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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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Mission: Impossible – Fallout & Ant-Man and the Wasp Reviews

Good day to you ladies and gents, I know it has been a little quiet on the review front, but I have been watching films, I just have been busy with my job and other personal projects to upload in a decent time. So today I just wanted to share with you my thoughts on Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Ant-Man and the Wasp via my podcast, Film Focus. 😀

So first up is my review for Mission: Impossible – Fallout, I have seen the film twice and would like to see it again before it leaves the cinema, I had originally posted this review online around 2 weeks ago but I didn’t have the time to upload it at the time. But anyway check out the review below:

Next up is Ant-Man and the Wasp, the film us UK viewers had to wait for AGES to see, I saw the film last week, twice, but had a lot of stuff to do and work was busier than usual so I pushed the review back by a week. Anyway check out the episode below:

So have you seen both films and if so what did you think of them? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comment section below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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My Favourite Trailers From San Diego Comic-Con 2018

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Good day to you ladies and gents, so San Diego Comic-Con has once again come and gone, and even though I’ve been interested in this convention  each year it’s come around, this year, in particular, I actually found myself way more hyped than before even though I wasn’t entirely sure of what was going to appear. And this year had a lot of really cool, fun and interesting reveals. A good chunk of which we have gotten to see, and some that we haven’t unfortunately. But anyway, I just wanted to make a quick post about my favourite trailers releases from this year’s Comic-Con. 😀

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Trailer

Now if you’ve followed this blog for a while then you know I was a big fan of Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla from 2014, I know the film has it’s fair share of issues, but I still believe it had a great sense of atmosphere, tension, distinctive visuals, a great film score and brought Godzilla back into the public consciousness in a good way. And while I thought last year’s Kong: Skull Island was fine, a lot of people really liked it and the film teased the larger universe where all these characters exist, and it feeds into this trailer. Good gravy I loved it. The sense of dread and chaos going on throughout this trailer is excellent. I like the choice of that classic piece of music (though I can’t remember what it’s called), I also love the visuals, there’s a love of striking colours from the skies to the creatures, and speaking of the creatures, we’ve got good old Godzilla back but we also see brief shots of Mothra, Rodan and frigging King Ghidorah! I’m also curious to see how this new family fit into the film, Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler and Millie Bobby Brown are great talents and clearly, their family has gone throw some stuff due to Farmiga’s pursuit of the monsters, and it looks like their drama will only get worse. I just hope this human element will be stronger than the last film.

Shazam! Trailer

So we finally, FINALLY got a trailer for Shazam! and it looks good. Now I’ve never been a massive fan of Shazam, but I have really liked him in the animated stuff like Young Justice and Justice League Action, and from what I know of him, the film feels pretty accurate to the source material. This trailer really gives off a fun kind of vibe, the tone and overall presentation are brighter than most of DC’s previous films except for Wonder Woman and there’s a relatable factor that comes with Billy Batson becoming a superhero. Oh and the costume definitely looks better in motion than the recent images suggested. However, some of that humour was a bit hit and miss, and that stupid floss dance made it into a frigging superhero film and that just irks me. Otherwise, bring on April 2019!

Aquaman Trailer

And then there’s Aquaman, I liked this. What really impressed me was the visual style of this film, it feels like a combination of the Zack Snyder style with what was done with Wonder Woman when it comes to the scenes in darkness and scenes in the daytime with muted and vivid colours. I’m liking the sense of scale, the underwater world of Atlantis looks cool and some of the sea creatures look great. And while I know a lot of this material has to be in CGI, it looks a little inconsistent, but I know there will be time to fix it up before release. Right now I’m a little less excited for the film than before because I was hoping for something with a little more of James Wan’s style, but whatever I’m still gonna see it.

Young Justice: Outsiders Trailer

Hooray for Young Justice‘s return! I don’t know if I mentioned it on the blog before, but I LOVE Young Justice, it was one of my favourite TV experiences while I was at uni around 6 years ago, and for the longest time, I thought there was no hope of a third season, but for it to exist and for there to be a trailer, I couldn’t be happier. While I would have liked a fully new trailer without the mini recap of season 2, at the same time it was great to see the crazy and emotional highlights from the last season, and then transition into this new material with all the new and familiar faces, new locations, Darkseid and a whole load of other stuff. I’m just happy to know that it exists and I can’t wait to see it next year!

Disenchantment Trailer

Once I heard about this new project from Matt Groening I was intrigued, but seeing it in action only enhances my excitement for this new show. As much as I’ve loved the classic episodes of The Simpsons and certain elements of Futurama, it is refreshing to see Groening on another project that is different, but feels like it has his style all of it. And that’s the best thing about it to me; the fact that it is different yet familiar, and the fantasy setting mixed in with the humour feels like a nice and strange mix.

