Tag Archives: Spider-Man: The Animated Series

Where’s the reviews?

Hello to all my subscribers and the many people of the internet reading this blog post. Now as some of you may be aware on this blog in addition to post personal things, I review a lot of films too along with video games and TV shows. However recently there has been a decline in the amount of reviews that I have done recently. So some of you may be asking, “Where the reviews at?” Well allow me to explain.

Basically it’s down to life. Recently university has thrown a lot of work and deadlines at me and obviously that does take some priority over my blog, but also in addition to my uni work increasing, there’s also my job and money situations to take care of too. In truth my money situation though it’s not as bad as it was last month, but it’s still not completely sorted so I’ve missed out on going to the cinema because of that. And also with my jobs at the agency I work for, that’s taken some of my time away too. I’ve also been working on my YouTube channel and Facebook page for my video reviews too, so there’s that.

The last time I was at the cinema was around two weeks ago when I saw Skyfall again and finally got around to watching Frankenweenie too. I have been meaning to get back and watch a hell of a lot of films, but uni, work and other outside occurrences have kept me away from my place of leisure. However I am here to say worry no more, new reviews are on the horizon. Below are a just a few films I plan to see over the next few days:


I will attempt to watch all of these films in the next week or so.

In addition to my film reviews I plan to finally get back to my TV reviews and finally get around to watching and reviewing Spider-Man: The Animated Series. Along with that I also plan on finally reviewing two video games from this year that I’ve had for a while and they are Sonic 4: Episode 2 and Sonic Adventure 2 HD.

After December 21st I’ll be free to come and go from the cinema as I please so that’ll increase my review output by quite a bit. So look forward to my madness as it emerges. 😀

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Posted by on December 8, 2012 in Films, Media, Television, Video Games


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Ultimate Spider-Man Episode 8 Review

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

Okay so here we are at the eighth episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, nearly ten episodes in now and it is by this point in a lot of TV shows where one can determine whether a show is good or not. And holy man, after seeing the latest episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man I just have this to say… I seriously think there is no hope for this show. The latest episode entitled ‘Back in Black’ (like the AC/DC song and album but nowhere near as cool) has to be the worst episode so far and its mainly due to how disappointed I was with the way the narrative and the characters were used. The episode was completely lackluster and shows why The Spectacular Spider-Man show was far superior in every way.

Oh yeah, Venom’s back and looks much more in line with the comics, however he’s nowhere near as cool as he should be.

So the story in this episode is as follows:

“When the terrifying Venom returns, Spider-Man (who has come down with a cold at the time) tries to stop the villain and save Harry Osborn (who has become the host of Venom after trapping its fragment). Spider-Man must decide if he can trust his new teammates with the shocking truth about Venom before asking for their help.”

So yeah following the events of the fourth episode Venom returns, though his initial return is very different; he appears on the scene as the black-suited Spider-Man (like Symbiote Spidey from the comics). And yeah goes around saving the day in a very heroic way while showing off at the same time. Naturally suspicious that Venom’s back  Peter goes off on his own to discover the truth of the situation, while that’s happening New York seems to have fallen in love with the new Spider-Man and forgot all about the original one. At one point while in school, Harry goes to talk to Peter privately and he seems in a super happy mood (I wonder why? *sarcasm*), it is at this point that we learn that Harry is indeed the new black-suited Spider-Man (wow, who didn’t see that coming? *sarcasm*). Harry seems to have found a way to control it through a switch on his watch, but naturally Peter tries to warn him off it saying that it’s dangerous, but Harry doesn’t take his advice and gets a bit aggressive as he leaves. It is at that point when Peter knows something’s wrong. Eventually Harry become corrupt with power and Venom eventually takes over and starts attacking the innocent, so then it’s up to Peter to fight Venom and save Harry.

