the armored Avenger. Spider-Man must also deal with the Living Laser.”

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To be honest after the failure of the last episode, I was really looking to be impressed in this episode. The story overall was passable but nothing overly amazing and that’s pretty bad considering the quality of the Spectacular Spider-Man‘s story which was consistent throughout both seasons. In this episode Spidey and his team battle the Living Laser, and you’d think that after a few episodes they’d have started building bridges and start forming into a team right? However that’s not the case at all. If anything Spider-Man is still trying to do this whole solo act and the team can’t seem to fully gel with Spidey’s personality and style of fighting which is causing even more conflict. And for me it’s really frustrating to see how this show continues to produce episodes that aren’t nearly as captivating the comic book origins it comes from.

Things get worse when Spider-Man gets a new armoured suit after meeting Iron Man (his idol) and it causes Peter’s arrogance to grow even more than usual because of the advanced tech’s powers and so Spidey’s total lack of logic puts him at odds with the rest of his teammates. The conflict in the team, while necessary for this episode I though came a little too prematurely and I wouldn’t expect to see something like this until around halfway through the series with a much more serious incident causing the team to potentially split up, but this show seems to be content with giving us stories that are potentially good only for them to be sub par. Now I understand that some teams take a while to come together especially if they have conflicting personalities, but the fact of the matter is that these guys have been around each other for a little while now and there doesn’t seem to be any sign proper progression or change since they were linked up in the second episode and for that’s not good nor is it encouraging for the show’s story and characters.

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In terms of characters, my god, besides Iron Man and Iron Fist to some degree, all of the other main cast members are just tragic. White Tiger is still a bossyboots, know-it-all character, Nova is still as annoying as ever and when it comes to Iron Fist and Power Man, they are just there, while they do offer up some important dialogue, overall they still haven’t been taken to the max yet. But the main offender is Peter Parker/Spider-Man. I have never seen such an arrogant, clueless and reckless interpretation of Peter Parker, it’s like I look at him and just shake my head in shame. It’s like the creators of this show just wanted to completely change the Peter Parker character and separate him from all of the good aspects that made him awesome in the comics. He is actually just an idiot, he may talk smart on the odd occasion but it’s all for show, he seems to lack basic knowledge, has no modesty and never things about how his actions affect others. He’s just tragic.

As I said before the only saving grace about this episode in terms of characters comes from the appearance of Iron Man voiced by Adrian Pasdar (reprising his role as the character from the Iron Man anime). He was the wit, charm and intellect that comes from the world of the comics and he is a refreshing site in this episode. Adrian Pasdar makes a very nice Tony Stark/Iron Man and carries the character well.

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At least the animation is still consistent in this show. The art and animation are solid, fluid and well-done. Having Iron Man in the show allowed for some interesting and dynamic sequences, also with the Iron Spider in the episode we got some interesting action scenes too. And while there was a lot of good action sequences throughout this episode, I don’t believe its been fully utilized or taken to the maximum. With all the intricate detail and quality that this show it’s predecessor the Spectacular Spider-Man, its frustrating to know that the overall that the visual quality has nothing special about it. The Spectacular Spider-Man had a much less detailed art style and animation quality and yet it produced some of the best animation that Spider-Man has every seen in the world of animation especially in the action and fight sequences and its interesting use of choreography. the Ultimate Spider-Man has none of that creativity and it just comes across as a show with talent, but not that much to be fussed about.

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One other thing to note that was good about this episode was the cameos from not only Spider-Ham, I got a personal little chuckle out of that because my nostalgic memories seeing him in comic book form, but also the cameo of the Super Hero Squad from The Super Hero Squad Show, though I don’t watch that show regularly it was nice reference.

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In the end this episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man has been the second hardest one to watch (the most being the previous episode) purely because it had an absurd amount of potential and it wasn’t completely capitalized on. There doesn’t seem to be any proper character development for any of the members of the team and this version of Peter Parker/Spider-Man continues to be an oblivious idiot barely relating to his comic book roots. Unfortunately it should be noted that this is the best episode since episode 2 and that’s purely based on Iron Man’s involvement and the use of the Iron Spider suit. The Ultimate Spider-Man really needs some better material or I reckon it should be shut down.

Rating: 6/10

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Ultimate Spider-Man Episode 4 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I’m going to be giving you my review of the fourth episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man. (By the way sorry for my lateness, I swear I’ll get back up to date soon!)

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Okay I am just going to say this right now. I do not like this episode. I think it is the worst one yet. After finishing the episode I felt like my time had been robbed and I wanted it back.

So the story in this episode features more of Peter’s life as he happens to be at odds with Harry because of the time he spends with his superhero teammates, meanwhile Doctor Octopus’ newest creation Venom shows up at one of Harry Osborn’s parties and attacks Spider-Man and the other trainees, jumping from host to host.