Glass Trailer

I quite liked this trailer, so much so that I recently rewatched Unbreakable and Split, and it got me super excited to see what Shyamalan comes up with in this new film. It looks cool, unique and strange. I like how Mr Glass, the Beast and David Dunn have somehow ended up in a mental institution and are being interviewed by Sarah Paulson’s character. When she says that she’s looking at people who believe they are superheroes it does make me wonder how many people she’s come across and if there will be more seen in this film. Either way, it is great to see Samuel L. Jackson back after so many years along with Bruce Willis, I’m very curious to see how their lives have changed and what brings them back together, There’s a lot of possibilities with Glass and that’s the most exciting part for me.

Christopher Sabat and Sean Schemmel Yelp Reviews

This is something I had to include, it was just too good not to. Now while this brief IGN interview was in relation to the upcoming Dragon Ball Super film and the dubbing process of the film and Super tv series. But the main thing that I took away from the interview was Chris Sabat and Sean Schemmel reading angry Yelp reviews as Vegeta and Goku. These are such silly, silly reviews, and hearing Chris and Sean bring their energy to these Yelp reviews really helps sell you on Vegeta and Goku in these scenarios and makes you wish these moments would be animated. 😀

And so that’s my highlights from this year’s SDCC, what was your favourite trailer or announcement from this year’s Comic-Con? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2018 in Films, Media, Reviews, Television

 

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QUICK THOUGHTS: Dragon Ball Super: Broly Trailer

Good day to you ladies and gents, from out of the shadows I have emerged again to talk about something very, very important to me; the first trailer for Dragon Ball Super: Broly.

Now I really liked Battle of Gods and thought Resurrection F was decent, and while Super was one of the most up and down experiences I’ve had with any TV show, however when it was good, it was hella good. So Dragon Ball in recent years has gone from being fairly invisible and nostalgic to being right back in the conversation of current anime and media in general, so when Toei Animation announced a new film and the teaser dropped with the new art and animation style, I was surprised but so intrigued. Since last year I’ve been following this guy online called Ajay who is really knowledgeable about animation and people who work on Dragon Ball and did a great job to detail the pros and cons of Super.

Now it was recently revealed prior to this trailer that this new film would feature Broly, the legendary Super Saiyan from Movie 8 and the two subsequent sequels, and this caused a mixed opinion from the DB fans I saw online, some people were hyped for this character to come back, some weren’t so happy and some just didn’t care. But with word that Akira Toriyama would be involved in the story and would be finding a way to integrate Broly into the official canon of DB, that’s what got a lot of us fans hyped that the character would return with more depth and purpose than before.

And last night the first trailer and it is glorious! Check it out either the Japanese or English dub below:

Simply put, this film looks insanely good. It looks like a lot of stuff will be going down and all of the key players from Super will be back to play a part in this film.

From the teaser trailer, I knew this film would be special and interesting because of its art style, colour palette and animation, and this trailer just dialled it up to one hundred. The movement of the characters is so smooth, elastic, expressive and is so fluid when compared to anything Dragon Ball has done in the past. The art direction is notably different from the recent/current DB animated material, with art that looks more illustrative or from the pages of a manga with detailed line art and a colour scheme that feels in line with the old DB manga. I also appreciate the camera angles and scaling as it makes this film feel more cinematic than the TV show.

Here are some personal highlights:

  • The facial close-ups look great: There are some nice shots of character faces up close and especially with Goku at 14 seconds, Broly at 27 seconds, and wonderfully detailed shots of Vegeta and Goku at 29 and 30 seconds. It all looks so beautiful.
  • Broly looks intense: While there hasn’t been any of his classic “Kakarot!!” shouting just yet, I do appreciate how he comes across in the trailer. He’s mostly quiet, stern-looking, emits powerful energy and when he is fighting he packs a punch. There’s a shot of Goku in Super Saiyan Blue looking shocked at Broly’s power, so that has to tell you something about this dude’s strength.
  • Vegeta looks cool: Vegeta is one of my favourite characters and he looks like he’s getting his time to shine here. I love how when Broly first punches him and he smiles, such a classic Vegeta thing to do, I love it!
  • Frieza’s back: Now in a different reality, seeing Frieza again would be a major turn off, but because he was handled so well in Super I love the fact that he’s getting be part of this film and witness Broly first-hand.

So yeah if you couldn’t tell already I’m really excited by this trailer, it was everything I wanted and then some. I reminded me of some of the best moments of Super but magnified on a whole new level with crazy slick animation and artwork. I really hope to see this at the cinema when January comes around.

