A Shockingly Good Time with Nostalgia (Review of Detective Pikachu)

Author’s Note: OK…before I even get to the point of the movie I would just like to say, coming from a guy that grew up watching the series ever since it aired in the mid 90s and then not anticipating the worldwide impact that the franchise would have upon most of us (including myself), I would say that it’s safe to say that Pokémon has come a long way. Am I still a huge fan? Yes. I could literally go on with my experience with the franchise but that’s another story for another time. Minor spoiler but it won’t spoil the movie, I promise. Reference to Pokémon the First Movie is shown in the opening scene.

At first glance, I was a bit skeptical but over time I began to think back on Ryan Reynolds’ performance on a couple of characters from Marvel (if you think he only did Deadpool, you have to look again). The marketing for this movie was pretty well handled, I think. While in my opinion I think that the critics don’t understand the craze that was Pokémon when that storm hit back in the 90s, I think I was at the right age when that first hit so the nostalgic feeling hit hard. The more I watched the trailers and then saw Mewtwo…it reawakened that inner child in me.

I used to collect the cards, played the games A LOT. Watched the anime (including the movies, still have number 3 on DVD somewhere) and collected a few figurines and yes…I remember some promo plushies as a kid (KFC had a few. I got Dratini and Seel; there was also Zubat and Vulpix). Pikachu is so darn cute, although I could easily list off other Pokémon in the film (not much of a spoiler but just drawing from my well of memories) [Togepi, Charmander, Charizard, Growlithe, Arcanine Machamp, Ditto, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Aipom, Pidgeot, Cubone, Treecko, Lickitung, Psyduck, Snubull, Gengar, Blastoise, Magikarp, Gyarados, Sneasel, Octillery, Snorlax, Sandshrew, Dialga, Palkia, Geodude, Doduo, Dodrio, Arceus, Mewtwo, Loudred, Meowth, Golduck, Flareon, Eevee] As you can probably tell, the nostalgia bug bit me hard and would not let go. OK…I’m going to just mention a line in the movie. This film definitely hit me right in the “jellies”. I have gotta say kudos to the script writers on this and even more so on the team when they were creating each of the Pokémon and there’s A LOT so I’m happy with the ones that got into the movie.

While this movie is loosely based on the game Detective Pikachu (yes, even the main character) and not having played the game, I did enjoy the way the story played out. Considering that there have been quite a bit of video game adaptations, very few (less than a percent) have actually succeeded. This one I would definitely put in the success column but what really caught my curiosity was how the studio would adapt the look of the Pokémon themselves. While there is a video on Youtube regarding how the voice of Pikachu sounds like in both English and Japanese, sometimes it’s a preference on which one sounds better and then there are times when one does better than the other and then the same can be said for the English choices Some are good, others aren’t.

That being said, Ryan Reynolds did a good job on bringing the humor part of the movie and given his track record on Marvel (Blade Trinity and Deadpool), I think he definitely made Pikachu his own in a way. The way how he delivers certain lines in English, I think would have a rough translation for the Japanese version.

As for Mewtwo, I did like the reference and nod from the first Pokemon movie and what was interesting was how the Pokemon were affected when they went into a certain state of mind. I won’t go further into that for potential spoilers but I was pretty happy hearing the voice actress who did Pikachu’s original voice Ikue Otani which I think most fans might recognize since I think hers was consistently used for Pikachu in the anime as well as the games.

Justice Smith and his performance as Tim

Visually, this is as accurate as Pokemon ever got with regards to a video game adaptation. I loved how Rhyme City looked. It felt authentic and almost something that would exist in the Pokéverse. I especially liked how they showed the evolution of Magikarp to Gyarados post fight after Charizard was able to calm down.

As a fan of the franchise, this definitely fulfilled a childhood fantasy of mine as well as many others old and young alike that was a part of that Pokémon craze back in the 90s. While the story might have been lacking to some, I actually found it pretty good. Most of the music was well written and I could hear bits from the game in the movie which was a treat and I especially loved how they replicated the sounds of the pokéball for the movie. For any fan of Pokémon, I would definitely suggest watching this and to not try and take it just at face value. Plus…it’s a lot of fun.

Overall 8.9/10

A Nearly Timeless Story of Destiny Changed (Fan Retrospective Essay on Time Force 20th Anniversary)

Author’s Note: There are likely going to be some spoilers pertaining to this show. If you don’t want to be spoiled about what happens, for the love of the Morphing Grid go to the section aptly named “Final Thoughts”. For those who have watched it consistently and repeatedly, at least you don’t have to worry.


