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My Little Pony: The Movie (2017)
It only made eight million during its opening weekend? Why???
Funny, I thought the series this film is a continuation of was massively popular with both children and adults. So why is it that now that there's a theatrically-released movie out, hardly anyone's going to see it? Are all the bronies, pegasisters and kids who are fans of the "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" TV series really not that interested in seeing the shows heroines in an adventure on the big screen?
To be perfectly fair and honest, the film does have its flaws: Discord is nowhere to be seen, with no explanation at all. (OK, I get it: with his extremely powerful magic he could vanquish all the bad guys in half a minute, so they couldn't have him there, but couldn't they have stated a reason for his absence? Like maybe he's taking a trip in the chaos realm and can't be reached by anyone for the next several days?) The main bad guy the Storm King has a comedic side to his personality, which means he's not quite as menacing as, say, Queen Chrysalis or Tirek, and the film seems to completely forget that Twilight has the ability to teleport.
Those problems aside, though, I thought this was a wonderful movie, very well made. The characters (both old and new) were all great, the voice actors all did a fine job, the songs were a treat, the plot kept me interested to see what would happen next, the action scenes were fun, and the animation was a nice return to the old traditional animation. Which just made it all the more disheartening that, both times I saw it (just two days after it debuted in theaters, no less) I could count the number of other people in the theater with me on just two hands!
To anyone who's a fan of the current MLP series: here's your chance to see a My Little Pony story in theaters. Please do yourself a favor and go see it now! (While you still can)
The Hit Girl (2013)
A must-see for anyone who likes action/comedies and/or body swap films
Bill is a middle-aged hit-man who only kills bad people. (Drug lords, sex-slave trafficers, etc.) One night, just before going on another assignment, he stops by to visit his sister, a single mom with a teenage daughter Suzy who's a huge film geek. (Neither of his family members know what he actually does for a living.) During the visit, Suzy tells him about what a hard time she's having in school. Bill thinks she's making a mountain out of a mole hill. She tells him he has no idea what being a teenage girl is like. While resting his hand on an antique statue, Bill off-handedly wishes he had the problems of a teenage girl. The next morning, when he wakes up, Bill discovers to his horror he has magically transformed from a forty-something-year-old man into a fifteen-year-old girl! Now, with help from Suzy, Bill must not only adjust to life as an adult man trapped in a teen girls body, he (or she) must, with somehow complete his/her new assignment without her former physical strength.
The film has great action scenes, comedic moments, and likable characters. The DVD has a commentary track and a short behind-the-scenes skit. If you like action/comedy and/or body swap films, give this a watch.
Stâshippu operêtâzu (2005)
Excellent sci-fi anime
The 73rd class of cadets of the Defense University of the planet Kibi is out on a training voyage in the battle ship Amaterasu are heading home when they see on the news the Kingdom of Henrietta has invaded and taken over Kibi. The cadets, led by Cisca Kanzaki, Shinto Kouzuki, Rio Mamiya, Takai Kiryu and Shinto Mikami decide to wage a one-ship war against the kingdom, despite overwhelming odds. For supplies and funding the cadets contact the Galaxy News Network and agree to have a reporter, Dita Mircov, join the crew and provide the show with real life action packed space battles against the Kingdom. The show's producer Peter Spikes cares first and foremost about ratings, and little about the crew's lives. Soon after the first battle Kibi's former prime minister Tatsuma Mamiya, Rio's uncle, joins them as well so the ship and it's crew can be declared a nation in exile. The seemingly hopeless war against the kingdom begins...
The story, animation and characters are all fantastic, just what you'd expect from any worthwhile anime these days. If you like watching anime in English and you've seen INUYASHA, you'll notice a few familiar voices. There's Kelly Sheridan (Sango from INUYASHA) as Sinon, Kirby Morrow (Miroku from INUYASHA) as Takai and Paul Dobson (Myoga and Naraku from INUYASHA) as Peter Spikes.
Also the characters here are serious and intelligent, there are no ditsy, child-like characters in this show. If you're a fan of anime and/or space opera, check this one out.