So what did you think of the trailer for Dragon Ball Super: Broly? Did it increase or decrease your hype for the film? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next video, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2018 in Films, Media

 

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REVIEW: Whitney

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to my first written film review for a while and today I’m going to talk about the new documentary released about Whitney Houston entitled Whitney. Now I only heard about this film around a week ago and I just happened to be in a city where the film was being shown, and while I’ve never been the biggest Whitney Houston fan, I’ve liked a lot of her music and wanted to see what light this film could shed on her that I wasn’t aware of, and I believe this film did a good job.

Most people are probably aware of who Whitney Houston is and know of her music unless you’re super young, but for those not aware, the life of Whitney Houston is one of triumph and tragedy, she started out so well, ascended into the stratosphere and then unfortunately fell and never quite recovered. and after all of her success, there was a lot of media coverage about Houston’s life mostly all in a negative light with many accusations, rumours and big reveals, but as we all know there’s a lot more to the lives of celebrities beyond what the media presents. I recall how much she was brought up in the news from the good stuff in the 90’s the all the bad stuff in the 00’s because of the drugs or marital issues with Bobby Brown. And while this film wasn’t as comprehensive as it could have been, it was emotionally charged, haunting and informative.

I feel like the film did a good job of introducing itself in a positive manner highlighting the best/fun part of Houston’s life but then changed things up immediately with some darker/negative elements, and that felt like it set the tone for the rest of the film as there were plenty of moments where the film changes its tone at several points throughout. The film confidently goes through a lot of her life from childhood to her first tv appearance to her initial explosion onto the music scene to marriage to problems with drugs and her downward spiral towards death. It is fairly comprehensive with great use of audio and video archive footage which shows every side of her whether she’s playful, funny, shy, sassy, aggressive, sad, exhausted and so on. I loved seeing her in her youth being so cute and crazy but also seeing how human she was dealing with some of these insane situations with varying degrees of success. The editing and use of sound are excellent, making you feel immense joy at one point, but then feeling scared or depressed in another. There’s also plenty of interviews from everyone close to her from her mother to her brothers to her ex-husband to family friends to music management, and so on. And they all give very detailed information about Houston’s experiences, the good and the bad and how some of them contributed to the long-term issues that became major hurdles for her later on. And the film isn’t afraid to go to those really dark places and ask questions that were dark or uncomfortable, there was a lot of rumour and speculation in the media about what Houston got up to, and while not every question is answered, there was a fair amount of clarification and certain revelations about Houston that was quite shocking and highlight that her life was anything but simple and that there were many factors that made things turn out the way they did. One moment, in particular, was a pretty major eye-opener that left me in stunned for a little while too.

And of course, the watching this film frigging hurts especially if you’re a fan of Houston, to you see this beautiful lady with such talent rise and then fall so hard that it’s hard to watch at times. I wasn’t alive or old enough to experience the Houston in her prime, but this film really highlights how much of big deal she was, how she changed things and made an impact with America and the world, black people, female singers and so on. When the film ended I really just felt like crying. This documentary did a great job of revealing Houston’s life, showing off outside influence and showing off what she meant to people, how big of a star that she was and highlighting her raw talent.

In conclusion, Whitney is pretty solid documentary that is emotionally engaging and very insightful, and if you are even remotely interested in this documentary I would recommend it, Kevin MacDonald did a fine job at asking the right questions and presenting the life of one of the world’s most interesting, brilliant and tragic celebrities. If you’ve seen the film I’d love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters. 😀

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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E3 2018 Recap & Personal Hightlights

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? It is currently June and we’ve just experienced what can be described as the Christmas-like period for al gamers known as E3. And even though I haven’t been feeling up to doing much blogging these days, there was no way I wasn’t going to comment on the recent happenings in video game news and reveals. So what I’ll do is discuss the conferences I saw and enjoyed and talk about the pros and cons, and then highlight my favourite games below. Okay with all that out

Press Conferences (Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft & Nintendo)

With the press conferences I watched what was relevant to me, so naturally, I skipped EA because why not? I don’t play Bethesda games so I skipped that one (not that I hate them, I just don’t play their games). I’m not a PC guy so I skipped that show and since I knew most of Square Enix’s material would show up in other places I skipped that one too.

