Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Most hated anime: Fullmetal Alchemist, Read or Die, Naruto.
I've winding down on anime though. FMA has really taken away my interest in it.
Favorite Movies: Big Fish, Cinderella Man, The Green Mile, Batman Begins, MST3K: The Movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Reservoir Dogs
Least Favorite Movies: Spider-man 1, Star Wars Episode III, AI: Artificial Intelligence, Serenity
Currently Playing: Kingdom Hearts II!!!, plus the Godfather and Tomb Raider Legend
Currently Watching: Supernatural, Bones, Smallville, 24
Random List: Rereleased Disney movies that came out before I was born, but I later had the good fortune of seeing in the theaters(I wish Disney still did this)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
The Jungle Book
The Great Mouse Detective(OK, actually this came out ATFER I was born, but I was about one year old, so I still had a fat chance of seeing it on release day 1)
Kingdom Hearts II (2005)
Everything a sequel could ask for
Arguably one of the most anticipated games since the first shots were revealed in summer 2003, Kingdom Hearts 2 had much hype living up to it. After all, the first Kingdom Hearts was a very enjoyable action-RPG. It combined the worlds of Disney and Final Fantasy, filled with a massive story, full-on interaction with the various Disney worlds, quickly paced battles that challenged the reflexes and wits, and fun little mini-games to pass the time. It wound up becoming a hit, despite its shortcomings such as an annoying camera and a series of weak series of "Gummi Ship," shooting levels. In 2004, a Game Boy Advance title Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories was released, which bridged the events of the first game and its upcoming sequel. With appetites whetted, fans eagerly anticipated the release of the PS2 sequel over a year later. And now, with it finally out after 3 1/2 years, you may ask, "Was it worth the wait?" You bet it was.
First, the graphics. They are simply beautiful. The designers perfectly captured the animation in the first game, and despite that, the new one looks even better. From the cartoony steamboat of Steamboat Willy fame to the Beast's flowing cape, the movements, designs, and animations can almost be mistaken for a finished animation cel. Its interesting to that all of the returning Final Fantasy characters sans Cid have received all out makeovers, and instead of a more anime-ish look like the first game, they now sport some slightly more realistic designs.
Story wise, KH II is just as good as the first. Yes, a certain major villain from the first is back, and yes, you're traveling worlds trying to beat Heartless, but thankfully, it's not a rehash. It has quite a few interesting twists and turns and even a few very emotional moments, starting with the beginning, which interestingly enough, doesn't feature Sora at all, but an entirely new character. And by the time Sora returns, we wind up caring for this new character quite a bit, and actually wind up missing him. And Mickey fans rejoice: while the Mouse only appeared for about a minute of the first game, this time around he has a much larger role.
Gameplay wise, Kingdom Hearts II excels. Although the platforming is gone, Square has made sure that you won't be bored. Some tasks include a wild ride on Aladdin's magic carpet, helping Mulan join the Imperial Army, singing in a duet with Ariel, and helping an amnesiac Winnie the Pooh get enough honey to eat on an insane adventure that goes throughout the 100 Acre Wood and even on the text of the Pooh book itself. The combat, well, it takes the cake. The new system is incredibly deep, filled with Reaction commands that let you perform new combos against enemies and bosses, Limit attacks that let you perform combination attacks with your various party members, and the drive gauge, which not only enhances the power of your summon monsters, but also allows Sora to merge with his allies into a full blown powerhouse warrior. The Gummi Ship segments are no longer a chore: gone are the slow-moving bland environments from the first game, instead giving us a fast paced blast fest that does a much better job of replicating the old quarter munchers of yore. And did I mention the fact that the camera has improved greatly?
There are many new tunes that each perfectly fit each new world, with the themes from the returning worlds also coming back. I have little complaints overall, in fact, my biggest gripe is I would have loved to hear "What's This?" being played during the Christmas portion of the Nightmare Before Christmas world. Voice wise, well, Haley Joel Osment once again shines as Sora, Christopher Lee is absolutely brilliant as Diz, and of course the usual Disney VAs such as Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo, and Bill Farmer, are perfect. Best of all, most of the cast members have voices, including returning ones who didn't in the first such as Chip and Dale, the rest of the Winnie the Pooh cast, and Cid. Only a few do not have voices, such as Uncle Scrooge McDuck(which is a shame, as I would have loved to hear Alan Young) All of the returning Final Fantasy cast members, save Cloud, have new voices though, and range from good(Squall/Leon) to disappointing(Aerith).
