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Young Perps: Case #1901053-71 (2019)
Too Many Smiles
This looks like very early adult entertainment work for Marcus Tresor (possibly his first). Early on in this Young Perps episode, he smiles way too much. It looks like it comes from the actor rather than from his character, making it impossible to determine his character's psychology or motivations. Is he horny as hell, always at the ready to rub one out, or not? Left alone in the back office, he can't resist pulling his pud, but when Officer Enrique Hernandez provides him an opportunity to get his rocks off, Marcus becomes resistant and dick shy. It's very unclear what Marcus' character is supposed to be. The site fails to tie his nervousness into a better story.
Young Perps: Case No. 1811048-36 (2018)
It is a talkative episode, but the flow of dialogue is not smooth. Both performers are a little wooden, but it is Greg McKeon as the Loss Prevention officer who has the lion's share of words. What is said IS of interest -- depicting a corrupt authority figure severely misusing his authority to dominate and control innocent male victims -- but the flow of improvised lines is not quite natural, sometimes using incorrect pronouns. Still, the unfairness of the situation comes through, as does the dominance of an unchecked security guard having his way with an incorrectly profiled innocent shopper.
Fraternity X: Freshman Ass (2012)
The action standard is here -- horny frat brothers bear down resolutely on one fellow's mouth and ass to achieve orgasms -- but there's no afterglow, per se. Why? Some of that might be due to bottom man Seth keeping his face turned away during sodomy. He could have been replaced with a body double for all anyone can tell. Then there's the fact that no one gets fully undressed (symbolically getting fully into it?) except for Anthony, who, after a long while, finally strips down to all but his shoes near the end. Sitting down makes his full frontal nudity unnoticeable at first, but when he stands, it's a "Where did YOU come from?" moment. The sexual activity's fine, the frat chat is fine (demanding Seth be a champ and hang in there, et cetera), it's just completely not memorable later on.
Fraternity X: Pays the Rent (2012)
Is the Grass Greener Next Door?
This is an earlier, gentler episode in the series without all the callous and cold man's inhumanity to man, male rape stuff that will become a recurring feature. Here, the guys seem invested in feeling good. Gay sex for pleasure. The tops are generally at ease with the pace set by the blow job bottom guys, and the sodomy segment, though strong, doesn't involve super-slamming for the sake of giving pain. The Anthony character, though, switches back and forth between bottoms, as if seeking the yard with the greener grass, never quite satisfied with what he has. Side note: While Anthony Mose looks like a regular, well-scrubbed fellow, all his chain smoking during sex shows him truly to be nothing more than a filthy little fucker, moving on the appeal scale from an 8 or above to a 1 or below.
Young Perps: Searching the Perp (2021)
Dicks May Sag But You Just Don't Care
Cole Church has an impressive gift for gab. In the midst of boning a guy's ass, he can deliver some of the most off-the-wall comments heard under erotic circumstances. For instance, as he forces Darron Bluu to ride his cock, he suddenly asks if Darron finds the swivel chair they are on more comfortable than the foldout chair. Comfort?? Forced to accept Cole's dick, how could Darron possibly care? With such surprising, dark, and monstrously humored utterances, it's easy not to notice that neither performer sports a stiffy. It's not about sex. It's about dominance. As for Darron Bluu, he perfectly plays the innocent shopper pulled into the back room and raped, moaning and groaning throughout his undeserved ordeal (where his lack of a boner is correctly suited).
Gamera: Rebirth: Over Tokyo (2023)
A Series For Every Member in a Smut-Mouth Family to Enjoy
Who is this series written for? What's the target audience? In the portrayal of the child characters, every emotional nuance is highlighted with oos and ahs and ohs. It's a very stylized sort of acting, irritatingly abnormal but one supposedly adapted for an audience of little children so they don't miss the slightest degree of these characters' emotional connections. On the other hand, potty-mouth is well utilized, which would seem more suited to adults. In real live, of course, modern kids are pretty well-acquainted with adult language. It's only surprising to hear it in a Gamera (the Children's Friend) movie.