Firstly you have Microsoft, the press conference that I didn’t have much hope for, I mean I had a feeling Microsoft would show us something, but I feel like they went far and beyond with the conference just dishing out game after game after game with additional information about Game Pass, new developers they’d acquired and stuff like that. And while not all of the reveals were exclusive, the fact that they even got shown at all was really fun and compelling for the games I wanted to see. I really feel like Microsoft took what Sony did before and just blasted us with games and I loved it. And sure not all of them had immediate release dates, but to know they existed made me happy. Starting off the conference with a look at a new Halo game, Halo Infinite was pretty cool, and from there we were bombarded with game announcements with some of my favourites being the super cool-looking Sekio: Shadows Die Twice, Devil May Cry 5, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the Cuphead DLC, Jump Force and the gorgeous-looking Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Also seeing stuff like a new Battletoads or another Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer was cool, and Forza Horizon 4 looks absolutely amazing

Ubisoft was also really good, well, for the stuff I liked anyway. The way they started with the Just Dance sequence was strangely interesting at first but then went on for too long and after a while, I was wondering when they were gonna end it. The stuff I liked started with the Mario and Rabbids Donkey Kong DLC which looked really fun and I’m definitely considering picking it up later in the year, seeing Trials Rising was really cool as I really liked playing Trials Fusion a few years ago at uni and Beyond Good and Evil 2 used another cinematic trailer, but it was far more story-driven and cinematic and made me way more interested in the game than I was last year. Starlink: Battle for Atlas was another game I saw last year and liked the look of and the inclusion of Star Fox has only made my interest increase, but the real surprise was Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, I honestly wasn’t expecting the game to be all that intriguing, but I was quite taken back by the visuals, gameplay and story elements. I haven’t played an Assassin’s Creed game yet but I really am curious to see how this one turns out later on in the year.

As for Sony I’m not gonna lie, they disappointed me this year. I understand what they were trying to do with their stylised presentation and wanting to focus on specific major games. But the way it was presented was pretty bad, it just felt clunky, slow and took a little while to get going. That being said, when it did focus on the games we were treated to some good stuff. Last of Us 2 looked very compelling and brutal and Death Stranding still has me with more questions than answers but I enjoyed what I saw. But the two games that really stood out to me was Ghosts of Tsushima and Spider-Man. With Tsushima, we had the cinematic trailer last year but no gameplay, but this year we saw the game in action and it looked gorgeous with such striking camera angles, lighting, beautiful art and interesting story and gameplay elements. I love samurai stuff so to have a big budget game tackle this kind of subject matter has me hooked. And then there’s Spider-Man which has only gotten better each time its been shown and even though the game’s out in September, I still found myself gushing about the new story and gameplay elements. But the real surprise was Resident Evil 2, after hearing about the remake for so long, to see it finally revealed was great.

I thought Nintendo did well, but I have seen online that the reception on the Direct was very mixed, some loved it, while many were disappointed. So let me just say this, I think some people expected a lot and were disappointed by the lack of appearances from certain games like Yoshi and Metroid Prime 4, which were both teased last year but have had no additional details. Animal Crossing fans didn’t get their new game and none of the rumours surrounding the Star Fox racing game, F-Zero and some other stuff didn’t come to light… So yeah if you’re not overly hyped for Smash and some of the other game reveals then I can understand the disappointment. That being said, I LOVE Smash Bros., and while I didn’t expect it to be covered for so long, it’s pretty much the big release of 2018 so I was delighted to see so much of it. The rest of the Direct had some cool stuff especially with Daemon x Machina, Super Mario Party, Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC, and third-party games in that montage. And while the leaks definitely took away a lot of the surprise, I was still happy to see Dragon Ball FighterZ and Overcooked 2 shown. The Treehouse segment really did well to highlight Pokemon Let’s Go in action and good gravy the nostalgia started to hit me hard when I saw Viridian Forest and Pewter City, the visual enhancements are insane from visual aesthetic to all the minor and major detail in the animation and art direction, but it was really the music that grabbed me, good gravy I need to get this game so I can listen to the music.

My Game Highlights

Now I’m just going to list all of the games that stood out to me or that I am super looking forward to from now until next, and this was a tough list to construct in some ways but I think I have a solid list here.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

This was easily the first game to jump out at me and grab my interest. I LOVE action adventure games and samurai stuff, and the fact that it is coming from the developers of Dark Souls makes me happy and nervous. I’m excited for the gameplay that looks fast, intense, methodical and satisfying with movement and combat, but because it is coming from FromSoftware, their games are hard as hell and I dunno if I want to jump into that kind of game just to have my ass handed to me on multiple occasions. We’ll see. but the game does look hella cool.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

I think I recall seeing this game last year and I thought it looked good, but I don’t recall it looking this great. Ori and the Blind Forest is a game I’ve been wanting to play for a few years now, but this game just looks like it’s on another level with its sense of scope, colour scheme, lighting and overall beautiful and atmospheric visuals. I know graphics aren’t everything but those graphics really are stunning and it just looks even better in movement in gameplay with the combat and platforming. I’ll be keeping my eye on this one for sure.