When I first watched Time Force back when it aired on Fox Kids in 2001, I was already in my early teens and I was still into pop culture during that time period. However, my transition into Japanese pop culture at this point was already complete. What took me longer to piece together was the blend of English footage and with what appears to be “dated” footage from Japan (although one could make the argument that technology and budget were somewhat of a non-sensical issue from the Land of the Rising Sun and they made do with what they had). The only time I figured out that the show was made in Japan is when I was taking the time to read the credits, particularly when I was watching the season Ninja Storm (the 11th season of Power Rangers at the time and also what Ranger fans consider the start of the Disney Era).


Over time the show would definitely be cementing its spot as a fan favorite among Ranger fans (including myself). However, I think it’s safe to say that some of the MMPR cast members (particularly JDF) beat us real fans to the punch first. I think the show was a near perfect storm of cast choices, writing, choreography, and editing. The point of this essay retrospective review from a fan’s perspective is to give insight as to how Time Force and the choices specific characters make throughout the show made this a Nearly Timeless Story of Destiny Changed.



A team of rookie Time Force officers must travel back in time to capture a wanted mutant criminal and his lackeys that escaped to the past. Jen, the leader of the group comes across the ancestral counterpart of her fiancé named Wes. As the two sides work together to solve this case, unforeseen ramifications from their actions will cause a change in course of history for the city of Silver Hills and alter the team dynamics within the Rangers themselves. Can differences in time be put aside to stop the mutant criminal Ransik and his army of evil mutants from altering the course of history?

OK, I admit that this isn’t the exact premise that is shown on the DVD itself but I gave it my best shot at least. However, I tried my best to not give too much information away. As I stated on the first page, there is going to be some spoilers pertaining to the show and I admit that I’m going to add some psychoanalysis to this review as well so I ask that you bear with me on that part.


Shift in Leadership:


Before I begin this section, I want to make things extremely clear here. I am in no way, shape, or form against a strong female character (SFC). The reason is pretty obvious. A female character that had to “earn” and “work” to get to where she needs to be is something to be admired and NOT have a position JUST BECAUSE she’s a woman. Clear distinction for those who have never understood such basics in character development and writing in general.


The first time I saw Jen Scotts on screen and noticed how she tried to lead the other Time Force rookie officers, I knew that without a shadow of a doubt she had a commanding presence that asked for respect. However, it also took a different perspective from the past to make Jen understand that there’s more to being a leader than just the position, which is where Wes, the ancestral counterpart of Jen’s fiancé comes in.


The character dynamic between the two would slowly develop into an interesting comparison; however, as a Ranger fan, one could argue that it would make them become a very likeable couple (I know that I did). What was fun to watch however is seeing how Jen’s friends (Lucas, Trip, and Katie) kept making tiny attempts at pushing the two aloof characters together. Despite being headstrong, Jen sometimes forgot that in her blind hatred against Ransik that her friends, including Wes were always there for her. If there’s one thing that I think a few of the characters could learn, particularly overly headstrong characters (regardless of gender or ethnicity) it would be this quote from the late Margaret Thatcher:


“Watch your thoughts, for they will become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits for they will forge your character. Watch your character, for it will make your destiny”.


Now before people start going off about ‘But wait a minute, didn’t you say that this was about destiny being changed?’, let me be 110% clear here for those who didn’t read. I have to digress for a moment because I get some people don’t understand about reading between the lines and it shows in responses. The entire show goes on about CHOICES that shape a person’s character and in turn can affect destiny, which in turn can be changed.


Since I now have gotten this little nuance out of the way, I wanted to go a little bit into some character analysis and when I mean character analysis, I really meant a select few; namely Jen, Wes, Eric, and Ransik. There’s a Youtuber by the name of The Disney Brain who makes a decent analysis video and I will be referencing his take on the show as part of my in-depth review (the link will be on the references page).


Character Analysis:


When Disney Brain first starts off on the two-part episode, he notes that some of the cues that are taken from the show of Lost Galaxy (which he happens to like) felt more like a nod to me about the visual beats if you will. However, Brain does bring up how episode 3 (Something to Fight For) does act like a three-part opener albeit the title of the episodes may not tie indirectly and it does start Wes’ story arc. The one thing that Wes slowly begins to find out that what he experienced in the short amount of time when Ransik does appear and cause havoc in Silver Hills is that his sheltered life is meaningless and that his father despite running a company that directly gets caught up in the changes and ravages of time alteration would have to see things the hard way in terms of why Wes made his choice and how parents who try to plan things for their kids without even asking them what they want to be and doing their best as a parent to nurture that or even being proud of them really brings up the question of whether or not they (the parent or parents) know what the job is. Wes has a different point of view than his father and it took Mr. Collins a while to see that (particularly when he finds out his son is a Ranger) but confronting Ransik when the mutant known as Venomark is released and trying to stop Ransik from taking the serum (which of course I totally agree with Brain and other Ranger fans on how epic that moment is) definitely caused the show to take one heck of a direction in terms of building up the story and character development (Frax’s Revenge). I will mention this a few times and I think a few fans already pieced this together, but I consider Dr. Ferricks to be the “Frankenstein” of the Rangerverse (I’ll explain more when I get into the Sins of the Future graphic novel).


