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One Piece: Stampede Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen of the internet, I’m back with another review and though it is a little later than I expected, I am sharing my thoughts on the latest film in the One Piece series; One Piece: Stampede via my podcast Film Focus.

On episode 90 of Film Focus, I’m reviewing One Piece: Stampede; the 14th film from the long-running anime/manga series which is directed by Takashi Otsuka. Now I have been a mega One Piece fan for just over a decade and thought the first trailer looked pretty cool, however, my hype levels really exploded when I found out that the film would have a limited release in the west with a couple of screenings in Canada. So I jumped at the chance to see an OP film at the cinema. So is the film good or not? Well, check out this spoiler-free review to find out.

Anyway here’s the review:

If you haven’t checked out my podcast before you can find it here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

So have you seen One Piece: Stampede and if so what did you think of it? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2019 in Anime, Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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AUDIO REVIEW: Dragon Ball Super: Broly

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, I’m back again with another review and today I get to share my thoughts on Dragon Ball Super: Broly via my podcast, Film Focus.

Recently I shared my written review, however, I felt like I had more to say about this film and to properly illustrate how much this film means to me, I knew an episode on the podcast would be in order. Plus I also go into a little more detail about some of the stuff relating to the plot, characters and visual presentation. Now I have been following this film since the first teaser trailer and each bit of marketing has made my hype increase. And after waiting over a month after the initial Japanese release I’ve finally seen it and I am ready to pass judgement. So join me for this spoiler-free review to see how this latest Dragon Ball adventure turned out!

Check out my review below:

So have you seen Dragon Ball Super: Broly and if so what did you think of it? I really want to hear your thoughts on this film so drop your thoughts in the comments below and if you have some spare time subscribe to my podcast, Film Focus on Soundcloud and iTunes. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2019 in Anime, Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Dragon Ball Super: Broly Review – I LOVE THIS FILM!

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, its review time once again, first one of 2019 as well and today I am bringing you a very important review of a film I’ve been hyped to see for MONTHS! I am of course talking about Dragon Ball Super: Broly. Now I saw the film yesterday afternoon and I’ll just say it up front that I had one hell of a time with it and knew that I just had to write about it on my blog, so let’s not dilly dally and get on with this review. 🙂

Now, for those who aren’t aware, I LOVE Dragon Ball. I first came across Dragon Ball Z on Cartoon Network’s Toonami slot in 1999 and it changed my world forever as it opened my eyes up to the world of crazy shounen anime. And while my love the franchise started to wane in the late 2000s because of my new love for other anime especially One Piece, after the release of Battle of Gods, Resurrection F and the better episodes of the Super anime, I have found myself in love with this franchise as much as I was when I was 9-11 years old. So with the new Broly film coming out, I went from thinking “Oh they’re bringing Broly back again? Boo. I don’t want him,” But after learning about Toriyama’s involvement and the animation staff involved via AnimeAjay and my hype levels started to increase, and with the trailers, I went out of my mind waiting for this new film.

So the plot can be simply summed up as the following: “Goku and Vegeta encounter Broly, a Saiyan warrior, unlike any fighter they’ve faced before.” That’s the simplest way to put it. I could say more but then I would be getting into specific story details. This story is a simple yet effective one about revenge, sins of the past, control and free will. One of the things I loved about this story was the dramatic/emotional side of things, its something we rarely get to see in Dragon Ball and it was handled so well. The film was also incredibly funny and it had great moments of humour at just the right times. On top of that the film had so much great fan service for long-term fans of the series, and while there were some retcons and changes made to the mythology, it was handled in such a great way. The only nitpicks I had was that I wanted more time spent in the past and during the latter half of the film, the pacing is so quick that it’s a little hard to keep up. But these aren’t issues that deterred my positive experience.

