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Another textbook example of how not to adapt a literary classic
I grew up reading Greek myths since age 8, even reading (adapted versions) the classics of Homer including the Illiad. I was psyched upon hearing that this would be an adaptation of the ancient classic. However, when as I watched, I noticed it got some things right, but much more wrong. First things first, the gods (except one, Thetis) are completely absent, which was an integral part of the story. Secondly, Helen was said to be the most beautiful woman of all is completely miscast and not very beautiful. Third the war was supposed to take 10 years as opposed to a few weeks here. And finally the Trojan horse, though present is rather crudely done (it was more crafted in literary works). On the plus side however, the effect that there are thousands of warriors is well done and Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom as Achilles and Paris is well cast. Too bad those aspects couldn't make the picture tread water.
Return to Oz (1985)
Well crafted and under-appreciated yet dark and disturbing
When I first heard of this movie, I was expecting, like everyone else something bright and cheerful just like its original. However, I was surprised at what was in this that was actually creepy yet I still found it enjoyable despite what critics said about this. Even though this movie did give me nightmares for days (I was nine at the time I saw it) there was a magnet in this movie that had me coming back to it. The well designed sets and imaginative characters and the feel that is much closer to L. Frank Baum's works (even though I did not read them) made it more enjoyable than the original. The character that freaks me out the most? The Nome King and his Nomes. The idea of some demonic face peering at me from a wall or rock just gives me the feel of paranoia. Despite its creepy vibe, I would recommend it for the brave and adventurous (if not very young) of audiences.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors (1993)
Even after two decades a Monster Bashing good time!
Ah, Zombies Ate my Neighbors. A Super NES classic. A friend of mine first showed me this around the time of its release and I was hooked right from the getgo. I mean come on, you've got a wide variety of monsters (from zombies, evil dolls, pod plants, spiders, vampires, fishmen, and much more) and weapons of the unconventional variety (from squirt guns, silverware, soda cans, popsicles, and the secret weapon the flamethrower!) how can anyone not like the idea? Thanks to some expert programming the same is never played twice all the way through from start to finish. Add in a haunting soundtrack plus a variety of secrets and you've got a winner that stands the test of time.
Good, but overrated
I loved the first Donkey Kong Country and I was hoping for more excitement in this sequel. You can do more things in this game such as the helicopter twirl and buddy animal special abilities. The graphics and music are equally awesome as the first. So why do I give this an 8? The first thing that turned me off a bit was the coin system, in the first you could save your game free of charge, but here you need two to do that and if you are broke you're in big trouble. The same thing if you need to go back to previous levels. The second is the challenge can really rack your nerves till you go crazy. The commercial for this game said "even tougher than the original" and sure enough they weren't lying. I do like this game just not as much as the first.
Donkey Kong Country (1994)
A revolutionary masterpiece!
I first stumbled upon this game at Sears 20 years ago and it has stuck with me ever since. The amazing 3D graphics blew me away the first time I saw it and I new immediately that I had to play it. I played horribly at first, but that helped keep my enjoyment up. Now I own it and still love it. Everything about it shines even to this day the graphics, the music, the gameplay. Even after I beat it I keep wanting to come back to it. I haven't found all the secrets, but no matter, that helps keeps things enjoyable. I even love using DK's groud slap attack which makes defeating enemies (except for a few) more satisfying than either rolling or jumping on them. Favorite stages? One of them is the one with the mine carts and the level known as Barrel Cannon Canyon with plenty of blasting, stomping, and everything else. Thank you Rare!
Beavis and Butt-Head (1993)
This is why I can't stand MTV
MTV is a network I never liked. Everything steering its targeted audience (teenagers) in the opposite direction they are supposed to go in life by just taking advantage of their whims. The bogus disclaimer at the beginning of each episode does very little to convince anyone with a genuine brain that this is "mature" entertainment. In fact, what gets shown is anything but funny and I can't help but ponder what teens are getting out of this."Oh this is cool! I'll try it out myself" No really, two dumb teens obsessing over TV, Nachos, "scoring" with chicks, and doing anything to ease their boredom with destructive actions, that is not my idea of humor. Adding insult to injury, the creator Mike Judge claims that he is criticizing society, but in reality he's just adding to the problems (fighting fire with fire). Sorry but if you are going to criticize at least show realistic consequences rather than glorify it. There were already far more funny and more intelligent comedies than this.