Okay let me just get this out of the way, I didn’t like the story in this episode at all. I wasn’t overly keen on the way Venom was introduced into this show, it just seemed to early and there wasn’t much justification for his existence other than the fact that he’s a major Spidey villain and the fact that he’d look cool. But in this episode they went with that silly possible storyline at the end of episode four; the fact that Harry could become the new Venom. I didn’t like that idea and when I saw a new Spider-Man running around it only took me a few seconds to guess who the person was behind the mask. I really didn’t like how they introduced the black-suited Spider-Man, that is one of the most iconic and coolest traits for Spidey and for it to be on anyone other than Peter Parker, that doesn’t sit well with me. Then we find the black-suit transform back into a more familiar face, Venom who is as big and nasty-looking as he should be (though a little too chunky in some cases). Also I can’t belief how single-minded the people in this show are, they all seem to think immediately that the black suit Spidey is a completely different one from the original, not one person questions the possibly that black suit Spidey and regular Spidey might actually be the same. I mean sure they aren’t in this case, but still, logic people! And another thing, how does everybody automatically convert to being black suit Spidey fans, besides the fact that it’s a new look there’s no justification for it, it’s just absurd how the thinking patterns of these people work in my opinion.

This story overall just felt bland, uninteresting and unappealing. This show has so much potential, yet it chooses to waste it on lackluster storylines with bad dialogue, actions with no proper consequences and child-like humour which is not funny nor is remotely good. And speaking of jokes, I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it again… THE HUMOUR IN THIS SHOW SUCKS BIG TIME! I really can’t believe how unfunny as Spider-Man show can be, but the writers of this cartoon clearly show it can be possible, and it’s all down to Spider-Man himself. Everything that Peter/Spidey says is pure foolishness, it’s not witty, it’s not well-timed, it’s just poor, it’s pre-school humour. Now I know there are some people over ten years old that enjoy this kind of humour, but for Spidey fans we know that the writing in this show could be so much better.

Peter/Spidey with a cold in an episode. Not a good idea, never again!

When it comes to the characters, oh good gravy they break my heart. Peter/Spidey as always virtually useless. He makes stupid jokes, never really has a smart moment (unlike his comic book origins suggest) and he seems so dumb. In this episode he has a cold and it makes him even more annoying than usual and there’s this reoccurring joke where people keep telling Spidey to ‘Vampire sneeze’ and there’s all these other cold-related jokes too, it gets really old really fast! There’s one point where he runs out of web while pursuing Venom I think and just flutters around as he plummets to the ground. Now a normal Spider-Man would have packed extra web cartridges (it’s been done in every animated show), but oh no, not in the Ultimate Spider-Man, this Spidey is just content is being as useless as possible. There’s also one point where Peter imagines what would happen if he revealed his secret identity and the short comedic scenes that followed made me cringe. Then there’s Harry Osborn, I’m glad he’s been given a more substantial part in the show, but there is barely any of Harry’s classic mannerisms that make him such an interesting character. He just seems like he wants to be the best at everything and it doesn’t come across in a good way in this show, he just seemed to annoy me a lot. White Tiger, Nova, Iron Fist and Power Man take a backseat in this episode and I can say about that is, yay! Epic win” 😀 Everybody else in the episode are just there, Norman Osborn is still a man of power who neglects his son and constantly wants a new version of Venom developed. While Doc Ock still just sits in front of his computer screens monitoring and experimenting. You know, the same old stuff. Though I don’t like how Doc Ock is still just a lackey hiding in the dark basement working under Norman Osborn, he’s meant to be a super villain and yet he seems like nothing more than a sneaky lab assistant, just plain old boring.

As usual the real standout point of the show is the animation. As usual the art is good and the animation is as fluid as ever. As Venom#s second appearance in this show, I thought this version of him was more in line with the comics and the stuff seen in Spider-Man: The Animated Seriesand The Spectacular Spider-Man, though he was a fair bit bulky and reminded me more of the Mac Gargan versin of Venom in terms of size. The final fight between Spidey and Venom was good, there was dynamic stuff done here, but the fight was nowhere near as creative or exciting as The Spectacular Spider-Man.

