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Second Guessing My Future Aspirations

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another insight into my mind and today I’m having another one of those reflective days. At this current point I’m procrastinating doing my work for my 3rd year modules at university because of a combination of laziness, but also a lack of inspiration and creativity. And it got me thinking, is this what I wanna do for the rest of my days?

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For the longest time since I was a kid I’ve wanted to an animator and create cartoons that the world could see with my name on it, however in the last few years, on several occasions I’ve been questioning whether it is the profession I really wanted to go into. I love animation, no doubt about it, however, I have always questioned with I had the talent or patience to jump into such a competitive industry.

DoubtMaybe it is just down to self-doubt, but I believe it is more than that.

So if I were to jump ship from the world of animation where would I go next? Well I’ve always had backup plans. I’ve considered loads of roles in media including: camera operator, illustration, comic book artist, concept artist and then there’s radio too (something I absolutely have a big love for),

But one job that I’ve really given some thought to is being a writer.

writerYeah, I’ve actually considered this line of work and to be honest I think it’d be pretty interesting for me.

Since my late teens (around 18 or 19) I considered that maybe writing is something for me to look into and considering all the blogging I’ve been doing since I started being a blogger in 2007, add to that my reports and essays I did for my media production course in college and I would say writing ha become a big part of my life. Plus I’ve always liked to tell stories, whether they’re my own or fictional. People tell I tell pretty good stories and since it’s still a form of creation, I’d be totally down with it as a profession.

The only question is where does this leave me with animation? Trust me, it is something I haven’t given up on by any means, but I guess right now I’m in a bit of rut and I dunno how to shake it off. Maybe it’s because of the pressures of university and its deadlines and how it stifles my creativity or maybe it’s because its part of education, something I’ve been doing for the last 7 YEARS. I dunno, I could just be fatigued or lacking in imagination. For the longest time I thought I knew what I wanted in life and now that we’re making movements towards the dream, I’m not sure if I wanna chase this dream and change my path. I’m truly lost in the world of my own mind right now and it is hardly helpful. :S

Well that’s it for now, thanks for reading peeps and I’ll see ya on the next post yo! 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2013 in Life

 

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Hey Check Out My New Animation Blog!

Hi peeps! Just making a quick post to let you know that I’ve got another blog that I’d like you to check out. Basically I’m in my third year of my animation course and it’s mandatory for us students to make a blog, so yeah I thought I’d do a bit of shameless promoting and tell you lot about it.

Here’s the blog below in action:

My World of Animation

It’s pretty new but if you lot would like to see the kind of work that I do on my course then check it out yo! Thanks and I’ll see ya later.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2013 in Life

 

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Wreck-It Ralph Review

Ah man, I have waited for this film for a long time now! Having to wait until this year to watch Wreck-It Ralph after everyone in America got it in November was like the worst thing ever. As a video game nerd, the fan service this film looked like it was providing for its audience made me so hyped, but then when I found out I’d have to wait until February to experience it I was gutted. However thanks to Cineworld I got to see an early screening last night so today I’m gonna give my review! Yay! 😀

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So the story of this film involves Wreck-It Ralph, the villain of a game called Fix-It Felix, Jr., after not wanting to be the bad guy any more he then decides to leave his game and pursue his dream of being a hero. While on his travels through games he not only causes problems for his own game, but he also endangers another game he enters too. And so he along with some other characters has to rectify the problem before it spreads to other games in the arcade. I thought the story in the film was done pretty well; it has a great logic when it comes to video games and I thought the references were incorporated into the story pretty well. I liked how there was an actual story behind the film involving not only Ralph but also Vanellope too, there was some heart and drama behind both of their stories and I appreciated that. Also the dialogue was also pretty good with some great quotes too, though the humour wasn’t nearly as funny as other animated films I’ve seen.