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Now I was glad that the show decided to focus a little more on Peter’s personal life, I mean the show is about Spider-Man after all (though I think the creators of this show forget that on a good few occasions). Though the way this story was tackled was a little too childish and simplistic for my liking. Really I think that was down to major issues; 1) The Peter and Harry conflict and 2) The use of Venom. Firstly I think that the conflict in Peter and Harry’s friendship was a little premature, I can understand that Harry feels a little left out due to Peter’s commitment with his teammates because they’ve been best friends for so long, but the fact that he goes into a whole strop about it seemed really childish and out of character for him. And funnily enough I finally in this episode I can partially relate to Peter due to his need for his personal life to be his and not constantly have to be involved in his superhero antics. However the team keep saying that Peter made a commitment to them and S.H.I.E.L.D. as a superhero and I can see where the team are coming from, but they seem to be very heartless about Peter’s situation and it frustrates me how emotionless they are and how they couldn’t even try to find a compromise. It also bugs me how Peter and Harry eventually make up, it seems like the issues from before are completely forgot about and swept underneath the carpet without confronting the issues. While I know I know there’s only so much time in an episode to sort things like that out, I just hate how they resolve things so quickly like I am watching an episode of Recess where a lot of actions have no consequences or proper resolve.

Secondly the other major issue with this episode was the use of Venom. Now as an avid Spider-Man I LOVE Venom, he must be my favourite Spidey villain. There is such a great history of this character in the comics and the previous Spidey animated shows, so when I saw the trailer for the Ultimate Spider-Man I was interested to see what they’d do with the character… But what I did not expect was this.

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Now I am all for change or updating the basic formula for the sake more interesting television, but this is just silly. In my opinion the character Venom has been butchered. Firstly the origin story was completely changed and I don’t like what was done here, it just seemed unlikely and a bit cheesy. Secondly there was no sign of Eddie Brock, the quintessential character that was responsible for Venom’ existence, what the hell!?! Thirdly the fact that the symbiote had to keep moving from person to person was a tad annoying, while was interesting to see what it did with everybody’s different abilities, I think it was done just to pass time rather than serving a purpose. I mean if the symbiote really wanted Spidey it could have had him. And lastly I want to talk about the way Venom eventually made it onscreen. Now it was a surprising twist, but for me it was a tad silly and just a cheap way to get the character onscreen. Again I can see where they were going with it because it was made from Spidey’s DNA and it’s meant to be dark version of Spidey. But for me I didn’t like what was done with the character and Venom really is a character that needs to introduced and tackled over more than one episode. Venom’s appearance was incredibly rushed and lacking in substance.

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When it comes to characters they were alright to sub par. Norman Osborn and Doc Ock were the best characters in the episode and there were there for the least amount of time. I guess I like them because they are the bad guys operating from the shadows. When it comes to Spidey’s teammates I really don’t care that much about them, the only person I like Iron Fist. White Tiger still annoys be with her know-it-all attitude and Sam just has to talk to come across as a bad character. Harry Osborn in this episode was a bit of stroppy child but it was great to see him do things more in line with his character from the comics. Mary Jane in this episode just annoyed me, she has that annoying know-it-all attitude when talking with Peter and other characters. But the main offender  of bad characters continues to be Peter Parker/Spider-Man. He doesn’t seem to be growing as a character, but still at square one like at the start of the series. There’s no sense of progression or cohesion with his teammates. He just talks and makes bad jokes and it doesn’t help that I still don’t like Drake Bell’s voice as our main character, it just doesn’t sit well with me. Another problem is with this version of Peter Parker is that for every time he says something smart it is followed by some stupid joke or form of foolish behavior that really doesn’t work in his favour.

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It seems like the presentation is the only good thing that keeps me coming back to watch the Ultimate Spider-Man. The art and animation are pretty damn good and really is the best of any Spider-Man show to date. While I still don’t think the animator have taken the production to the highest degree yet, what we have seen in this episode has to be the best yet. There is a lot of fluid animation and continuous sequences travelling across the screen, there’s many scenes from dynamic and interesting camera angles and there is also some decent tracking and panning shots in the action scenes. Spidey’s fight with Venom and opening sequence with Spidey in the subway was pretty nice.

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In conclusion I guess it’s pretty clear I didn’t like this episode. But it is for good reason to be honest. I guess it’s because I know the rich history of the story that came with Spider-Man and his time with the symbiote. It played a very big part in the comics and has been adapted very well in the 90s Spider-Man TV series and more recently the Spectacular Spider-Man TV series. The symbiote carries a lot of weight and easily shaped some of the best Spider-Man story arcs n the past with the way it affects Peter’s life and how it changes him as a person during and after his time with it. But unfortunately the Ultimate Spider-Man decides to through the basic rules out the window and give us very underwhelming experience in episode 4. With pretty sub par story, no character development and completely butchering of the Venom character, this show takes a huge step backwards and verges on bad animated TV programming. This needs to be rectified!

Rating: 5/10

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Koala’s are awesome!

Howdy people of WordPress. It’s been a while since I blog about something purely random so I thought I’d do a blog on one of my favourite animals ever; the Koala bear! Why? because Koala’s are awesome!!

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It’s funny, when I was back at home over the easter somehow the topic of cute animals came up and my mum, sister and talked about a few and when I mentioned Koalas I think we were all in agreement that Koalas are not only awesome, but dead cute!