Being Dealt a Bad Hand


Now to start with the interesting villain of the show, Ransik. When I was watching Mr. Venon Wells play the part, I found the backstory interesting with regards to how vain humanity is in the future. Not only was it non-realistic, but also more or less fantasy in and of itself. Ransik didn’t ask to be born, he was just given a bad hand. How he reacted to being shunned by humanity is understandable (again, I have to reference the classic story of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, not just because it’s my favorite horror story but because of how many people can relate to the monster and have some or little pity to the crazy doctor himself). Ransik may have been considered an “accident” by humanity’s mistakes, especially with one so vain as the ones in the year 3,000. However, as Youtuber The Disney Brain tries to make a point with the opening episodes of Time Force, Ransik wasn’t to be trifled with back in the day. Time Force considered Ransik to be the “last mutant” to take into custody but he was not your average criminal. As for how Ransik got his powers, that’s where Wild Force comes in and it adds a critical piece of information to the character’s backstory. Back then, I found the team up alright as a kid…but looking at the team-up years later, I have a much better appreciation for the cast and crew that worked on it. (I’ll go more fanboy mode on my overall thoughts on this later).


During one of the virtual QA panels, particularly with regards to the villains of Power Rangers, I was watching and listening to the way how Mr. Wells explained the original premise was to be almost more in line with the Japanese counterpart (TimeRanger), even though I had a slight feeling that the reference was a double entendre [referencing the Japanese counterpart while at the same time referring to the fact that Jen was a Ranger from Time Force]. What really got interesting over time and I admit there was an episode that was pretty amusing (more on that later) is that Ransik’s obsession with defeating the Rangers and his blind hatred (which one could say is almost equal to Jen’s) later on becomes his undoing. However, fans easily noticed that Ransik has a condition in which he requires the use of a blue serum. As Mr. Wells did point out in a virtual QA panel from Wizard World that the writers did a good job literally putting the two together unknowingly. From a fan standpoint, I think that the two would cross paths almost consistently but for a very specific reason, one that would involve not just opposing viewpoints on implied racism, but the after-effects of blind hate. The only thing that was amusing was during one of the episodes in which Lucas’ journal is found by Nadira and she is given the false impression that Lucas is talking about her, which in turn causes Ransik to tell the Cyclobots to not harm Lucas and he is forced to take her out on a date [Nadira’s Dream Date]. (Although in the villain interview, I don’t blame Mr. Wells for not remembering the episode and the details).


Supporting Cast and A Few Shining Opportunities


Regarding the supporting characters of Lucas, Katie, and Trip…there was very little done on Lucas and Katie respectively and in terms of character development…it was almost nonexistent. Trip on the other hand only had one episode to shine and it was during an episode regarding a mutant that was being non-violent yet it was forced to attack the Rangers against its will through a mind-control device embedded in its very skin (Trip Takes a Stand). When Eric confronts Trip and the mutant, Trip stands his ground and confronts Eric with not only facts but also reality telling him “If you are so indifferent to those who are not like you, then you may as well destroy me too” revealing the gem on his forehead.

Katie has at least a couple of episodes but it doesn’t go much into her as much as fans would think. Besides thinking back to how time might get altered and the possibility of not finding her family (aka ramifications of time displacement or time and history being “ravaged” because of the actions of Ransik and the Rangers) or the possibility of her questioning the issues of time travel itself (which…unfortunately, is not well explored). The second episode was more or less like a stand-alone alternate universe type of scenario (the clocktower ghost episode). This particular episode does in a way describes my ramifications of time displacement/interference. The narrative of the ghost that Wes originally gave changes because of Katie. (As much as I want to use Back to the Future references as an example of “consequences” the show doesn’t do THAT good of a job with it). This now brings me over to Lucas and there’s not much to be said other than the fact that he’s “there”. Hardly much was put into the character besides the fact that he’s a “race car driver” and he had an old racing rival. Disney Brain brings up the exact same points that I mentioned because, in my opinion, they ran up against a wall on this character.