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Besides the great visuals of the film, the characters of this film are what really make it good. John C. Reilly as Wreck-It Ralph was pretty cool, you could relate to the character and sympathize with his situation after doing the same thing for years without any respect or kindness thrown his way. You can see he’s a nice guy but is bound by his role as a villain which obviously fuels his fire for change and I really liked that about his character. And then of course there was Sarah Silverman as Vanellope von Schweetz of Sugar Rush. I’m gonna level with you lot; I really didn’t like her character at first. She’s so annoying, loud and just one of those people you wish you could punch in the face. A lot people may find her cute and funny, but not me. Though after a while you do start to see her character in a different light and she does become more of a credible character. And then there’s my favourite character Fix-It Felix, Jr. played by Jack McBrayer, he is easily my favourite character in the film. His go-to and happy attitude was awesome and lead to some funny scenes and dialogue. Throughout the film I kept thinking of him as Kenneth from 30 Rock and it just made me chuckle, he is the best! Also Jane Lynch as Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun was equally good as the lead character of Hero’s Duty. I didn’t know her character would be in the film as much as she was, but I enjoyed her performance and the sort of modernization her character brought to the film. And Alan Tudyk as King Candy was hilarious, he had such a strange voice and does weird things, but you have to appreciate his charisma and I liked what he brought to the film too.

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Oh and the presentation… The presentation of Wreck-It Ralph is just fabulous. Visually it is a great-looking film with really detailed and pretty CGI which is vivid, colourful, crisp and sharp and varied throughout the different locations. The soundtrack is also very nice with some uses of video game-styled music and sound effects and all of the songs used in the film worked well with the scenes that they were used for. But we can’t talk about the presentation of the without highlighting the video game references and holy man were there loads! This film is filled with references to 80s and 90s video games, from Pac-Man to Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Fighter to Dance Dance Revolution X2 and Super Mario Bros. too! Oh god it was nostalgia overload! I’m not gonna spoil all of the references in the film but to suffice to say if you’re gamer in early 20s and upward then you’ll appreciated the references involved both visually and audibly. For me as a gamer in the 90s I loved it and got a real kick out of seeing all of my favourite nostalgic characters in one place, especially Sonic! XD

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So to conclude, Wreck-It Ralph was damn good stuff! Outside of the numerous game references and nostalgia there was a real story to the film involving Ralph and Vanellope which was nice. While the film wasn’t as funny as I thought it was gonna be, the rest of amazing visuals and characters more than make up for it. This film is for both kids and adults, but mainly for the nerds of video games as they’ll get the best kind of nostalgic experience out of this film.

Rating: 8.5/10

So what did you guys think of Wreck-It Ralph? Did you love it or hate it? Whatever your thoughts let me know in the comments below (UK audiences let me know when the film comes out in February). See you all on the next review.

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Frankenweenie Review

I actually saw this film around two months ago and was meant to review it on the weekend after I watched it, but uni got in the way so I’m not getting around to doing the review until now so sorry peeps! XD

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Now Frankenweenie is a film I’ve heard a lot about prior to the film’s release and afterwards. St first I didn’t think much of it because it was just one of Tim Burton’s old short film’s being adapted into a feature-length film, and while that may have sounded exciting for some, for me I wasn’t feeling the idea. You see I saw the original short, I thought it was good, but probably not good enough to craft into a full movie. But I decided to give it a try after I saw a lot of good reviews for the film and I am glad my initial impressions of this film was wrong, it’s actually pretty good and I’m going to tell you why in this film.

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The story for this film goes like this: “After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life-with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.”

The story was pretty good and not nearly as childish or predictable as I thought it was going to be. The trailer for this film made it look a lot less interesting than it eventually turned out to be, I guess that was due to the smart choice of not showing any of the key scenes in the trailer and some clever marketing too.