As for the characters I really enjoyed how everyone was utilised. Because of the nature of the story, the cast is limited to Goku, Vegeta, Frieza and a handful of regular cast members and the new character exclusive to this film. With Goku and Vegeta they’re as great as ever with Goku being very carefree and funny but also a little wiser, while Vegeta is just as serious and badass as usual. Frieza was beyond hilarious but also just as sinister and corrupt too, Bulma was really good and hilarious, the use of Beerus and Whis was cool and though Piccolo’s use in this film was minor, it was delightful. As for the new characters, Lemo and Cheelai were great, Lemo was this wise old dude who was chilled out and cautious, while Cheelai (the new waifu for a lot of DB fans) was a spunky and cool lady who took a liking to Broly. And finally there’s Paragus and Broly, Paragus was a tough man who has held a grudge for many years and isn’t the nicest man or father, and Broly, unlike his previous film appearances, actually has a good backstory as a victim of circumstance so when he fights you feel for him. Oh, and the voice cast for the English dub was really good especially with Sean Schemmel, Christopher Sabat and Monica Rial.

From a presentation standpoint, it was beyond epic. Visually this was one of the most visceral, intense, spectacular and mind-bending films my eyes have ever experienced. This film features absolutely fluid animation with various camera angles, tracking shots, rotations, layering of effects and a beautiful art style for characters which looks drawn/illustrated and a great sense of scale, a wonderfully varied colour scheme for space,  planets, environments, beam attacks and so on. Several times I found myself in awe at the quality of the animation with character movement from subtle things like hair movement and background details. Also, the film score by Norihito Sumitomo was fantastic, Sumitomo’s work on the recent films and Super has been fantastic and here he creates some of his most emotionally driven, beautiful and intense material so far, and besides this weird song with lyrics implemented during one fight sequence, everything was perfect in the audio department.

So to conclude, Dragon Ball Super: Broly is just fabulous and it truly is a film made for fans. Now I know that my opinion on this film is incredibly biased and a number of people probably won’t love or like it due to their lack of attachment to the Dragon Ball franchise, however, I do believe this is the best film in this franchise thanks to it’s really fun and interesting story, great characters, brilliant presentation and wonderful fan service. This is a film experience I am that I got to have in the cinema and if you’re a fan of this franchise you owe it to yourself to check it out.

So have you seen Dragon Ball Super: Broly and if so what did you think of it? Did it meet, exceed or come below your expectations? Also, what did you think of the new version of Broly and the retcons to the mythology? Whatever your thoughts are, drop them in the comments below. Until next time, peace out! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2019 in Anime, Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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A Brief Look Back At The Dragon Ball Z Films

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, it’s Christmas Eve and my present to you lot is another film-related topic that is ripe for discussion and today I’m sharing my thoughts on the 15 Dragon Ball Z films via my podcast, Film Focus.

Okay so here is a subject I’ve wanted to cover for a while, and after a few delays, I finally got around got around to discussing the Dragon Ball Z films. With Dragon Ball Super: Broly recently released in Japan and the western release in cinemas dropping in January, I thought it would be interesting to revisit all 15 of the Dragon Ball Z films and see how they held up. Now I love the Dragon Ball franchise, I grew up with DBZ and the films have are an interesting collection of material that ranges from pretty awesome to very bad, and I thought it would be fun to examine each of the films briefly and discuss:

1) The pros and cons.
2) The story, characters and presentation.
3) Whether the films have gotten better or worse after my recent viewings from a subjective point of view.

So join me on an epic journey through these series of films to see which of them hold up and which ones do not. 😀

P.S. I tried my best to be as thorough and objective as possible, but this episode does feature some minor mistakes, some biased opinions and some films that don’t get as much time as others due to certain films having more interesting elements than others. So if any of this stuff bothers you, apologies in advance.

Check out my review below:

So have you seen any of the Dragon Ball Z films and if so what did you think of it? Also, which one is your favourite and are you excited for the Broly film? I really want to hear your thoughts on this film so drop your thoughts in the comments below and if you have some spare time subscribe to my podcast, Film Focus on Soundcloud and iTunes. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2018 in Anime, Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: PokĂ©mon the Movie: The Power of Us

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, its review time once again and today I watched PokĂ©mon the Movie: The Power of Us and I just had to share my thoughts on it so that’s why I’m giving you my review for this film via my podcast, Film Focus.