Fraternity X: The Midnight Snack (2012)
True Sexual Athletes
Though the action centers on two guys (Angelo and Tyler), there's something to be said for the enthusiasm of the three cameramen (Anthony, Scotty and Jackson), with Scotty, at one point, almost up in Anthony's balls striving for a good, tight shot, while Jackson, at the other end of the action with his camera, actually leans on Tyler's shoulder for support as Tyler's pinned to the floor getting plowed. (How close does one HAVE to be?) Though many gay porn actors are gay-for-pay, Angelo and Tyler's efforts are quite convincing at sex for pleasure between sexual athletes. As bottom man Tyler progressively begs for more, Angelo works relentlessly and restlessly between positions to access all the pleasure points he can, rimming, kissing, sucking toes, sodomizing Tyler on a bed, one the floor, and against a wall. It's a lot of energy spent on the parts of both men.
Fraternity X: A Hole is a Hole (2012)
How's They Stay Awake For THIS One?
Two drunken guys (presumably frat bros) have sex -- dudes who, if sober, wouldn't have had anything to do with each other. One persuades the other to share in some all-male sex, claiming that, when it comes to differentiating any differences between men and women (when drunk), "a hole is a hole." With that, the languid "action" begins. The audio is quite quiet, mostly silent save for the sound of a ceiling fan that reminds the viewer of life existing somewhere on other levels in the universe. Either fella (and this can include either cameraman as well) could have lapsed into sleep at any point -- not from exhaustion but simply from "Who cares?"
Surprisingly Gentle and Considerate
Compared to what this series would generally become -- replete with calloused horndogs gang raping each other for individual pleasure -- this season #1 episode is surprisingly gentle and considerate. As one young man's rectum gets sore from the friction of gay sex, another man is used as a replacement to give the first man a break. Neither man is sodomized far past the point of hurting. They ARE frat brothers -- desiring sex, yes, but having to live with and, to a humane degree, watch out for each other. Dare this action be called gentle? And the bottom men mostly LIKE providing sexual service.
Clipped Wings (1953)
Fast, Loose, Sloppy, Uninspired and Sexist
A fast, loose, sloppy and uninspired story incorporating slapstick for its own sake that does not hold together well. Its depiction of man-hungry women sorely dates the story most of all. Sach (a.k.a. Horace Debussy Jones) joins the Air Force, which misassigns him to a women's barrack, where attractive females are so unbelievably starved for men that they accept his presence eagerly and hungrily, hanging onto his every word despite his physical weakness and quite less than handsome looks. The misassignment is due to his being mistaken for another "H. Jones," a WAC rookie who never shows up in the story.
Now seventy years after its original release, this seems a missed opportunity to introduce a strong female character, a woman who wants equal treatment and the chance to prove herself equal to it (believing she's been barracked among men as a deterrent rather than by mistake and keeps her sex on the down-low), and who might later figure in helping Horace in some way. That would be interesting. That would be screwball comedy. That would be modern. As is, though, it's a character whose physical presence never shows up to straighten things out, which adds to other story details that make the day-to-day functions of the U. S. Air Force -- known for recruiting among the highest IQs -- appear stupid and desperate for an overhaul.
The Tomorrow People (1992)
For the Love of Tessier
I got into The Tomorrow People because of the inclusion of Christian Tessier (Megabyte). He came across so well in You Can't Do That on Television that I wanted to see more of him. He basically did well here in the second banana comedic foil role, but now, these many years later, I hate to admit he wasn't as strong an actor as I had expected. Basically his biggest flaw was in the frequent script demands for him to laugh. Megabyte laughed when he was nervous, laughed at his own jokes, and laughed in effort to disarm others with a wry comment and be charming. It often did not work, but the scripts kept unkindly demanding it of him and he dutifully kept plugging along. Time or attention needed to be paid to make these laughs seem genuine (or to adjust his character to make intention come across better). Christian Schmid (Adam) and Naomie Harris (Ami) were by contrast flawless.