Jump Force

Just a few weeks ago I was talking to my friend about Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars on the DS and how I had hoped that they’d make another game, and while this isn’t a 2D Smash Bros-like fighter like the games I just mentioned, it is a crossover fighting game featuring the noteworthy characters from Shonen Jump in an arena-based fighting game and I’m down with the idea. When I saw the trailer and saw Naruto and then the appearance of my boys Luffy, Goku and Frieza I got very giddy. Now so far from what I’ve seen this game has potential with the super over-the-top attacks, scene transitions and fast combat speed, but the movement also looks very choppy and animations needing a lot of refinement. I know this is an E3 build of the game so they have plenty of time to polish things up, I just want something fun to play with some of my favourite anime characters.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

I’ve only become a fan of the new Tomb Raider games last summer after playing the first game last summer, I still haven’t played Rise yet, but I will. Either way, I really liked what I saw of this new game especially when it comes to the story. To see Lara is such different mindset, so hasty, self-centred and causing chaos in pursuit of her own interests is very intriguing to me. Beyond that, I am curious to explore this new world that is apparently much bigger than the previous games and I really want to try out all those new combat mechanics. I was pretty stealthy when it came to playing the 2013 reboot, but there are so many more options for distraction, camouflage and stealth kills which are so much more brutal than before. I’m very excited about this one.

Kingdom Hearts 3

What can I say about Kingdom Hearts 3 that hasn’t been said already? I want it, I need it, sure it sucks that we have to wait until January 2019 to play it, but with the amount of the game that we’ve seen I think its close completion so we can actually play the bloody thing after all the years of waiting. I didn’t expect there to be multiple trailers released, I watched them all and the game still looks fantastic and crazy with the Keyblade transformations and summon abilities, but it was the new worlds revealed that really caught my eye. With Frozen it was an inevitability that it’d make its way into KH considering how big that film is not only for Disney but just in general. I think the world and characters look great, but I was actually more interested in the return to the Pirates of the Caribbean world with Jack Sparrow and all of those characters look so much prettier and the world having such a great sense of scope.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

I had heard a lot of talk about this remake for a while and I wondered when we’d get around to seeing it, I just didn’t expect that it would drop during Sony’s press conference. The game looks SO good, I don’t even play Resident Evil games, but I’ve appreciated them from afar and have waited for this particular remake for a while and man it is delivering with its modern gameplay aspects, but still keeping the spirit of the original and horror elements intact.

Ghosts of Tsushima

If it wasn’t for two more games below this would be my game of E3. Last year when this game was teased I knew it’d be something to look out for, but I did not expect something on this level of polish and detail. The game looks absolutely stunning with the lighting, camera work and fluid animation and the combat is just how I’d imagine a samurai fight going down with fights that have precision, weight and timing, what they showed in that E3 demo was so beautiful. This is the samurai game I’ve always wanted, and at the same time, it is the one I didn’t know I wanted as well. I watched a panel with some of the developers on the game and it was so insightful and you could see that these people really care about the source material they are drawing from and want to make a deeply captivating and immersive experience that pays homage to Japan and the samurai films it draws from.

Spider-Man

Oh Spider-Man, what can be said that hasn’t been said already? It looks great, the web-slinging looks amazing, the combat looks varied and creative with what you can do upfront or in a stealthy manner. I am seriously digging the E3 trailer that showed off The Raft prison and several of Spidey’s key villains including Shocker, Rhino, Scorpion, Vulture and this mystery guy we couldn’t see off-screen. I am just in love with the game with everything I see and hear about the game, I just need it to be September so I can grab this game already haha.

Fire Emblem: Three Kingdoms

I remember when this game was announced last year and I was really hyped to see what a home console Fire Emblem game would look like after playing Awakening and Fates on 3DS and Three Kingdoms looks really good. It is essentially taking the core mechanics from the 3DS games and upgrading them not only in the visuals but with some cool extra game mechanics. The visuals look lovely and I like the new sense of scope and verticality with the environments that obviously couldn’t be done on 3DS but can be done in HD. I also love how the transition from the grid to watching your attack animations also has multiple soldiers on the battlefield with you enhancing the feeling of your fights feeling like a major battle. And I’m really liking the new squad formation attacks and special moves that you can perform now, oh Spring 2019 can’t come fast enough haha.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Holy crap, like dear god, what even happened when this part of the Direct dropped? I had so many hopes and fears for Smash 5 in terms of the roster, whether it’d be a new game or an enhanced port and what kind of stuff would be shown. And Sakurai and Nintendo just blew my frigging mind. Seeing the game’s new shiny visuals were great, and all the new stages, music, assist trophies, Pokemon, and tweaks to the game mechanics were great. But it was that roster that really got me. When they said everyone was available, I bloody lost it. 😛 I got so giddy to see Snake and Wolf come back, but then there was also Young Link, Ice Climbers, Ryu and Mega Man and more, and they all looked great. And to top it all off they frigging added my girl Daisy and then bloody RIDLEY at the end!!! Good god, it was like every wild dream come to life, fan service overload!!!!! It feels so surreal that it’s real, but all I can say is that December can’t get here quick enough! I NEED SMASH!

