Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Can you believe I was gonna originally post this on Monday? My senile ass is losing it.

It was a friggin' treat watching this series. I mean obviously from the offset it had my attention, a Wednesday Addams show by Tim Burton, very much in my wheelhouse. And what I got was thankfully far and away from my reservations and fears, cause when that trailer hit I was like, okay're on the knife's edge of being a CW show please be careful. It played it's cards just right. So our story involves young Wednesday Addams having to transfer to a new school where fairly immediately a mystery pops up that she's hell bent on solving, taking us over the course of eight 45 minute episodes of humor, twists, intrigue, and more than plenty morbid dialogue. And I truly must admit, during that first episode I was teetering on the fence, I saw a lot that won me over but some stuff was holding me back, but then I took a good few paces back and looked at it. The Addams Family just simply has not had a show like this, it's digging into new grounds and therefore has the right to make it's own adaptation. It's own world, characters, dilemmas, and choices. Once I remembered that, at the 20 minute mark I was all in. I am saying it. I am not taking it back. Jenna Ortega, best Wednesday. Because she takes the core baseline of Christina Ricci's Wednesday and expounds upon it immensely, hilariously grim, highly inquisitive, more blunt than a dull knife, and endlessly entertaining. I cannot express this enough, she is flawless. I thought her bubbly roomate Enid was gonna grind my gears, nope! Cute as a button, bless her heart, she's great fun and that lovely cheery balance to a child filled with woe. Pretty great to see Gwendoline Christie again, Christ she is difficult in this show though but I understand that's the point, this hardheaded principal who holds much annoyance with Wednesday and is a hurdle for her to get across. The semi-love triangle thing I could have lived without, but Hunter Doohan and Percy Hynes White did do very well and were nice characters for Wednesday to bounce off of. When I heard Catherine Zeta Jones was Morticia I could picture that incredibly well and I will admit there is one scene with her and like duuude, her acting sent a blade of ice straight through my heart. Like a chill ran through me for just the briefest of instances so color me impressed. I very foolishly held reservations with Luis Guzman as Gomez and it took exactly 3 seconds of him serenading Morticia with a Buddy Holly song and I was sold. Needed more Lurch though. Bastards. And of course, we actually get Christina Ricci in this show, and she is sooo not a cute little cameo, and then bye we never see her again. She is in every episode! Thank you for that showrunners I loved seeing her. Obviously no spoilers of even a miniscule kind, but it will be super interesting to rewatch this season I mean that's how great mysteries stand the test of time, on repeat viewings do you still get something out of it? I felt it was a very competent and interestingly woven mystery of murders and monsters, I had some theories which were wrong but I pulled a Hail Mary theory throw and it by God stuck and it was the big secret reveal. Totally didn't have any back up evidence, I just got lucky as shit. Major props to the writers though for this dialogue, it really was everything I expected and more, completely what I loved, I was laughing consistently and strongly throughout. Also brownie points for totally just pulling the rug out at certain tropes, good ol' subverting expectations! Ooh there's this secret society in the school, found out about it early on and quickly moved on. Oh there's this rivalry between Wednesday and a more popular girl Bianca, they sort it out halfway through the show and work together. But there's this weird guy who was trying to off Wednesday and fortells of her doom, he gets sliced stone dead nowhere near the end of the show. I friggin' love that man! Anything but predictable. This is the way. Teeny tiny little note, the music choices though incredibly rare throughout, there is some good stuff right there buddy boy. Seeing Wednesday craned over her cello, belting out Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones, I genuinely believe I saw musical genius for the first time in my life. Hearing this downbeat, orchestral, almost dirge like rendition of Nothing Else Matters by Metallica is easily the best damn song in the show. Holy batshit that was fuggin' goooood! Even just the regular score music is mighty good, enriching and contributing to the gothic architecture, the bleak atmosphere, the cool dark colors, yet is still photographed exceptionally well. It never is too dark, or murky, or flat they knew what the hell they were doing. I'm serious man, I didn't hold high expectations by a country mile but I was incredibly entertained and fully recommend this series to anyone with even the most passing of interests in The Addams Family. Rightfully different from other adaptations, so damn funny, engaging to watch, and gold stars for our main cast. I was kinda hoping this would be a mini-series but it appears season two is at least alluded to, but hey I like this environment and Jenna in this role so screw it, I'm there. 4 stars, 8/10, and now comes the part where we shift from mysterious and spooky, to merry and bright. The cold touch of death beckons, sweet oblivion open your arms!!

Monday, November 28, 2022

Rilakkuma's Theme Park Adventure

I flipped when I saw there was a second show.

Rilakkuma And Kaoru was one of the most pleasant, wonderful, and enjoyable shows I've ever seen so I stepped into this show with love and happiness and I don't think it was in vain. Spread over a short but sweet duration of 8 episodes, each about 15 minutes long, we follow the misadventures of Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, Kiiroitori, Kaoru, and young Tokio as they venture to a soon to be closing down amusement park and plans go awry. It's short, sweet, and cute. I really do not need much more than that. In terms of production, animation, and style I feel this didn't have as much of a budget as the first series but the vast majority of it is done very well. The colors pop, the animation is fluid, they throw in some traditional 2D animation for flashbacks, and the character designs are still great. It maybe didn't make me laugh as much as the first series, but whenever I did it was hard hyena-esque laughter, when something hit it just tickled my funny bone to the extreme. And you're not really gonna buy what I'm about to say here but it's true I swear. These episode cliffhangers got me more emotionally fuelled and loud than any television show I've seen in the past 5 years. Every single one. Like I was practically shaking my fist and wanting the next episode to start immediately. Probably just me but I don't care. Rilakkuma, still me hardcore. And I just have something to say here real quick man. I have never felt so personally and viciously attacked in my life, this show called me out, and the attempt on my life has left me scarred and deformed. Seeing Rilakkuma be too tall or just too big for rides, no desire or initiative to do stuff unless food is involved and always in the mood for food, literally used as a bouncy castle to sit on, that's getting a bit personal to be perfectly honest. He's fragile, very fragile. Our returning cast are still brilliant, I fully took up just calling Korilakkuma "Baby" because...she is Baby and I would guard her forever. Poor Kaoru couldn't catch a break at all, in fact a lot goes wrong for everyone throughout this show. Not in a mean spirited or even depressing way of course, just things don't go as planned. Our characters get sidetracked, lost, spend the whole day trying to find each other, they try to help this nice young lady which flat out leads to a car chase where it sounds like Misirlou is kicking in, there's a conflict for each episode. Which is incredibly intentional because the new characters we meet who work at this amusement park have tribulations of their own but are reminded a few times that you can still have fun even if things don't happen the way you planned it. That's something I am really and truly taking away from this in my heart, I mean that's a fairly good life lesson. Quick sidebar, I was a bit surprised how much kinda spooky scary stuff was in this, I mean yes there was an episode devoted to scary stories in the last show, but even I was a little weirded out with some of the stuff presented. Of course it's more from a childlike perspective of something scary, rather than actual horrifying terror so that was interesting to say the least. I know it's not for everybody, it's pure innocent fluff, but God dang it I was a very happy, entertained, charmed bear, I mean boy watching this. What a splendid way to enjoy a chilly autumn day, get you some good food, comfy clothes, a place to lounge, and tune in. I give it 3.5 stars, 7.5/10!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Pink Floyd The Wall

This was really good.

