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Whoever Wrote This Episode Needs To Grow Up
Teen Titans Go has gotten a lot of hate to the point where there are episodes written that tackle such criticism, but this episode (which is a crossover episode with Thundercats Roar), basically crosses the line to the point where it makes the writers come off as immature.
In sypnosis, the Teen Titans (sans Starfire) come out cosplaying as Thundercats characters after hearing the show returned, but after seeing Thundercats Roar, the four get mad at it, while Starfire loves it. Yeah, the episode has Robin, Raven, Cyborg, and Beast Boy act like rabid fanbrats of the original, while Starfire likes it, in which she is treated like dirt for it (like anyone on the internet with a different opinion). This leads to the four starting a petition and getting more rabid Thundercats fans to sign, but when that results in a drawing of Bugs Bunny, Raven uses her dark magic to teleport them to the Thundercats Roar world to fight that show's incarnation of the Thundercats.
Technically, this episode is horrible and flawed. It only shows the view of the rabid haters, while the sane haters are not represented in any way, as the episode says all haters are rabid manchildren and sane fans who do not support the reboot are non-existent. Also, the episodes has the characters say poop (which is shocking that today's cartoon allowed that), and to make matters worst, the end has the original Lion-O saying anyone who hates Thundercats Roar are "poop mouths with poop opinions (and they even got Larry Kenney to voice that, which would stain that voice actor's legacy within the Thundercats fandom). Also, the ending has 2011 Lion-O and Classic Snarf near the skeletal remains of the Panthero from the original show, which has been seen as being disrespectful to the late Earle Hyman. In any case, this proves the writers of both shows need to grow up to the point where they need to start addressing the hate the shows get calmly and properly or start ignoring the rabid haters (which most animation studios actually do) and focus on making cartoons regardless of what people think of them.
Anderusen dôwa ningyo-hime (1975)
A Good Anime Film For Those Who Outgrew Disney's Adaptation
Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid (as it is called in English) was released 14 years before the more popular and well-known adaptation made by Disney. Created by Toei Animation (the company responsible for anime like Dragonball and Sailor Moon), the film follows Marina, a mermaid princess who falls in love with Prince Justin, this anime film is not for younger kids. It follows the original tale more closely than Disney did, meaning the tragic ending is still in place, and the film has nudity that some parents may find inappropriate for their young children (especially since the mermaids are topless, with hair providing strategic censorship, especially when Marina turns into a human). So, this Little Mermaid is more for the older audience who outgrew Disney's adaptation and has at least read the original tale to know what it's really about.
Other than that, it is a good movie. The voice actors all do a good job, and the animation is beautiful. I recommend seeing this one.
Mortal Kombat (1995)
Good Movie Adapting A Video Game
Mortal Kombat was a hot franchise when the first game hit arcades back in 1992. The controversy created due to the game's violence (which was way realistic thanks to the use of digitized actors) would be one of the factors leading to the ESRB's creation. But like every good thing, Mortal Kombat would soon go beyond video games and have a toyline, and even some movies.
This first movie follows the story of the first game, but with some edits to make it more interesting. Liu Kang is entering the tournament mainly because Shang Tsung killed his brother, Chan, and Scorpion and Sub-Zero serve Shang Tsung (which is justified by the sorcerer saying they are slaves under his control, indicating the two are under a spell making them serve Shang Tsung, as opposed to the game, where Sub-Zero enters to kill Shang Tsung, while Scorpion enters to get revenge on Scorpion). Also, the movie adds elements from the second game as well, with Kitana being a major character, and Outworld being used for the films' final two fight scenes.
The actors here do a good job. Christopher Lambert does a good job portraying Rayden (yeah, I know it's Raiden, but the movie uses the spelling used on the 16-bit ports of the game), and Robin Shou does good as Liu Kang. Rounding out the cast is Linden Ashby as Johnny Cage. Bridgette Wilson as Sonya, Trevor Goddard as Kano, Talisa Soto as Kitana, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Shang Tsung.
The fight scenes are good, but the movie suffers from one thing: the PG-13 rating. Because of that, the violence is toned down to the point where the kills are not as gruesome (the only kill that is on the same level as the game is Johnny slicing Scorpion's skull head in half. Most of the other deaths are either impalements or something minor). But the SFX are impressive (especially the one bringing Goro to life), and all those make Mortal Kombat a great movie adaptation of the most controversial video game of the 1990's.