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Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! How can anyone not like the epic cuteness that is Koalas, especially this one above ^^

And it was during that conversation that I just recalled how much I used to love Koalas as a kid. I always found them to be amazing. The just looked different to not only other forms of bears, but completely different to most other animals. I just loved the way they would climb trees or how they would cling to people when you seem them being handled in the Zoo or on nature programmes on TV. They always seem to ultra chilled out when they are chilling in the trees and I have always found that hilarious. They were just fascinating to me. And thinking about it I still feel the same way. While Koalas aren’t my primary favourite animal, it is probably in the top 10. I’ve always wanted to hold one, I guess it’s one of my life goals. I swear I would have an epic level of satisfaction if I got to hold one. I’d totally freak out! 😀

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If there aren’t any zoos or other places in the UK where Koalas are situated then I’ll have to find a way to get to Australia and hug one there! Anyways that just my thoughts on Koalas and I thought I should make a blog about it and share it with the world! Thanks for reading 😀

 

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Avengers Review

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So here it is ladies and gentlemen, the film that we’ve all been waiting for. Yesterday the The Avengers film arrived on UK shores and after an all-nighter watch all 5 Marvel films leading up to this one I went to the cinema yesterday to watch it. Now it’s been 4 long years of anticipation, planning and 5 films setting us up for the end result that would be this film. So after all this time was The Avengers worth the wait? Well, let me put it like this… The Avengers. Is. Friggin’ AWESOME!!!!

In all honesty I was absurdly hyped when I went to see in the cinema yesterday, but at the same time I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was wondering if the film would meet my expectations and make me feel like the happiest person in the universe. But luckily the film met my expectations, “Hulk Smashed” them into pieces and gave me a superhero film unlike any other. It truly was a sight to behold. Now I could talk about this film for a whole 2 days, but I’ll try to keep this review under 2000 words and spoiler free 😀

Story

So when it comes to the story we all know what the deal is if you’ve seen the trailers already, but for those unaware he is the basic premise: In The Avengers the world is in trouble, Loki (main villain from Thor) has come to Earth to wreak havoc on the planet and he is not alone, he has an army and his main goal is the rule the human race with his newfound power. So Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D.  decides to gather several superheroes together to combat the incoming threat. So it is up to Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Window & Hawkeye to save the day! And that my friends is the story, though obviously in the film things aren’t as simple as that.

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The great thing about the plot of The Avengers is the way in which it is tackled and presented on-screen. For a long time now there have been stories of the world falling into chaos or coming under attack and a need for superheroes to come along and safe the day, and it’s no different in The Avengers. However, the way the basic formula is taken and shaken up here makes it special. The story crafted by director Joss Whedon and Zak Penn is one with of heart, intelligence and wit with an equal amount of drama, action, character development and epicness all packed into one film. Not many comic book films have ever gotten so many elements into one film and made them work, but it looks like The Avengers has gotten it right in a fabulous way. The script is incredible, the dialogue is well-written, well-worded and there is a great balance between seriousness and humour, though I was surprised about how funny The Avengers was and the fact that it was nicely timed, felt natural and not forced.

There is also a great sense of continuity between this and the other Marvel films as there a subtle references that you can see from a visual standpoint or its mentioned through dialogue and it’s a great thing to have for all the fans who have been keeping up to date with the Marvel films since Iron Man back in 2008.

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Characters

When it comes to characters everybody is in full effect and on their A-game. Now before this film came out many fans were worried that not everyone would get enough screen time and that some characters would be overshadowed by others. Luckily The Avengers gives a great deal fo screen time to all of the cast involved. everybody has their moment to shine in the sun and boy do they shine!

Robert Downey, Jr. is still as great as ever as Tony Stark/Iron Man, still bringing, his humour, wit, arrogance and intelligence to this film and when he’s on-screen his performance and timing is incredible. Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America does very well in The Avengers, he is still the righteous guy he was in his solo film but now he’s a man out of time and has to deal with the drama of all the decades of time he missed while frozen on ice. Now we move on to a very important person; Mr. Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk. Now obviously before this film came out everybody was on the hate train for this guy (me included) and complained he wasn’t the right choice, everybody wanted Edward Norton back. But it has to be said, Ruffalo is the best version of Banner in existence, he look the part, he actually sounded and acted smart and when he Hulk’s out he is on fire. Best. Hulk. Ever! Chris Hemsworth also brings the awesomeness as Thor, in this film he is a little more tame, but still aggressive when necessary and obviously because of the situation with Loki it adds an additional level of complications to his character.

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Also Scarlett Johansson as Black Window is great, she has more weight to her character in this film and we learn more about her past and the kind of person she is beyond  her normal persona. In addition to that she’s also more badass and has some awesome fight sequences which proves she’s a force to be reckoned with. Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye is wonderful especially for the character with the least amount of history when compared to the other Avengers. He is the distant, yet calm and efficient and his history with the Black Window is highlighted a little as which was a great element to be featured. Tom Hiddleston as Loki was incredible, this time round he is corrupt, cold and menacing and his persona is definitely more in line with the comics. Totally badass yo! Samuel L. Jackson definitely brings the heat as Nick Fury, he gets to do much more than just show up and talk in a cool-like manner, here he seems to come across as a leader (like in the comics) and we even get to see him in some action scenes too. Clark Gregg is still great as Agent Coulson, whenever he’s on-screen he’s entertaining and awesome and I’m glad he had a more substantial role in this film. Newcomer to The Avengers world is Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, she definitely has some of the comic characteristics and does well in this film as Nick fury’s subordinate. And lastly Stellan Skarsgård and Gwyneth Paltrow even show up and reprise their roles as Erik Selvig and Pepper Potts and it is great to see them back in action again adding to the continuity of the Marvel films.