In conclusion this episode was pretty poor and it is making question why I am still watching this show. I’ve given it eight chances already and all I’ve got is okay to sub par episodes that taint the Spider-Man name. Now it may seem like all I’ve done is rant in this review and to some degree yes I have and it is for good reason. I have seen Spider-Man at his best and comes in the shape of both Spider-Man: The Animated Series and The Spectacular Spider-Man, both shows are creative, impressive and area MILES better than this show will ever be. I remember when people used to hate on The Spectacular Spider-Man for its approch to the Spider-Man mythos and yet it the source material justice when compared to Ultimate Spider-Man. So you may ask if I hate this show so much, then why am I still watching it? Well its simply because it’s Spider-Man and because part of me hopes that this show will eventually get it’s act together and actually become something worthy of watching. But for now it looks like the Ultimate Spider-Man should just be shut down. Spider-Man and his fans deserve better.

Rating: 5/10


Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews


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Ultimate Spider-Man Episode 7 Review

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

So here we are with another episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man and to be honest it isn’t as good as last week’s one, but it still works on a few levels mainly because of the appearance of the Hulk and some much-needed Spidey and MJ time.

One of the key aspects that make this episode work, HULK SMASH!

So what’s the story in this episode well it goes a little something like this:

Spider-Man finally agrees to a video interview with Mary Jane, and she gets the exclusive scoop when she records Spider-Man and Hulk in an all-out battle against Zzzax throughout Manhattan.”

And to be honest the story is alright at best, it mainly works because of these following things:

  • The interaction between Spider-Man and MJ
  • MJ’s constant need to the ultimate news story by running around to be where the action is
  • The appearance of Hulk (Of course!)

This episode was all about Mary Jane attempting to get the ultimate news story about Spider-Man for the Daily Bugle and it is interesting to see an episode focused on her. Because up until now we’d only seen snippets of her character in small conversations with her and Peter, also it was intriguing to her how much a her character had changed from the basic conventional stuff we’d seen in previous comics and TV shows. I don’t know why, but this episode just came across as a little tame and lacking in epicness, with all the stuff that went down in this episode you’d think it’d make for a more exciting episode, but alas that wasn’t the case with episode 7. The only good thing about it was that there was some development for Peter and MJ and we also get to see more of MJ in this show and see where her character is going in the long run.

In the character department it was another Peter Parker-based episode so there was only so many people to focus on. The main people in this episode was Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson and the Hulk, with some additional supporting cast making an appearance. Let’s start with the main character of this episode, Mary Jane Watson. As I said before her character has changed a great degree from the basic conventional stuff we’re used to, in earlier episodes it did take some time to process that she was the aspiring journalist complete with the character and everything, but now I’ve sort of adjusted to the idea. It does make her character more relevant and important, though the way she kept running towards danger just for the ultimate story kind of annoyed me with the way Spider-Man had to keep running to safe her from danger. And talking about Spider-Man, he isn’t much different from the stuff we’ve seen already. He still makes bad jokes, says something smart and then offsets it with a stupid comment and still seems to lack that “proper Spider-Man” quality that has come with previous animated shows and more importantly the comics. He’s not super mega smart, his level of fighting skill isn’t as creative as it should be and as a superhero he seems so clueless and constantly needs the obvious pointed out to him. It’s heartbreaking to watch.

And lastly we talk about the main attraction, the Hulk! Now when I heard he was going to be in this episode I was totally excited. I was still on an Avengers high after seeing the movie so seeing him in this new show was bound to make me happy, however his appearance in this episode wasn’t as spectacular as I would have hoped. This Hulk came across as a tad dumb and used a very limited vocabulary and while that’s nothing we haven’t seen before in comics or other animated adaptations I guess I am used to seeing a much smarter Hulk like the one in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes or the live action Avengers film. But he does do some good in the episode, he was be, load and proud and smashed everything, he also seemed to have some good banter with Spidey offering up some good moments of humour too.