Now in terms of background for what I consider the “main three”, I would think that the show tried to go with the “less is more” approach and they sort of did. Jason Faunt literally had to do double time playing Alex and Wes respectively (and when the actors mention makeup and how long it takes…they do not joke around). While we only get the fact that Alex was the fiancé of Jen Scotts, not much was given in terms of why Alex became…cold after his supposed death at the hands of Ransik. While the graphic novel Sins of the Future attempted to answer that question…I think it was a hit and miss on both the writing and the direction. Wes may have been raised in a “well-to-do family” but the divide between him and his father Mr. Collins was just the starting point of the push for Wes to be with the Rangers. At first, he is naïve about the situation when Jen and Co. arrive in their uniforms and Wes is given the rundown as to why they arrived in the year 2001, but it even gets odder when Jen mistakes Wes for her dead fiancé upon them first meeting (then again who could blame her, Jen and team did travel through time after all). Eric…is an interesting character. Despite being distant and not wanting to cooperate with the Rangers at first, it took numerous attempts from Wes as well as his encounter with a young girl who was watching over his parrots when facing a mutant that could mimic his voice and control the Q-Rex (Conwing from the episode Quantum Secrets) to have Eric learn what it meant to be a Power Ranger (Wes points this out later on in End of Time Part 2). However, there are a few moments where Eric did help Wes and the Rangers out. One was with regards to the Trizirium Crystals and the aftereffects of what they do, and the second was when Alex reappeared, forcefully took command of Red Ranger, and then gives Wes a ride to the hospital because of what happened to his father (the three-part episode regarding the theme of Destiny – Dawn of Destiny, Fight Against Fate, and Destiny Defeated).


Contrast Between Wes and Eric, Wes and Jen, and Ransik vs Frax [A Tale of Opposite Viewpoints]


Originally, I was going to put the subtitle as A Tale of Different Personalities. However, I have come across comments from obnoxious people on social media who seem to twist what Eric and Jen said about Wes even though he came from a “high status”, he was willing to make his own choice over time and it showed despite originally getting his father’s disproval when he finds his son doing lowly jobs to help his friends. The biggest disconnect however turned out to be when Mr. Collins finds out about Wes being a Power Ranger (Worlds Apart). What I am getting at here is that most people have a tendency to look only at the surface instead of trying to get to know the person better. (Wes brings this viewpoint up a few times with Jen, particularly in the episode Trust and Triumph when they’re facing off against Turtlecon who sends the others into pocket dimensions).


Regarding the episode that I just cited…I’ll have to quote what Wes said exactly and if you think about what he tells Jen, he also tries to break through Eric’s stubborn attitude despite his disdain for those who “supposedly have everything”.


It’s right after Jen berates Wes for messing up the attempt to stop a bank robbery right after the Silver Guardians show up and Wes acknowledges that he made a mistake, and then throws Jen’s “talk” about trust right back at her and rightfully so.


“Trust is a two-way street. You expect us to trust you to lead us, no matter what you say, we do it; but you don’t trust us enough to open up. You never let anybody in”.


Jen goes off about her mission to get Ransik that she doesn’t have to “open up” and it is at that moment that she unknowingly proves Wes’ point.


“See, that’s my point. It is all business with you Jen. Now I know you said you liked me, but how am I supposed to even trust you, when I don’t even know who you are”.


Later on, after Circuit points out that the two would have to learn to trust each other to get Katie, Lucas, and Trip out of the pocket dimension that Turtlecon put them in…as Wes and Jen put together the weapon that is supposed to help break one side of the dimension, Jen eventually opens up about how she and Alex met and how she almost quit Time Force back when she was a rookie.


While Wes and Jen do have their strong points as Rangers to a degree and Jen eventually becomes less strict and tries to “balance” being a leader as well as a teammate, the contrast between Wes and Eric was an interesting development albeit the explanation on the animosity between the two is not fully explained that well. In fact, the same can be almost said for Ranisk and Frax in terms of the lack of explanation on how the two met and also as was mentioned in the Wikipedia for Power Rangers, there was a lack of buildup and surprise in how Ransik didn’t recognize Dr. Ferricks and Frax being one and the same, especially with the use of the Cyclobots (I’ll get more to that later).


As for Wes and Eric, I would need to look back as to how the two actually butt heads albeit briefly. The only time Eric showed disdain for Wes and the so-called rich because of how the others looked down on him was during the episode Worlds Apart. In this particular episode after Univolt is unleashed and the Silver Guardians can’t stop it, Wes went to protect their leader but in the process, the attack shatters his visor revealing his identity to both his greedy father and to his former classmate. Despite what Eric originally described Wes as due to his upbringing, Wes kept trying to befriend Eric despite his cold distant attitude at first. Wes ultimately has to bring up the issue during the second episode of the three-part finale End of Time.