The only bright spot of MTV, not that it is saying much
I recall my high school years with plenty of ups and downs and Daria tries to do just that. On the surface the idea of going through high school's many realistic twists and turns and the diversity would make it a fun, interesting, and thought provoking premise. However, one with a genuine common sense would then be disappointed for following the plot is not so much fun, the jokes (if any) are not very funny, I may have chuckled at a few jokes but for the most part I know there were plenty I should not be laughing at. The biggest problem for me is the main character, while she broadcasts individualism and integrity well, this however is a double-edged sword of a message as she believes that this gives her the right to treat almost everyone around her including her own family members like garbage. As if teenagers don't need any more negative influences in this world, it would only seem that Glenn Eischer is a graduate of BABU (Beavis and Butthead University), where they claim they are criticizing society only to give hypocritical messages. While I don't blame her attitude for the society that she faces (if the rest of everyone is portrayed as caricatures of startling stupidity or self-righteousness), that doesn't excuse it. Even worse, Daria acts more like a Greek Chorus type character rather than an actual protagonist, though she does say something good for her scholarship. Contrary to what the fans say, I believe Tom was a good character for a boyfriend as he added something that was lacking in Daria, Humanity.
All in all while I am partly grateful that MTV did try to redeem themselves a bit, I am glad that I can live on without this show.
Beetleborgs Metallix (1997)
I have had a fascinations with insects, robots, monsters, and drawing and this season was the perfect marriage of those things. I only saw this season but is was good enough. I liked how the heroes were able to think and use their powers outside of battle creatively, especially with their "Bug-out" power which transforms them into insects. The armor, weapons, vehicles and monsters were very cool, especially head villain Nukus (played with utter glee by Christopher Cho). Do I have a favorite Beetleborg? No! One particular episode with a Piranha monster proved that. Why did I give this show an 8? It was good mindless relief for a time and the other factor was that the show ended rather abruptly due to lack of stock footage. Otherwise it was a good, less violent and equally enjoyable experience.
Power Rangers Megaforce (2013)
Power Rangers done right!
At long last this was the Power Rangers season I was waiting for and didn't know I was waiting for. The franchise in general is mostly about frenzied kick action, preposterous moments and general nonsense. But this all changed that, thanks to polished effects, costumes, fights, acting, and most importantly writing. The writing takes the cake as it implements a lesson/theme into each episode while simultaneously giving character development with an actual plot of how a small group of teenagers need to defend Earth from evil aliens (thanks to the costumes the villains are definitely menacing rather than ridiculous). My favorites are the Red Ranger Troy (disciplined, serious, yet caring and knows that everyone has weakness) and the Pink Ranger Emma (one who deeply cares about the world around it and knows that there is always a way for everyone to work together). As a bonus for longtime fans, includes a "hall of fame" for the rangers of the past. All in all this is one that both fans and perhaps non-fans including reluctant parents can enjoy, ranking along the veins of the underrated Lightspeed Rescue.
La vita è bella (1997)
Life is beautiful and so is this movie
The Holocaust has been always cited as one of the biggest examples of human tragedy as many lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis. Schindler's list takes the cake as the most true portrayal of the atrocity, yet this movie captures those horrors yet at the same time, gives people hope that some have survived. Roberto Benigni, the comic genius that he is, helps establish light in a dark time with his vivid imagination of a game to shield his son from such horrors (they do show dead bodies in one scene, but not as bad as Schindler's List). Even before the experience do we get a taste of Benigni's invention to create hysterical comedy, even in the most inappropriate of times. All in all a wonderful movie