When it comes to the presentation, as I have said before the Ultimate Spider-Man can deliver. There was also an interesting style that this episode happened to take by using the whole behind-the-camera perspective (thanks to the story being from Mary Jane’s perspective behind her camera). I have only seen this style of presentation done on the odd occasion in cartoons, but not for an extended duration of time like in this show and for the most part it works okay, though it can be tedious at times. Other than that the animation is completely fluid, slick and full of character and motion. The action is done pretty well from all of the destruction to the intricate details of the fight scenes and overall the art style still holds up well here. Though if I had one complaint it would have to be on the look of the Hulk. It’s particularly bad or anything, but personally I think he looked a little off. In The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes they got the overall look of the Hulk down to a tee, though he was lacking n definition (probably though the art style of show). But in this show he seemed a bit small, too detailed in muscle definition and lacking in body mass. After seeing the 90s Hulk show and the latest Avengers film I have a particular way I would like Hulk to look and I guess that’s just me nitpicking, but that’s the way I feel haha 😀 But overall with the introduction of the Hulk, the Ultimate Spider-Man benefits in the action department.

In the end while this episode did have some genuinely nice moments, overall was just okay and again nothing out of the ordinary. I have seen scenarios and plots similar to this in other superhero shows over the many years I have been watching them and it has been done better. The inclusion of Hulk was nice and it was great to see another Peter Parker-based episode especially with his screen time with Mary Jane. But alas the Ultimate Spider-Man has a long way to go before it truly becomes anything worth shouting about.

Rating: 6.5


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Ultimate Spider-Man Episode 6 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 7/10


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Ultimate Spider-Man Episode 5 Review

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

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

So the story in this episode is as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 6/10

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


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Ultimate Spider-Man Episode 4 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5/10

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


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Ultimate Spider-Man Episode 3 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 6/10

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


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Ultimate Spider-Man Episode 1 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I’m going to be giving you my review of the first episode of the latest animated series of Spider-Man entitled ‘Ultimate Spider-Man‘.

Now before this show came out there was a lot of talk, it was announced just after the cancellation of The Spectacular Spider-Man and the first trailer looked very promising with my more detailed visuals and animation, plus with the connections to S.H.I.E.L.D. and the brilliant writer Paul Dini lending a hand to write for the show everything was looking up… Though information about the show leading up to its initial airing troubled some fans like the fact that Drake Bell was going to be voicing Spider-Man or the fact that in the trailers there was a lot of childish and stupid humour that didn’t fit the world of Spider-Man at all. So there was a lot of apprehensive thoughts for many fans (myself included) before the show finally aired on April 1st in the United States.

Before watching this show I was thinking that Ultimate Spider-Man had a lot to live up to. Firstly you have the classic, nostalgic and legendary show Spider-Man: The Animated Series from 1994, Spider-Man’s longest animated series at 65 episodes which is a fan favourite and noted by many as the best Spidey show ever. But then you also have Spider-Man show that preceded this one, The Spectacular Spider-Man which besides its simplistic art style had a very captivating story with great character, wonderful animation and was respectful of its source material but also updated a good few things in very innovative ways. It was near-perfect and with more time it could have become the best Spider-Man show in existence regardless of what naysayers believe. Unfortunately the show was cancelled before it even reached its predicted third season. So now we have Ultimate Spider-Man, sporting a much more detailed art style, smoother and slicker animation, a great set of writers and references to the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe, it should be a great show at least on paper. So is Ultimate Spider-Man good? Well, yeah, but it also has its share of nitpicking issues.

Episode 1: Great Power

In this first episode of Ultimate Spider-Man we see that Peter Parker has been Spider-Man for a year, he’s an established superhero and he is always being talked about and hated on TV by J. Jonah Jameson. We also see Spidey run into Trapster, a villain who he has comes across several times in the past. After defeating him, Spider-Man is approached by Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. and offered an opportunity to train with them to become the Ultimate Spider-Man. Spidey refuses opting to stay cool and solo, while behind the scenes we see that Doctor Octopus and Norman Osborn are observing Spider-Man and wish to use him for their own needs so they unleash the Frightful Four, a group of villains consisting of Wizard, Thundra, and Klaw (and Trapster but he’s already been defeated) to attack Midtown High to find Spider-Man. Spidey takes on the Frightful Four but has a tough time trying to defeat them, plus someone gets injured in the process and it is this and some other issues that prompts Peter to reconsider Nick Fury’s offer and receive his training at S.H.I.E.L.D.