Kingdom Hearts II is definitely worth the time we've endured, as well as the $50 dollar price tag. This is a must buy title and it leaves me anticipating just what the unbeatable team of Disney and Square will do next.
Tales from the Crypt (1989)
One of the best TV shows ever made and one of HBO's finest...
Based on the gruesome EC comics of the same name, Tales From the Crypt showcased a wide ranged of talent in both in front and behind the screen. And despite the name, not every episode was pure horror... some could be laugh-out-loud humorous, and some were even dramatic that could put you to the verge of shedding tears. The makeup on the series was excellent, and made the scenes that were gruesome very hard to watch. And of course, let's not forget the the dead one himself, the Cryptkeeper. John Kassir was absolutely perfect as the voice of the ghoulish host. For people who missed the series, I truly think you should purchase the DVD sets and check it out. Be warned though, there are some scenes that you may have a tough time stomaching.
In a perfect world, Firefly wound still exist...
Fox knows nothing about quality. They keep drek like American Idol and the disgusting self-parody of itself that the Simpsons has become, and yet they cancel an innovative show like this.
The series was a fitting blend of almost space opera sci-fi, and classic westerns. It started an interesting storyline about the overall main villains who had experimented on River Tam, a child prodigy who was smuggled out of their grasp by her own brother and which is what led them to being on the Firefly-class ship Serentiy. Unfortunately, it was never wrapped up due to the show's premature demise. But despite the fact that the story was never developed, the show is still worth watching just to watch just for the excellent performances and relationships between the characters, from Han Solo-like captain Mal, to gruff, yet surprisingly loyal gunman Jayne to ship mechanic Kaylee.
A great series indeed. Firefly may be gone but it will not be forgotten.
Takes everything good about the TV show and stomps on it.
While not everyone may have heard of the television series Firefly, most who have actually feel that it was pretty darn good. The series featured a group of outlaws on a spaceship called Serenity, doing their best just to survive, in a show that blended sci-fi space with Wild West settings and themes. The strong cast didn't hurt either, and each character wound up playing an important role in the series, so much that in contrast to most shows where there was at least one main character you'd wind up loathing, each and every one was likable. Unfortunately, FOX never gave it the chance it deserved, first by airing the series completely out of the intended order, and then by canceling it only three months afterward. The series getting a theatrical movie seemed like a perfect opportunity to get a second chance.
The only problem is, the film messes with EVERYTHING that made Firefly great. The Western theme is forgotten within the first few minutes, and becomes moreso straight up sci-fi than anything else. Two of the beloved characters are killed for no good reason, the first in a role that isn't much other than to be killed, the second done off in what seems like an afterthought. Other than Mal and River, who now suddenly knows kung-fu I might add, none of the characters none of the characters get that much focus or screen time either. The plot winds up becoming completely ridiculous compared to Firefly's somewhat more believability. It also winds up shifting villains, from an embarrassing, would-be, sword swinging "super ninja" called the Operative, to the menacing, flesh-eating Reavers that we've always heard of in the TV series, and who we now finally get to see... but for some reason look like outcasts from an 80's biker gang.
The film can't even keep its continuity straight. For example, late in the film, River battles the Reavers. They overpower her and drag her off, presumably to be tortured and killed. Oh no! It seems that she's done for! It instantly cuts to Mal fighting said embarrassing would-be super ninja, then cuts back to River... who is now smacking Reavers about back and forth with no explanation whatsoever as to how she escaped. Now that is poor. C'mon Joss, you can do better than is. Is it really so hard just to say, add a minute of footage that shows River escaping? Firefly deserved so much better than this.
Hagane no renkinjutsushi (2003)
Quite possibly the worst excuse of an anime ever created, TV or not
Fullmetal Alchemist. Thanks to the channel Cartoon Network, many now know of its existence. And I admit, seeing the promos almost a year ago definitely sparked my interest. When I received the chance to check the series out, I took it. I was expecting a fantastic, revolutionary series that made praised anime shows like Yu Yu Hakusho and Paranoia Agent look like Tekken the Movie. Boy did I let my hopes up.