The series itself was best when kids with paranormal abilities confronted adults misusing technological advances (hybridizing, a genetic copy machine, weather manipulation, electronic net). (I hoped for but never got a scene where Megabyte would accidentally sneeze into the cornucopia machine and get drenched in his own snot -- cover your mouth, kid!) The series -- promoted as the first kid's sci-fi adventure series -- derailed when it veered into horror (a boy ghost, an unwrapped mummy, demonic possession from hostile aliens), becoming too frightening for younger viewers.
Still, and in spite of the 2013 American reboot that eschewed all that was charming and endearing, innocent and fun, this mid-'90s Nickelodeon series maintains a special place in my heart. And I still favor the inclusion of Christian Tessier.
(Oh, that the series didn't last long enough for Adam to build a lifeguard tower on the deserted island to sit and wait for other Tomorrow People to appear in the ocean so he could save them from hungry shark attacks.)
Evil vs Niceness -- Fizzle
There was a good build-up to this conclusion, the slow reveal of Rameses' plan, but at the very end it fizzled out, with evil undermined by the supposed power of silliness from the spirit powers of a raincoat and ballet slippers and other friendly objects. Weak! Too weird. Kind of metaphysical. This is for a kids' show? Leaves the audience hanging with the unanswered question of what Millicent and her associates were, exactly. Comes across as a script stuck for an ending. Provides no practical application for what to walk away with after viewing this episode (besides an empty feeling). It mostly feels like the viewers' time had been wasted.
Shifting Gear from Sci-Fi to Horror
Up until now, the Tomorrow People only confronted adults misusing new technologies. Here with The Rameses Connection, the series began to move into the realm of horror with the appearance of a ghost to launch the drama and a 4000-year-old immortal man who can be regarded as a living mummy. It's a mild step in this new direction, but it will sink completely into horror in the subsequent story, The Living Stones, about alien possession. If very young audience members were creeped out and turned away by The Culex Experiment, it's a good suspicion that The Living Stones pounded nails into the coffin of this series. Too bad. So much was appealing.
Yip Man 3 (2015)
Some Unpredictability at Last
Foreign developers want the property on which sits an elementary school. Chaining the gates in the night doesn't work. Arson doesn't work. How about abducting the boys to sell into slavery? Ip Man, joined by a fellow dad (who wants to prove himself better than Ip Man), team up to save the boys. The evil foreign developer (played by Mike Tyson) has it out with Ip Man to settle issues between them, then the other dad (feeling slighted earlier) has it out with Ip Man after publicly trash talking the master. Meanwhile, Ip Man spends all the last remaining days he can with his dying wife. Well, at least this biopic series stopped being predictable.
Ip Man (2008)
Although touted as a biopic, this story is common enough to be cliche: Chinese are noble and good and at their best when humble; Japanese are treacherous, without honor and bad to the core. That's it in a nutshell. The best of the Chinamen (Ip Man) can only be pushed back so far until he finally unleashes himself to kick some well-deserving Japanese butt. Even Ip Man's circumstances humble his wife to admit she's been whiny and unsupportive (unworthy of her husband's love and patience). The story is so common as to be as predictable as any rom/com, diminishing any punch from the fight sequences.
Suits: I Want You to Want Me (2013)
Clarity as the Smoke Clears
I must admit that I was left confused at the end of Season Two. I could no longer determine what anyone stood for, what their goals were, or where they saw themselves beyond the next few minutes. Was it me (most likely) or was the show not written as well by then?
I'm glad for this episode as it explained where I should be as an audience member navigating my way through this series. Mike betrayed Harvey (to some degree I still can't totally put together); Jesica betrayed Harvey; and now Donna's apparent betrayal of friendship with Rachel has come to light, putting their friendship and working relationship on shaky ground (after they seem to address the all "important" question of Mike's penis length) - all this reverberated against a case when a trusted associate betrays his mentor.
And a tear goes to Louis, who, after doing everything right to get what he wants for all the right reasons, finds himself again on the hard end of a stick wielded by Fate.