When these characters have their individual moments its good, but it’s when they interact with each other it is incredible! The script and story presents these characters with some great scenes from the conversation standpoint to the fight scenes against each other and against the incoming enemy.

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Presentation

When it comes to the visual presentation of The Avengers… MY GOD! IT’S INSANE! The Avengers goes above and beyond to give you visual experience that your eyes will never forget. The action, the spectacle and the scale of it all is simply incredible. There is so much going on from start to finish. All the Avengers show off their best abilities and that results in some very special and beautiful sequences with rockets, lasers, thunder and lightning, explosions, destruction and all that good stuff and it simply is beyond words. The visual effects and CGI is fabulous but I never expected anything less from Industrial Light & Magic! I also want to touch upon the film score done by Alan Silvestri. Now he was the man behind the soundtrack for Captain America: The First Avenger, so when he was drafted into The Avengers I was wondering what he was going to do because for me Cap’s soundtrack was okay and quite lacking. But holy man Alan Silvestri delivers tenfold here. He happens to take all of the characters and give them individual themes that work (there’s even subtle references to Captain America’s soundtrack too), but it’s all about the main Avengers theme, my god is it awesome! The Avengers main theme has a very classic style to it, its such a profound piece of music that completely energizes the awesomeness of the scenes it used in. The score hits all the right notes and its great!

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Conclusion

The Avengers, has to be seen to be believed. Joss Whedon defied the impossible and made a film that could have easily bombed, but he made it work in a very cohesive, beautiful and entertaining fashion. The film may have been designed for both casual audiences and comic book fans, but this film is truly for the fans yo. The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit have a lot to live up to now to sway me away from this epicness! While it may not meet everyone’s expectations and some may argue that this isn’t the best comic book film ever, I still say go and watch it. The Avengers is one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had in the cinema in like forever! I’ve liked and loved films before, but this film has an awesome factor that cannot be denied and after watching it you want to run back to the cinema and watch it again, it’s that addictive!

In terms of a rating I don’t think The Avengers needs a rating because it’s THAT good, but if I had to pick one it’d be either 9/10 or 10/10, take your pick lol 😀

Boys and girls of the world let it be known from that The Avengers is frigging awesomeness!!!! I love that bloody movie and I’ll watch it continuously until I explode! I AM SATISFIED! AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!!!!!! XD

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Battleship Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another film review and today’s review will be on that live-action adaptation of a board game, yes I am talking about Battleship.

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Video  Review:

Now this written review will be an abbreviated version of the video review I done on YouTube yesterday. So if you want the full review please watch the video for my full thioughts.

Mini Review:

So Battleship, um, where to start? Well let’s go back to when the first teaser trailer came out for this film. It was interesting at best because it was just some Navy people chilling at see and then there was the massive robot splashing about in the ocean. It looked pretty epic, so I was interested and intrigued at best. But then after a while I saw the full trailer… And man I was like “My God, this film look like ass!” It just looked like Transformers at sea tome, the use of CGI and sound effects, along with the style of front from the titles looked like Transformers and I really wasn’t interested in this film. I had my fill of Transformers already. I mean the first Transformers I like, but then the second film was only good for the visuals, other than that Revenge of the Fallen broke my heart and Dark of the Moon, who even remembers that film? And then to add to my confusion and lack of interest in this film I found out it was based on the actual Battleship board game! The I was really like “What the fuck!?! How the hell did that come about?” So when I went to watch this film I was very weary nad had fairly low expectations.

Surprisingly Battleship wasn’t a complete disaster of a film, but unfortunately it didn’t do anything overly interesting, cool or original in my opinion. If you’ve seen any disaster/science fiction action films in the last 10 years or even some relating to the 1990s then you’ve lived this story and action in some way, shape or form. It just depends on how much you love these kinds of films. Most of the film is generic, clichéd and unfunny. The story is passable, but again it’s nothing special. You have the personal journey of the main character played by Taylor Kitsch, but it is terribly executed and there’s a lot of subplots going on outside of the main alien invasion but it’s all irrelivent and just there to try and add some substance to this empty, loud, visual eye fest. Oh and there is also a cheap little love story added in tehre for good measure which is typically cheesy and pointless. It doesn’t help that the dialogue in this film is terrible and so basic that its painful to watch at times and whoever thought up some of the funny elements of the film should be slapped in the face, there was barely anything to laugh at when it was intended in the film.

So is there anything I liked abou this film? Well yeah the visualswere good. They were actually more then good, they were friggin incredible. The visual quality of teh CGI was very clear, crisp and sharp from the fight scenes on the see, the details of the alien ships to the destruction of the cities. It was done on such a ridiculous scale, but I shouldn’t expect anything less from Industrial Light & Magic, they are godly when it comes to visual effects. Also did anybody think of the alien robot ships as the Transformer Decepticons? I found myself just thinking of the Decepticons many times when the robot space crafts where on screen or when those alien robot yoyos were flying all over the place (which were friggin hilarious).

Anyways overall Battleship is a decent film, probably best to watch in a massive group of people. Its good if you’re into this kind of thing. But if you’re tired of disaster films or had your fill of Transformers then skip this one. You won’t be missing much.

Rating: 6.5 (And that’s me being nice)

The story is passable

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Ultimate Spider-Man Episode 3 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, tonight I’m going to be giving you my very late review of the third episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man.