I might as well talk about the one decent thing the series has. Studio Bones really put themselves into high gear with the animation. Movement is fluid and the artwork is well defined and detailed. But when it comes to terms of plot and character, FMA falls flat on its face.
First off, the characters are as shallow as they come. They start out as essentially cardboard cutouts. Guess what? They never evolve beyond them either. There's the typical hot-headed young hero that acts first and never thinks about his actions beforehand yet has a heart of gold, the cliché kind-hearted always-thinks-of-others youth, the smug, manipulative character, the "sexy" clad-in-black villainess, the would-be tough guy that acts against the heroes but winds up allying with them.... stop me if you've heard any of these before.
The storyline itself is utterly laughable, with every major "plot twist," coming a mile away, eventually ending in a convoluted alternate reality saga that just keeps on piling with cheap revelation after another until it becomes the story equivalent of a train wreck. Even the pathetic attempts at humor to lighten the mood are unfunny as they come: they often consist of main character Ed throwing a temper tantrum(there's that being a hot-head), usually because someone by complete accident calls him short. As a result, the humor eventually winds up becoming just as stale.
Hopefully Cartoon Network will finish showing the second half of this waste of half an hour, and thus get this crap off the air and an actually decent series, anime or not, on. I know to a typical FMA fan I probably sound incredibly harsh in this review. Guess what? I had many high expectations for this show. It didn't live up to any of them.
Super DuckTales (1989)
The origin of Gizmo-Duck!
This special concludes the second season of Ducktales, which features the debut of Fenton Crackshell. The story involves the Beagle Boys changing the plan for a Freeway to cross the path of Scrooge McDuck's Money Bin, which means it has to be moved. This is part of their plan to intercept it and steal it for Ma Beagle as a birthday gift to her. Knowing things are dangerous, Scrooge hires an accountant named Fenton Crackshell to help him transfer his fortune. When all of money is almost lost to the Beagles, Scrooge realizes he needs somebody to guard the bin, especially with it in its new location, so he asks Gyro Gearloose to build a robot security guard that won't let anybody near said bin. Gyro, as usual, takes things too literally and makes sure the security guard doesn't let ANYBODY near it. With Scrooge unable to even get near his fortune now, he has the inventor build another security guard, this time a robotic super suit. He programs the suit with a codeword, "Blatherskite," as he feels nobody in the world would every regularly say that, but Fenton happens to stumble on it, and was luck would have he says the codeword all the time, and when he utters it by accident the suit attaches himself Gizmo-Duck. Gizmo-Duck defeats the robot, becomes Scrooge's new security guard, and winds up defeating the Beagle Boys. Things are looking great until Ma Beagle gets ahold of the control-manual to Gizmo-Duck's gizmo-suit! With it, and the help of the genius Beagle Megabyte, they are able to take over Gizmo-Duck, causing him to loot the city on a crime spree, and also steal Scrooge's Money Bin! Now Gizmo-Duck is helpless as the Beagle Boys' personal servant, as well as an outlaw wanted by the police, Scrooge is now penniless, and the Beagle Boys own everything! Have the crooks finally won? It starts off great, becomes even better once Fenton becomes his robotic alter-ego, and fantastic once the Beagle Boys take over Gizmo-Duck. However, things wind up falling apart during the final act, as the shift on the Beagle Boys disappears, with aliens taking over the villain role, and Scrooge, Launchpad, and Gizmo-Duck wind up pursuing them into outer space. The part was completely unnecessary, which is the reason it loses a star. However, despite this weak final chapter, the animation is topnotch for the entire thing and the voices are as always above-par, including the addition of Hamilton Camp to the cast as Fenton/Gizmo-Duck. This special is near-perfect, with, as mentioned before, I feel the Beagle Boys should have been the baddies start to finish, instead of pulling the alien villains out of nowhere. Despite this shortcoming though, it's still a really fun watch. Sadly, though, Ducktales reruns aren't on the air right now, so the special isn't even available to view in its 5-part episode form, but here's hoping we'll eventually see a Ducktales DVD with this classic saga included.
Kaubôi bibappu: Cowboy Bebop (1998)
This is a great show, but CN's unending airings and Bandai milking the franchise is slowly, painfully killing the greatness.