Now, this the newest PokĂ©mon film in the series which has 21 films so far! It’s crazy that there’s been that many since 2000. Now I wasn’t planning on recording this episode next due to other things being prepped already, however, I found out about its existence within the last week and jumped at the chance to see another new PokĂ©mon film in the cinema, and after watching, I decided an impromptu podcast review was in order. So I hope you enjoy this brief yet fun and unscripted discussion! 😀

Check out my thoughts on the film below:

So have you seen PokĂ©mon the Movie: The Power of Us and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are, drop them in the comments below and if you have some spare time check out my podcast, Film Focus on Soundcloud and iTunes. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #41

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to What I’m Currently Watching, a blog series where I give you an update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. It is week 41, and after watching a few shows recently I have felt inspired to once again share my thoughts on them online. So today I once again be talking about Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, but I will also be talking about Disenchantment, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and Bojack Horseman. With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (Eps 13-25)

Ah, Gundam Wing, after watching those first 12 episodes I was all in on this show, but as the show went on it changed, evolved and then became something more complex than I expect. Seeing the 5 main Gundam pilots go on their own adventures on Earth, unfortunately lose their robots and eventually travel into space to the colonies and continue their mission was fascinating because of how it affects them mentally and emotionally. I thought it was pretty intriguing and surprising to see how the Gundams were this unstoppable force, but as OZ made their advancements in mobile suits technology and had the larger numbers in the army, they were able to take out the heroes and so it really looked like the bad take over especially with how they convinced the colonies that the Gundams were bad and that OZ’s military force was for security purposes. I loved seeing more of the designers behind the Gundams, those dudes were cool, and Lady Une, someone I absolutely hated at first, she ended up being one of the most engaging characters because of her split personality and seeing more of Relena and Zechs was cool especially after Relena learns of her relation to her brother. And though I love Heero, it was really cool to see more of Trowa, his journey was probably the more interesting a varied of the pilots, but Quarte, that dude had one hell of a journey, losing the plot and becoming disillusioned to the mission and going on this crazy hunt to destroy the colonies, that was intense. After finishing episode 25 it definitely felt like the end of an era within this show and it was transitioning into something different with the state of the government, OZ and their military powers, the new Gundams and the state of the original Gundam pilots. I’m still very much invested in this show even if some of the storylines aren’t as consistently interesting as others.

Disenchantment (Season 1)

I remember hearing about this show for the first time back in the summer and then seeing the first trailer just after Comic-Con at thought it was a strange and new direction for Matt Groening considering the setting and characters, but I was curious to see how it turned out. And the initial reactions after the show dropped were mixed to lukewarm to what I’d seen briefly online so I expected the worst, but after the first episode, I was totally on board. I watched the first few episodes in random patches and on finished the last 3 episodes in the last week. So after watching all 10 episodes, I can say that I enjoyed Disenchantment, it certainly has its flaws, but I when it worked I was entertained, I laughed and it was mainly engaged thanks to the characters. I really liked the world, its strange and interesting rules and law, and the humourous approach to most things that shouldn’t be funny like death. The humour doesn’t always land, but when it did I laughed mainly due to the stupidity or absurdity of what happens to characters with well-timed physical or verbal jokes. I love the theme song, I hummed it every time it came on after the first episode haha. But it is the characters that really make the show work, Bean, Luci and Elfo are an interesting bunch of individuals who work really well as a group with their banter and chemistry, I cared about them not only because they made me laugh, but because I liked what they did and how they grew as people especially towards the end of the show (well not so much Luci). I liked how the show felt episode but had continuity over the course of the season, it was surprising to learn where the story was ultimately going, learning of certain mysteries and revelations and having certain plot points from the start of the season finally have pay-off towards the end. And while I appreciated the more heartfelt approach to the show towards the end, at the same time I didn’t feel as emotionally invested as I think show wanted me to be and was surprised that story ended the way it, not in a bad way but just not in an overly satisfying way. But in the end, I enjoyed the show and will watch another season. 🙂

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (Season 1)