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Ah the Ultimate Spider-Man… A show that in my opinion started off a little rocky, but did show a lot of promise and with a little tweaking and time it really could be the best Spider-Man cartoon in existence. However! This episode unfortunately doesn’t scream the words “Awesome!” Its more along the liens of “okay to average” or “more of the same” which is okay for kids and viewers who like the way the show is handled, but for me regardless of whether this is an adaptation of Spider-Man this show seems to sink deeper into the area of okay to mediocre.

So what’s the story this time? Continuing from the last episode, Peter continues his time in school except now his other superhero teammates are long for the ride. However tension soon begins when Peter sees Nova interacting with his friends Harry and MJ which doesn’t sit well with him. Nova doesn’t seem to care about Peter’s need to separate him and the other superheros from his personal life and from there a bitter feud/rivalry is formed between the two of them. Soon afterwards Spider-Man and his teammates are sent to the S.H.I.E.LD. Helicarrier to have their first training session together. However Spidey and Nova decide to turn the training exercise into a competition, though after they are finished Nick Fury tells them that they failed the exercise because they didn’t follow the rules. So after that the group come to the conclusion that they need instant respect and the only way to get that is by capturing a high-class villain from S.H.I.E.L.D.’s wanted list, so then the team head off  to Latveria to capture Doctor Doom, however through a series of events their plan soon backfires and puts not only in turn do they put their own lives in danger, but many others in the process. So it’s up to Spider-Man and company to save the danger before all hell breaks loose.

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Now I was really looking forward to this episode before it came out when the preview trailer when up months ago. Here we would get to see Spider-Man and his team go up against one of the most badass super villains ever, Dr. Victor Von Doom! However this is not the awesome episode that it should be, if anything it is worse than the previous two. Now granted this show has only just started and normally most TV shows need a few episodes before it finds its feet and becomes consistent. But in my opinion the Ultimate Spider-Man should have gotten it right by now and been totally awesome by at least episode 3. That’s how long it took The Spectacular Spider-Man to be awesome and that show started off on a much note than this one did. So what is wrong with this episode? Well its a number of things, for the humour is still as dull as ever and somehow has gotten worse than before, characters are either clichéd or annoying, the action sequences aren’t anything special and the story overall felt like a missed opportunity focusing on stupid trivial issues that belong in other high teen TV comedies or something.

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Now let’s talk about the main thing that bugged me, the whole Peter/Nova rivalry thing. Now it’s not uncommon for guys to get into a bit of rivalry from time to time in life as long as it’s for a justified reason or if it seems like it would happen in a natural way. But in this episode it was just flat-out annoying and unnecessary. Peter and Nova’s feud seems to spring out of nowhere, firstly Peter flips out about Nova hanging with his friends because he doesn’t want his superhero life to crossover into his personal life, which is understandable. But Peter seems to freak out a little more than I thought that he should, it’s not like Nova was hitting on Mary Jane or anything. It also doesn’t help that Nova is a right hothead who doesn’t really care for Peter’s opinions or feelings and this makes him come across as a bit of an inconsiderate jerk. So the whole time throughout the episode they spend the time squabbling and competing against each other in some male testosterone battle which feels so immature for this kind of show and totally out-of-place for the kind of person that Peter Parker/Spider-Man is. Which leads me into my issues with main character himself. In principle Peter is a smart guy, a very smart guy. He applies logic to everything he does, he knows a lot about many things inside and outside of his suit. And because of the superhero status and the life-changing situations he’s had to deal with he’s mature for his age. BUT! None of those key factors about Peter/Spidey come across at all in this show. Peter is just a dull teenager and as Spider-Man he’s a dummy who has super powers and cracks a lot of stupid jokes. This iteration of Spider-Man is only a mere shadow of his former glory.

Also what was the deal with how the Ultimate Spider-Man seems to treat the guys on the superhero team like brain-dead dummies and constantly keep giving all the praise to White Tiger? Obviously there are times in life when guys can be a little dumb and need a bit of female direction and I am all for a little female empowerment, but I swear they lay this stuff on way too thick in this show. The males in the team (Spider-Man and Iron Fist included) seem to be pretty dumb or useless in most cases while White Tiger is always the efficient one and constantly makes remarks how stupid the guys are or how great she is. I dunno, but it felt like there was some serious hating on the male species in this episode. It’s silly things like that which the writers need to sort that stuff out, it is ruining their characters. And speaking of the writing, my goodness. It sucks! I was gonna forgive the writers and give them the benefit of the doubt with the first two episodes, but now there is no excuse, the dialogue here is weak, uninspired and lacks a level of quality found in the comics. And then there’s those jokes, those horrible, cringe-worthy jokes. The written dialogue and story along with horrible visual representations and breaking the fourth wall result in some poor, unoriginal and basic humor that is nowhere near funny. It feels so watered down for children it’s beyond belief now. In the comics and previous Spider-Man TV shows the humor was always natural and came from the writing with actual wit and good timing. It didn’t need all bells and whistles that occupy this show. This show treats the viewer like a child, a very dumb child who has never comes across humor before and it is insulting to children and the older audiences like myself who watch the show. Also how comes Iron Fist and Luke Cage (aka Powerman) seem to have such little screen time? Do the makers o the show hate them? If so, why even put them in there unless they have a proper presence in the show?