Conclusion

All in all, I’d say I had a good E3 viewing experience. The games I wanted to see exceeded my expectations, for the most part, I got what I wanted and while there wasn’t much in the way of surprises, what did catch me off guard was very pleasant. I’d say the future of gaming looks bright for us gamers for the next several months and good gravy by the end of the year my wallet will be destroyed because of all the game I need to buy haha.

But anyway how about you? What did you think of E3 2018? Was it good, bad or indifferent for you? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2018 in Media, Video Games

 

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QUICK THOUGHTS: Venom Trailer

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So yeah I know it has been a while since I posted anything on this blog and the lack of content will be addressed in a future post soon, but for the time being, let’s move onto the to the topic of hand; that new Venom trailer. Now I have been very sceptical and uninterested in this film since it was announced, and it was only Tom Hardy that kept my attention, and it also didn’t help that the first teaser trailer was a whole load of nothing. I know a teaser trailer is meant to give you a small piece of the film, but what was teased back then was dull as hell. Fast forward to now with a proper trailer that looks a heck of a lot more promising, and today I’ll just share my brief thoughts on it.

Check out the trailer below:

So my initial impressions were this, “Oh well this looks a heck of a lot better than I expected, I’m curious now.” Let’s just get the main talking point out of the way first; Venom, we get to see him in all his creepy/beautiful glory and he looks accurate to the comics and that is all I could have asked for. The face and transformation look solid and the voice sounds good too. Now I’m curious how long it’ll take before we see Venom and how much of him we’ll see throughout because I’m sure a lot of people will be disappointed if his screen time is relegated to the final act of the film or something. In addition to that, I like the direction of the story with Eddie being some kind of secret reporter who gets into an unexpected and dangerous situation and then has the symbiote starts to take over him, that’s cool. I’m not gonna lie though some of the story beats I saw in this trailer felt familiar and not in a good way but hey I guess we’ll wait and see. Also, so far this film films like an isolated solo adventure, there are no references to Spider-Man, New York (as far as I can remember) or the MCU (which I didn’t expect there to be because that was made apparent before the film went into production), so I am curious to see how a story with Eddie Brock/Venom adventure will operate without Peter Parker/Spider-Man being around to be the catalyst. Will it be a unique, captivating and interesting story about a guy thrown into a villain situation or will it be generic with questionable story elements? Whatever the case is I’ll be watching regardless because this trailer genuinely has my interest now.

So have you seen the trailer for Venom and if so what did you think of it? Did it meet or exceed your expectations or were you underwhelmed? Let me know in comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2018 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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So it’s Birthday Time Again, Yay!

Howdy people of the internet, how are you? So as you can see from the title of this blog post today is my birthday, I am one year older and as is tradition I feel the need to blog about it haha. 😀

You know what? I’ve been writing these posts for a good few years and I never have a clue how to write these things out, there’s no proper format, I just wing it and hope for the best haha. And so far today has been nice and relaxed. I have received 3 birthday cards all of which have been great especially the one from my bestie from Sheffield 😛 And I have spent most of my day in the cinema so far firstly rewatching Black Panther for the 4th time and finally checking out Isle of Dogs; with the former I still really like the film a lot, for my full thoughts I recommend reading my review, but in short I love the characters, themes, the film score, some of the cool combat scenes and traditions and visual style. As for Isle of Dogs, I have a fair amount to say about the film which I will dish out in an upcoming review, but what I will say it was very unique and different from I expected, but the visual material was incredible and the voice cast was really good. So with my films so far I’ve enjoyed myself.