So this show wasn’t really on my radar, I mean I was certainly curious about it from a distance because it was another Jack Ryan adaptation and I was curious to see if it would fair better than the 2012 film Shadow Recruit with Chris Pine. But last week I had some free time and my mum and I just binged the show over two sessions, and you know what it was some good tv. I’m not overly into political thrillers just because sometimes they can be complex, layered and hard to follow and politics just never holds my interest in films (with a handful of exceptions to the rule). But this show was pretty clear in terms of what it was, how it progressed and concluded. I also enjoyed the cast especially John Krasinski as Jack Ryan, he was heroic, but also impulsive and didn’t always have the right solution for every situation and Wendell Pierce as James Greer was awesome as Ryan’s boss, he’s a bit of a hard-ass, but as the show progresses we learn more about him and he eventually chills out a little bit. I also loved the relationship between Ryan and Greer, they’re normally at odds with each other because of their different tactics but I liked seeing their relationship evolve. Abbie Cornish was also good as Cathy Mueller, and Dina Shihabi was very impressive as Hanin Ali, Suleiman’s wife. And finally, there’s Ali Suliman as Mousa Bin Suleiman, he was really intimidating and quietly intense as an Islamic terrorist and because we learn of his backstory and attachment he is to his family, he ended up being a captivating villain. I also enjoyed how the show didn’t just focus on the Jack Ryan’s perspective, but also on the main villain Suleiman and his motivations so you could understand why he does what he does. One of the best aspects of the show beyond the performances was the rising tension and escalation of danger and chaos, once certain situations start to play out the show just ramps up and never stops moving and that sense of urgency was very engaging and addictive. In a way I thought the overall plot could/would have carried over into season 2, but it was nicely wrapped up over the 8 episodes.

Bojack Horseman (Season 5)

Last year Bojack Horseman became one of my favourite TV shows in recent years because of its dramatic, uncomfortable, yet engaging and humourous content, and after the emotional rollercoaster that was season 4, I was totally ready for the next season. And season 5 has been one hell of a journey, building upon the foundations of previous seasons and presenting new and familiar characters and scenarios resulting in very engaging TV which was very hard to watch at times. While this season didn’t have the same emotional gut punch of season 4, it did have plenty of really insightful, poignant and agonizing moments that remind me of not only how incredible the show is thanks to all the writers, but also how much these stories and flawed characters remind me of real life. It was interesting to see Bojack and the rest of the cast end up making this TV show, and how their stories progressed on and off of the film set through non-linear storytelling, trips out of town, flashbacks and episodes that blurred the lines between fiction and reality. All of it was handled in creative, raw and hilarious ways. I found myself shouting at my laptop in disbelief at some of the stuff that happened on-screen and at several points I just had to stop and take in what happened because some of the issues the show tackles is deep and thought-provoking. .Also, the show’s funny, I’ve never found the show to be super hilarious, but this season may have some of my favourite laughs of the show so far with some of the one-liners and physical humour.

As for the cast is incredible, Will Arnett (Bojack), Amy Sedaris (Princess Carolyn), Alison Brie (Diane), Paul F. Tompkins (Mr. Peanutbutter) and Aaron Paul (Todd) deliver some of their best material to date alongside some great supporting and new cast members. I love learning more about Princess Carolyn’s past, seeing what Diane was up to and how she’s dealing with her own drama and the ever surprising and crazy life of Todd has never been funnier. Also shout outs to Rami Malek as Flip McVicker, Stephanie Beatriz as Gina, Issa Rae as Dr. Indira and Wanda Sykes as Mary BethBut. But now I wanted to focus Bojack specifically, he’s someone I really disliked in season 1, but later on I grew to cheer for him, for as shitty as he was and all the horrible things he’d gotten up to over the seasons, I could relate to his emotional state on several occasions and as he started to learn about himself and grow, I just wanted to see him change for the better. And while he does learn and grow, he also has to face up to all of his transgressions, and this season was the first time where I just couldn’t support him, he went to some dark and troubled places that were almost unbearable to watch and I’m not sure he’ll recover from it, but damn Will Arnett did damn good work with is voice acting. And after all of the drama and chaos the season ends in the place that I thought it would, not to give any spoilers, but after everything that happened with Bojack, the final moments of the show felt like the only logical conclusion and it was handled very well. I don’t know if I can handle any more of this show’s crazy and intense drama, but it’s so good that I can’t help but want to see what happens if and when season 6 rolls around.