I was aware of the spectacular animated sequences used in this film, so I decided to throw it in this week. What I got beyond that though really grabbed my attention. So the film is more or less a visual representation of the eponymous concept album made by Pink Floyd, which was kind of a rough period for the band. You really can't discuss the film without discussing the album or more importantly the events that shaped the album. The band was having severe money troubles and their keyboardist Richard Wright was let go, compound that with a lot of emotional baggage the lead singer Roger Waters wanted to get off his chest from feeling incredibly isolated and not in a good mindset and steadily they formed one hell of an album. The film concerns the life events and deteriorating mentality of a character named Pink, and that's really all the plot that can be given. Because the movie utilizes so much music from the album and it is to personify emotions and events, there isn't really a story but a well constructed sequence of events. And I gotta say it flows pretty dang smoothly for the most part considering it is almost a visual guide I supppse you could say to The Wall. It didn't take all that long until we be jammin' to many great tunes, but even beyond that the film has great power in visuals and storytelling! It kinda takes on an anti-war piece for a good chunk of the film, dealing with Pink losing his father in the second World War and how he never had a true father figure in his life. I mean I could go through every section of the film and explain it but that really defies the purpose. It is an experience to watch this movie and I did find it emotionally stirring. Granted there is more allegory and SYMBOLISM than you can shake a stick at, but music is pretty much that anyway. The animation parts are absurdly well done, I mean I have never witnessed such flawless transitioning and morphing of objects and imagery in my entire life. When I told my mom I was gonna review this she asked if I had some LSD and magic mushrooms for the trip, and yeah it's trippy and the movie does require thought but it isn't nonstop psychedelia. Needless to say Gerald Scarfe and all the animators were geniuses able to pull all this off as well as they did. If they ever re-release this in theaters, get your ass in there! It's directed really well, there isn't much dialogue but it holds intrigue, the journey of Pink to break the wall and rise above is something I feel more people can connect with today than in 1982 which is funny because the album came out 3 years prior, and if nothing else you just get to hear Pink Floyd. That's not a bad experience. I know I'd love to dig through all their studio albums and after this I feel I can appreciate The Wall that little bit more, I know everyone raves about Dark Side Of The Moon, rightfully so it is a very great album, but there's more to explore. Hell, my favorite Pink Floyd song isn't even on any of the big famous albums, it's from The Division Bell their second to last album with Lost For Words. Absolutely beautiful and beyond real. But before I keep rattling on, I recommemd it, I very much enjoyed it. I give it 4 stars, 8/10! And oh sweet Jesus, is it that time...again?? I'm not doing it. You get one holiday movie and then I'm going off in my own world reviewing what I want. I'll see you in the frozen depths of hell you cheery, tree massacring, joyfully singing, lap riding, present giving, Saturnalia celebrating, happiness mongers! I really don't like them, no I don't.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Strange World

Good for you Disney, doing something different.

Needless to say the trailer for this pretty much sold me, a fantastical world with many strange, strange creatures. Let's go. So what did I think? It certainly deserves better than a 5/10 on IMDB, but I do have slight issues with it. So our story takes place on the town/continent/planet(?) of Avalonia where a group of farmers are recruited to travel to the center of the earth to seek out the quite literal root of their problem as their energy sources are depleting. Not super radical in terms of story but for Disney it is new ground. I like our main leads, you do feel the family dynamic and I'll admit the relationship between Searcher and Meridian was really dang sweet. Hell props to them for giving a quite cute blooming romance between two guys, if only for a brief moment. However! I have never seen a script so embroiled in a tug of war in my life. Because the plot focuses as much on generation gaps as much as this wonderful world, and at certain points I'm like, oh wow movie you're not going for some tropey cliches of bickering family members and them totally not opening up their emotions. We get some solid open hearted conversations that I feel are good discussions.....and then they ruin it. It's like every step the characters take forward which happens fairly often, every single time is pulled right the hell away and they regress ten steps back. So why should I believe anything they say and get invested when they turn their backs almost immediately on what they just said! It's so aggravating man. Now the character designs are fine, the environments are nothing short of fascinating and amazing to see, the creatures are so imaginative, and yeah the movie throws a curveball that I never suspected even though I was calling out elements of it early on unknowingly. So the visuals once again are the strongest point of the film, which is not good because they were soooo close to getting this dialogue and characterization down but just fumble it bad. And you spend the entire film with these people and their emotional problems to fix, so it hurts the score. Visuals, excellent crossing over into art at points. Story, basic but interesting. Characters, infuriating but have their good moments. Do I recommend it? Ah, it depends on the individual. This isn't new heights for Disney but it's decent and has a good message about environments and how planets themselves are lifeforms. So....I give it 2.5 stars, 7/10, and tomorrow we really diveboard into the bizarre and you'll be surprised what it is. Keeping you guessing for almost 8 years, I'm proud of that.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Fantastic Planet

Well I wanted weird animation in prep for Strange World and boy did I get it.

I think this is my first review of a french film, I've seen a few bits of french cinema but never reviewed any so huzzah for adding another country to the list! This was so damn bizzare man, I barely know where to start. So okay, it is an adaptation of a novel where humans known as Oms are viewed as an inferior unintelligent race by an alien humanoid race known as Draags, and the plot is kinda Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes except with humans. A young Om named Terr is taken in by a Draag and learns their language and culture before meeting other Oms and spreads their knowledge about until it seems a war is brewing, which is unfortunate for the Oms because they are about the size of a paperclip to the Draags who are our natural human size. It's not really a film centered heavily on plot, the reason why people are aware of it is this weird ass animation style and designs. When I first saw it it heavily reminded me of the Monty Python cut out style of animation, but it is hand drawn with heavy use of shading and simple movement. The movement is fluid but the style is far from clean. The best and oddest way I can ever explain it is, you can almost feel the paper the animation was drawn on. And the designs are the greatest part! The Draags I feel were perhaps an unconcious inspiration for the Chiss race in Star Wars, blue skinned, with red eyes, but sans the small facial fins. The humans still look like humans but are dressed in rags. And okay guys, it's french're gonna see nudity. It's not portrayed in any kind of sexual way but you do see breasts, and pubic hair, and genitalia. And you actually get a good sense of this environment you are thrown in, it's assuredly alien but you can piece together what something is for the most part. The environments and other creatures you see along the way are impossible to describe but I can tell a show like Rick And Morty took severe inspiration for the batshit weird designs of alien worlds and lifeforms. The soundtrack is funky weird man, 70s if I've ever friggin' heard it, and I would say it reminds me of Pink Floyd but even though Pink Floyd was experimental as shit this is just it's own style. It's a short film too clocking in at 1 hour and 15 minutes with credits so it's a quick sit. Not sure if you should be on any major substance abuse while watching it, but it's interesting to look at. It's not that I don't recommend it but I urge people more to look at pictures of the film more than watch the film itself. It's decent, but that is the main drawing point. I give it 2.5 stars, 6.5/10, and get ready for more acid fueled animation from our friends at Disney!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Doctor Who: 2018 - 2022 Retrospective

I'm making this short and plain.