Henry Danger: I Dream Of Danger (2019)
Several things leave the viewer feeling as if this is all a dream -- repeated lines creating a sense of deja vu, dreaming of kissing a close friend (an expression of closeness set in uncomfortably intimate terms), details of a dream coming about in real life, surreal images (seeing Schwoz dressed as Elton John while playing music with a moth man), and details without follow-through (namely, Jasper hearing his name used in a description of Charlotte's dream, but the detail, like in a dream, disappearing along with Jasper from the story). This isn't a bad thing, but it leaves viewers with a feeling that all of this could be someone's dream (from which we never truly awaken).
The scene with Piper intimidating a younger boy by cutting up an apple before him smacks of being a parody of something, but not having seen the source, I can't say what it cleverly imitates; however, use of a ring of invisibility clearly harkens to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
How Come Henry No Cook No More?
WHAT IT IS: Just what the title suggests -- a look at the entire Bilsky family (at least those not currently in jail). Entirely and thoroughly crass, reprehensible and criminal with one exception -- Billy, a snow white sheep among the oily black, whose intelligence, moral compass and compassion suggests he might be an abducted or adopted member of the family (cut more from the same cloth as Charlotte and younger Henry than any other member of his family). Solidly and superbly acted and scripted to be the most uncouth people (all but Billy) that everyone can ever hope not to meet in real life.
What's most curious (and unanswered) is what attracts Piper and Billy to be a couple. Billy's a sweet kid and Piper is a demanding tyrant. What do they see in each other? (Will their relationship survive beyond this episode?)
WHAT IT ISN'T: One of the most charming details in the series (established early on in "Mo' Danger, Mo' Problems") was that, in the Hart household, Henry is expected to make dinner for his family once a week (which interferes with his new Kid Danger duties). That's a life skill every teen should know and a terrific example against gender typing (like making Sharkboy the skilled singer in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl -- all boy and a beautiful singer too). The series gag is that while Henry's a good cook, his sister Piper is not, but the fact that Henry cooks well and serves up appealing meals never comes up again, even though Piper is occasionally shown cooking up kitchen disasters several more times (with The Whole Bilsky Family being yet another example).
Way back in "Indestructible Henry, Part 1," Piper, in her lust for fame and glory, took up cooking again in order to get onto a televised kids' cooking show (just for the fame and self-gratification of getting her face on TV). It would have been an excellent instance for her to acknowledge her own lack of cooking skills, commandeering Henry to get in the cooking contest and then forcing him to take her along as his "invaluable" assistant to go far together in the competition; but, alas, twas not a direction taken by the series writers.
Here, one might imagine the possibility that either Piper wants Henry to cook to impress her boyfriend or that Jake insists on having Henry attend this dinner because he wants Henry to quietly whip up something edible on the sly. Instead, Jake hides food around the house so that he and Henry can together survive dinner (which IS a funny idea).
All in all, this is a funny episode, among the series' most entertaining (despite my personal disappointment issues).
Henry Danger: Grand Theft Otto (2019)
Just Another Silly Episode
Henry Hart used to be a smart kid studying with Charlotte, but in working as Kid Danger for so long, he's become a dumbass, in this case naming Martin Luther King Junior as one of America's founding fathers. He knows he's wrong but doesn't care. He's become a dumb jock cliche. What a pig! He's also reprehensibly immoral in trying to quick fix his current dilemma with death. (Captain Man, at the end of the story, also tries to solve the problem with deadly laser blasts, hitting Jasper square in the face instead and, in a manner, disfiguring him, which explains the source of Henry's character decay.)
The story: A mimicking parrot hears and repeats the phrase "Henry is Kid Danger." Rather than laser blast the bird immediately (which Charlotte prevents Henry from doing), Schwoz endeavors to clone and replace the original bird with a copy that doesn't know the troublesome phrase. Unfortunately, no one thinks to stay quiet or keep any of the clones from hearing the damning phrase; thus, all copies become contaminated, especially from the flock accumulating in the Man Cave. (No attention is paid in what to do with all these birds that keep saying "Henry is Kid Danger." Are they just going to exist in the Man Cave for the rest of their lives?)