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The characters of the film were all very lively, interesting and had individual quirks to them. Our main character Victor was a great and sympathetic character, you could see that he was kid that was very to himself and was only interested in hanging around with his dog and making films. So when Victor does lose Sparky you really feel for him and get behind his efforts to bring his dog back to life. Also Mr. Rzykruski was awesome as the science teacher who is very knowledgeable but very old-school with his teaching methods. I thought he was awesome, he had many funny lines, I also liked how he looked like Vincent Price and Martin Landau did a great job voicing the character.

Though one of the most badass characters was Toshiaki, this kid I thought he was hilarious, I loved the way he was so competitive as Victor’s rival, and the way he talked was jokes. Nassor was also another rival-like character for Victor and he comes across as this tall, mysterious and intimidating character, I liked his voice and the way his character interacted with others. And then there’s Edgar “E” Gore, that super weird hunch-backed kid that knows about Victor’s secret with Sparky, his character was pretty funny but just so funky and at times a tad annoying. Elsa van Helsing was also nice as Victor’s next-door neighbour and classmate.

There’s also the Weird Girl who really is just a strange character who makes predictions because of her cat, Mr. Whiskers. She really creeped me out because the expression on her face never changes from that fixed look of shock on her face with those massively wide eyes. Damn she’s so creepy! I was hoping she’d be part of the story a lot more, but when she was there she was fine and having Winona Ryder as the character fit really well. Also Victor’s parents Susan and Edward Frankenstein were nice characters too, while they were mainly in the background when they did come to the forefront of the story they did deliver some nice scenes.

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The presentation of the film was pretty much spot-on and I enjoyed it very much. Stop motion animation never seizes to amaze me, when it’s done properly and applied in different ways the end result can be a thing of beauty and awe, and that’s what this film was like to me. Tim Burton work’s well in the field of animation and this is when his true powers really lie. Along with the wonderful stop motion animation, there are a lot of visual cues and references to specific horror and monster films and they were perfectly inserted into the film and are bound to make you laugh at certain points. The soundtrack by Danny Elfman was great, I could recognize the way the music played out that it was one of my favourite film composers at work.

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In conclusion Frankenweenie was a lot of fun and was definitely one of the stronger animated films I’ve seen in the cinema. I was worried that Frankenweenie would be a little disappointing since Tim Burton’s live-action films have been less than stellar in recent years, but surprisingly enough the film was really nice, well-crafted in the animation department, had a cracking soundtrack and a great story. I would highly recommend this film to people of all ages, Frankenweenie is good stuff yo! 😀

Rating: 8/10

So what did you think of Frankenweenie? Drop your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. 😀

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Hotel Transylvania Review

Holy man I’ve waited so long to watch this film! Hotel Transylvania came out over here in the UK in the mid-point of October and continuously I missed every opportunity I had to watch this film because of university or other film time conflicts at the cinema. I’ve tried for weeks and weeks to watch this film in Cineworld, and finally I got around to watching the film on the weekend, so was it good? Well read on into this review to find out.

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The story involves Dracula, the owner of Hotel Transylvania, where the world’s monsters can take a rest from human civilization. Dracula invites some of the most famous monsters, including Frankenstein’s monster, Mummy, a Werewolf family, and the Invisible Man, to celebrate the 118th birthday of his daughter Mavis. When the hotel is unexpectedly visited by an ordinary 21-year-old traveller named Jonathan, Dracula must protect Mavis from falling in love with him before it is too late.

I found the story to be alright, though it just felt a bit generic after a while and I feel like one of the elements of the story relating to the history of the hotel and Dracula was really wasted. Also after Jonathan enters the hotel and Dracula tries to conceal him I feel that’s where the feel started to become a little tedious, I wasn’t overly keen on the banter between Jonathan and Dracula, I mean when it works its funny, but when it doesn’t work I found myself not even cracking a smirk. The humour in this film was okay, but I mainly found it in the other characters like Frankenstein, the werewolf or the Invisible Man. I found the timing and style of many of the jokes not be as good as I had hoped and I had really expected a lot more from by Genndy Tartakovsky, I mean he is the creator of Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory.