Jodie's era was fine. It was good. I harbor no hatred or disappointment at all for it. Jodie was a good Doctor, able to be eccentric and fun but never pulls her punches when she has to act serious or dramatic. Bradley Walsh is a damn king and I want you to acknowledge him! Mandip Gill I feel she needed more characterization but ultimately a decent companion. Tosin real idea why he was hired, he really can't act worth shit, I hate to be mean but honesty can be mean. John Bishop, really funny and a wonderful average bloke to be thrown in the mayhem. Sacha Dhawan, marry me, I will call you Master and [CENSORED], you are absolutely magnificent in this role and I want you back already! Now onto the series. I still feel Series 11 is actually a really good series, only one episode is a bit dull but the rest I like just fine, they did so much new stuff and I appreciate that! Doctor Who has neeeverrrr looked as good as Series 11, even with future series it doesn't have that crisp cinematic quality to it, the cameras they used need to be the standard. Series 12, best series of the Thirteenth Doctor, bring on the Master, the new Cybermen (please keep that design for a good 5 years), and the Timeless Child. Oh yeah. I still stand by that one. And to all of you naysayers that claim, "Well now we know everything about the Doctor! There's no more mystery to the character!" to which I reply, okay smartass literally tell me everything about the Doctor from before the young abandoned child standing by a portal all the way to William Hartnell. Oh wait, what's that? You can't?? Mein Gott! It's almost as if the mystery if anything has deepened even more than originally conceived. What sorcery is this?!? In other words, shut the FUCK up Donny! Very solid series, picks up the pace, gives us new and old in a well formed package. Onwards! Series 13, horribly crippled by real world events unfortunately but not too bad, great new villain introductions, gave if nothing else variety each episode, and each repeat viewing helps the understanding of the juggled plot and characters. The specials, mixed bag but ends on a high note and I'm happy about that! Chibbers, I've seen your previous Doctor Who writing, you ain't the best but you're not the worst either. I'm willing to dive into your other shows to get better acquainted with your writing style. You gave us some cool shit, some of it was very slap dash in planning and execution, but you kept the show going and gave us a fun Doctor. Every show has it's ups and downs, Doctor Who is no fucking exception, but even the more rocky eras had it's fans and was shown love whether currently or in retrospect. I love all the Seventh Doctor stories, yes even Time And The Rani. I treasure Colin Baker and watch his stories happily even if they aren't all great. Paul McGann deserved more than a TV movie and a mini-sode, despite the more cheesy elements of the movie, he's really damn good if you listen to his audio dramas! Peter Capaldi is the best Doctor Who for my money, but I sure as shit didn't worship all his stories now did I? And who knows, maybe David coming back to give another whole spin of an entirely different Doctor, both to his previous incarnation and his first run, will win me over and it'll always be lovely to see him again, but I'm thinking in broad strokes towards the future. Not one series or two years into the future, but decades down the road. Tomorrow is another day and life is just a constant sequence of 5 minutes (until it's not), but you have to look beyond at the impact of it all. I don't think people are posing the question "What will (blank) be like in 20 years?" anymore and they really really should. This isn't the end for Doctor Who, just a lower point than most other series and eras since 2005, nothing more nothing less. It's good, at times it's amazing, and people will wise up to that fact. It's just a matter of time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Doctor Who: The Whittaker Specials

Physician heal thyself.

So let's do this properly, Eve Of The Daleks the third and final New Year's special, how is it? I think it's a solid special, if I had to pick favorites I think Resolution is the best but this comes second. Set in a very budget friendly storage space the Doctor and crew have arrived in the midst of a time loop, and you think oh a Groundhog's Day style story with the Doctor constantly being assaulted by Daleks not a half bad premise, but I actually appreciate it's a slowly dwindling time loop so if someone dies it could be final. It's a fun little story with humor, plenty of exterminations, and easily the oddest Dalek story yet. I'll admit it took me forever to realize who Aisling Bea was because I've watched many a time The Big Fat Quiz show and she was a welcome treat, and Adjani Salmon I hear a lot of creep admonishing but I personally saw him as a shy well to do guy trying to get a relationship started so I took no major offence. It's a decent story and the whole Thirteen and Yasmin or Thasmin for shorthand thing, knowing that and watching allll the episodes beforehand I don't genuinely feel it was terribly tacked on. It can be seen as a more subtle under the surface romantic relationship rather than the petulant, please give me your dick, anvil drop that was series 2 Rose, and if anything it just further proves that no matter the gender Doctor Who is in for the vulva. Moving swiftly on! Now unfortunately we come to what I consider the absolute weakest episode of Jodie's tenure. I know, The Tsuranga Conundrum, Orphan 55, Praxeus, not very highly regarded episodes but Legend Of The Sea Devils is just so underwhelming and just....there. Like come on people, the Sea Devils are finally back and they look glorious, and you give this no stakes, plodding, nary a drop of interest story, I don't even think I can comprehensively recap said story. The Doctor, Yaz, and Dan meet famed pirate queen Madame Ching, who's unleashed the Sea Devils unwittingly who are really fucking with their shit, and there's sea serpents and ghost ships, and all this wild stuff, and....I...I got absolutely nothing. Very good effects, worst sword fight ever I said what I meant and meant what I said, bit more Thasmin scenes for you shippers out there, but ultimately useless and futile. Next! Ah The Power Of The Doctor, a whopping 90 minute goodbye for the Thirteenth Doctor, absolute fan wank overload and emphasis on the load (it's all over the walls boy!), fun, wild, loose, even a bit emotional for me, it seems so much closer to a 60th anniversary special. Again, not too sure I could fully recap the plot I mean so much happens and I feel if you try to break it down the whole story crumbles. All you need to know is Daleks, Cyberlords, and the Master are after the Doctor who in turn after losing Dan, which by the by what the hell I'm gonna miss him, reconnects with two past companions, Tegan and Ace as they try to thwart their plans. I haven't seen The Five Doctors but from more experienced fans it seems this is the modern series equivalent. Just a grand, fun, crazy celebration of Doctor Who and I really loved it. Seeing Jodie's regeneration was a big deal and not for the reason you might which dear God I have notes on that, so you know what? Screw it. We're gonna spoil it. Seeing previous Doctors was a monumental moment, the First, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and well technically 14th Doctors was completely unexpected and I screamed just a tiny bit. Cause I've been delving deeper into Big Finish, so seeing David one more time as the First was a treat, Peter was great, seeing Colin made me scream like a fangirl, Sylvester made me shed a single tear when he talks to Ace because they are my favorite classic Doctor and favorite companion ever, and friggin' Paul being a rebel and looking dashing as ever made me grin like a fool. It may not be the most tightly written Doctor Who story but it sure as hell didn't disappoint or bore. So let's hash out this regeneration. Goddamn beautiful. Best looking regeneration ever, with the sunset, the colors, the rich flames, I was in awe! Jodie's goodbye, not super long or speechy, no flash or heavy emotion, just a simple embrace of the moment even though she wants to see what happens next. Lovely. And then David Tennant shows up.