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Okay, so I’ve ranted for long enough. Was there anything creditable in this episode? Well Dr Doom was pretty cool, he was pretty menacing and formidable. And while his presence wasn’t as great as it should have been and his voice sounded completely off at first, but after a while you get used to it. Now I will applaud the writers for taking Spider-Man out of his homeland of New York into the land of Latveria. Besides Spider-Man the Animated Series in the much later seasons, there’s not been many occasions where we’ve seen Spider-Man leave America and take on bigger problems in another country. That felt more along the lines of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, so yeah it was a nice touch. The animation still proves to be one of the main areas where this show can stay consistent, though the creators have hardly done anything incredible with it yet which is a shame. And lastly I did like Clark Gregg’s  Agent Coulson, his moments onscreen when he had to deal with the issues at the school was pretty funny.

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Alas in the end this episode was largely frustrating because it didn’t feel like the Spider-Man I know and love. There was just several instances where things just felt out-of-place, generic or just clichéd. Now I am not expecting some form of innovative new animated TV show, but this show feels like it’s doing a disservice to the Spider-Man fan base with its questionable story and dialogue, stupid jokes, a dumbed down version of Peter Parker and this whole female dominance thing with White Tiger. All of it just doesn’t sit well with me and feels like it belongs in another cartoon and not Spider-Man. As I said in my before The Spectacular Spider-Man only needed to get to episode 3 before it became completely solid as a great Spidey show. I hate having to keep going back and comparing this show to the last Spider-Man show, but its impossible when that one was so great and this one has only just begun and quite frankly it sucks. That show was smart, it had great dialogue, great character development, a simplistic art style but very fluid and incredible animation and most importantly, the show had drama! One thing that the Ultimate Spider-Man severely lacks. This show will really have step it up in the character development, drama and humour departments if it wants to succeed in the long-term.

Rating: 6/10

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2012 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Waiting for The Avengers is killing me!

With there only being 6 days left until the UK release of The Avengers my hype meter is building ever higher. I am becoming insanely excited for this film and I really want it to be next Thursday already so I can get my fix of The Avengers and moan on about how brilliant it is! Watching this film will be a totally different experience due to the fact that I am in a new friend circle in Sheffield instead of my homeland of Luton where I have seen all of the other Marvel films with my best mates. However the situation is unavoidable and as much as I would love to see the film with those guys, the distance is too great and I don’t have the funds to run back to Luton to rock it out with them, so I’m gonna go hardcore with my Sheffield people yo. I will go and watch The Avengers and be satisfied regardless of where I am!

And to make matters worse, IGN, Empire and Total Film magazine have posted up their reviews online… And their good, REAL GOOD! While I didn’t look into them in great detail in case of spoilers, I did scan through them and the critical opinions of these reviewers seemed to match up with the early reactions of the film’s release a few weeks ago.

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I NEED TO SEE THIS MOVIE, LIKE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is definitely a good sign. And even if the reviews were bad yo I’d still be there on opening day to watch the film. I know I have high expectations for this film and in a lot of cases that’s a bad thing because that normally leads to disappointment (Spider-Man 3, Ghost Rider, Iron Man 2 etc.), but this time I couldn’t care less! If the film is anything less than brilliant and it turns out to be bad then I shall cry. But at this point with the positive early fan reaction and now these UK reviews stating that the movie kicks ass, there is no doubt in my mind anymore that I want to and have to see this film. It’s frigging mandatory!!!

So what me and my flatemate are gonna do in true fanboy fashion is watch all of the Avengers-based films back-to-back in an all-nighter leading into the day of the Avengers film release day. It’s gonna be frigging sweet yo. I just want it to be Wednesday night next week so I can get my groove on and then watch the film that will complete my life! This is the film to start off the summer in the right way and it better be the best thing ever in my life to satisfy my hype!! I NEED THE AVENGERS! NOW! 😀 😀

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2012 in Films, Life, Media

 

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Life and Stability

Good day to you people of WordPress and welcome to another blog post. It’s strange a haven’t made a done anything on my blog for a few days now which is very strange by my standards, though I have had a lot on and have had to change the material I was going to put up. So in the end I decided to talk about where I am in life and stability, two things that are quintessential to anyone trying to get by in this world.

My life since becoming a university student has been a turbulent rollercoaster ride of ups and downs that come with being a student away from home and living that lifestyle that you only here about it stories. While my experience here in Sheffield wasn’t like I anything expected, in a way I wouldn’t take it back because it’s all part of the learning experience and of course, growing up too.

Since coming to university I have realised that stability is a necessity, everything needs a sense of perspective and normality, without it things can go wrong, it can turn mess with you emotionally and send you into a world of chaos! In my case when I came to university to do my animation course I treated it like I did with college; I worked but I was also lazy a great deal of the time coz in my mind everything was stable enough for me to handle. My laziness never really came back to bite me in the arse until January when I had to had in 3 assignments in one day and let’s just say everything ended in a very messy fashion due to bad timing and computer malfunctions. It also didn’t help that while all of this chaos was going on in my course I had problems with my finances. To sum it up in an abbreviated fashion my accommodation cost more than the amount I got from student finance, so I was behind on many payments and in a constant fear of being kicked out. I had to borrow lots of cash off of my family, I had to sell my Nintendo DS and games and also cut down on the amount food I ate just to stay afloat. It was a dark time in my world that almost broke me completely. I lived in an unstable where everything was in a constant state of flux…