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The characters of this film fared a little better than the story did. Adam Sandler as Dracula was pretty good and unrecognizable in the voice area, his charisma was commendable and this version of Dracula was interesting, though he was little too goofy for my liking and not scary enough. Andy Samberg as Jonathan (aka Johnny or Johnnystein) was the most relatable character probably because he was a human, but not only that, I think it was because of his references to real life and his interactivity and attitude towards the monsters. Samberg was possibly the funniest character because of his funny personality and reacts to stuff at the hotel. Selena Gomez as Mavis was probably the best of the main characters, this film is mainly about Mavis after all, about her wanting to get her freedom and see the world beyond the hotel and then obviously her interest in Jonathan too. Gomez played the role pretty well and I liked the charm she brought to the character. There were also some other great characters but the only ones I really liked outside of the three main cast members was Kevin James as Frankenstein/Frank, Steve Buscemi as Wayne the werewolf, David Spade as Griffin the Invisible Man and Cee Lo Green as Murray.

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The presentation for Hotel Transylvania is pretty damn good, the visuals was beautiful, crisp and sharp and pretty realistic in some areas. All of the characters were nicely designed, varied and cool to look at, though some of the character designs were a little too strange and cartoonish for me, and I know that sounds stupid when talking about characters in an animated kids film, but animation studios like Pixar and DreamWorks and found a way to bridge the gap between the cartoonish style and realistic style too. The soundtrack by Mark Mothersbaugh was okay and worked in the emotional scenes, but otherwise it was pretty forgettable. But the main thing that bugged me about this film was the use of modern music, the whole use of that pop, auto-tune, mainstream-like music really just took me out of the film and reminded me of the real world. I’m not into that kind of music and to find it as full-on as it was in the film just really made me roll my eyes.

In conclusion Hotel Transylvania was a fun little film, but it was nowhere near as good as I had hoped it would be. Other animated films like Frankenweenie, Rise of the Guardians and Paranorman was a hell of a lot better than this film. This film still has its merits and if you have children or younger siblings then take them along, I’m sure they’ll get a kick out of this film for sure.

Rating: 7/10

I hoped you enjoyed this review and let me know your thoughts on the film in comments below. Anyways see ya in the next review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Paranorman Review

So today I bring you a review I’ve been wanted to do for a while since I heard about its existence over in America, here’s my review of the animated film Paranorman.

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Now obviously this film has been out in America for a while now and out over here in the UK for a few weeks. I wasn’t initially interested in the film because as much as I love stop motion animated films, this one didn’t seem to have grab my interest in the trailer, until I heard it was from the Laika the same studio that produced Coraline, then this film had my interest. Then I started hearing that Paranorman was getting all these good reviews overseas, so I was like okay I have to watch this now and you know what it was pretty cool and unique and I’m gonna tell you why in this review.

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The story in the film goes like this:

“The story of Paranorman follows the life of Norman Babcock, a boy who can see and talk to the dead, however because of his gift he is considered a freak at school and misunderstood but his family. No one believe hims besides his friend, Neil. Though eventually Norman will have to take on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.”

I also love how self-aware this film is, the way characters take about themselves and other situations is very realistic and the film’s references to pop culture and the real world is very much appreciated in my eyes. I also loved the film’s attention to the horror genre from films to characters and danger-related situations is brilliant. The humour in this film is a bit hit and miss due to it being a kids film, though when the film is funny it’s normally because of it’s more adult references and jokes and that’s where the film excels. There is some good physical humour but most of the good laughs comes from the characters and their jokes. While the story as a whole is good and different, I just wish that it was a little more like Coraline which had more a focus of fear and telling a great story with its central character.