Well, that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen any of these shows and if so what do you think of them? If you have any thoughts be sure to drop a comment below and let me know what TV shows you’re currently watching too. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2018 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #40: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (Eps 1-12)

Howdy ladies and gents, and after AGES I’ve decided to resurrect What I’m Currently Watching, a blog series where I give you an update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. It is week 40, and like I said before, it has been AGES since the last time I talked about any TV-related material on here. I have watched a handful of shows here and there over the course of 2018, but recently I’ve been revisiting Mobile Suit Gundam Wing and I’ve been enjoying it so much that I just had to write about it. Be careful of mild spoilers! With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀

Ah, Gundam Wing, I have fond memories of this show and yet, upon rewatching the show recently I realised how little of it I actually saw. Before getting into this review let me give you a little history, Gundam Wing was the first mecha anime I’d ever seen back on Toonami in 2000 or 2001 and while I didn’t really understand what was going on and it was a lot slower in pace to the anime I’d seen before that Pokemon, Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z, but I was enamoured by it because of the difference in serious tone, art style and of course the awesome robot suits and music. I had at least 2 episodes recorded on VHS which I watched many times as a teenager and over the years since becoming a big film fan and becoming well-versed in anime in many genres, I had been meaning to go back to this and watch it properly ,but because I was binging so much live-action TV at uni from late 2011 onwards I just never got around to it until now.

So with that mini history lesson out of the way, what do I think of Gundam Wing? Honestly? I love it. No word of a lie, this show had me intrigued from the beginning from a nostalgic point of view but as the episodes progressed I found myself being more and more captivated by the story and characters. And let me just say this, the first 8 episodes are some of the most engaging TV I have seen in years, for real. This may seem like a bit of an exaggerated statement, but I’m serious, this show has a great sense of intrigue, mystery and style that just gets better as it progresses.

So whats the show about? Well, I’m going to borrow a wonderfully written summary from redcommander27 on IMDB: “In the future, humanity has constructed several space colonies. But the corrupt Treize and his organization Oz have manipulated the United Earth Sphere Alliance into controlling earth and its colonies with an iron fist. To counteract this extreme measure, rebel colonies launch Operation: Meteor; an attempt to smuggle Mobile Suits made of Gundanium alloy to earth to combat the corruption and free earth and the colonies from Oz’s control. One of these “Gundams” is piloted by Heero Yuy, who is shot down and is forced to blend into enemy society. Now up against social issues with a girl named Relena and Oz and its puppets, Heero must unite with other rebels and save his people.

What I love about this show is the way it drops you into the middle of the action and keeps things moving, and while you don’t have all the pieces of the puzzle, as the show goes on, it fills in the blanks about how we got the present point of the show, why there is so much conflict and the motivations of all the main characters involved. The show also throws a fair amount of information at you when it comes to organisations, certain notable characters and key past events, and while it can be a little hard to follow (especially if you’re not a fast reader of subtitles like me), it can still be understood as some of it gets repeated in the following episodes allowing to connect the dots. I loved learning about the motivations behind those who were for and against war, seeing those in power trying to keep hold of it while others lurked in the shadows waiting for their moment to rise up and seeing people who are committed to their cause and those who have doubt or may wish to defect to the other side. And as I mentioned before I love how engaging the show is, each episode brings up new and interesting scenarios involving the heroes and villains that have short-term and long-term ramifications, and the amount of showing twists and turns that happened in the first 10 episodes was just crazy to me.