“What is it with you? For years I have tried to be your friend, but you don’t want anything to do with me”.


“My friend? You don’t even know the first thing about me. I had nothing. I was dirt poor, and I have struggled for as long as I can remember, to pull my life out of the gutter. No one helped me, not even for one minute. Unlike you, who has had everything handed to him on a silver platter. You and I have nothing in common”.


Of course, Wes proves him wrong again stating that they both went to change their destinies and succeeded and also giving Eric some common sense that despite differences, they need to protect the city and its people.


Switching back to the couple themselves, Wes and Jen had initial differences during the first three episodes of Time Force. Wes was naïve about the whole situation and Jen was trying to have him be an effective leader, whereas he was showing her how to be a good friend as well as a leader. The two reminisce their time together in the episode A Calm Before the Storm. I did find it somewhat obvious when Wes initially told Jen that out of all the things he was going to miss, it was her before rephrasing it and saying that he would miss all of them. That initial “confession” definitely caught Jen off guard considering that their friends knew how aloof they were to a point and tried to hilariously bring them together, which I found amusing.


This now gets to my final comparison of viewpoints which touches upon the theme of hatred and deceit through the lens of Ransik and Dr. Ferricks (Frax). During the episode of Frax’s Revenge the viewers finally get the backstory about Dr. Ferricks however, the attempt on trying to go deeper into explaining how he became the “Dr. Frankenstein” of the Rangerverse as I put it through the graphic novel Sins of the Future was more or less…kinda rushed. The mutant known as Venomark which gave Ransik one of his weaknesses was unleashed upon Silver Hills and the Rangers. Despite Wes having obtained one of the vials to cure the problem, Ransik was looking for Frax long after the Rangers defeated Venomark and found the rest were destroyed. It is here that Frax reveals to Ransik that the abuse he had endured because he was in robot form and how Ransik only saw Dr. Ferricks as a means to an end that the theme of hate comes into play. Ransik was shunned by society because of his deformed manner. Dr. Ferricks hated Ransik for being used as a pawn, destroying his lab, and leaving him for dead considering that he found robots useless. However, despite Ransik’s attempt on Dr. Ferricks’ life, Ferricks used one of the robot skeletal bodies that he had built and transferred what was left of himself into his robot form and the final vial was destroyed as Frax only appeared as a hologram (which realistically would not make much sense). Later on, when Nadira is told by Trip that there wasn’t much of a difference between mutants and humans, she eventually has a change of heart after helping a pregnant woman give birth to a child. Prior to Frax being a total reprogrammed robot, Nadira asked Frax the topic of hate and after apologizing for what her father did to him, Dr. Ferricks is briefly shown as he struggled to tell Nadira that she didn’t have to choose hate and to break the cycle. As a result of this, during the final battle, Ransik learned the hard way of letting hate blind him and not realizing what he had.


Reinforcements from the Future Team Up Tie-In:


OK, some nitpicky fans would likely ask me why I didn’t include the Forever Red team-up episode from Wild Force. I have just as much of a good reason because I recently had a virtual QA Panel chat with both Jason Faunt and Dan Southworth respectively last summer (a few talking points I had were the team-ups during the Wild Force run). Mr. Faunt explained to me simply that they didn’t know much of the actors who played the previous Red Rangers from different seasons (except one respectively, and I KNOW Ranger fans get who I am thinking about but I won’t say it anyway because it’s too damn obvious) and that for the most part they enjoyed the Wild Force team up more except that part he didn’t go into detail as much but Mr. Faunt did mention to me about how he enjoyed the tie in with their season and how it expanded a bit on the backstory. Remember how I brought up Ransik earlier…during this team-up, Ransik reveals how during the so-called utopia of the year 3,000 due to the vanity of humanity and the “need to control things”, an accident occurred. Ransik was shunned by the humans during the year 3,000 just because of his warped appearance alone and prior to creating his mutant crime gang, he was forced to hide in the shadows. He recounts his story to both Time Force and Wild Force Rangers about how the Mutant Org hybrids came about. After explaining what went out, Ransik looks at Jen knowing that she did have anger for what he did to her former fiancé but what she said next pretty much reinforced my admiration of her character.


“No matter how much we want to, we can’t change the past, but we can work for a better future”.