Megami Tengoku (1995)
The story is set in a world populated entirely by beautiful goddesses. It is watched over by a head Mother Goddess, and is kept pure by a special gem known as the Astrostar. When the current mother goddess prepares to retire and chooses a successor, the new mother goddess picks a girl to be a shrine maiden to act as a guard for the mother goddess and the Astrostar. The girl, Lilith, must now find other goddesses to be fellow shrine maidens. Lilith asks one girl, Stasia, who plays the harp, if she wants to be a maiden, but Stasia's not interested. Then Lilith meets Rurubell, a young goddess who wants to be a maiden, but Lilith doesn't think she has what it takes and is reluctant to take her, but Rurubell insists on tagging along. Then Lilith tries to recruit Juliana, a fierce swords woman. However, there exists an alternate plane ruled by an evil dark goddess and her followers, who want to take over the realm of the good goddesses. They send Maharaja, another harp player who has the power to take control of people, Angela, a dark goddess with a staff and elf ears who can summon monsters, Rouge, another swords woman who can also throw energy balls, and Pastel, direct messenger to the dark mother goddess. They attack and knock out several of the good goddesses, and soon it looks as if Lilith and Rurubell are the culprits. Now they must clear their names and defeat the dark goddesses.
In episode 2, as the new mother goddess is having her coronation, the bad guys return and kidnap Lilith and steal the Astrostar. Stasia and Juliana go out to rescue her and get the Astrostar back, insisting the Rurubell stay behind. All of Megami Paradise hangs in the balance.
I'd really love to see this one to get a DVD release. And though it may be hoping for too much, it'd be even better if they made a dub for it, like they did for the original ALL PURPOSE CULTURAL CAT GIRL NUKU NUKU video series.
Grey: Dijitaru tâgetto (1986)
I really wish they'd give this a DVD release
GREY: DIGITAL TARGET is set in a future a few centuries from now, when the world is a wasteland ruled by a super computer. Humans live poverty-stricken lives in towns. The only chance for a better life is to become a trooper and then earn points by killing troopers from other towns and completing enough missions to eventually become a citizen and then be taken to the city where all citizens live lives of luxury. The only thing is, of all the people who become troopers, only %3 live to achieve their ultimate goal. Grey is a trooper who has gained legendary status by killing an especially large number of enemies and climbed through the ranks at an especially fast rate, and has earned the nickname "Grey Death". When Grey learns that his old friend and mentor Red, the man who taught Grey how to survive, was attacked and captured while out in the field, Grey violates orders and steals a plane from his own town and, along with female trooper Nova, the only other one to survive Grey's last mission, he goes out on a personal mission to bring back Red.
Based on a manga, I like the anime better for one reason, that one character who dies halfway through the manga lives in the anime. It made the story more interesting to me. I would really love to see this get a DVD release some day.
Makai senki disgaea (2006)
Don't worry, this show is complete!
This is one of the last shows to be released by Geneon, the anime company that recently went bankrupt. For anyone wondering if this is one of those shows that got dropped in the middle (like KARIN,) fear not: this show is in fact meant to be exactly 3 disks long, all the episodes of the show are here.
The story: Flonne is an angel-in-training sent down from Celestia (Heaven) to the Netherworld (Hell) to assassinate the demon overlord. As the show begins, she finds a coffin with the young demon prince Laharl inside, who wakes soon after it's opened. It turns out his father the demon overlord is already dead. None too bothered by that, Laharl sets out to reclaim his throne. Flonne tags along, determined to teach Laharl the value of love. Soon they are joined by Etna, a female demon who commands an army of prennies (lost souls who resemble penguins.) It turns out a ten million bounty has been placed on Laharl's head, and now all sorts of demons are after him. The trio must also deal with a group from Earth who've arrived in their dimension-traveling ship: a man (the heroic and dramatic but brainless type,) a woman (a scantly-clad vixen,) and their robot.
I had a great time watching this series. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves fantasy-adventure-comedy anime.
Tales of the Third Dimension (1984)
Horror anthology 3-D style
This is one of six 3-D films released in the 1980s by a man named Earl Owensby. They're all very fun movies, but also very hard to find. All but one are VHS-only films. Your best bet of finding them (assuming you haven't thrown out your VCR,) is to go to the website www.earlowensby.com and buy them online. The films are:
CHAIN GANG (1984) HIT THE ROAD RUNNING DOGS OF HELL HYPERSPACE*
*This is the only film in the group that has been released on DVD.