Nice Concept, But Fails To Teach A Lesson
As a kid, this special aired on some channels. Basically bringing a lot of cartoon characters from the four different channels, it was allowed because of one thing: the special was made to be a anti-drug special (as this was back when TV stations aired PSAs meant to tell kids to say no to drugs, with one even having the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in one where a kid is nearly bullied into doing drugs because the friend called him a chicken). Now, this is one special that will never see release again because of rights issues with the characters involved, but as an adult, I'd say it is for the best.
So, basically, a plot is a boy named Michael is doing drugs and alcohol, and one day, he steals the piggy bank of his sister, Corey. However, the theft is witnessed by Papa Smurf, who lives in a comic book, who then calls some of the cartoon characters (who pose as inanimate objects) to take action. This leads to Michael going through the most messed-up intervention of all time, while the special's main villain, Smoke (a puff of smoke that looks like something out of the Beetlejuice cartoon, and voiced by George C. Scott, best known for his portrayal of George S. Patton in the movie Patton) plans to keep Michael on the drugs with lame excuses.
Yeah, as I said, this is one messed-up intervention to the point where it makes you think this whole special was made on the one thing it tells you to say no to. While people freak about about Simon knowing about marijuana is and Bugs Bunny knowing what a joint is, I can let it pass, as it helps to teach kids that the different illegal drugs have different names (besides, Bugs Bunny has been in a cartoon where he actually makes a cigarette, and another where he snorts tobacco, so that explains why he knows what a joint is).
But that's not the worst of it, while the special does show the dangers of drugs and even a scene Bugs uses a time he took from some coyote to show Michael how his addiction started, it is still far from good. The film adds in some references that kids would not know about (in the scene where the toons see Michael emptying the piggy bank, ALF makes a reference to Leave It To Beaver, which adults may get. but kids back then who never saw that old show would not, and another where he shows Michael what he'll become due to drugs, and when he asks who it is, ALF says it's not Freddy Kreuger, which kids would not know, but older viewers would since it's a reference to a series of films the target audience is not old enough to be watching), but some scenes are actually horrible and portray the characters trying to help poor Michael doing stuff that would basically kill him (one scene has the Muppet Babies lock Michael in his own brain when he trips on a skateboard, and another scene has him in a nightmarish amusement part, and one part has Dewey, one of the triplets from DuckTales, try to run him over in a roller coaster cart). Those scenes are classic textbook cases of out of character portrayals, and are so dark, I am shocked the companies owning the characters even allowed the creators of this short to portray their characters as such. They should be glad they never got complaints back in the day of kids who saw the special having nightmares of said characters locking them in a burning building or trying to run them over.
While it does teach a good moral, and ending is good, the special is horribly executed. While the idea of having these beloved cartoon characters come together to teach an important lesson sounded good on paper, the scared straight aspect of some scenes (especially the carnival scene near the end) makes it fall, as it seems too scary for the target audience the cartoon characters used targets, and the fact said audience would not get most of the references, makes this one confusing special. Thank goodness this only happened once. Imagined if this sort of idea continued, only with different characters and different topics (like 90's cartoons talking about guns and school shootings, or cartoon characters from the 2010's talking about bullying). This special is long out of print, and will never be reissued due to rights issues with the characters used (whoever wants to re-release this will have to make deals with the companies who own said characters, with some of them having changed hands over the years, as well as redo the intro message to have the current POTUS and FLOTUS talking about the special), but it has been posted on sites (including the home video release, which also has the Ronald McDonald Children's Charities commercial airing before and after the special). Best viewed to laugh at.
WCW Bash at the Beach (2000)
Five Stars Mainly For Hogan Telling It As It Is
This is the final Bash At The Beach Before WCW was sold to WWE. Starting with a WCW Cruiserweight Championship match between Lieutenant Loco (better known as Chavo Guerrero) and Juventud Guerrera, the card is basically horrible, especially when one of the matches is a Wedding Gown Match (seriously, who thought that was a good idea? David Flair interfered, and one of the wrestlers even goes as far as to rip the pants off the referee, with the other ripping David's off, all in all, a lame attempt to try and rip off WWE's bra and panties match gimmick).