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When it comes to the characters they are really are all pretty decent. Kodi Smit-McPhee as Norman was great and it was fascinating to see life through Norman’s eyes and see what he sees from the undead to his outcast life in school and then see the journey he goes throughout the film was interesting played he character pretty well. I really liked Tucker Albrizzi as Neil Downe, he had so many great lines and funny scenes.I actually loved Anna Kendrick as Courtney, Norman’s older sister who was typical of the stereotype and she also had some funny scenes in the film. Casey Affleck as Neil’s older brother Mitch, was such a joker, he had some of the best scenes in the film and loved his interaction with other characters. And Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Alvin, the school bully was entertaining as hell and when I found out Alvin was voiced by McLovin I was well surprised and happy at the same time. Oh and I have to give a mention to John Goodman as Mr. Prenderghast, he was friggin awesome and hilarious and had some of the best moments in the film!

The best thing about Paranorman is the presentation, that much I cannot deny. The quality of animation in this film is incredible, there is a great level of fluidity and the art direction is lovely with very caricature styled characters who come in many different shapes and sizes. Along with these very cartoony designed characters you also have the world that they inhabit which looks very realistic, moody, full of detail and is just lovely to look at. There were also these small intricate details in the art and animation that I don’t see very often in many other animated films and it really displays stop motion animation at its finest. The soundtrack by for the film was also pretty good and there were a few great song choices in the film that really made me smile. I also want to applaud Paranorman for being as blunt as it was about its source material, the film is pretty blunt about death and its connections to the horror genre and I loved how it didn’t sugarcoat anything and treat its younger audiences like idiots like a lot of children’s TV and films these days, so well done Paranorman.

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In conclusion Paranorman is great film from the animation point of view and it’s horror references are well-placed and awesome. However for all its unique traits the story is a little on the weak side, some of the characters are really annoying and the humour’s a bit hit-and-miss at points. I feel like if the film focused more on the fear element it would have been much better. Though I’d still recommend Paranorman to anyone wanting to see an interesting and great-looking animated film that stands out from the basic 3D animated films of recent times.

Rating: 8/10

Well people that’s been my review, hopefully it’s been informative and drop me a comment below telling me your thoughts on the film yo. Well until the next review, laters 😀

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Back To Uni

I can remember chilling in the summer when uni seemed so far away. Though I kept thinking to myself in the latter part of August, “I’m bored with the summer, I want to go back to uni.” Unfortunately I ran into some formalities with my uni that really messed up second year before it even started, so when September came around I didn’t actually want to go back. But time has passed, the summer has totally come and gone and this week I returned to that place of higher learning and to be honest it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.

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Going back to this year felt like both a good thing and a bad thing.

So this week entering the doors of university as a second year student feel extremely weird because just last year it was my first time going through those doors and entering the various buildings around the campus. Though I did feel awesome because I know everything about building, from the locations of the classrooms to the bathrooms and so on and so forth and every time I saw a first year I just thought to myself “Those freshers, they have no idea of what they’re in for.” I really do like to be in the know, so now that I know what to expect this year and have a better concept of how the structure of my course works and the facilities available to me I feel like I can attack the second year in a much better way than last year and not make the same mistakes that I did last year. Year one of animation really was a mixed bag of interest, confusion and suffering, it really did open my eyes to what university is about and the way it can easily overwhelm you if you’re not paying attention.

Anyway, I went back to my first class on Monday and we have a module in visual storytelling and while the course content sounds cool, the tutor we have really just makes the lessons drag and I said I’d really try with uni this year, but being in her classes makes uni really painful and tedious. So that wasn’t the best start to the year in all truth. On Tuesday it only got worse from there as I had a 6-hour day.  My first module was at 9am! 9 BLOODY AM! I haven’t been up that early in forever and it took me almost 2 hours to shift out of bed and it really wasn’t worth the effort for my first lesson. 😦 In that lesson we had to learn about professional context and while it seems like a useful module, the guy we had went on FOREVER! I’ve never been in any lesson in history where a tutor has talked for as long as he did, I couldn’t listen to all of it, after around 2 hours I sort of just heard parts as I was drifting in and out of sleep. Then after that class was over I only had 1 hour until my next class in 3D animation character modelling. going back to 3D Max wasn’t a very joyous experience, but it was partially fun just to hang with my classmates. And then there was Wednesday where I started the module I had to re-sit in practice skills which involved more 3D Max (oh the suffering!), luckily the lesson wasn’t nearly as tedious as I thought it’d be.