There's always been some strange, wonderful quality in Cowboy Bebop. The series' overall plot isn't complex(in fact, it's quite simple), but the writers are able to work with it give it its own style. Each episode took a different approach. One episode could be in a film noir style, the next could be a pure laugh out loud comedy, the one after that could be a tragic episode that tugged at the heartstrings, and the one that came after that could be an insane, all-out action packed crazy romp. Fight scenes are well done and superbly animated, and Yoko Kanno's music shines brilliantly. Coupled with Cartoon Network giving it exposure on TV in the US(in Japan it was mainly released as an OVA series, with only a few episodes airing on television), it didn't take a genius to know that CB was destined for popularity.
The problem, which I should have foreseen when the movie was released, is that the series should have died a long time ago. It was great, novel, and fun to watch when it first came out. But both Cartoon Network and Bandai refuse to let CB die the graceful, dignifying death it deserves. CN has stubbornly refused to take it off the air for long, as if it does, it usually comes back on within a month or two. Bandai is taking the Evangelion route and slowly re-releasing the series in every way possible, from a "best episodes," selection to "Cowboy Bebop: Remixed." Now I just want to yell, "ENOUGH ALREADY!" People can only watch the same 26 episodes so many times before it stops becoming entertaining. I'm getting tired and want a new anime series, and my love for CB is slowly turning into resentment. I don't know if anybody from CN or Bandai is reading this, but you're killing this once great series by milking it for all it's worth, and if you don't let it die like it should have a long time ago, I will never forgive either of you.
The best looking video game ever made.... but that's about it.
Graphics do not a good game make. It's the one thing gamers should remind themselves should a great looking game pop up. It may look fantastic, but that doesn't mean the gameplay itself won't stink. And I must say, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is one of the best looking games in existence. Checking out the graphics in the default overhead mode does not do the lush visuals of the game justice. Viewing Snake's world through FP provides the real meat, with beautifully detailed jungles and dark, gloomy caverns, that will make the graphical power of other titles pale in comparison.
The gameplay itself is what causes this game to fall apart. Now, the key aspect of the Metal Gear series in general, has been stealth. Snake(and Raiden in MGS2) has always been doing his best to avoid trouble and stay away from enemies, using debris, the shadows, and the corridors for cover, and if need be, taking out any foes that he can't infiltrate by. Most of the series has relied on this simply via radar that can indicate his position, as well as the guards'. Snake Eater is the third MG game that does not have any sort of radar(the other two being the original MG, and Snake Tales, from the MGS2: Substance). As a result, it can be a bit harder to sneak by guards. However, the game does now provide a new camouflage system, in which Snake uses various camos to blend with his surroundings, with a % meter indicating how well Snake will blend, which would be great if the camos weren't 100% useless, as no matter how high the % meter is, the guards will always notice Snake, which causes an alert to go off. This also causes problems with the new "CQC" system. Now, if the player is actually able to get behind a guard, when Snake grabs him in chokehold, the player must make sure to keep about 10-12 different ways of holding him up memorized, and thus must keep the left analog stick and the O button in a certain way, or else they may wind up slitting the throat of the guard they were trying to get information from. All this hassle winds up leaving the player forced to stay hidden in the sidelines, forced to snipe their opponents via a tranquilizer or pistol from as far as possible to avoid being detected. This leads into a tedious exercise, which isn't very fun. And what bugs me the most is the guard A.I. As mentioned, they are near impossible to sneak by, especially with the previously mentioned useless camouflage. However, when they actually attack you, they apparently have their "stupid" modes turned on. When they draw their weapons, all they do is simply stand there shoot. They won't dodge your line of fire or seek cover when available, so it's very easy to simply aim at the guards and keep shooting until they all fall. Also hyped about the game is the new survival aspects. These too fall flat on its face. The main one is Snake's new stamina meter, which affects how fast his health recovers and how long he can stay underwater. It will continue to drop, moreso if Snake does tiresome activities such as swimming, and Snake must keep it up by eating the various wild life. The problem is that food is plentiful in almost every area, and even the food Snake doesn't care for that much will bring up quite a bit of stamina, so unless the player forgets to eat anything for 3 hours or so, it's pretty hard to actually lose all your stamina. However, apparently as an attempt to make up for this and have you continue to catch food, Konami has a really cheap trick included. If you save your file and don't play again for a while, all the time that passed since you last played will actually occur in "game time." As a result, any dead animals you have collected will rot up; if eaten will result in Snake getting sick. Also included is the cure menu. This is an annoying little system in which Snake must heal injuries received, such as gunshots and burns. If not treated, he won't heal as well. This takes a bit of time to go through the menus and heal him up, and I wish this had not been included, especially since some of the injuries you take are also incredibly cheap to begin with(such as being hit by a poison dart from behind). I admit there are times when the game actually shows some creativity, like what could have been(avoiding traps left by enemies), but these are few and far between.