Fucking.....really??! No, just no, no I am not happy. You've literally made Thirteen nothing. It's an admittance that, yeah the Chibnall era was just shit, and Jodie's tenure is pretty much gonna be swept under the rug. You will soon know tomorrow how I feel about it. I'm already seeing ****s on the internet dismissing this period of history for Doctor Who, when she was The Doctor. Whether you like it or not. It's part of the history, there is no goddamn retconning, there is no fucking revisionist history, it happened! I was already feeling uneasy when Russell was announced as the next showrunner, something unprecedented in Doctor Who, but I was like well we're getting a brand new Doctor so it's nothing, don't worry about it. So you are telling me, the Doctor can reclaim a previous life, a once before seen incarnation. Well where in the high holy hell is my 6th Doctor revisit??? Are you shitting me up the asshole! Even Ncuti Gatwa seemed friggin' pissed in that brief trailer, and I'm right there with you man. It just seems like a titanic middle finger to this era, because Doctor Who is shit now guys so we're bringing back the 2006 era babaaaaaay!! Fuck's sake. Sort it or abort it! No I'm not quitting Doctor Who! I'm too damn commited to it, do you know how many classic Doctor Who boxsets I have?? Like a MILLION! But I damn well expect these specials coming next year to be a farcry from the Tennant era. I'm not playing around. That was good to vent, I feel a bit calmer, not so irate, so let's wrap this up. The specials are a bit mixed, I never do individual episode ratings but if I did Eve gets a 6.5/10, Legend gets a 3/10, and Power gets a 8/10, so overall the specials get 3 stars, 7.5/10. That's it for Doctor Who! Unless I'm gonna do Classic Who, and if I do it won't be in order, the boxsets are kinda all over the place so it would be pure chaos jumping backwards and forwards in time. So if you want it we'll do it, at least one season per Doctor whenever a Second Doctor boxset gets released and my God that might take a minute, poor Pat's lost so many episodes. And on that bombshell, it is time to end. One final retrospect to go.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

In Retrospect: Doctor Who Series 13

I know, one week early. We got other stuff coming up next week.

Very unprecedented this week of reviews, the time has finally passed where Jodie and Chibby step down from the show and an era has ended. It's quite a big deal, for me anyway, cause okay yes Peter was the Doctor when I started all this but I didn't start reviewing Doctor Who until Jodie had started her tenure so it feels appropriate we look back on Flux, review the Whittaker specials, and do a retrospect on her era. So season 13, how was it on rewatch? I wouldn't say it improved but it didn't drop in quality either. The pacing got more understandable and I wasn't running at warp speed to keep up so big plus there. If you've only watched Flux once all the way through, watch it again you'll have an easier time. It's just such a tremendous shame that this only got 6 episodes and is part of that big what if category of Doctor Who. What if Colin Baker continued on for a bit more, what if Doctor Who never got cancelled and the wilderness years were no more, what if Paul McGann got proper visual adventures, and what if 2020 wasn't quite literally the worst year any living person has endured? I think series 13 would have been really good if the shooting schedule didn't get slashed and burned so much, 10 to 13 episodes instead of a meager 6 could have made a universe of difference. And I should know because I'm still salty as fuck about Gotham's last season. Bastards!! But now that the dust has settled I do still like this series. The villains are still cool, the wide range of cast isn't as difficult to keep up with, Jodie I think does very well and is waaay more serious and even angry at points so I must commemd her. Special effects are still damn impressive, it's not cinema quality but considering they are on a BBC budget, very fine work indeed! Best episode for my money is Village Of The Angels, it just works so well with that horror atmosphere and doesn't try to juggle too much. Plus that ending is like for real for real, one of the best cliffhangers I have seen in modern or classic Doctor Who. Weakest episode, though frankly I don't hate any of them, I'd say Survivors Of The Flux though it does still obviously give a lot of interesting and unique ideas, it being a comparitively Doctor-lite episode makes it a bit of a sit. But welcome additions are found in every episode from new lore concerning the Angels, to the introduction of Bel (who is so damn pretty oh my lord) and Vinder plus the reintroduction of my love Kate. Don't even get me started, Captain Jack would be proud of the thoughts in my head so let's move on. This is a brief PSA, watch the Spoilerific Reviews of VoteSaxon07, he is goddamn amazing and he's done all of Jodie's episodes so internet, do your work. Now this is incredibly unfair but yes, series 13 is the weakest season of the modern era. Can you really blame it though due to the production? It's not a full series, it wants to tell a grand scale epic story but doesn't have the time to tell it, and there are some parts I wish they didn't rush (Division) but at the same time every showrunner wraps their stuff up before the next comes. Though Chibmunk sure gifted Russell and future writers a present bomb in the face with that watch. I don't hate the concept or implications, but it will be a fascinating story detail to keep an eye on. It's a decent additional 6 episodes of adventures in time and space, and not a half bad way to kill an afternoon, but I just hope people don't judge it super harshly in the future. Television is some hard shit to make let alone a programme over 50 years old. So join me next time, for a much needed expansion on the last New Year's special and the subsequent two specials capping off with a regeneration.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Black Panther Wakanda Forever

God I wish I could say I was in higher spirits.