Right now I’m pretty much chilling listening to some nostalgic sounds of Earth, Wind & Fire and plotting my movements for tonight when I head out for some night time shenanigans with my friends haha. I also have some fun stuff planned for tomorrow and potentially on Sunday too so hopefully this feeling of happiness and good times carry on through til the end of the weekend. 😀

Other than that I’m thinking I really gotta sort my life out, I’m pretty close to 30 and I only have a handful of achievements to my name, and I know there’s no set way to live life, but I do feel like I need to be doing better and I have gotten a few things worked out with my podcast and illustration material in full swing at the moment. So hopefully 2018 will be a year for change and progression, but I guess we’ll see and take things as they come. Anyways I’m gonna go finish some illustration stuff and look forward to my review for Isle of Dogs which will be coming soon, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2018 in Life

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Fantastic Mr. Fox

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a new film review and today I get to talk about a film I’ve wanted to review on here since I think 2013, and that is Fantastic Mr. Fox! So yeah I know this film is not new, it is from 2009 and I saw it in the cinema and I really liked it at the time and said to myself that I’d rewatch it again at some point. And yet even after buying the DVD around 5 or 6 years ago while at university I never got around to it just because of timing and being in the right mood. That being said, since 2014 I’ve really gotten into Wes Anderson’s films and with Isle of Dogs coming out tomorrow here in the UK I thought I’d rewatch my first Wes Anderson film and see if it still holds up.

The story for the film can be summed up as the following:

“The film is about a fox who steals food each night from three mean and wealthy farmers. They are fed up with Mr. Fox’s theft and try to kill him, so they dig their way into the foxes’ home, but the animals are able to outwit the farmers and live underground.”

I like the story because it has a lot of layers, there is the main narrative that goes on throughout the film, but there are also a number subplots introduced that eventually come to a head as the film progresses and what I like is that all of these plot elements are character-driven, have significance and the payoff feeds back into the main plot. And for a film about animals dealing with dangerous humans, it introduces some interesting themes dealing with breaking habits, doing what you’re good at, living up to expectations, being different and a number of other elements that are easy to relate to. And it is presented in a story that has a strange, quirky and fast-paced nature to it, and it very funny on numerous occasions and comes at just the right point with incredible timing, however, it also has brilliant moments of seriousness, darker moments and slows down just enough to have these special moments between the main characters.

As for the characters they are all very fun, interesting and feel like well-rounded individuals even if they’re secondary characters. George Clooney is fabulous as Mr. Fox, Clooney brings his natural charm to this character who is charismatic, daring yet selfish and not fully aware of his actions. Meryl Streep as Felicity Fox is a strong, smart and caring woman, but is also very stern and doesn’t take any shit from anyone. Jason Schwartzman stands out as Ash Fox, I guessed Schwartzman in this role just because Ash reminded me of Max from Rushmore in the sense that Ash is another young man with personal issues that lead to awkward relationships with others, but here Ash is a lot younger and immature and his journey through the film is quite engaging despite his rude and insensitive nature. Bill Murray was delightful as Clive Badger and had some great moments with Mr. Fox, Willem Dafoe’s role as Rat was unexpected, funny and strange and Wallace Wolodarsky as Kylie was one of the most memorable characters due to his subdued yet hilarious nature. And finally, Michael Gambon as Franklin Bean made for a strong and memorable protagonist, Gambon has such a presence with his voice and puts it to good use in humourous and intimidating scenarios.

From a presentation point of view, the film’s incredible. Visually the film’s use of stop motion animation is fluid, stylish and unique. While stop motion has a certain type of movement due to the way it is created, this film goes a step further by presenting movement in a number of ways that looks like frames are missing, but the movement is dynamic, exaggerated and elastic giving them a great sense of charisma and realism at the same time. The choice of camera angles and the general cinematography looks like a mixture of a stage play, a normal film and old film techniques used during driving sequences. I also want to talk about the character models and set design, the models have such an intricate level of detail for the fur and clothing and the sets vary from being large or very small, but they are all well-crafted with a lot of attention to detail from the foreground to background material looking realistic but also stylised. It is elaborate, grand in scale and has such incredible scene transitions. The film score by Alexandre Desplat is wonderful and works very well in each scene it’s used in and the soundtrack is filled with a great variety of songs that really enhance the scenes they’re used in the way that only Anderson can pull off.

In conclusion, Fantastic Mr. Fox is still a wonderful film and perhaps foolishly I was surprised how well it held up after so many years. I may be biased as I really LOVE Wes Anderson’s approach to filmmaking, but even if I was to take that element out of the equation, the film is not a conventional animated kids film, but that’s why I love it. The film, it is fun, exciting, engaging, quirky and hilarious, and yet it also has an engaging story, with fully formed characters that you can understand and relate to. If you haven’t seen this film I highly recommend it especially if you like Wes Anderson films.

So have you seen Fantastic Mr. Fox and if so what did you think of it? Drop me your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see you in the next review, so until the next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 2 Review

Howdy people of the internet, time for my first TV review in ages and today I get to talk about the second season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones. I’m not gonna lie, my interest in this season hasn’t been nearly as high as the Netflix Marvel shows that came out beforehand even though I really enjoyed season 1, but after watching the first new trailer and rewatching season 1, I got really hyped to revisit these characters and see how they develop. 😛 So after seeing the second season, I’m ready to pass judgement in this spoiler-free review.