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3d animation software is not the one, it’s so tedious.

So after all of that disappointment in the animation areas of my course I didn’t have much hope for my elective module in film writing. But heck it was the best lesson ever. I learnt so much. It was so relaxed and creative and the tutor was totally awesome, this was the best lesson I’d ever had. I never knew learning about script writing would be so much fun. I still find it funny how the best lesson I have in my week has nothing to do with animation haha. I’ll be interested to see how the rest of this term pans out and whther I’ll be able to get my act togther in the work department or whether teh work will consume me.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2012 in Life

 

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Ultimate Spider-Man Episode 6 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I’m going to be giving you my review of the sixth episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man.

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So after two disappointing episodes I really didn’t have much hope for this show, but to my surprise episode 6 was actually good. It wasn’t perfect by any means and has a long way to go before it actually starts to impress me like The Spectacular Spider-Man or Spider-Man: The Animated Series, but it has to be noted that this is the best episode since the series premiere yo.

So what’s the story this time around? Well it goes a little something like this: “Taskmaster goes undercover and infiltrates Peter’s school to seek out Spider-Man. Peter and White Tiger must put their differences aside and work together in order to save their friends from a foe capable of duplicating their physical fighting skills.”

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The story in this episode was good because it was a little more grounded and in line with what I would expect from the comics, at least from the Spider-Man perspective. I like how Doc Ock is still hiring people to go after Spider-Man, plus it’s nice to see a villain with a little back story which adds a lot more weight to Taskmaster and makes him more memorable than the other forgettable enemies that Spidey and co have gone up against before. The story was also good for pairing up Peter and White Tiger. Both of them are on opposite ends of the spectrum and never seem to stop squabbling, but in this episode they were forced to work together and it was great to see them actually move past their petty differences and work together. It really helped moved this episode along. However outside of those specific points the story wasn’t anything incredible, it was fairly simple and the execution good have been better if the writing was a sharper and witty and not so childish.

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When it comes to characters there’s only three main people who matter; Spider-Man, White Tiger and Taskmaster. Everyone else irrelevant. Well technically some of the supporting do have some moments in the episode but they really do pale in comparison to the main three people in this plot. So let’s start with Peter/Spidey, he was alright. He’s still as silly as ever, but in this episode he did show off some level of creativity which was great and so Spider-Man-esque, however as usual for every smart thing Spidey does it is offset but some stupid jokes or action which is poorly timed. Now White Tiger, up until now she has been one of the most annoying characters because of her know-it-all attitude and her constant moaning at Peter for not following S.H.I.E.L.D. protocol and training and blah blah blah. and even though she did a fair amount of that in this episode, she actually was helpful and in a few ways a little sexy too (I don’t why she just was!). My only gripe is that at one point she references a quote from Men In Black and it didn’t go down well for me. I won’t say what it is, but for me that kind of line only works when it comes from Will Smith. Fact. And when it comes to Taskmaster he was pretty cool, best villain that Spidey has come up against so far. He is cool, calm and collected and his ability to mimic his opponents moves makes him a formidable enemy. He seems smart and that was illustrated well throughout the episode up until near the end where he seemed to get a bit sloppy in my opinion.

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In terms of the other cast, while Iron Fist has some screen time he takes a backseat to the rest of the action. Luke Cage is barely even in the episode. Nova, well he isn’t there at all which in my opinion is a great thing! Agent Coulson was nice in the episode though at little underused and put in some silly situations thanks to the writers of the show. Harry was there but barely used and Flash Thompson was actually jokes in this episode, at one point he was trying to look cool in front of Spider-Man but it totally wasn’t work and the reason it made me laugh was due to the fact that it’s in Flash’s nature to do things like that. so props to Flash he was actually decent for once. Oh, one other person that has to be mentioned is Stan Lee, he role as the janitor was great, while it’s not his best part, he had some very nice moments that the comic book fans will like.