What's most appreciable was some subtlety behind long-suffering Charlotte (the only one with a maintained moral compass). She's left alone to extract a feather for cloning from the parrot. She succeeds but is seen afterwords with scratches all over her face. It's not talked about, which is meant to humorously show the callousness of the dudes surrounding her. Still, it's not a healthy environment for her, and it becomes a wonder that she maintains her friendships with these thankless boys rather than become their arch-nemesis.
No One Sees the Logic Till It's Too Late
It's an enjoyable, fast-paced episode; but, to their detriment, no one among the heroes recognizes the logical mind of villain Rick Twitler. After stealing Henry's hyper-motility, Rick sends a recorded message to say he's sent thugs to Henry's home to attack his family. Not even Charlotte or Schwoz stop to ponder. Why would he give warning unless he WANTED to divert their attention? He is NOT Dr Minyak, who seeks out the most obnoxious criminal things to do for their own sake. Rick has always shown purpose and solid planning. Long-term planning, too. He is an excellent foe. On the other hand, Henry is still green when it comes to dealing with villains. He gets back his super speed and straightaway gives up that fact boastfully, thereby losing the tactical advantage of revealing it later at an adventitious moment.
Henry Danger: Thumb War (2018)
Reprehensible Story (When You Think About It)
Captain Man and Kid Danger contend with the sudden appearance of The Thumb Buddies, a goofy pair of dudes so enamored of Captain Man and Kid Danger that they want to emulate the heroes by becoming crime-fighters themselves (despite a total lack of any superpowers or crime-fighting abilities). First and foremost, they are fans, just ordinary citizens (schlubs), therefore deserving of protection by the superheroes. What does Captain Man do when they fall into a trap set for Captain Man and Kid Danger? He decides to act as if none of this happened before them, none of this came to their awareness, they weren't there, and he just walks away with Kid Danger.
Yeah, I guess that's the "comedy" of this comedy show - superheroes without any moral compass - but it remains reprehensible that neither hero is bothered by this decision. Out of sight out of mind, as it were. Henry/Kid Danger lives with this decision easily, showing no more moral code than the super-selfish Captain Man himself. You'd expect Charlotte, at least, to put two and two together and inquire after the fate of The Thumb Buddies, last seen with the highly jealous and incensed Captain Man and Kid Danger, but, no, she doesn't connect the dots. There's no outcry from the public to embarrass Captain Man, believing he must know something, holding him accountable (as tabloids often do), thereby forcing him to conduct a belated search.
Henry could have shown a little morality and a surviving bit of conscience by asking Schwoz to look into and track any nearby rocket travel that left Earth on the night The Thumb Buddies disappeared - interrupted and dismissed by Captain Man as "a matter not worth going into" (keeping his misdeed under wraps). No, Henry and Ray show no dynamic, displaying hardly any moral difference between the two of them now.
In that The Thumb Buddies end up baked to death (yet apparently still alive like the victims in 2005's House of Wax), Captain Man's cold-hearted decision about what to do next is to eat their food and (apparently) allow someone else to discover the bodies and deal with the clean-up.
Morality and ethical behavior are not issues brought up in this story. Ha-ha-ha.
Henry Danger: Henry's Birthday (2018)
The Episode That Sold Me on the Series
This has two major elements that sold me on the series: (1) The inability of characters to improvise a plausible lie, and (2) a selfish superhero controlled by his own appetites. It's Henry's birthday, but that doesn't stop Captain Man from insisting that Kid Danger appear for a low-grade criminal emergency - the city's stupidest criminal trying to rob the local blood bank. When Captain Man (and later Schwoz) learn there's a Diez Leches Cake at Henry's party, they invite themselves to get some - doing nothing to allow poor Henry to attend his own party. Add to that a raccoon trapped in the Hart refrigerator, a missing step, and superb storytelling to briskly tie it all together makes for a very entertaining episode.