The team-up scenes were alright for the most part and I found the interaction between Eric and Taylor as well as the banter exchange between Eric and Wes pretty amusing considering that both had different militant backgrounds (well…Taylor did at least). I think the same factors of becoming like a family with the other cast members as well as the writing and the bond they shared and being a part of the massive expanding franchise is what made the team-up work pretty well made in my opinion.


Sins of the Future (Overall Thoughts):


Warning: If you haven’t read the graphic novel by now, I am saying this RIGHT NOWstop reading this section, go into the overall thoughts section, and then read the graphic novel because there are spoilers ahead. I’m not kidding.


While at first when I read about the news for the graphic novel I was initially excited, part of me kept wondering what the connection was with the Black Time Force Ranger to Wes and Jen, and how did Frax play a part in this? Even though the initial pitch was that the graphic novel was supposed to in a way act as a “sequel” to Time Force itself…my interest began to slowly dwindle after revisiting it and my once glowing review began to slowly dim to an above-average viewpoint.


The story seems to focus more on Jen and the so-called consequences of her relationship with Wes. However, despite the two trying to make their “long-distance relationship” work, there are elements of the Hyperforce Team being mentioned early on, and the symbol used for the so-called “academy” is shown a few times. When Wes and Eric are trying to take down rogue Cyclobots despite the numbers supposedly increasing, Jen comes in to help her boyfriend thin the herd. Jen was originally training to have the position of Commander, but Levy says that he thinks she’s more suited for an instructor role because of her experience in Time Force. So when she tries to break the news to Wes, for some reason when she goes to visit him, it’s as if the whole city was “reset” and by that, I also mean the clocktower. Despite the two trying to go on a supposed date, their time together gets interrupted by the appearance of the Time Force Black Ranger who is putting the blame of time being messed up on Jen. However, when I first saw the character, I already knew right away that the gender was female for obvious reasons that I won’t even bother to explain because I know how the Internet is full of morons that won’t shut up to stroke their ego.


Back to the main point at hand, with the appearance of the mysterious Black Time Force Ranger, Jen forcefully cuts everything off with Wes and tries to go back to figure out what is going on, but despite missing her time curfew, she tries to make it to Katie’s house only to be attacked by her former friends and being given the exact same false accusation of time being messed up because of her choices. Just when she was about to be captured, a future Nadira addresses Jen as Instructor Scotts. This happens to be the Nadira from Hyperforce. At this point, prior to Nadira coming in and Jen returning, Wes and Eric were trying to get answers themselves when reporting into Silver Guardians HQ. Before they could begin, the Black Ranger appears and attacks them, supposedly in one timeline killing Wes. Nadira points out to Jen after she saves her that she was from the future and that due to what has happened, she gives Jen a letter written by Wes as Nadira tells her that Wes died. The two have to break into Time Force HQ to get answers regarding this Black Ranger. There are numerous tears in time and space as a result of this strange occurrence caused by the Black Ranger. When Jen and the Black Ranger finally cross paths, Jen is trying to make sense of the whole thing as the two Rangers fight and finally manages to remove the helmet revealing the girl to be the younger sister of Alex, Jen’s former fiancé, named Cyra. Cyra blames Jen for what happened to Alex for some poorly explained reasons (I think the word Disney Brain might use for this point is “pathetic”)


At this point, it then becomes one of those “girl power” moments which eventually kills the mood especially when crap writers can’t put things together to have it make sense. Jen and Cyra makeup and then Ransik, now a director tells the girls about a secret hidden experimental base simply referred to as Outpost One located between space and time. Prior to that, however, Nadira points out that Dr. Louis Ferricks created the Morpher that Cyra is using. There are only two pages that give a general look as to how Dr. Ferricks became what I call the Rangerverse’s “Dr. Frankenstein” for tampering with the fabric of space-time itself just wanting to “be recognized” for his supposed genius, as do most vain scientists who then pervert the craft itself.