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For a while this was the level of stability in my world…

Luckily things started to look up after March started up, there was my return to the cinema that got me back into a familiar groove when I went to see John Carter and The Hunger Games in one day in the Cineworld in Sheffield and then there was my birthday a few weeks ago that put me in the happiest place I’d been in for a long time. And I finally got a taste of stability when I paid off all of my money that I owed to my accommodation. All that fear and panic that had plagued my mind for months disappeared and I felt like a massive weight had been lifted off of my shoulders! So with this newfound level of freedom I went back home in the Easter and watched The Cold Light of Day, Wrath of the Titans and 21 Jump Street in the cinema which felt like the normal me. I also bought myself a Nintendo 3DS with Mario Kart 7 and Kid Icarus: Uprising which has put me in a good groove. Seeing my family back in Luton and London put a massive grin on my face (the free dinners made me epic happy! XD) and when I got to catch up with all my lovely friends in Luton and on one trip to Milton Keynes it was a great feeling!!

However it hasn’t been all plain sailing. When I came back home for Easter I was faced with many moments of frustration and  grumpiness because of the people around me and the overall atmosphere that comes with being back in Luton. Firstly let’s start with my friends, now don’t get me wrong I love my friends, they’re my heart and soul yo. And it is hard to live so far away from them in Sheffield whereas before I went to university they all used to be within walking distance back in Luton. So when I’m away they tell me so much that they wanna hang out and that they miss me, however when I got back most of them didn’t wanna hang at all besides a select few. And it’s not like I didn’t try to contact them, I sent text messages but they never got back to me or others I hollered at on Facebook who said they would hang out only from them to cancel or say that something had come up. That’s just a few of the scenarios that I’ve had to put up with. I think a lot of this was due to scheduling conflicts and the fact that I came back at an awkward time in the Easter when my friends had other plans. But some people really didn’t have an excuse as they didn’t have anything on and just didn’t get back to me. The main issue with some of my friends is the communication element. There is none.

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Miscommunication. A very troublesome thing in life. It happens a lot to me.

I try to contact friends by every means possible and yet I never get a holla back. And that’s what really frustrated me when I spent my 12 days back in Luton. All those so-called friends really didn’t seem all that friendly and it was really annoying because a lot of them I wanted to see but couldn’t because they were useless in the communication department…

Also I didn’t realise until I hanged in Luton for a week how much the place saps the energy out of me. Outside of the cinema, my friends and seeing my family, there’s no reason for me to go back home for an extended duration of time. I mean I don’t hate the place and I have a lot of nostalgia there, but going back recently has just felt long, tiresome and funky. This Easter I saw a good few family members which was great, I got to hang with my best friends and went to the cinema and caught up on some long hours of TV. But other than that it just felt horrible. I missed Sheffield extremely after just a few days and wanted to get back there so soon. So yeah I got back to Sheffield at the start of this week and the normality of hanging around my flatmates kicked in and I felt at peace with myself. While I still have a fair amount of uni work to get on with in a short amount of time and I still haven’t got my finances completely sorted yet, I’m sure with hard work and a little hope I’ll get by. Plus I have a lot to look forward to with The Avengers coming out next Thursday here in the UK which I’m totally hyped and can’t wait for anymore and then in May I get see Men In Black 3 which will have to be good because its got Will Smith in it XD Also waiting to play Sonic 4: Episode 2 and break in my PS3 too. Then there’s the MCM London Expo, my place of happiness, I will be attending later on next month. And lastly of course the summer is edging ever closer so when that kicks in I’ll be bleeding it dry coz its my favourite time of year! So times can only get better from here 😀

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Life is a balancing act, you could fall at any time if you’re not careful. So keep your guard up yo!

So in conclusion I just want to tell anyone who is reading this that life needs stability for it to be enjoyed and whatever problems or troubles you have in your life weather them out and find your own sea of tranquillity. I think I have finally found mine. How long it’ll last will be down to time and whether fate will keep me in my happy place. I just hope all of you out there have a level of stability of your own too because it is necessary for life.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Life

 

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PAX EAST: Sonic 4 Episode 2 Hands-On

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another Sonic-related blog post. And today I have a lovley hands-on preview of Sonic 4: Episode 2 from the wonderful people at Sonic Stadium. So here it is yo:

“When Sonic 4 was revealed in 2010, it quickly became a very controversial game. Fans reacted with emotions ranging from joyful glee to seething, undiluted hatred. Criticisms ranged from the physics, to the level design, to Sonic’s…eye color. By the time of the game’s release, the more serious complaints were proven to have validity, though in despite of this criticism Sonic 4 Episode 1 received the highest scores of any console Sonic game in years, even managing eights from many of the larger websites.

One of the great things about releasing a game episodically is that it allows for developers to take fan and press criticism into account mid development. Sonic 4 is easily one of the best examples of this: Episode 2 features a large variety of improvements over Episode 1.