Henry Danger: Up the Stairs! (2018)
Starts off like it's going to be just another episode with Kid Danger emulating the bad behavior of poor role model Captain Man, this time both of them ignoring an emergency call so they can snag some fast food (likely in uniform so they can cut in line, too). Instant karma targets them both. Since it's food over which they shirked their duties, it's food that will be denied them. Just after Schwoz takes the elevator and the transport tubes off line for a system upgrade, a celebrity chef visits Junk-N-Stuff to broadcast them on live TV while making delicious edibles. Only Jasper (often disdained by Captain Man, or worse) babysits the store and receives the goodies, uttering some of his most idiotic, star-struck responses, soon joined by camera-hog Piper. (Karma's punishment, while ignoring Piper, affects innocent bystanders Charlotte and Schwoz to different degrees.)
It's a fast romp of a story with no undue padding as Henry and Ray try their best to get to the store, eventually snarling at each other with a wager to see who can get there first. Though they may not learn from their mistakes, the ending is suitably perfect.
HENRY THE DOLT
When the Marx Brothers approached Irving Thalberg about making their next film, Irving said their previous pictures contained funny material but was inanity built atop of inanity. They needed a firm foundation from which to shake to the rafters. Thus came about their greatest structured comedy "A Night at the Opera."
Much like Mindy in "Mork and Mindy" or Matt Sullivan in "40 Days and 40 Nights," Henry Hart used to be the sweet, innocent, unspoiled center of rationality and normality in the crazy world of Henry Danger, the series' firm foundation, but now only Charlotte remains (whom "the men" now tend to ignore). Henry's now part of the craziness and the stupidity, contaminated by bad examples of ego-centricity and vaingloriousness set by Ray/Captain Man. In the pilot episode Henry studied with Charlotte, and his work ethic was sincere, but now, influenced by bad role model Ray, Henry has become much the same, no longer seeing Ray as someone NOT to become, which loses quite a bit of dynamic between these superhero partners. Here, as Henry studies with Charlotte, he no longer even remotely tries to be a good student, copying her answers without shame, thereby learning nothing but how to skip responsibility.
A lot is overlooked or unexplored in a story which seems padded and in need of substance. Why? Henry's father, Jake, gets a new job in another city and must relocate the family, thereby disturbing everyone else. That means Henry won't be able to be Captain Man's sidekick anymore (which could ALSO mean that Jasper has the opportunity to apply or step in as the new sidekick - but Jasper never thinks of this, instead he becomes fairly gay about losing his boyhood chum, declaring that he thought they'd be together forever). Ray's solution to Henry not moving away is to sabotage Jake's job interview. Henry agrees, with only a slight note of regret about doing it, putting his wants ahead of his dad's. Henry should be old enough to be caught between not wanting to move but seeing the need for his dad to succeed. (After all, Jake is family, and the extra money coming in would benefit everybody financially.). There's not even a discussion about Henry being just about old enough to strike out on his own. He's sixteen, but there could be a deal made about living with Ray down in the Man Cave. That wouldn't solve Piper's problem, thereby keeping the drama fueled.
Seemingly, there should have been (or could have been) more tension between Ray and Henry - with Henry ultimately unable to sabotage his dad's new job against Ray having no problem whatsoever. And then more dynamics with Jasper trying to become the new Kid Danger (ultimately turning against Henry staying), with Ray, not wanting Jasper around more than he already is, doing absolutely everything he can to keep Henry in place.
As is, Henry Hart is well on his way to becoming a full-blown wastrel, just a run-of-the-mill dude, a punk, a lout, a dolt, a knob, no longer someone to admire. With any luck, an episode will come along to give him a gut check, a bit of shame, and some redemption.
Henry Danger: The Rock Box Dump (2017)
Everybody Must Get Stoned
A comment by Captain Man gets misinterpreted by newspeople ever-hungry for an exclusive, projecting Kid Danger as a direly ill youth on his all-too-early way to the grave. Gullible people must have rocks in their heads to believe and expand upon such nonsense, literally deciding to dump rocks on their heads in a self-stoning for Kid Danger's sake. Even Jasper, with Henry standing before him, would rather believe in televised reports than in his friend standing before him, who's clearly not at Death's door. It's all Kid Danger can do to right this rampant wrong when news reporting becomes nothing more than a gossip chain.