The other gimmick match, a Graveyard match between Vampiro and The Demon (you know, that KISS-themed wrestler), which actually takes place in a graveyard, with the winner being the one who returns to the ring. A good gimmick that is exciting, with the only complaint being it does not fit well with the theme of the pay-per-view (I see it fitting in better with Halloween Havoc). However, the best thing about it is Hulk Hogan. Set to face Jeff Jarrett in a match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, Russo told Jarrett to lie down for Hogan to pin him. This would mark Hogan's final WCW appearance, as Vince would later do a shoot saying Hogan was fired and exposing his backstage politics (but not before Hogan, who was not happy with Russo's shenanigans, telling the guy that this sort of thing was the reason WCW is failing as a business (which he is right, as it would go out of business and be sold to WWE eight months later). After the shoot, the match would change to have Jeff Jarrett defend the title (which is a new belt) against Booker T. This PPV basically proves how damaged beyond repair WCW has become, that even Hogan got fed up/
Digimon World (2000)
Okay Game, But Virtual Pet Elements Make It Hard
Digimon World was one of the PlayStation games I got on birthdays, back when I was a big fan of the anime airing on Fox Kids at the time.
Okay, to make it clear, this game is not based on the anime. While it does have Digimon appearing in the anime, the game does not have any connections to the anime. Instead, you play as a young boy who is transported to the Digital World by a Digimon keychain (as Digimon started out as a virtual pet like Tamagotchi). There, he meets Jijimon, and is told to get Digimon into File City, even being giving a Digimon that the player trains and care for. So the game follows an original story separate from the anime.
So the gameplay is typical RPG flare, you explore the world, and fight enemies while trying to progress your story. But Digimon World also has virtual pet elements put in the mix. That means you need to keep it fed, make sure it gets to the restrooms, and get to sleep. This, and the training you have it undergo, will determine what it digivolves into, which is where the difficulty is, as certain Digimon are needed to access certain areas. Also, your Digimon can die (either by old age or losing its hearts when it gets defeated), but it will be reborn as a baby Digimon, which also adds to difficulty, as you will have to get your Digimon back up (thankfully, if it dies of old age, which is referred to as faded, you can actually choose what egg it will be reborn in, while losing three battles gives you a random egg).
Other than that, everything else is good. The story is nice for an original work, the gameplay works well, and the world is worth exploring, as it has many secrets to find. Worth checking out.
Lackluster Ending Relying Too Much On Nostaglia
Star Wars is a franchise that has fallen from greatness once Disney bought the rights to it. From releasing one film every year, resulting in people getting what is called Star Wars fatigue, to making decisions that have caused a lot of diehard Star War fans to rage on the internet, it seemed Star Wars will never be good again, especially after The Last Jedi proved to be a bad film. With The Rise Of Skywalker, this would not only end what is known as the sequel trilogy, but also the Skywalker Saga as well. And sadly, it fails to be anything exciting.
Basically, The Rise Of Skywalker is basically full of plot twists and relies way too much on nostalgia. One of those plot twists: Emperor Palpatine (a.k.a. Darth Sidious) is alive, having survived his death in the second Death Star by "unnatural" means granted by the dark side. Yeah, typical Disney changing the rules of how the Force works (with Darth Vader, Revenge Of The Sith explained he had cybernetic enhancements put in him along with the armor, which was his life support, to keep him alive after the fight with Obi-Wan put him near death, hence why Return of The Jedi had the Jedi Master call him "more machine than man", but Palpatine? No, all we get is a lecture on the many powers the dark side has to offer to justify how he survived being thrown into the reactor of the second Death Star, which, along with the space station's destruction, would surely kill him off).
The film's story is good, but sadly, plot twists weigh it down a lot (including the infamous one with Rey I won't mention). Also, the film relies way too much on nostalgia to try and make up for The Last Jedi (like bringing back past actors who played jedi in the films before this, and even bring James Earl Jones back to voice Darth Vader in one scene). However, it has some great action scenes, and the ending is a nice way to end the Skywalker saga. I hope it also ends Star Wars, as any more movies may not be great.
Toy Story 4 (2019)
Good, But Not As Good As The Last Three Films
Yeah, Toy Story 4 was a movie no one expected, and it's good, even if it does not live up to the standards set by the first three films.
In this film, Woody is feeling left out of playtime, so sneaking into Bonnie's bag as she goes to school, he helps her with arts and crafts after a boy takes the supplies on her table, bringing in trash that Bonnie uses to create Forky, who comes to life. With Bonnie's family going on a road trip, Woody gets separated from the others trying to keep Forky from throwing himself out. Now he has to get Forky back to Bonnie, reuniting with Bo Peep while trying to avoid being caught by Gabby Gabby, a doll who wants his voice box.