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When it comes to the visual presentation there still a level of quality that doesn’t stop. Again as I have said before, well this show looks the part and has the highest quality of any Spider-Man animated TV show it has yet to show me anything truly amazing or spectacular. The Spectacular Spider-Man was all about style and quality and it delivered some of the most dynamic action sequences and fight scenes that Spider-Man has ever seen, it was all about choreography and it excelled in it. Even the 90s Spider-Man show had some impressive scenes when it came to the fight scenes. Unfortunately the Ultimate Spider-Man seems quite content with just giving us nice-looking action and fight scenes, but nothing that truly blows us away. The Ultimate Spider-Man has yet to impress me in the animation department.

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While the Ultimate Spider-Man is still rough around the edges, it still has quality buried within its off-putting exterior. The choice of storyline, use of characters and animation was pretty good this time round and for the first time the was some ACTUAL character development! This episode also had some nice references to the comic titles The Amazing Spider-Man and The Spectacular Spider-Man, which I thought was a nice touch though wasted on a show like this. So there may actually be hope for this show yet.

Rating: 7/10

 
 

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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 2 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I’m going to be giving you my review of the second episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man.

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If you haven’t check out my review of the first episode read it here! But to summarise it was a pretty good opening to show and showed a fair amount of promise. So here we are with episode 2 that came out in coincidence with the first episode. So does it succeed or fail? Let’s have a look. Oh and by the way I’ll be talking about this episode in a bit greater detail than before so I’ll try to avoid spoilers but ultimately may dive into them. You have been warned!…

Episode 2: Great Responsibility

In this episode we see Spider-Man start his training at S.H.I.E.L.D., we also see the return of the Frightful Four and get introduced to a new group of superheroes in the form of Iron First, White Tiger, Luke Cage and Nova. This episode is a decent continuation from the first episode, but in a lot of ways it falls short of the “awesome factor” that should come with Spider-Man cartoons.

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Now as I said before this is the episode where Spidey starts his training at S.H.I.E.L.D., he gets tasked with defeating a set of robot enemies in a set time to trying to make web parachutes in the air and naturally Spidey is cocky and thinks that it’ll be a walk in the park, however he does have a tough time. Later on he is taken to meet Dr. Curt Connors (now working for S.H.I.E.L.D. and also sporting a right arm!) who is the person who has designed Spidey’s tech including his new web shooter and this new bike. Now at first Spidey says he doesn’t need the bike, but it is explained that the big is faster than Spidey and it’ll save him webbing and muscle power when cruising around New York. So Spidey tries it out and chaos ensues. We rides it all over the place throughout the Helicarrier and then into the city where it is eventually stopped by Iron First, White Tiger, Luke Cage and Nova. And it is at this point that Spidey says he doesn’t want to be part of a team, even when Agent Coulson (yes the same one from the Marvel live-action films) tries to explain the situation Spidey isn’t having any of it. On his way out Spidey happens to run into Nick Fury and explains why he doesn’t want to be in a team and while Fury explains to Spidey that he has the real-world experience in saving people and the other heroes have the training to make a good combination, Spidey still leaves. It is after this that Spidey runs into the Frightful Four (again under the orders of Norman Osborn and Doc Ock), they engage in battle but Spidey gets into a comprising position until the other heroes come to help him. So then it becomes a battle between Spidey, Iron First, White Tiger, Luke Cage and Nova against the Frightful Four. the heroes eventually take out the villains much to the disappointment of Norman Osborn who tells Doc Ock that he shall not accept failure again. While in school Peter happens to be saved from another day in his locker by a group of teenagers who he eventually finds out are Iron First, White Tiger, Luke Cage and Nova. Peter then hurry’s off to speak to the principle, but then we find out that Agent Coulson is there to and says that Fury wants to keep an eye on Peter using Coulson and the other heroes in close contact of Mr. Parker.