Now straight of the bat this show has one thing done right and it is the visual presentation. The art style and animation is lovely, all characters a drawn with a great level of detail and have nice characteristics that make them stand out and reflect their personalities. the animation is also very impressive with a very smooth and consistent level of movement throughout, there is a great deal to check out especially in the fight scenes and different locations where Spidey has to use different areas of his powers get his work done. One other truly interesting thing about Ultimate Spider-Man is the way in which it has changed the basic Spider-Man mythos and rules and smartly changed them up in an interesting way. For once Spider-Man isn’t as smart as he normally is, he makes mistakes, he doesn’t always have a plan b and as Peter Parker he’s a nerd but not the typical kind, he’s just an average kid who gets bullied a lot by Flash Thompson. Also Peter Parker has friends this time round again in the form of Mary Jane Watson and Harry Osborn, but this time they are introduced in a slighty different way. This time Peter and Mary Jane are childhood friends who have a lot of history, plus Mary Jane wants to get into journalism to work for J. Jonah Jameson which is a very different move from her comic book roots but its an interesting angle nonetheless. But then we have Harry Osborn, man has he changed. This time round he’s a popular kid in school who everybody knows and it is implied that he’s known Peter since their hunger days, but one day when Peter is down and out in the rain Harry helped Peter out and met Norman for the first time and that’s where the their friendship proper;y kick started. We also have Aunt May who is a lot more active in her life than before, apparently now she’s out all week working, going to yoga, cooking classes and doing bowling which leaves Peter free to do whatever when she isn’t around. It’s changes like that which are welcome in the series.

The changes in the Spidey formula don’t end there. Now in this show there’s Deadpool/Scott Pilgrim thing going on. In terms of the Deadpool side of things, in this show Peter/Spidey will continually break the fourth wall and talking to the viewer basically explaining a situation to get everybody in the know or just for comic relief. Sometimes it’s nice and funny, but sometimes it can be a tad annoying. So now Peter/Spidey will have this habit of introducing everybody he comes across from his friends and family, to the villains and Nick Fury, they are neat little introductions and they work to some degree on getting the uninformed viewers up to date. Now its time to address the main thing about this show that will divide viewers; the humour. The humour in this show just like in the trailers is very childish, slapstick and in many ways out-of-place in a Spider-Man cartoon and better suited to the world of more comedy-oriented programming. Sometimes the humour works, but sometimes it falls flat and ends up being very cringy to watch. Lastly we should talk about the voice work, most people in this episode is great like the lovely Tara Strong as Mary Jane and Thundra or Chi McBride as Nick Fury, the only one in question here is Drake Bell as Peter/Spidey. For the most part he is okay and he does play his part well, but too many times his voice is too high-pitched, whinny and when he screams its painful to my ears. For me he can’t compare to Josh Keaton, he wa the perfect teenage Spidey for me and of course Christopher Daniel Barnes as Spidey from the 90s is the best so Drake Bell has got a lot of work to do before he fits into his role properly.

Overall this episode was a great opener and I was impressed with what I saw for the most part. But there are too many silly bits of humour in this show, plus Spidey seems a bit brain-dead for a genius teenager and this show also seemed to be devoid of any proper drama or emotion and any attempt at it seems to come and go in an instant which sucks. It seems to have a promising future, I just hope it mans up and gets the right stuff from the comics implemented into this show.