Yeah, I can see how this film does not live up to the level the last three films set. Toy Story 3's ending was a good way to end the trilogy, and the plot sounds like it was something Pixar cobbled together because they didn't have any idea how to top that (as some scenes, like the one where Buzz is tormented by Bunny and Ducky, sounds like another plot idea that was forced in), but ti still gets your emotions like every other Pixar film. The voice cast for the last film returns (with Mr. Potato Head's voice being archived recordings of Don Rickles performing the character in other media), and even adds more big names (like Key and Peele as Bunny and Ducky, Keanu Reeves as Duke Kaboom, and even Carl Weathers as Combat Carl (reprising the role from the Toy Story of Terror TV special). Also, the animation is fluid, and the ending really get you where it feels the most, especially if you've seen the films up until now. This is worth checking out.
Okay, But It Proves The Series Is Resorting To Gimmicks
Yeah, Paw Patrol nowadays has been having a bit of an identity crisis nowadays. Starting off as just six pups rescuing animals while helping their friends in the city of Adventure Bay, suddenly, starting in season four, they started to add gimmicks like Mission PAW and Sea Patrol in order to keep the show going and get new ideas to keep selling toys. With Mighty Pups, a movie released in 2018 that would be used again in episodes starting in season six, it became very clear that the gimmicks were basically going to be the show's life support. Ready, Race, Rescue! is a TV movie that introduces yet another gimmick to keep the show alive: racing.
So, the story is the Adventure Bay 500 is in town, and the Paw Patrol built a track for the race. However, when The Whoosh, a racer who the pups and Ryder are volunteering to be his pit crew, gets injured by a cheap tactic done by a rival racer known as the Cheetah (who happens to be Mayor Humdinger's cousin, no less), Whoosh chooses Marshall to take his place, training the clumsy pup to take on Cheetah in an Around-The-World Road Rally.
Yeah, it's clear to see the movie is nothing more than a short film meant to start a new gimmick that the show will use for future episodes. While it did teach a good lesson, it basically showed the series is beginning to have an identity crisis. Also, a cheating racer called the Cheetah? Not very original since it sounds like they took it from a joke book. While kids may enjoy it, fans of the series may want to steer clear if gimmicks are not their thing.
A Good Superhero Movie That Dares To Be Dark
In the year 1944, the Allies stop a Nazi plot to use a dimensional portal to awaken the Ogdru Jahad to aid them by mystic Grigori Rasputin. However, a baby demon comes out, one with red skin and a right hand made of stone, which Professor Broom, who was with the Allied Army that day, adopts. Fast forward to the present, and the demon, Hellboy, is a member of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, a top secret branch of the FBI dealing with monsters and demons. However, Rasputin has been revived, and now Hellboy must stop him from summoning the Ogdru Jahad once again.
For a film rated PG-13, it has some dark themes in it. However, they made it work. Ron Perlman makes a good Hellboy, and David Hyde Price does good as the voice of Abe Sapien. The special effects help bring the monsters to life, and the story is a good one, despite the pacing being slow at times. This is one superhero film I suggest giving a watch.
Below Average Fighting Game Based On An Anime
Digimon Digital Monsters was an anime I enjoyed when I was in high school. It was based on a digital pet of the same name (which is considered Tamagotchi for boys, and could connect with one other unit to fight another person's Digimon), the series differed from Pokémon as it was about kids chosen to have Digimon partners to save both the real world and the Digital World. Of course, with a popular cartoon or anime aimed at kids, there will be video games. While Digimon has had them, they usually tend to be original stories instead of focusing on the anime themselves. Digimon Rumble Arena is a fighting game that changes that.
In the game, chatacters from the first three seasons of the Digimon anime fight against each other. Why are they fighting? I don't know. The game has no story, and there is no ending when you beat the one player mode. So basically, you start with nine playable characters, each taken from the three Digimon series, complete with Digi-Destined connected to them. However, any excitement you had will be dashed when you play, as the gameplay is basically what happens when you mash Street Fighter with Super Smash Bros. The fights are one-on-one and the object is to drain your opponent's health bar to zero to win a round, with two-out-of-three rules, but the Smash Bros. elements come with food items that can restore health and the appearance of Digi-Cards that, when collected, causes a different effect to happen (like cards that allow you to throw fireballs, or even lose control of your Digimon temporarily). However, the one unique aspect is a meter that can be built up as you damage the opponent as well as take damage. That is the Digivoluton Meter, and when full, one button press will allow your Digimon to Digivolve into a more powerful form until the meter runs out. During this time, your Digimon is more powerful, and can use a signature attack (although that will immediately drain the meter, so it's best used as a last resort, like finishing off an opponent or before your character de-digivolves).