And when it comes to the characters I love them all… For the most part. Firstly there are Heero, Duo, Trowa, Quatre, and Wufei; the 5 Gundam pilots who are part of the space colonies plan to take down Oz. Each of them has different personalities, talents and means of accomplishing their missions, and seeing how they operate individually and then eventually come together in pairs and then as a group is fascinating and fun. Quatre is a calm and interesting pacifist, Wufei is very honourable and values strength, Duo is crafty and hilarious, and Trowa is fairly quiet and emotionally closed off. But it is Heero who is the most notable character, he has the most amount of screen time and he’s quite incredible, he’s very smart, strategic, efficient and committed to his mission. And then there are the bad guys, firstly there’s Zechs, he is OZ’s ace mobile suit pilot, and while he’s bad, he has an interesting backstory, a cool presence and a moral code that makes him someone to root for. Treize is the main villain of the show and is the leader of the OZ, he’s calculated, always calm and plots ahead so when he makes a move it has a massive impact. I also really like Noin, another character who is part of OZ but has her own interesting part to play and Lady Une, Treize’s right-hand woman… Man I hate her, she is such a mean, self-righteous bitch who causes so much trouble for the heroes and you just want to see her get her comeuppance. And finally, there’s Relena Darlian, she happens to be the daughter of someone quite important and because of her unexpected interactions with Heero, she becomes quite important as the story goes on.

And then there’s the presentation. Visually the show is very nice, I enjoy the various designs of the mobile suits from the Gundams to the OZ suits like Leo, Cancer, Pieces and Taurus and how they transform and fight. For a show in the 90’s I think it still holds up pretty well, the action is dynamic, explosive and well-done for the most part, sure there is a fair amount of reused animation for fight scenes, transformations and explosions but I can look past it because it never feels too offensive to my eyes. But what is even better than the visuals is the music, the soundtrack from Kow Otani is frigging fantastic! The music really helps elevate what’s happening on-screen, it covers an emotional spectrum whether it is soft and uplifting or cold and ominous or bombastic and intense. I absolutely love the music during the action scenes whether it is scenes of chaos, heroism or terror, there are some absolutely killer tracks that have a jazzy kind of sound that sounds so gorgeous to the hear that it makes you want to go and buy the soundtrack. Yeah, it is that good.

So yeah if it wasn’t clear already I really have enjoyed my time with Gundam Wing over the last few days, it has been far more enjoyable than I could have imagined and though I am far from the end I am very hyped to see where the story and character go. I would recommend this if you’re interested in some classic mecha anime. 🙂

Well, that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen Gundam Wing? If you have any thoughts be sure to drop a comment below and let me know what TV shows you’re currently watching too. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2018 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: PokĂ©mon the Movie: I Choose You!

Howdy ladies and gents, time a film review from the cinema and this is a review I didn’t expect to be writing as I’m gonna be giving you my thoughts on the latest PokĂ©mon film, PokĂ©mon the Movie: I Choose You! Now I heard from a friend that this film would get a UK release but thought it’d be exclusive to London where I could see it, but after a friend mentioned on Twitter that she was gonna see it in Sheffield, I looked at my local cinema and to my surprise, they had two screenings! So I watched the earlier screening and I’m ready to share my thoughts.

Now before I go on with the review I’m going to say this up front, I have a MASSIVE nostalgic love for Pokemon when it comes to the original games and first anime series, so this review will be a little on the subjective side. With all that being said let’s begin.

Firstly there’s the story which focuses on the journey of Ash Ketchum and Pikachu along with two new companions who join him on his quest to find the legendary PokĂ©mon, Ho-Oh. So the interesting thing about the story is how its a loose retelling of the original 1997 anime with focus on Ash and Pikachu and how their journey began, there’s a lot of fun, smart and delightful callbacks and direct references for those who watched that show and I was smiling so much. 😀 I enjoyed the plot borrowed the anime and referenced the video games, but was largely its own original tale. It was full of adventure, fun, hardship, danger and more, the film’s core themes about friendship, learning from your mistakes, good triumphing over evil and being good to Pokemon should come as no surprise to veterans of the show, but they are handled very well and have more dramatic and emotional weight than a good few of the original films. There was one part where I rolled my eyes because it felt like a direct reference to The First Movie and one line of dialogue which was just cheesy as hell, that being said the film’s made with children in my mind so I got over it.