Not only is this a sobering film to watch, today is also the day Kevin Conroy has passed away so I'm in a severe grieving state for the Batman and the Black Panther. And this was really the last movie I wanted to have nits to pick at, not at all that it's bad far from it. As a tribute, as a goodbye to Chadwick, it's done damn near perfect. I mean....fucking chilling, impactful, could hear a pin drop in that theater effect. Oh my God! And as a continuation of the MCU and seeing Shuri step up to the mantle, it's good! I have notes but I couldn't bash this movie, I feel it almost gets a pass from critics because of the tragic real world events that capsized whatever the original Black Panther 2 was going to be and it is a stirring good piece of drama when it deals with that. I just hate that it tries to be business as usual after some grieving, yeah I'm going there again and I feel I have even more of a case this time. I know it couldn't have been this mourning, drama filled, character piece for Shuri for the whole almost 3 hour runtime. And indeed there were moments when there were lines that brought levity, a smile, a chuckle, but I just wish Marvel would have just said screw it. No jokes for jokes sake, we're gonna tell an emotional gripping story about the death of a king and a kingdom trying to pick up the pieces with more an emotional debate on if Shuri will be the next guardian of Wakanda. They just can't man, I feel it's almost compulsive unconcious behavior, if you put a gun to their head and said write a movie with next to zero humor they would end up with a slug in their grey matter. I just really wish they pushed this to uncharted territory, cause the rest of the movie isn't half bad with this....okay, James Cameron could have a very possible case for theft of intellectual property cause, it really goddamn is the water dwelling cat people from the upcoming Avatar film clashing swords with Wakanda. They have neat elements to them with a very cool Mayan background, but that's what they are! Their leader does fall into that average Marvel villain trope, there be no Thanos or Vulture fascinating personalities to be found here. However, the acting from everybody down to the extras is rock solid. Super well done and able to convey what they need and sometimes even more. And I love how our leads are all the women we got to know from the last film! Angela Basset, that woman has my heart and my allegiance forever! I was so happy to see more of her this time around and she is glorious to behold in every aspect! Letitia Wright damn near carries the film by herself, I mean I don't think she had to do all that much acting and to see her journey to when she puts that suit on is great. Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong'o while more secondary characters had nothing but my attention and passionate want for them to succeed. Tenoch Huerta does admirable work and I do understand his reasons for why he does what he does but I feel there was just something missing from the writing. Also, major props to everyone who learned to speak these dialects and alright movie you get points for having substantial subtitles throughout. The visuals I must say are outsanding, from the cinematography, to the environments, to the flawless costume design and color palette, it's a feast to the eyes! The score, holy shit balls both the actual score and the soundtrack, wow man! I dig it. Unfortunately the above mentioned notes I have slip into spoilers so I can't divulge much, I can tell you however this movie upset me. Like, almost rage levels upset me. Not on any aspect of production, or they bullshit about with the source material, I was just out for the villain's blood. Thank Christ they didn't try some Romeo And Juliet horseshit with Shuri and Namor, I would have been far more aggravated. It's good, I do like the first movie more and feel it juggled serious and funny better, but the emotional crux is hard to brush off because they handle it so well and I do hope it won't be the last we see of Wakanda. I give it a solid 3 stars, 8/10, and I need a long lie down after today so until next time.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

She-Hulk Attorney At Law

Alright Marvel, you got me! I liked it.

It's hilarious how with the whole Phase 4 thing still going on it does seem like people are finally getting a bit tired of Marvel and are saying man they're starting to get in a rut, and I'm just over here like this isn't complete horseshit I quite like this! Sooner or later all things pass into my domain, when they're outdated and nobody likes it anymore. Real talk, when I heard we were getting a She-Hulk series I was on board hard fucking core, you don't need to tell me anything else, if I get more Hulk stuff I'm happy. So week after week I tuned in and watched and I have to say I thought it was a solid series, not perfect, but better than I think most of the internet (twats) give it credit for. Spread over a short span of 9 episode each roughly 35 minutes a piece, we follow the life of Jennifer Walters who after suffering a car crash with her cousin Bruce Banner, is infected by his blood and takes on a familiar shape. We see her get some Hulk training, how she's trying to juggle both identities and is incredibly reluctant to show her powers, some superhuman court cases, and a finale that made my brain melt a bit. First of all Tatiana Maslany is wonderful as Jen, terrific comedic timing, gets the emotion through, is a fun and interesting lead to follow, and a quite lovely lady woman. I think the reason why this show worked so well for me is just because it's so un-Marvel, it really feels like uncharted territory for them instead of what even fans of the MCU would deem formulaic, it's a comedy show first and is just a bit of entertainment fluff to enjoy. The effect of She-Hulk didn't at all bug me and I felt it was handled quite well, I know we haven't reached that point where we've left the uncanny valley but they did good with transformations and the look of her throughout. Being a character inherent of 4th wall breaking (sit and spin Deadpool you hack) also helps differentiate this show a great deal and it was a major highlight for me. All our supporting cast whether originally from this show or not must be applauded too, Ginger Gonzaga was awesome and you can effortlessly feel that friendship between Jen and Nikki, plus it lools like she's having a wild time in this role so rock on. Also thank you Marvel for legitimizing the only Hulk movie under your belt (rectify that shit by the by) with bringing Emil Blonsky back, Tim Roth really was one note in that movie and to see him bring a very enlightened aspect of this character into the forefront was very cool. And my guy, my home slice, my sweet cheese, my good-time boi Wong how I have missed you! He seems more grumpy in this show but that only makes me love him more, and I am saying this now and standing by it forever! Wong and Madisynn, best MCU couple, wind in the sails ship it, so let it be written so let it be done. I need a whole show of them, writers do your work, Wong has a girlfriend now and let's see more of his pad and his TV habits. And I know everybody was just pulling their dicks out for Daredevil in this show, but I never watched his show, he's not Ben Afflec so I don't know him. I may need to now! Charlie Cox really kinda swept me off my feet here, his energy, his performance, his chemistry with Jen, I was surprised how much I liked seeing him here so who knows I might buckle down and do the not-Netflix Marvel show sometime in the future. And slightly speaking of which, I'm proud of you Jen, you were getting some hey hey in this show and I for one fully believe in a level playing field so get you some, do a bit of female gazing, find a sexy man who you can also appreciate all aspects of and he can do the same for you. I do find it quite fascinating how this show takes a psychological view into a Hulk but not in an overt artsy way somewhat akin to the Ang Lee movie, Jen is trying to make peace with both her halves and finds it hard to see people rave about She-Hulk but care so little for herself and that sucks man, so fair props to the show for wanting to go there and make it much more personable. I mean yeah sure on the surface level it's just a person who can turn into this green rage beast, but there's a ton more to look at under the surface and I appreciate that in any variety. Talk about relationships, mental health, how women think and feel in this modern world, how Jen herself is handling everything. And people can bitch and moan all they want about, "Well I don't want this in my escapist fiction, oh it's just man hating feminism gone mad, blah...blah...blaaahhhh!", and I got news for you sunshine. Real people, real individuals, living in this real world make these stories. There is no stark bold line, there is no fourth wall, experiences and mindsets go into every single creation in media whether conscious or not, and Marvel has always had the identity of giving superheroes real world problems to make them seem closer to us the audience. And for the man hating thing, I give unto thee the examples of Wong the Sorcerer Supreme and keeper of my heart, Pug who may be an idiot but he's a nice idiot and gets along well with Nikki, Emil who quite literally has opened a help group dealing with emotions and working through negativity, Bruce who while has some conflict with Jen cares about her immensely and the brief talks they have about this beast inside them was extremely well done, and Matt who is a charming, nice, partner in crime solving friend with Jen, all quite human but ultimately nice. Is the season very cohesive? Mostly. Is the finale a bit out there? Absolutely, yet in my super brief research She-Hulk's comics often shatter the fourth wall into rubble very much like that episode. Will it stand the test of time decades from now in terms of social media, current mindsets, and it's particular storytelling? Well impermanence is the name of the game of life my friends, so I just don't know. But I can tell you this, in a sea of opinions I am just a grain of salt amongst countless others. I felt it was a light, fun, enjoyable series, I would not mind at all seeing a second season, and you bet your ass Imma' gonna be saving up for a She-Hulk omnibus. 3 stars, 7.5/10, and next time we must pay respects to our king.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Werewolf By Night