The character models are hit or miss (with Renamon getting the worst of it, as you can see where the parts of her tail separate), and while the game does have the voice cast from the anime reprise their roles, the voice clips for the Digi-Destined sound like they were recorded using a different device than the Digimon (heck, some characters don't even sound like they did in the anime (most notable being Takato, who sounds younger than he is). Another problem is the opponents are mere pushovers, when the final boss, Reapermon, is basically SNK Boss level. This game is below average, and should be played only if you are a fan of the show or fighting games in general.
WCW/NWO Starrcade (1998)
The PPV Leading To The Beginning Of The End
WCW Starrcade 1998 is WCW's December PPV, and the 1998 edition is basically seen as a catalyst. Starting with a triangle match between Juventud Guerra, Rey Mysterio, Jr., and Billy Kidman for the WCW Crusierweight Championship (the first of two for Kidman, as he would win and defend the belt from Eddie Guererro, who at the time, formed the Latino World Order, a short-lived New World Order copycat that only lasted three months), you can see this PPV is as bad as the 1997 one (which ruined Sting's return to the ring with a controversial ending that, alongside the rest of the card, is said to be pivotal to WCW's downfall). This PPV continues the trend with some horrible matches (like Norman Smiley Vs. Prince Iaukea, and Konan Vs. Chris Jericho), but the main event, which has Goldberg defending the WCW World Heavyweight Title against Kevin Nash, has its own controversial ending, as Goldberg's streak ends after Scott Hall, disguised as one of the champ's security personnel, tazes him. This ending would lead up to the infamous Finger Poke of Doom in the first Monday Nitro of 1999, which, alongside the commentators spoiling WWF match results, would mark the beginning of the end for WCW. It gets five stars for the triangle match as well as Diamond Dallas Page Vs. The Giant.
Akumajô densetsu (1989)
The Best Of The NES Castlevania Games
Out of the three NES Castlevania games, this one is the best. Set before the events of the first Castlevania, Dracula has started to ravage Europe, and the church has called the once-exiled Belmont clan to stop them. Now, taking on the role of Trevor Belmont, the wielder of the Vampire Killer whip in this story, you must save Wallachia.
Unlike the last game, SImon's Quest, which played like Metroid, Dracula's Curse goes back to the side-scrolling gameplay of the first Castlevania, which is a good thing. However, this game would improve upon it by adding three additional characters that you can switch Trevor out with during gameplay. However, you can only bring one ally, and each one has his or her own special abilities (Grant can climb walls and cielings, Alucard can turn into a bat, which consumes hearts, and Sypha uses elemental magic). Also, some parts of the game have branching paths, which will lead to different levels, making each playthrough different depending on choices made.
However, the game is hard as usual. Thankfully, the game does offer infinite continues, and if you get tired and need a break, also offers a password system, which is an improvement from Simon's Quest, as it now requires a name to be entered and a grid with certain items from the game filled in a certain way to continue where you left off. This is one game that must be played, and has been re-released multiple times (the recent one being the Castlevania Anniversary Collection).
A Haunted House (2013)
Why Was This Even Made?
No, really. A Haunted House is basically another one of those unnecessary horror comedies that aims to make fun of the popularity of the first Paranormal Activity and The Devil Inside, which were done by making the movie look like found footage. With this film, I think it should have been rated NC-17 with its overload of sex scenes, as it has so many, it gets old real fast. Also, the film contains the usual toilet humor (which by now, is overkill), and even relies on using other bad jokes that sound like they were thrown in there to get some cheap laughs, as they are horribly written. This is a complete wastes of the talents of those involved (especially Cedrid The Entertainer) and I do not recommend this unless you are one of those people who find such content enjoyable.
90's Cheese That is Actually Enjoyable
ProStars is a cartoon that some consider to be cheesy, but to me, it is actually a good kind of cheese. Made by DiC Entertainment (the company responsible for cartoons like Inspector Gadget and The Super Mario Bros. Super Show), this cartoon, which is among the list of cartoons from 80's and 90's that were one season wonders (or one season stinkers, in regards to some of them), ProStars takes pro athletes Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and Bo Jackson, and casts them as a team of heroes who are provided sports-themed gadgets by Denise and her mom, two allies created for the show. Each episode involves the three getting a video from a kid who is asking for help, and going to help them, which leads to the three going up against a villain who is causing the trouble to begin with. The final episode is different as it is basically the obligatory clip show episode, which revisits moments from the series.