The girls manage to get into a ship and manage to reach Outpost One but are temporarily confronted with some failed experiments wandering the wasteland of the place before being able to find a way into the base. It is here that the girls find out what Dr. Ferricks was up to. There are a few possible spoilers and strange references to MMPR particularly with how Zordon became stuck between space and time. All Dr. Ferricks brings up is that in one of his experiments, he managed to find a citizen of Eltar to be one of his guinea pigs. Operation Overdrive appeared to be the name of his project. As the girls travel deeper in the base, Nadira gives a recount of what happened during the Time Force show to Cyra and I found the response from Jen hilarious when she jabs at Nadira saying “Don’t try and summarize my adventures”. By the time they get to the center, throughout their search, they kept hearing a strange robotic voice going on about “trying to fix past mistakes”. The girls stumble upon what appears to be a skeletal half completed robot that resembles Frax. It goes on about trying to “redeem mutants” and that it was left behind to continue Dr. Ferricks’ work. Cyra tries to stop it but Jen warns her that it’s too much for her to take on. As a result, Cyra gets sent back way into the past causing Jen to have to destroy it. However, the morpher gets left behind and Jen somehow is able to piece together that the whole event was a paradox and she goes through time to give it to a younger Cyra and tells her to not let the past control her and goes on about being loving and caring; as a result fixing the paradox and then finding an older Cyra thanking her and how she followed Jen’s advice before destroying the morpher. Afterwards, it appears Jen and Wes try to do a restart on their “date” with Jen trying to explain the issue prior to the attack from the Black Time Force Ranger.


Storywise, the continuity was lacking and plot points were all over the place. Art was not an issue, it hardly was. The writing tends to be the issue especially when fans are involved. While I do give a general take on the graphic novel after given a broken messy review on each “Act” as I put it, the interest in going back and re-reading it seems to dwindle. I did like it initially but overall, it became more like a “fanfiction” of sorts that someone who barely knows how to do character development can work on (some people that I have talked to on the Internet had similar opinions about the comics themselves). The setting itself felt more like an Alternate Universe post Shattered Grid (which by the way is an awesome read). The ending itself was lackluster to a point.


The graphic novel definitely had more plot holes than Time Force itself, but then again, we’re talking about comics here. The flow of the plot is broken and if you have read the Go Go Power Rangers side of the MMPR verse, I have heard that was better than the Mighty Morphin line. Some could argue that SOTF almost falls in line with the way Beyond the Grid went in terms of writing and having gone through the whole thing online…I’m beginning to agree and it’s really sad.


Final Thoughts:


Do I consider Time Force a perfect season? Not even by a long shot. Is it well done? Yes. The characters have some development, a few are interconnected in terms of the story itself. The writing is great, which I can say more than compared to the graphic novel Sins of the Future. As the cast of Time Force points out, they really bonded and became a family of sorts because of the chemistry and how they bounced off each other, plus as Jason Faunt pointed out in the Time Force interview from Wizard World that it was thanks to veteran actors like Vernon Wells who showed them the ropes in terms of acting. Ransik was definitely the perfect villain for the show and fans could see it through Mr. Wells’ performance. While it had some dark themes and touched upon them (implied death, biased viewpoints, segregation, hatred, revenge), the writers didn’t talk down to the young audience as if they were dumb, they treated them like adults, which is more than I can say for most wannabe writers and artists these days, and that’s me saying a lot. It has a few plot holes and some faults, but I think that some episodes more than make up for it. However, the episodes of when the Rangers are in Hollywood and then get trapped in various genres…that one was fun to watch…especially regarding the fact that they found the costume that Vernon wore when he was in Mad Max and one of the vehicle props (I don’t know if that was a coincidence or pure luck). Those that are a fan of the films with Mel Gibson would know exactly who he plays (even though I’ve only seen the second film once). As I found out through Jason Faunt’s IG page when he posted about the Hollywood Madness, they were at Universal Studios doing those episodes.
Regarding the Wild Force team up, I actually agree with Jason and Dan in terms of their assessment on the episodes “Force from the Future”. The flow of going between the two teams and seeing the contrast was enjoyable to watch. Jen sporting what I could only describe as an “Aliens” Ripley inspired look for a bounty hunter was just eye candy. The so-called love hate relationship between Eric and Taylor felt genuine to me that I think they could become good friends. As for anything beyond that…I will leave that up to the “other fans”, but I wouldn’t say that I’m against it. I definitely enjoyed Ransik being the “protective father” when Danny and Max were trying to get Nadira’s attention, but she then went with Lucas (which implied that she does like him – and it kinda looked too obvious from the graphic novel). Forever Red WAS a nice nod to the past but…again, plot armor and lackluster writing combined with reusing characters from the Metal Hero series in Japan (in this case Big Bad Beetleborgs), I am beginning to understand what Jason Faunt meant when he explained to me that he and Dan didn’t recognize most of the other actors (probably aside from JDF and Austin St. John respectively and arguably) and that it was an OK episode at best. I could only imagine the reaction of Kevin Kleinberg (who plays Trip) and his reaction if he watched that episode since he did mention he was a fan since MMPR during that Wizard World virtual QA Panel.