(There is also another 3-D film Owensby released called HOT HEIR a.k.a. THE GREAT BALLOON CHASE, however it's not available for purchasing.)
This anthology horror/comedy film is presented to us in a cemetery at night by a living, rotting corpse who calls himself Igor and speaks from his open grave. He is also accompanied by some talking vultures who are modeled after the Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy. The three stories are:
Two people who work at an adoption center, Dudley and Ms. Markette, are called over to a mansion at night near a graveyard by a couple who call themselves the count and countess. They speak with Transylvanian accents, and the Count wears a red and black cape. Dudley doesn't like the looks of them, but Ms. Markette finds it somehow impossible to refuse their requests to adopt a child, especially when the count gazes directly into her eyes. Soon the vampire couple have gotten custody of a young boy. What the two vampires don't know is he's an even more terrifying monster than they are...
In the second story, two men, Charlie and Freddy, meet with a gravedigger, Nigel, seemingly friendly. In fact they are using Nigel to get info on where and when someone rich has died and taken some valuable jewels to the grave with them. Later in the night they go dig up the grave and steal the jewels. Then Charlie gets a plan for a really big score. He's heard of some underground catacombs where there's supposed to be lots of valuables hidden underneath. The two go re-visit Nigel, and Charlie is able to force Nigel to tell them where the entrance is. What neither of the two grave robbers know is the underground tomb contains some deadly surprises...
In the last story, two young children, Dennis and Suzie, are sent to spend the holidays with their grandmother while their parents go on vacation in Hawaii. What no one else knows is grandma needs to be on medication to stay sane, otherwise she goes dangerously crazy...and she's almost run out of pills.
If you like horror mixed with broad comedy, this is a great film to watch. Again, though, the previously-mentioned website may be the only place now to get it, and you'll need a VCR.
Hit the Road Running (1983)
A hidden gem.
This is one of six films that was released in the early 1980s by Earl Owensby in 3-D. The others were:
HOT HEIR (a.k.a. THE GREAT BALLOON CHASE) CHAIN GANG (1984) TALES OF THE THIRD DIMENSION DOGS OF HELL HYPERSPACE.
Other than HYPERSPACE, none of these films were ever released on DVD, so unless you still have a VCR, that's the only one you'll be able to see. These are extremely hard to find movies. Your best bet if you want to see them are to go to the website (www.earlowensby.com) and buy them online. (HOT HEIR wasn't available, at least when I visited the site, and it's the one film out of that group that I still haven't seen.
As for this movie, it was clearly inspired by the popular T.V. show DUKES OF HAZZARD. It has many country western-style songs that play throughout, and the singer acts as a narrator. It tells the story of Beau Jim Donner (Beau is pronounced "Bo", F.Y.I.) who after years of traveling the world returns to his rural home town in Indean Head County. The town is now under the thumb of wealthy tyrant Sam Grady, who holds morgages on everyone's lands and keeps people in debt to him. He uses intimidation and thuggish tactics to take over independent businesses. When Jim's uncle Rusty refused to sell out, Sam had him crippled and confined to a wheelchair. The law isn't much of a problem since Sam's had the town's own sheriff, Little Leon, personally appointed. After coming home and seeing what's happened, Jim becomes a deputy and then secretly works behind the scenes to sabotage Sam's plans, such as intercepting a truck that Sam's had hijacked, and then calling the State Police. The mysterious, unidentified Robin Hood has become a local folk hero, and the radio D.J. Freighttrain Fremont has high praise for him. Jim lives at home with Rusty and Jim's friend Fred T., and Jim often quotes words of wisdom he's heard from various people while traveling the world. After six months of covertly messing up Sam's plans, Jim catches Sam speeding. A high-speed chase begins, and soon Jim has Sam pulled over for refusing to pull over for the police. When Leon comes by later and sees his boss in a jail cell, he lets Sam out, and Sam is now ready to go after Jim. Jim, at the urging of Rusty, leaves town with his friend Fred T. tagging along, and Sam sends Leon and his deputy Hector Jones after them. Sam's main thug Monty also goes out on his own to try to get Jim. From this point on the film becomes a series of car chases and near misses as Jim manages to stay one step ahead of his pursuers. Eventually after a few narrow escapes Fred T. decides a life of danger isn't for him and he gets on a bus and goes back to town while Jim goes on alone.