So basically, the humor is a cheesy, but good, as it usually has puns that most 90's cartoons contain, but also takes advantage of the trend of "Bo Knows" to make it wittier. Also, before and after each episode, the real Wayne and Bo (Michael never appeared in the show in live-action show, presumably because he would be too expensive) to not only talk about the episode plot, but also answer questions by kids. It's a neat cartoon that I wished continued.
Superman: Red Son (2020)
Okay, But Doesn't Stick To The Source Material
I never read the comic, but I did a synopsis, and watching this, I agree they did change some of the plot and added in some feminist dialogue. However, the film is still okay. The voice actors still do a good job (who knew Roger Craig Smith could do a Russian accent Batman), and the action is good as always. It's an okay film, but it's not perfect due to the plot changes.
A Good Twist To A Classic Tale
Peter Pan is a classic tale that has had its fair share of movie adaptations (the best one being the Disney adaptation, which led to many sequels and spin-off series involving characters from it). Hook adds a twist to the classic tale, as Peter stays on Earth and is married with two children, Jack and Maggie, with his wife, Moira. Sadly, Peter's work is causing strain to his marriage as he ends up breaking promises he makes them, and during a visit to London, his kids are kidnapped by Captain Hook, who is seeking revenge on him. Brought back to Neverland by Tinkerbell, Peter must now relearn what made him Peter Pan in order to save his kids and Neverland from the evil pirate, who has managed to take over while Peter was away.
I actually like this film. Robin Williams does a good job playing Peter, and Dustin Hoffman makes a good Hook. Other notable actors include Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, Bob Hoskins as Smee, and even musician Phil Collins makes an appearance as a minor character. Also, the Neverland scenes are impressive, with some good props, and even a good underwater scene with the mermaids helping Peter recover. However, the pacing can be slow at times, and the humor can be hit or miss at some points, this is actually a good movie that puts a new twist to a classic tale.
That's So Raven: True Colors (2005)
A Good Episode Teaching A Good Moral
Yeah, there were many TV shows and cartoons that had episodes that dealt with a serious subject, and racism is one of them. True Colors, an episode from the third season of That's So Raven, is one of them, as Raven and Chelsea apply for a job at Sassy's, but the next day at school, Chelsea is hired, but Raven is not. However, Raven gets a vision of the manager, Chloe Hunter, saying she does not hire black people, Meanwhile, Cory has to make a report for Black History Month.
For an episode from a Disney Channel original comedy, this episode pulls no punches. Making its debit during Black History Month 2005, this episode does not sugarcoat the issue. While the B story with Cory is interesting, as Cory has a dream sequence where Fredrick Douglass shows him Black History is not boring, the plot is what really drives the message home. Raven is rejected in favor of Chelsea, despite doing a better job, because of her skin color basically shows discrimination can happen to anyone. Even Eddie tells a story about a friend from the second grade whose father dragged him away and told him never to play with black children, which also helps to hammer the message in. And the ending is good, as Raven exposes the manager with help from Chelsea and a news reporter. This is a good episode with a good moral, but gets a nine due to getting some facts wrong (like saying Harriet Tubman created the Underground Railroad, when it was Issac T. Hopper).
Shadow Warrior (2013)
Good Game, Although Easy To Get Stuck In Some Places
I was lucky enough to download this game on my Xbox when it was part of the Games With Gold some time ago, and I did enjoy it.
Basically a remake of a first person shooter from 1997, Shadow Warrior puts you in the role of Lo Wang, a hit man working for Japanese industrial magnate Orochi Zilla. He is sent with two millions dollars to purchase a sword known as the Nobitsura Kage from collector Mizayaki. However, Wang uses force when Mizayaki refuses to sell, only to end up being captured. However, he is freed when demons begin to overrun the compound, and making a deal with Hoji, a demon who sared a bong with Mizayaki before the latter is killed, Wang has to collect the three pieces of the sword,
So basically, this is a good reboot. The game is basically a first person shooter, but the main difference is the katana, your melee weapon, is more focused on, as the game allows you to learn attacks with that that can attack, as well as destroy statues that block the path ahead. You also collect different firearms as you progress through the game, from the typical revolver to the well-known shotgun, to even a flamethrower and rocket launcher, all of which can be upgraded by spending money collected throughout the game, with ammo also being bought as well as found in levels.