As for the characters, I thought they were solid for the most part. Ash Ketchum was the same character I knew from the show, a young, strong-willed and passionate trainer who is inexperienced and has a lot to learn. I was surprised how much of douche Ash was in this film, but it certainly worked in the context of the story, I still was annoyed with him at times, but he wasn’t as much of a bonehead as he was in the old anime, and Sarah Natochenny did a decent job as Ash considering her deeper voice. I liked Pikachu too, he was a sassy little prick at first but that was a good point in my mind, afterwards, I really grew to like him a lot more and his bond with Ash was cute to watch. The new characters Sorrel and Verity were interesting new companions, some will complain they aren’t the original characters, but I thought they added something new with their backstories and personality traits. Cross was the new rival/bad trainer who was the definition of an asshole, but he was great and had a solid arc in the film, I liked the quirky old man Bonzi and Marshadow, I liked at first but it really became a little pest later on. And finally Professor Oak and Ash’s mother return and feel just like the original selves, and Even Team Rocket return and they have some fun moments, but I swear they were even more useless than before and really added nothing to the film which was a shame after their initial introduction.

When it comes to the presentation I really liked it. Visually the film was solid. The way the camera work added a cinematic approach to that the anime lacked, certain shots are framed and tracked in cool and dynamic ways. Also, the art and animation were very nice, all of the characters and Pokemon had a loose yet fluid style to their movements and the colour scheme was good. I will admit the detail in the art was lacking occasionally and some of the 3D CGI didn’t always blend well with the 2D material, both those are minor nitpicks. The film score was fairly good, it had the right sound for each moment and worked effectively in the emotional moments, though sometimes the music didn’t match the action on-screen. And while the music is primarily original compositions, there are some cool references to the original soundtrack and theme song which was much appreciated.

In conclusion PokĂ©mon the Movie: I Choose You! was really fun, intriguing and much better than I expected, it captured the spirit of the original show but also did a lot of new things to keep things interesting. If you’re a fan of the show you may be disappointed with some changes, however, if you’re willing to accept a few changes you’ll have a lot of fun. And stay for the credits, its hella fun and nostalgic! 🙂

So have you seen this film and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2017 in Anime, Film Reviews, Media, Reviews

 

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London MCM Expo October 2016 Review

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? Today I am back on my blog to talk about the London MCM Expo, I missed the convention back in May but decided to give the October one a go and after my session on Saturday I just wanted to share my experience with you all. 🙂

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So for those not in the know, the London MCM Expo is pretty much the most notable UK convention for anime and manga, comic books, films  and video games held two times a year in May and October. And just like last year I attended just for the one day (mainly because I dunno if I could handle all three days), and for the most part it was a good time. And while I’m no longer wowed by a lot what happens at this convention because I’ve been attending this madness since 2008, there’s no denying that MCM is still a good time.

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Now like last year’s review I’m going to talk about what I got up to and separate this review into two halves; what and I liked and what I didn’t.

What I liked

This year’s Expo experience was a little different as I was technically like a tour guide for my mates who had never gone before so it felt weird to have to explain certain things and show off my knowledge haha. But it was nice to be with a group of people who were taking in the energy and had that surprise about seeing all this stuff for the first time like me and my friends had a good few years ago. As usual I enjoyed just being in the Expo hall, walking around, seeing what was new, what was the same and checking out the clothes, artists, toys and games. And there’s the cosplayers, while a lot of them were the usual suspects, but at the same time there was a lot to love with a good people dressed as Rey from The Force Awakens, Spider-Man was in full effect (especially ones from Civil War) and the amount of cool-looking dudes I saw dressed as Deadpool and the BvS Batman was pretty impressive too. As for the games I didn’t dabble in much this year, however, me and my best mate from uni had a few rounds of Dragon Ball Z: Xenoverse 2, and it was surprisingly fun. While I don’t think it’ll ever replace my love for the Tenkaichi series, it is definitely more fun then than a lot of the recent DBZ games I’ve played.