This film has a great deal of humor and exciting car chases. If you're a DUKES OF HAZZARD fan, you'll love this. If you haven't thrown out your VCR, I recommend visiting the earlowensby site and buying this film, unless there's a video store that specialized in hard-to-find films that's close to you that has it.
Inuyasha: Ôgi ranbu (2005)
A remake of "InuYasha: A Feudal Fairytale"
The second InuYasha fighting video game to come out in the U.S., in many ways it is a big improvement over the first, "InuYasha: A Feudal Fairytale" for the original Playstation, but in at least one way it's a major downside. I'll be going over the similarities and differences between the two games.
The first InuYasha game used the original Japanese voice actors to do the characters. This one uses the American ones. I'm a fan of the dub, so for me this was a big step up (although the Japanese voice actors do a great job, I'm just used to the U.S. dub), however purists will understandably be irked by this.
The graphics are undoubtedly a great improvement. The first game had a 2-D background (like most fighting games,) where you could only move your characters forward and backward, but not all over the map. That's changed here.
Both games have a "story mode" and a "vs. mode" where you select one or two characters and battle in a single match against a friend or the computer.
The first game had three mini-games which were in the story mode and you could access from Kagome's backpack after beating the game as her. Those games aren't found here, however there is an alternate "mission mode" where you pick a character to play as and a partner, and then select one of several areas on a map, each area has three progressively harder missions. Some are INSANELY tough, such as where your partner is one hit away from dying and you must protect him/her from the enemy, who has full health.
The story mode is pretty cool, however it's a let-down in that I could only unlock four games! (InuYasha's chapter, Miroku and Sango's, Sesshomaru's, and Shippo's) This is a major downside from the first game, which had eleven different stories, one for each playable character. Each story itself is fun, though, with the dialogue scenes before and after each match played out with moving animation (the dialogue scenes in the first game were just still images of the characters with dialogue spoken and shown in text). Also the enemies you fought in the first game in the story mode would be selected randomly by the computer, for example when fighting as InuYasha in one game you may have to fight Koga and in another game you might fight with him against Kagura. In this game each character's story is the same anytime you play.
To summarize, this is in most ways an improvement of the first game, but it really needed more stories.
Why are two completely different shows listed as one on this site?
First, it should be noted that these are in fact two different series, but for some reason IMDb has them listed on as one. They're both based on manga stories by the same person, Rumiko Takahashi, and they're both released by Geneon and thus feature many of the same English dub voice actors (I don't know about the Japanese ones,) but that's about where the similarities end. There is the "MERMAID FORREST" T.V. series, which is one (fairly) long-running series that tells an ongoing story. (Although both the Mermaid manga and the anime leave a few loose ends hanging that never get resolved, for example that little immortal boy never gets killed, the one thing that left me dissatisfied with it.) Then there is "RUMIKO TAKAHASHI ANTHOLOGY", which is a series of self-contained stories, each containing it's own situation and set of characters.
Even the tone of the two shows is very different. The Mermaid series is another fantasy by Takahashi (though a much darker one,) while the stories in "Anthology" tend to be more realistic, with a few exceptions. (For example, one story has an actual "gremlin" which only one woman can see.) More importantly, though, "Mermaid Forrest" is a horror story (and often times a pretty graphic one,) while the stories in "Anthology" are much more light-hearted, though they do sometimes venture into the realm of suspense. (In one story a woman begins to suspect her next-door-neighbor may have murdered her mother-in-law, while in another tale a girl becomes afraid that her family's latest outing is in fact a planned suicide.) Each show is well-worth seeing (though again Mermaid Forrest does leave you feeling like you haven't seen the complete ending,) however it must be stressed that again they are in fact two different shows. Trying to lump them together is like trying to take two different shows like "Tales From The Crypt" and "The Cosbys" and then trying to say they're both the same show.