Like in the classic Shadow Warrior, there are secret areas that contain items, some of them being Ki Crystals which can be used to learn new powers, and karma, which is gained by killing enemies and collecting a hidden item, which grants Karma Points when enough is amassed, which is used to learn new skills, including increases to health and stamina.
The game has a good story, and the humor is nice, but one problem I have is that it is actually easy to get lost in certain levels. Sometimes, after finishing off a horde of enemies, I find myself trying to figure out how to move forward, as while the game has doors and switches flashing to show where to go next, you have to find them. Also, be prepared, as the game does have some tough spots that will test your skill. However, if you are looking for an FPS that is different from the usual Call of Duty flare, Shadow Warrior is worth checking out.
Red Asphalt III (1989)
Driving Film Not For The Weak Stomached
In case you never saw this (either because you don't live in California and/or you refuse to get a driver's license like me), Red Asphalt is an infamous series of PSA movies filmed by the California Highway Patrol for use in driver's ed classes and private driving schools located in the state. While it looks like a typical snuff film, it was effective at scaring teenagers straight. For the people who say this is fake: it's not. Near the start, the host (who was a real officer for the Cali Highway Patrol at the time) says the videos shown were taken by patrolmen from the year before this came out, so the incidents are real, and the bodies are really people who died because they were either drunk, riding a car driven by a drunk, not wearing their seat belt, or doing something stupid behind the wheel. This is not for the faint of heart or the weak stomached, but if you can brave this, you will come out wiser. Wiser about how to be a safe driver.
Toonami: The Intruder (2000)
Toonami was a part of my teenage years when I saw it on Cartoon Network (as it introduced me to cartoons like Thundercats, and even anime like Dragonball Z, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Ruroni Kenshin). Back in the year 2000 (during the era when Toonami was aimed at the TV Y7 crowds),
In this miniseries, which is the block's first Total Immersion Event (or T.I.E. for short), it was a massive event sponsored by Nintendo, with a contest tied in where the grand prize is a trip to Japan, with runners-up winning various prizes from the video game company. In total, eight episodes were aired.
The story of The Intruder is that TOM 1 and SARA are in the middle of conversation when an intruder alert is triggered. Sending out the Clydes, a hole in the hull of the starboard engine is discovered, and soon, TOM 1 is going up against a red blob that eats anything and everything in its path.
As any Toonami fan knows, this would mark Steve Blum's debut in hosting Toonami's robot host. replacing Sonny Strait. The first six episodes aired during the week of Sepetember 18 - 22, which tells the story of how TOM 2 came to be. The final two episodes were aired the next month, as the episode content was determined by the adformentioned contest, which viewers entered by voting for a new engine for the Absolution. The story has a lot of action, and the CGI is good for its time. This is one I recommend watching, and it can be found in various places on the internet.
Deception of a Generation (1984)
Religious Fear-Mongering At Its Worst
Deception of a Generation is a video from Eagle's Nest Ministries that is horribly flawed. Here, Gary Greenwald, who did other videos for the congregation, including one where he called rock music a tool of the devil, targets cartoons and toys alongside Phil Phillips, a writer infamous for writing fear-mongering books such as Turmoil In The Toy Box and Saturday Morning Mind Control (the former being responsible for destroying many a childhood back in the day).
This was made during the time in the 80's when fear of anything Satanic was at its peak. This video is basically another example of how such ministries and churches uses fear-mongering to force families to convert to their beliefs. Throughout the video, Gary shows clips from cartoons like 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, He-Man, She-Ra, The Transformers, and other cartoons popular at the time are shown (whether or not Eagle's Nest Ministries got permission to use said clips in the video is unknown), along with some of the toys. Heck, even Care Bears and My Little Pony are targeted in this video.
The two presenters do a horrible job making their case. Phil claims he started looking into this when he was on a fourteen day fast and bought one of the toys, and after showing it to his ministers, he heard God speak to him about what happens when a kid plays with a toy, which makes me question if it was God or a voice that is a result of being delusional from hunger. The video contains a lot of misinformation, as they mispronounce names, and Phil even tells of a story where a four-year-old said God is not master of the universe, He-Man is, treating it like it was a bad thing (the kid was four years old at the time, so he didn't know better, that is, if the stories are actually true). Also, the two compare items on the toys to actual occult symbols, which is not good because even if something resembles such icons, it may not be the same.