Rating: 7.5

Overall from what I’ve seen, Ultimate Spider-Man is not the train wreck I thought it would be and it is in fact a lot better than I thought it would be. It really depends on what kind of fan you might be, it may work for you or you could just hate it. While it hasn’t overly wowed me yet it’s still only early days in the series. It has a style and tone all of its own and it is impressive the way in which they have changed and updated the characters, setting and the Spider-Man mythos too. The animation quality is very impressive and has to be admired. While this version of Peter Parker/Spider-Man is much siller and idiotic than previous version of the character, he still has those qualities that you like from the comics. It is a nice show and I’m interested to see where it goes, though I hope the story quality increases and that there will be much more dramatic and emotional moments ahead because too much humour will be this show’s undoing. For now Ultimate Spider-Man is doing fine, let’s see if it can do better.

Look out for my review of episode 2!!

the Frightful Four (consisting of Wizard, Thundra, and Klaw) attacks Midtown High


Posted by on April 2, 2012 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews


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Ready to Work

Today has been another one of those slow days of unproductive activity, though I haven’t been completely bored, over the last few days I have been revisiting on of my favourite television shows, 30 Rock. Originally I used to watch it at home, but I had never seen it the whole way through from the beginning so I have blazed through season 1 to season 4 and remembered why I love this show so much. I mean I hadn’t watched 30 Rock for ages and after leaving it for a while my love for the show sort of diminished. Though after finding and enjoying the amazing show that is Community I decided to give 30 Rock a second chance to make me laugh again and man it didn’t disappoint. I still love the show, its weird, funky, unnatural, but also very brilliant. From the range of interesting characters in the main and supporting cast to the crazy and wonderful plot lines that take place in each episode, I love it and I am in love with this show, it’s great and its my new obsession. Though I’ll have to put my plans on watching season 5 on-hold because while watching season 4 today, the show has inspired me to get back into the groove of doing my projects.

30 Rock, one of my favourite TV shows and my inspiration to get back into my work groove.

Like I have mentioned in my last two blogs (Giving up is bad, but I feel like doing it and What happened to the fun times?) I have a good few projects to do, many of which I set myself the task of completing long ago. Some vary from short projects that could be tackled in a week with the right amount of perseverance to some that have taken years with all of my conflicting ideas and crazy schedules with college and now university too. A lot of my projects are just writing stories that I hope to make into comic stories or animated films/television shows, right now I am just trying to focus on the more solid ideas and solidify them as much as possible. One involves a story synopsis I’ve been writing since 2006 which I have to technically rewrite from scratch because I lost the updated version and version I have now is atrocious so I am forced to make many amendments. I know have to create the script for this potential film I’m working on, but the problem is that I am no writer and while my english doesn’t suck by any means, it’s just a problem because I want the dialogue to be kick-ass and not completely generic or look like it was blatantly stolen from another film, but I don’t have the skills to pull that off yet. So this writing process continues slowly but surely.

I totally agree with this sign.

In terms of the other projects I have they are a little more manageable, those are making YouTube videos. On YouTube as TheHypersonic55 I do reviews of films, some video games and my very important review of one of my favourite TV shows of all time Spider-Man: The Animated Series. In this review I did back in May 2010 I reviewed the first season of this show and it catapulted me from being a nobody on YouTube to being at least a somebody. I think it might have been down to my american accent I was using at the time due to it being my first video, it was the video that got me a fair amount of views and allowed me to keep going on YouTube continuously, though obviously it’s been almost 2 years since that review and since then I have dropped the american accent, done many more videos and so on, but the problem is its been so long since that last review and I’ve had seasons 2 & 3 of Spider-Man on DVD for around a year and a bit so I’ve left those reviews for a long time so it’s really inconsistent timing. Though I figure with the new Spider-Man film coming out later on in the summer, now is as good a time as any to get these up there. So production on season 2 probably will begin soon enough, followed by season 3 because I am in a good mood 🙂

Spider-Man: The Animated Series, one of my favourite cartoons of all time and shall continue to watch this until I am an old man 😀

Well I think that’s enough writing for one this blog post, I’ve got enough writing to do elsewhere. I can sense that this will probably be a long night, but as long as I have my music to keep me alive through the night, then I shall survive! Onwards to the future! Peace out people 😀

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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Life


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