“New York City private investigator Jessica Jones is beginning to put her life back together after murdering her tormentor, Kilgrave. Now known throughout the city as a super-powered killer, a new case makes her reluctantly confront who she really is while digging deeper into her past to explore the reasons why.”

The second season of Jessica Jones presents a lot of new an interesting scenarios for Jessica in dealing with. Seeing Jessica trying to live in a world after the events of the last season was interesting because of the way it affected her, the people around her and the people of New York City. Like Daredevil season 2, this season of JJ also features flashbacks that help flesh out Jessica’s backstory and it features some of the strongest material of the season with the character development of Jessica and Trish and the emotional history they’ve had individually and together. Unfortunately, the show doesn’t have a central focus until I think around episode 3 or 4 there are a good few things happening here and there, but nothing to tie it all together. And once the story and characters finally start to come into focus, my level of engagement and interest fluctuated a lot. There were plenty of points where I loved what I was watching, where the drama and emotion were on-point and I was captivated in Jessica and some of the other main characters’ stories… However, there are several points where certain storylines felt unnecessary or random and took away screen time from more important ones, also I feel like a great deal of the conflicts, danger and general issues felt fabricated rather than progressing in a natural manner. And this leads to scenarios that were a little silly, unrealistic or frustrating, and sometimes because of the way there are picked up and dropped from time to time. By the end of the season, I felt like a lot had happened, but I was in two minds about how I liked it, I feel like the ideas were there, but the execution could have been better.

Favourite episodes:

  • AKA Start at the Beginning
  • AKA Freak Accident
  • AKA Sole Survivor
  • AKA God Help the Hobo
  • AKA I Want Your Cray Cray (personal favourite)
  • AKA Three Lives and Counting

The cast was really good with the returning cast being pretty good and some of the newcomers settling in with the old ones pretty well, however, it is the way that some of these characters were handled which lead to a mixed bag of people you may like or dislike. Firstly Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones was great, she carried the show with her tough, sassy and witty persona, she has a lot of stuff to deal with and at times I just wanted to shake her and tell her to get her shit together, but even when she annoyed me, she ends still works as a damaged character who had to confront the issues of her past and present. Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker was good, Trish was one of my favourite characters from last season despite her bad decision-making and in this season we learn more about her his backstory, insecurities and weaknesses and interesting relationships with Jessica, her mother and some other people. At certain points I really liked her, but then she made some absolutely terrible choices which made her insufferable. Eka Darville was really good as Malcolm, his character had a good sense of progression from season 1 and I liked how active he was in the plot helping Jessica and doing things for himself, and while he ends up doing certain things I didn’t like, he was still really engaging. And of the returning cast I ended up really liking Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth more than I expected, in the last season she was very cold, calculated and self-serving and that was still the case for this season, however, they took her character in an interesting direction that made me feel for her in ways I didn’t think possible and maybe that was purely due to Moss as an actress, but I found Hogarth’s story to be quite compelling.

I’m only going to talk about a few of the new cast members. Firstly J.R. Ramirez as Oscar Arocho was fine, as soon as I saw him I knew exactly what his purpose would be and sure enough things played out as I expected, that being said he did have a lot more going on in his personal life that made me like him more. Terry Chen as Pryce Cheng was someone who had my interest at first but then became irrelevant and annoying as the season progressed, and the same sort of applied to Leah Gibson as Inez Green, she had an interesting part to play and while she wasn’t all that likeable, she had a more significant role to play than Cheng. And finally Janet McTeer as Alisa was an interesting character, I can’t say how she ties into the main story but she does play a pivotal role which at times was very intriguing and scary and on other occasions quite frustrating too. When it came to the presentation it is pretty good. Visually the show is shot well, and the fight scenes and visual effects look better than before and the use of colour was still pretty good. Also, the soundtrack by Sean Callery was still pretty good with some of the themes being and general sound being carried over from last season in a wonderful way, and season two has some nice new material, but it is not nearly as great as what’s come before.

In conclusion, Jessica Jones season 2 was a decent season to watch, that being said after finishing the show I felt disappointed. There were some compelling story elements, great character development and wonderfully deep and emotional material throughout the season. However, the lack of Kilgrave, the different storylines that had varying levels of interest and frustrating character arcs and choices left this season feeling far less captivating.

So have you seen Jessica Jones season 2 and if so so what do you think of it? And how do you think it compares to season 1 and the other Netflix shows? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters. 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2018 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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