Overall, this video is flawed, and I have to feel sorry for the 80's kids whose parents fell for this blasphemous fear-mongering garbage. Gary and Phil prove through their dialogue that they cannot tell reality from fantasy, instead looking at any detail in a cartoon and toy they can label an occultist image in an attempt to continue the trend of religious fear-mongering, and even going as far as to even include any religious nut's favorite target, Dungeons & Dragons. It's people like these two that are the reason why people tend to avoid going to church, and even go as far as treat religion as a joke. True Christians should steer clear of this one.
Good Comedic Cartoon I Grew Up With
Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog is one of the cartoons I grew up with (I used to watch this and SatAM non-stop when they aired on the USA Network, back when they actually aired kids' cartoons on blocks like the Cartoon Express or the Action Extreme Team). The first of two Sonic cartoons that premiered at the time, Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog (known as AoSTH) is the more comedic of the two, as it stars Sonic and Tails as they have adventures where they twart Dr. Robotnik and his henchbots, Scratch and Grounder, wherever they strike.
As I said, this is the more comedic Sonic cartoon, lighter than its counterpart, SatAM (which aired on ABC on Saturday Mornings at the same year). The humor comes from the bumbling of Scratch and Grounder (and on occasion, Coconuts, a robotic monkey who serves as Robotnik's janitor, but sometimes goes off to catch Sonic in order to prove his worth). Each episode put the heroic duo in different situations, where Robotnik may be either plotting to catch Sonic, destroy a city to make way for a city of his own design, or something else. Also, there are some wacky characters who appear to either help or oppose Sonic (some of them appearing more than once). In the vein of earlier DiC cartoon like Inspector Gadget, the show has a segment called Sonic Sez (a.k.a. Sonic Says) where the hedgehog teaches the audience various life lessons usually connected with the episode.
Firing Steve Was A Big Mistake
My mom and I liked Little Big Shots these past three seasons. It not only showed some great talented children (one of them being ventriloquist Darci Lynn, who would go on to win the 2017 edition of America's Got Talent). However, after the third season, NBC decided to fire Steve because he made a deal with another company to host his talk show when a deal expired, and as a result, they announced Melissa McCarthy (best known for starring in box office bombs like Ghostbusters: Answer The Call and The Happytime Murders) to take his place.
Now, seeing the first episode of Melissa's takeover, it's pretty clear firing Steve was a big mistake. While the set has changed, the energy that was present when Steve hosted the show is long gone, as we now have Melissa trying to be funny as usual, but failing as usual, with the worst gags I have ever seen (like Ellen DeGeneres playing ping pong against Yiyi, one of the kids in this episode, and doing a horrible job cheating, and the first kid, Bailey, is so boring as he does nothing but demonstrate a vacuum cleaner). The only good kid in this episode is Mateo, who is a good at being a mariachi singer. This is a horrible season premiere, and proves that replacing the host is sometimes never a good idea.
Space Jam (1996)
One Of My Favorite Films Growing Up
Space Jam is one of my favorite childhood films. Set during Michael Jordan's struggling baseball career, the basketball legend is summoned to Looney Tune Land as it faces it biggest crisis: little aliens from an intergalactic amusement park have been sent to force them there as entertainment, and after challenging them to a basketball game, the aliens decide to take the talent of the best basketball players of the time and use it to transform into Monstars.
Yeah, this is a good movie. The story is set around real life (as Michael is playing baseball) and it has some good characters. Wayne Knight (best known for playing Newman in Seinfeld and Dennis Nerdy in Jurassic Park) plays Stanley Podolak, who serves as one of the comic reliefs of the movie, and the film would be the one to introduce Lola Bunny, a female bunny who Bugs would have a crush on. Also, NBA players Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Shawn Bradley, Larry Johnson, and Muggsy Bogues, who were NBA greats at the time of the film, star as the players who get their talent stolen, and even Bill Murray and Larry Bird are in this.
For voice work, Billy West (best known to some as the voice of Phillip J. Fry in Futurama as well as the red M&M) voices Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, with Kath Souric voicing Lola. Danny DeVito voices the film's villain, Swackhammer. The voice acting is perfect, as the actors nail the characters they voice.
As for humor, there is plenty of it. Otherwise, it wouldn't be Looney Tunes. With comedy, star power, and action, Space Jam is a must watch.