The sound for the game is so-so. The music tracks are incredibly forgettable, and the voice acting, at least for the US version, isn't done that well, even from series regular David Hayter. The story itself is somewhere between love and hate. This time around, with the exception of The Boss, none of the other bosses/villains(the Cobras in this game) have any real focus, they're pretty much there to fight Snake and that's it, although mainly to further along Snake's story, so that at least is understandable. Snake himself goes through some decent characterization as he faces his inner demons, being one of the more empathetic characters of this title. However, many plot twists that occur throughout are extremely predictable, leaving me disappointed, especially when the title actually attempts to shine a little light on the the unanswered questions of the last game, even though this one is a prequel.
In all, we have left an incredibly disappointing(yet graphically stunning) new MGS. I truly hope that this is not Hideo Kojima's last MGS title, because if so, then whenever I see my other MG/S games again, I will always do so through a tainted view, where the once great series has been tarnished by this poorly executed prequel.
Family Guy (1999)
Fox once again shows why they're the worst station ever... IE, they're bringing this piece of crap back.
(spoiler) In 1999, Fox aired quite possibly the worst series ever to grace television, a horrible little show named Family Guy. It had ugly, rigid animation, and stale, unfunny, and extremely repetitive jokes. Repetitive in how, you would ask? Well, the jokes either came in one of two kinds...
1. They would try to make the lazy, ugly as sin father, Peter Griffin, a man with the most ANNOYING voice in history(so annoying I would love to take some scissors to his throat to shut him up) as much of a jerk as possible, for example, one episode he makes fun of a guy for being sad that his mom died(HYSTERICAL!). Repeat to death. Oh, yeah, real funny. I'm practically dying from laughter right now.
2. They randomly take a popular fictional character, such as Spider-man, or Mickey Mouse, or Indiana Jones or someone randomly pop up. Then, they repeatedly do this to fill in a full half-hour. Ohhhh, INCREDIBLY funny. Okay, there is occasionally...
3. Something where they just do something completely offensive. One episode I did unfortunately watch had them completely portraying Walt Disney as a sick, perverted sleaze ball. I'm sorry, but that is completely rude and disrespectful, and especially out of line for creator(and voice of about 91% of the cast) Seth MacFarlane. After all, if it wasn't for animation innovators like Walt Disney, Seth would probably be stuck in some dead-end job.
This sorry excuse for a series was horrible, with the laziest writing I have ever seen for a TV show(no, I am not counting reality TV). This series was a complete piece of crap. Apparently, FOX FINALLY realized this, and canceled it in 2001. While still hardly perfect, it was at least one actually intelligent move they made. Three years later, some moron apparently decided to bring this abomination back. Why!? Why must FOX destroy the rest of their respect(although, why should I care?)? I guess they must only be happy if they're showing piles of puke that try to pass themselves off as TV shows, since they went out of their way to put Family Guy back on the air. What can I say? This has to be FOX's worst mistake since canceling Firefly, or Futurama(then again though, at least that kept the show from growing stale, unlike the Simpsons, which has now become arguably worse than even Family Guy). Well, I hope for their sake FOX realizes what a stupid mistake they're making. Somehow though, I severely doubt it.
Toy Story 2 (1999)
A rare sequel that's even better than the first.
Toy Story has always been a favorite movie of mine, and I was really looking forward to the sequel. My excitement paid off, as I found the film even more enjoyable than the first flick. The main reason is because it fixes the one complaint I had with the first film, which is that as good as it was, it pretty much only focused on Woody and Buzz, the other toys, with the exception of RC and the army men, really didn't do... anything. Not so with the sequel. Here characters like Potato Head, Slinky-Dog, Ham, Rex, and even those little green men get some chances to shine. The jokes are some of my favorites, notably Rex trying to beat a Buzz Lightyear video game, and trying to get the strategy guide to find out how. Being a video game fan myself, I found this scene hilarious. I feel this is an excellent sequel, and a must-see for any animation fan.