Halloween only ends if you let it.

I know it probably surprised people that Marvel has had pure horror devoted comics, but even in my ever so slight knowledge of their history I was familiar with the comics with connections to classic monsters, Werewolf By Night, Tomb Of Dracula, and The Living Mummy, but it was still a bit of a shock seeing them adapt it. And for a special not even an hour long it does a fair bit and tells a one shot comic story where a group of monster hunters convene to obtain a powerful mystical jewel and find there is more to this hunt than they thought. It's short, it's sweet, shot in glorious pristine black and white film grain and all, I had a great time with it. Obviously the cinematography gets a lot of love from me, to see good old black and white horror look so crisp and hi-def was genuinely something I'd never thought I'd see, with lighting that's taken from german expressionist horror, sets that would make Universal proud, and creature effects that only use computers when necessary. The characters for the majority are just kinda there, not poorly acted but a body count has to rise somehow. John and Jovan had great personality to them, and while Elsa was just kinda one note bitchy for the beginning I can fully see why she grew up that way with her **** of a step mom and she did start moving towards likable near the end. Tiniest of tangents here but John flat out was giving me slight Papa Emeritus from the band Ghost vibes, maybe it was the clothes, maybe it was his physicality, but all he was missing was a Vincent Price moustache and shazam, the singer for Ghost! He doesn't even need to hunt monsters, he can just charm them by singing Cirice! And I love our monster friend who looks like a mix between Cthulu sans wings, and Swamp Thing, and his name is Ted. I would give Ted a titanic tight tackle of a hug. Hands down, bloodiest Marvel film I've ever seen. I mean damn they aren't afraid to show some grisly ass shit man! I had no idea blood could be considered art but you see these arcing flows of arterial spray and splatter and it looks impressive I gotta say. I am fully 100% expecting a Tomb Of Dracula special next year and they have to go Hammer visuals, we got our Universal Monsters look here so we gotta jump forward to the bleak gothic atmosphere and rich vibrant blood color of the 50s and 60s. I'm not sure if there has ever been a collection or omnibus of the Marvel horror comics but I'd love to get my hands on one and read all the issues. But as for this special I give it 4 stars, 8/10! Next time, my most anticipated Marvel project since Multiverse Of Madness.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Rings Of Power

I've finished it, and there's still a few pages left to fill in.