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This man was the best cosplayer I saw all day, I’ve not seen many people dress up as Hagrid at the Expo, but this guy was the best one ever, so accurate! 😀

I also ended up buying some really lovely art, got to talk to some cool artists and got my picture taken with Danny John-Jules who plays Cat from Red Dwarf which was awesome as he’s my favourite character next to Lister and Kryten. And then the night ended with this crazy winner stays on style of lightsaber battles just outside of the Excel Center, it was pretty cool and funny to see different people stepping up and having these fun little duels.

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Meeting Danny John-Jules was great, I was very delighted.

What I disliked

Organisation, or should I say the lack of was fairly evident this year. Now I know this convention gets bigger every year and so it can be hard to accommodate so many people, but considering how many years this convention has been going down you’d think the basics would have been covered and yet there were a few issues when it came to:

  • Lines to get in: Even though there was still organised lines for the people who had general and priority tickets, they got rid of the barriers that helped keep people structured and streamlined. So when me and my friends got to the Excel it took ages to get inside because there was a swarm of people rushing to through the barriers, plus I was very surprised by how little staff there were to check tickets and give out wristbands.
  • Lines for Photo shoots: While it was a little better than last year, this year’s Expo still had problems with lines in terms of placing people and getting the photo shoots with specific celebrities to happen on time.

The only other things that I wanted to note was that this Expo felt a little lacking when compared to previous sessions with the types of guests, the amount of good games and unique stuff to buy.

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In conclusion the MCM Expo in London was a good time. It is great to know after all these years that the Expo is still going strong with so many events, cosplayers, games and so on. While this year’s Expo will probably go down as my least favourite of my convention experiences, there were plenty of unique and memorable elements that made it worth attending. 🙂

So did you go to the recent MCM Expo and if so what did you think? Please be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2016 in Anime, Films, Life, Media, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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Quick Thoughts on Fairy Tail Episodes 1-4

Howdy people of the internet, how’s it going? It feels like the longest time since I did an anime review (even though I reviewed DBZ: Resurrection F not too long ago), however it’s been a while since I talked about a TV series, so today I’m giving you a brief anime review of Fairy Tail.

Fairy Tail Poster

Before I do the review, let me give you some history about me and this show. I started Fairy Tail back in 2010 when it was first aired and I watched up until around episode 30 and gave up, why? Because the show just never got that interesting and became a chore to watch so I bailed. However, the anime kept going well beyond what I thought it deserved and there was even a notable fan base for this franchise that started to grow over the years as well. So I’ve always wanted to check back to see if the show did get better or not. So this week I decided to check it out again and now I’m gonna give you my thoughts on the show so far from episode 1-4.

With Fairy Tail what I do like about it is that it has a nice visual style with the art direction, the music’s unique, the characters all have a quirky and strange personalities and the world has some interesting law and mythology. However, for all the show’s unique elements there isn’t anything exceptional or amazing about it that makes it start out when compared to other Shounen shows.

Story-wise so far the show has introduced Lucy, a lady wizard who wants to join a famous guild known as Fairy Tail and she eventually comes across Natsu and Happy, and after some crazy mishaps they establish a connection and become allies doing jobs as a group in the Fairy Tail guild. So far the stories have been one-off episodic adventures with no real significance besides a bit of character building and world establishment. The humour is mainly of the slapstick nature with a lot of physical humour and verbal jokes, some which work and some that don’t, a lot of the recurring jokes like Natsu’s motion sickness, Gray’s loss of clothes and a lot of the stuff that Happy gets old pretty quickly and I feel like the humour isn’t nearly as funny as the show seems to think it is. As for the characters they’re all okay. So far Natsu is fun, cocky and strong, but not nearly as charming or as cool as I think he should be. Lucy besides being pretty is a little silly and sassy and that tends to be both a good and bad thing depending on the situation. Happy has his moments, however, most of the time I find him annoy and Gray, at this point in time is just there.

Well at least the intro is cool, “Snow Fairy” by Funkist is gorgeous and it is easily one of the most kicks ass opening songs ever.

In the end Fairy Tail‘s not bad but it’s not bad and has potential to be more, unfortunately a good deal of the stories and characters are just stereo typical of the Shounen genre. But I’m willing to give it a try because I’m curious to know why this show is still airing and if it could be something I could love.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2016 in Anime, Media, Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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