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Now sorry for that long story synopsis but there was no way for me to break down this episode without getting a little deeper into what actually happens yo. Anyway this episode continues a lot of the goof points from before like having amazing art direction and very smooth and slick animation even when it incorporates small areas of 3D into the action and foreground objects. I also like the way in which technology is incorporated into the show with electronic billboards, people with smartphones with videos on them and obviously with the presence of S.H.I.E.L.D. there’s bound to be some fancy tech available in their facilities. The characters are also pretty decent too. Having Clark Gregg reprise his role as Agent Coulson in this series is great, he is serious, cool and very funny too. Plus Mary Jane continues to be an interesting character, she even gets a camera (a great nod to Parker’s usual profession) as she now wants to find Spider-Man to get an interview for her journalism studies. The new group of heroes seem to be pretty cool with my favourites being Iron Fist because of his very calm demeanor and great strength and Luke Cage (aka Power Man) because of his great dialogue and badass persona. Stan Lee continues his little cameo role as the janitor from the last episode into this one and I have to say it’s one of the best scenes ever, it’s frigging hilarious (okay it’s not that funny, but you should smirk at least a bit.) Even Drake Bell as Peter Parker/Spider-Man was decent offering some funny lines and being pretty tolerable from time to time.

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However the same issues that plagued the first episode are here in the second episode. There are just too many moments of stupid humour in here that is so old, out-of-place and straight up wack yo. It’s like basic slapstick 101 with the old cheesy sound effects and everything, but there’s one problem… It’s not funny! And a lot of this humour comes from silly antics of Peter/Spidey. It is so annoying and frustrating to think that our once great teenage superhero has been rendered into such a buffoon. I’m sorry but that’s just the way I see him, just a smart idiot, who seems oblivious to basic facts, has an overly inflated ego and with Drake Bell’s annoying voice he’s os high-pitched and hard to listen to especially when he’s screaming, argh, painful! I feel if the creators had toned down the level of humour a fair bit then the show would be a lot better for it. I also don’t like how Spider-Man just wants to be alone in the superhero business, sure I can understand why he’s want it that way, but in this episode he just comes across as a big crybaby who doesn’t want his ego to be crushed or want to share the limelight with anyone else which doesn’t make for a cool or even a good-looking superhero in general. There also seems to be an inconsistency in Spidey’s fighting abilities as seen when he is fighting the Frightful Four, I mean sometimes it looks like he has things under control and other moments he’s getting his ass handed to him which sucks. I know he’s only on the earlier side of his Spider-Man career but for me I wish the creators would make up their mind as to how far Spidey can go with his abilities in combat. And lastly while I like this concept of high-tech in the modern world, I hope it doesn’t take over the main core of show. What I mainly mean is Spider-Man before now has been able to get around with his own powers and tech, but now he’s gotten web shooters from S.H.I.E.L.D. and that horrible new bike. I know they justified the reason for the bike, but I still don’t like it, it’s just too clunky for a hero like spider-men to need. Also if Spider-Man keeps getting all this tech from S.H.I.E.L.D. it’ll feel like he doesn’t really do anything on his own without help from Nick Fury and company. I’m just saying I hope Spider-Man will still be able to get stuff done on his own terms in the future.

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Overall this was a nice second episode but I have yet to go “Wow this what I want to watch on my TV all the time!” Now I know I shouldn’t expect it from a show that’s just started but I like to think that a good show could hook me in from the first few episodes. The Spectacular Spider-Man got to episode 3 with the Lizard when it had my interest and my heart forever, let’s hope Ultimate Spider-Man can do the same.

Rating: 6.5

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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