Seven and a half years have passed since this journey began, and welcome to the 1,000th review. I've never quite had an experience like with this show. When I heard tale of Amazon making a Lord Of The Rings series I was really taken aback and wondering why would they make a series when we have 3 films for it? Yet as time passed and stories and conversation of the show died down I forgot because I must and moved on with life. Then a change occured, the series was approaching fast and while my knowledge on it was limited I discovered it was taking place over 3000 years before The War Of The Ring, set in the second age of Middle-Earth, then it had my attention. Trailers started coming out, intrigue and excitement grew, I delved HARD into Tolkien from days gone by. Re-read all the books, the anticipation of this show made me read and take notes on The Silmarillion. Twice. All the live action films in a marathon fashion. I strayed out of thought and time, revisiting old favorite video games from Peter Jackson's trilogy. I'm such a dork I procured a ring of power myself, the ring of a Necromancer from the fortress of Dol Guldur. I was all in for this show, but what can a reviewer do against such reckless hate? Naysayers, turn away now. There is no vindication or victory for you here, my contempt for such individuals who banished even the thought of perhaps an entertaining return to this good earth before the series began is unfathomable. I would cast every single vehement, closed minded, and rage stained creature into the Cracks of Doom itself a thousand times over and a thousand times again. The game has changed and this is the beginning of a new era for my show. Get off my fucking planet. Never once has there been a disclaimer in any visual medium that said "This is a complete and accurate transition from page to screen", I've been to the movies hundreds of times and seen my fair share of shows and that's never occured. It's an adaptation, deal with it. With that being said, shall we begin? We start off with a quite strong intro, Silmarillion fans rejoice, with some backstory of course told by Galadriel regarding her last living brother Finrod, who after the Two Trees of Valinor are destroyed and the original great evil Morgoth waged war for countless years, is killed by Morgoth's most trusted servant Gorthaur who took on a new name that of Sauron. Centuries have passed but Galadriel still hunts the evil, with more inner demons to face than external ones as she travels to previously unexplored lands and gains unexpected allies. That's the main story but we follow a myriad of characters, including proto-Hobbits known as Harfoots and a visitor who fell from the stars, an elf named Arondir who watches over the Southlands which is the target for a new enemy, and soon to be elf lord Elrond reuniting with an old dwarven friend Durin as matters grow dark for elven kind. Now I have heard criticism for basically the juggling of these 4 stories but I don't have any wisdom to share with how I would have done it, I found it to be good yet obviously a bit scatter brained so I'm not too sure on how best to improve that. There was no single story I wasn't invested in and while it took awhile to learn these new characters names, I felt the acting all around was very good even though I knew precisely one actor in this entire damned season yet at the same time I am impressed with how much unknown talent was presented here and you may find each main character has a secondary mate. Morfydd Clark as Galadriel is such a strong presence and I fail to see any reason as to shun her performance. This is a character who is clearly flawed and has an arc and a journey to her. She is headstrong, she is quick to anger and battle, she has a tunnel vision goal to eradicate evil, and the two big conversations we have with Elrond and Halbrand were major highlights of the show in terms of writing, because they ask why do you always fight and hold such anger, and the brilliant part is Galadriel doesn't fully have the words to convey it and is trying her best to do so, bringing up traumatic and sad memories to justify herself. I've heard great dismay over gladiator Galadriel but those conversations put that firmly to bed. Plus....she kinda scares the shit clean out of me when she just stares right down the barrel of the camera, like I am genuinely unsettled staring into her eyes. Excellent work good lady. Charlie Vickers as Halbrand does start off as a semi-Aragorn wannabe but how his character progresses quickly breaks that mold and he presents that enigmatic quality quite well I find. Robert Aramayo, by episode two I was like that's Elrond. No question or doubt, no hesitation, no exaggeration, he is goddamn perfection as Elrond 120%! Owain Arthur alongisde him is the heart and soul of this series, even hateful bastards cannot say bad things about Durin and Elrond, their friendship is so powerful and ridiculously believable I teared up a fair bit with them on screen. Markella Kavenagh as our wandering brave hearted Harfoot Nori very quickly had my heart, combine that with Megan Richards as her BFF Poppy and I'm over the moon. Guard them, cherish them, keep them safe, they are the reason why the Harfoot story never feels like filler. Ismael Cruz Cordova fits that stoic yet vulnerable elf role very nicely and yeah I was just waiting for him and Nazanin Boniadi (who I swear just looked exactly like late 80s Winona Ryder) to hook up, as elves and humans oft do in this world and the threat to the Southlands is the big central conflict of the season. So of course let's talk about our commanding villain Adar, shock of all shocks I know but he was hands down my favorite character, played in a very quiet yet strong menace by Joseph Mawle. Man oh man did he knock it out of the park, because he clearly backs the evil side here but he is still an elf and that's a great dynamic conflict, how he treats Uruks with respect and compassion, how he honors elven traditions and still treasures light and life, just oh my God what a character! Screw that cliffhanger with him though, I was not amused by that. Also, titanic sized shoutout to all the actors in the orc makeup, those guys are fantabulous in every instance they are on screen, no friggin' wonder Adar staunchly vaunts for them. I know it may be pointless to praise a show's visuals and aesthetics when they have a surplus of one billion dollars (cue Dr. Evil finger), but it's true. The show looks stunning in all it's aspects. You want gorgeous landscape shots? Check! You want sprawling works of art for cities and architecture? Deal! You want creatures, costumes, and props made with subtle but excruciating detail? Say no more. So yeah, let's move on. There's just so damn much to cover in an epic series like this and I may have to submit to a lightning round of opinions and observations, context be damned, just to put everything on the record so here we go. Creepy ass cult looking bastards dressed in white, awesome. The origin story of mithril, holy shitballs! I thought the actor for Celebrimbor was in either Star Trek Next Gen. or Deep Space Nine but I was mistaken. The actor for Gil-Galad looked like McGee from NCIS, have fun getting that image out of your head! The second to last episode seemed oh so much like an end to the first season with every party gearing up for the next step in the adventure, even more so with the Balrog awakening and then cut to black but hey the last episode knocked my socks off and honestly unearthed feelings I have never experienced before. I want so many props, the not Morgul blade, Adar's gauntlet well pretty much his whole costume, the mithril shard, soooo many articles of clothing, come on internet do your work. Oh my God how could I forget, Disa. Whoa man! I need a woman like that in my life hard fucking core, that is a queen good buddy! I'm happy that sniveling little shithead kid got murdered even if it was offscreen, kill the twats, kill em' all! I really wanted our magic man to not be who we all thought it was, it was far too obvious, they could have just dropped one of the two blue wizards on us for bonus points but oh well. Pretty brutal at times I gotta admit, I mean shitting hell this show gets bloody and I'm for it but at least once it just dug under my skin and made my jaw drop man, ho mah gawd and da baby jeezuz! Those asses did it to me again, you pulled that Lost In Translation shit on me even here! In the last bloody episode! I hate you, you don't split the party, every player worth his salt in Dungeons & Dragons knows this! Sum' bitch. Apparently the soundtrack was done by the guy who did God Of War, that's pretty sick and he did amazing work with particular favorites of mine being the dwarven music and that freaky ass cult whisper music, hell to the yeah. By the by, did anyone buy that Bronwyn and Theo were mother and son because they sure as hell looked more like siblings to me. Can we also just discuss the rampant racism against the elves in this show, cause everyone and their mother just has this grudge against pointy eared people which is interesting, because the elves in the films are the ones a bit on the racist side. Also, I don't fully believe this series is indeed a precursor to the Lord Of The Rings movies and by extention The Hobbit movies as well, it takes elements from it but I also saw me some elements from the Bakshi animated film too so take it with a pinch of salt. That Evil Dead shot was pretty sweet. Oh seeing Valinor open, that was kind of some scary haunting shit, you want to talk about cults I was half expecting the elves to start passing around the magic Kool-Aid! And the thing with Celeborn, I don't buy that for a second, he's fine, he'll be in Lothlorien in...a few hundred years give or take. I did have but one simple request for my wishlist, and I didn't get it and certainly not in the fashion I was expecting, I'm not upset but my dreams of Annatar the Lord of Gifts have been dashed. The people who read this who haven't even touched the books must have so many confused looks and questions but, knowledge is present everywhere, use my knowledge I beg you, springboard into the lore it's groovy stuff even if you just Google a name or location. Do not however become these book thumping, entitled, mightier than thou, I'm the smartest person in these matters, high horse riding shitskids on the face of reality. I will dropkick you off your horse. Don't you fucking dare. Now in the case of Amazon halting all viewer reviews my stance is this, if they froze everything both good and bad reviews fine, however if they stopped the negative and kept recieving the positive reviews, then don't do that. That's bad. Even if humans are massive whiners and were bombing this show even before it finished. It is a good show, it doesn't make a theatrical mockery of Tolkien's works, the writing is solid, the acting is solid, the effects are solid, it's no high standing masterpiece for the ages and neither is it a travesty that would make the pope weep. Out of all the things to be angry about in this day and age, Rings Of Power isn't even on the bottom of that list. Entertained or not, a show is just a show. 4 stars, 8.5/10, and I now need to make a massive decision before the year is done.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

The Lord Of The Rings (1978)

Man, good time for Tolkien adaptations the late 70s were.