The state of the physics was the biggest criticism in Episode 1, and they’ve received a good deal of attention for Episode 2. Sonic no longer stops dead in his tracks when the player stops pressing forward. Instead, Sonic maintains all of his momentum once he’s gained it, regardless of whether or not the player presses forward or not. Sonic is also no longer predisposed to uncurling, as listeners of the Sonic Talk podcast will know, which makes bouncing off of enemies after rolling up into the air much easier and more fluid. The bounce from destroying enemies has also been improved, giving Sonic much more air. It’s not all blue skies and good times though, as one thing hasn’t changed: Sonic doesn’t get the momentum he should from rolling down hills. When you go into a roll on an incline, Sonic typically only gains a little speed, and if the incline isn’t steep enough, he can come to an outright stop on it. These are still not the physics of the classic Sonic games.

So, classic Sonic fans may still not necessarily be pleased. Aside from that though…Sonic 4 Episode 2 is still a lot of fun. Going by what I’ve played, it’s a much better game than Episode 1 was. For one, the game obviously has a bigger budget, and this factors into more than just better graphics: the levels here are more intricate. Sylvania Castle Zone Act 1 is larger and more complicated then Splash Hill Zone Act 1 is, with a combination of water and land based environments, a better balance between thrilling speed areas and slower platforming areas, and places that take some skill to reach. White Park Zone is easily more thrilling than anything in the previous episode, period. Sonic will be chased by avalanches of snow, board on flowing rivers of snow, and drill through snow filled caverns. This is all stuff we’ve seen in the trailers, of course, but during my play through I found these gimmicks to be much more satisfying then the gimmicks in Sonic 4.

Another big change between Episode 1 and Episode 2 is the inclusion of Tails. Now, SEGA has gotten a lot of flak for not including Tails as a playable character…but honestly? Those people are missing the point. In Sonic 2, Tails’s inclusion was more about co-op then it was actually playing as Tails. Playing as Tails was boring. He was just a Sonic reskin, he had no special abilities, and couldn’t even fly. Tails was, in essence, only useful as a player two character. That’s exactly the case here, except things have been expanded upon. Tails is there to allow for in game co-op and to augment Sonic’s own abilities, and it’s here where Episode 2 again differentiates itself from Episode 1. Tails and Sonic essentially act as a single character with expanded abilities, and this changes fundamental aspects of Sonic 4’s formula, now allowing players to fly around the stage to explore new areas, and enter a kind of “rolling attack”. This rolling attack is very fast and powerful, and can come in handy in speed areas with lots of inclines. To balance things out, it is also very hard to control, and using it poorly can either completely mess up a speed run or lead to a very quick death. These two new moves do a lot to help spice up the standard Sonic formula, and it never feels like it comes at the expense of the game’s pacing, as similar team based mechanics did in Heroes and Advanced 3.

Episode 2 is also a very beautiful game. It’s pretty obvious that Episode 2 had a much bigger budget then Episode 1, since graphically it looks almost like a retail title. The backgrounds of both levels are filled with detail. Sylvania Castle has a beautiful morning sky in the background, with a sun shimmering through the clouds as it begins to poke above the mountains, while White Park Zone has an entire carnival moving in the background. Snow will fall off of flowers as Sonic runs past them and give more life to the underwater areas of Sylvania Castle. Episode 2 has a lot of life and movement in it, and it all runs at a silky smooth 60 FPS.

Only the complete game will tell us just how big an improvement Episode 2 is over Episode 1. I won’t make any promises to classic fans, as the game still feels like Sonic 4, just a much improved version of it. Episode 1 had more flaws then just the physics, and as far as I’m concerned, if the level design of all of Episode 2 reflects the two acts I’ve played, I’ll be very happy. People who hated Episode 1 will probably still hate Episode 2, unless the aforementioned physics fixes or improved graphics and level design solved what they disliked about the first episode. Fans who liked Episode 1 will like Episode 2 a lot more though, if these two acts are any indication. This game had a bigger budget then the first episode, and it most certainly shows in the improved graphics and level design. I am confident this will be Sonic’s best digital offering yet.”

So what do you guys think? For me this hands-on sounds pretty promising and I have much more trust in the end result of Sonic 4: Episode 2, I’m just waiting until May so I can download this game and experience fun all over again! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Media, Video Games

 

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Chilling…

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another blog post. Today’s post is nothing special. It’s just about something that we all do from time to time and it’s something that I like to do very often… And that is chilling.

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“Chill time is happy time.” A quote I live by.

Yep. Chilling is just one of those things I love to do, all the time, every time. Whenever there is an opportunity to put my feet up and be lazy inside my flat at uni or back at home in my hometown I’ll take that opportunity and run with it. Most of those times are mainly just occasions for me to be lazy and hang around in my own company and for the most part its great. I get a lot of things done sometimes, playing video games, finding out new information on the internet or like now I’ll be blogging haha. But chilling can equate to other scenarios like hanging with my friends and not doing much, just hanging in each others company outside or inside, at home or in the pub, chill time is the definition of satisfaction sometimes and its grand.

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So now it’s Easter and I’ve back at home in Luton for just under a week now and for the most part I’ve had a lot of good times catching up with old friends and making new ones in the process. I’ve also gone back to the cinema and watched a few films here and there in the shape of The Cold Light of Day, Wrath of the Titans and 21 Jump Street. And when I haven’t been outside I’ve been just hanging around at home, just being a lazy man, but its more chilling with TV and the internet for the most part and it’s just great. As I said before “Chill time is happy time” A quote that I made up a long time ago in college and I still stick by today, because when you’re chilling, everything is relaxed, serene and all good in the hood 😀

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Life

 

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