Just one year after The Hobbit, underground cult movie making machine Ralph Bakshi undertook a big task that took considerable time to cement even the production of the film, and the interesting part is this movie comprises of Fellowship Of The Ring and The Two Towers in just a bit over 2 hours. Story time! Years back when I was just a pre-teen lad with a love for the Lord Of The Rings films, I owned and watched this version many times before Return Of The King was even released so it was nice coming back to a movie my eyes have not seen for an age. My opinion hasn't changed much, but Jesus this movie moves at warp speed! By the time the Fellowship part has ended, there's only 50 odd minutes for Two Towers so as you can imagine the pacing is the biggest detriment to the whole thing. I feel you have to be incredibly well versed in the sequence of events for the story whether it be book or trilogy, just so you don't feel like you accidentaly hit the fast forward button at several points in this. Oh sure it hits all the important bullet points of the plot, but there ain't much time for character development or even characters (poor Eowyn doesn't even get a single line), extended scenes of dialogue, or neat references to the works of Tolkien all that much though hearing a bit of Beren and Luthien's story was nice. This is a strength the animated Hobbit movie had, cause it only had to contend with one simple story in a bit less than 90 minutes. Now try adapting over 700 pages and even then the movie doesn't obviously fully cover both books, in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Hell's bells that could not have been easy. But it tells it well enough and I somehow kept up with the pacing and editing flawlessly as a child. The animation is a beast of it's own, the film used traditional 2D animation but took advantage of some shiny new tech known as rotoscoping where filmed actors are drawn over to give the illusion of animation. Now in terms of the servants of Mordor, I think it's amazing because there is just this unearthly, eerie, totally unnatural look to the Ringwraiths, orcs, and so on but with the humans, elves, and dwarves not so much. It's passable but doesn't pack as much punch as these red eyed hellish riders in black and hordes of attacking orcs, which were highlights for me back then and most certainly still are now. The backgrounds are outstanding, looking absurdly picture-esque or abstract nightmare backdrops, I could admire them for some time. The cast is very good, Christopher Guard plays a much more innocent and childlike Frodo but still has some fight and power in him, William Squire as Gandalf has that wisdom filled voice and while the animation in terms of movement is over the top the voice work is tethered to the ground, of course everybody praises Sir John Hurt as Aragorn and yeah I fully adhere to that stance he just is the best of both worlds between a ranger and a king, Peter Woodthorpe as Gollum leans closer to Andy's potrayal they play up the deranged mind and addictive personality and even the design had to have influenced Peter Jackson. Well honestly this whole film inspired Jackson to one day make his own adaptation and the similarities are far from coincidental, so I have to appreciate this movie for existing even if just for that. It's a mixed bag but for me it does still come out on the positive side. I like our actors, the animation has moments of brilliance, the whole shadow play opening works super well and brings to it an atmosphere, the battle scenes are much more bloody than you would expect for an animated film and the battle of Helm's Deep goes a lot quicker with little buildup but decent payoff, the Ringwraiths are metal as hell, oh that friggin' orc war chant I know the whole thing cause I'm a f***ing neeeeeerd! It has highlights, it's not admittedly for everyone but if you're hardcore for this world like I am check it out if purely for curiosity's sake. All in all I give it 2.5 stars, 6.5/10, and if you've been keeping count and paying attention you'll know the occasion for tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The Hobbit (1977)

I have been sent back until my task is done here in Middle-Earth.

 I must admit I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Released in 1977 as a TV movie from good ol' Rankin & Bass, The Hobbit is a very humble production and a decent adaptation of Mr. Tolkien's story. Since I've covered the bigger budgeted grander trilogy, to see it in an entirely new light was a real treat for me and I very much appreciate it from the standpoint of the time when it came out. Of course it would look shoddy and lacking in story compared to three movies and even those were a notch bloated, so no I am firmly not in the camp of disliking this. The movie is almost an hour and twenty minutes long so I'll more take this opportunity to disclose what actually made it into the film. Of course Bilbo Baggins is recruited by the wandering wizard Gandalf to aid in the quest of Thorin Oakenshield to reclaim a treasure stolen by the fierce dragon Smaug. To my delight this adaptation includes a good deal of songs as is customary to the world of Tolkien and to hear recognizable tunes in a more folky style made me smile and is prevalent throughout. The eagles are present and actually given the chance to speak this time so point for this movie staying truer to the book. The battle of five armies is briefly touched on like in the book with Bilbo staying out of the madness. Mirkwood is present with spiders and wood elves. And to use the words of one Leonard Nimoy, he fought with the goblins, he battled the trolls, he riddled with Gollum, a magic ring he stole, he was chased by wolves, lost in the forest, escaped via the barrel from the elf king's halls! Big props also to the movie for namedropping Orcist and Glamdring, they actually did do a fair bit of research for this and I feel the love and attention shows. It's no secret the movie runs at a brisque pace so some things got ommited but just as a simple fantasy story I think it works commendably. The animation style is entirely unique, I know Rankin & Bass is prevalently known for it's stop motion works so it is fascinating to see 2D animation from them, the backgrounds are very simple and yet incredibly beautiful, the character designs lean into the more outlandish as it should I mean it's not trying to give you realistic movement and appearances. I think I would totally have digged the hell out of this if I saw it at a young age, though I'm not sure how much younger I mean for God's sake I was 6 when Fellowship came out, but it would have worked splendidly for me. I think I've seen too much animation though, I was distinctly singling out elements of the animation that looked japanese to me and sure as hell the animation crew hailed from Japan. Though admittedly it doesn't have as many noticeable touches of flair from more recent anime, I'm just familiar enough with early examples of it to where I could see it. The voice cast did very well, I like Orson Bean's upbeat and naive potrayal of the bravest little hobbit of them all, John Huston gives Gandalf that oomph of power in his voice and I actually really love how Gandalf's magic is shown in this, Hans Conried as Thorin did have that more wise and kingly aura to him and it's almost hilarious how the majority of the other dwarves are just there for the background, Theodore Gottlieb as Gollum is so interesting to see potrayed before Andy catapulted this role into legend cause Gollum looks more amphibian and seems more just a strange creature than hopelessly addicted tragic character, and lastly Richard Boone as Smaug I can 100% see where Ben got some of his cues for when he played the dragon he has this smooth yet threatning voice and again the design is something completely unique. And that's just the only way I can sum up this movie, it's unique, it's different, it's something only this movie has. People who even attempt to compare this to the Peter Jackson movies are really just setting themselves up for ridicule, there is no comparison to be made it's just two seperate entities of a children's story so you completely and fully have to just judge this movie on it's own merits. And for me, I liked it a good bit, now was I expecting much? Not at all, I almost thought it would be sub standard at best, but I got a charming, enjoyable, utterly novel adaptation and I'm very appreciative and happy I got to see it. Back in 1977 Lord Of The Rings was still grassroots man, if you were a young kid and you read the books, maybe were into D&D, and getting to see an adaptation of Tolkien's work even as a wee TV movie must have been a big deal cause who the hell else was doing it? Nobody, that's who. Today's movie and tomorrow's review walked so Jackson could run faster than greased lightning. So I give it 3 stars, 7/10, and tomorrow's review has actually been coming since the year I started all this so stay tuned.