When I was watching the Power Rangers Playback, of which I was a temporary member because of financial issues (hosted by Catherine Sutherland and Nakia Burrise – Zeo and Turbo respectively) episodes regarding Jason Faunt and Erin Cahill discussing about their show Time Force, I found it somewhat amusing watching how they reacted to the episodes chosen (End of Time Part 3 and Fight Against Fate) as well as explain to their fellow Rangers in terms of who was who and what was going on in terms of the show and the premise itself. Catherine Sutherland also explained to me as to why they enjoyed Time Force like many others during one of their livestreams on Youtube (I went under the alias of skyh0und008 – I literally got them tongue twisted on accident because of my name and laughing at one point).


Time Force will always have a special place for me as a fan of the franchise because of the factors that I mentioned earlier when I started this. I still find it watchable even now and it doesn’t get old. Some episodes have a few references to other works (example of an archaeologist named Hammond possibly referring to the late Richard Attenborough during Quantum Quest or the Hollywood Madness episodes – which I briefly touched upon). Ransik’s background and story and how Vernon Wells delivered on his performance not only sold the character for me but also made me respect and like the villain even more which is why he ranks second on my top 5 list. There’s just something about the season that has so much depth, like Lost Galaxy had (also a great season). A perfect storm of casting, directing, writing, choreography, and acting. Definitely a near timeless story of changing destiny.


To close, I have to quote from another pop culture film.
“The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves”
– John Connor (Terminator 2: Judgment Day -1991)

Happy 20th Birthday Time Force. May the power protect you always.


#TimeForTimeForce


References:


The Disney Brain. Power Rangers Time Force (Changing Your Destiny Part 1) https://youtu.be/zwuOPEm-89g

The Disney Brain. Power Rangers Time Force (Changing Your Destiny Part 2)
https://youtu.be/NzWr9_xae6I

Power Rangers Playback, Episode 13 Power Rangers Time Force Fight Against Fate (Part 1) – https://youtu.be/h72O3boTYks

Power Rangers Playback, Episode 13 Power Rangers Time Force Fight Against Fate (Part 2) – https://youtu.be/z1YjAqgSeAA

A Spark of FanService, A Dash of Humor, and a Ring-packed Load of Nostalgia (Review of Sonic the Hedgehog)



Author’s Note: OK…I’ll be frank about this. Definite spoilers ahead for this movie. I can’t stress it enough. If you don’t want to be spoiled DO NOT READ ON and just go to the section titled “Overall review”. It’s there for a reason.

When I first heard about the trailer for this movie, I was literally having a sense of dread about how the movie would turn out. However, when word got out how fans hated the initial look of Sonic…Paramount actually listened. Yes…they ACTUALLY listened. But…the original person who worked on the correct look of Sonic got fired as a result and honestly…I admit that it sucks but it goes to show that these “woke” (emo possessed uneducated illiterate morons) individuals are the current plague that Generation Z has to deal with along with Generation Y (whatever is left of it).

Stupid Jealous Whiners Bashing aside, I still remember the times in the 90s when technology was still starting and the video game industry wasn’t doing so bad. Both Sega and Nintendo are done by Japan by the way (for those who don’t fully grasp history). So…for the most part…I would say 60s would be the start of modernization by Japan to a point…but it really kicks in by the time the 80s roles in. I still remember the Sega Game Gear (yes…I am that old) and how I struggled to play through the Sonic games. I kid you not. So…fast forward years later to the present and I could hardly imagine my surprise when I and many fans of the 90s learn that Paramount got it right.

While the basic backstory to Sonic is straightforward to a point to fans of the blue hedgehog, it also pointed out that even those who don’t know who Sonic is…they at least get an idea of what the character is about. I did notice a creature that was similar in appearance to Knuckles the Echidna when the house in which Sonic was raised in by Longclaw was attacked. As for the character design and accuracy…it is spot on. The rings that he has…well…that’s another thing entirely. (SPOILER: they make temporary portals). Also…either it’s me or somehow I got a “Dr. Strange” vibe going on with that part. To quote: “See the destination in your mind. Imagine every detail. The clearer the picture, the quicker and easier the gateway will come”.

As for the jokes, some of it was funny. I was at least a bit pleased with Jim Carrey getting into Robotnik (or should I say Robuttnik) character and the references to the game universe and lore itself. The fact that Sonic refers to him as Eggman was classic because that was the original name of said character so I enjoyed the nod to that fact. The fact that Sonic took a trip with Tom Wachowski who he dubs as “Donut Lord” just to not be alone in the world and how that contrasts with the bully aspect of Robotnik (then again…I’ll just refer to him as Eggman)…it pretty much tells me what I already knew. Yes, Sonic can be childish (it’s a family friendly kid film), but I do admit that Millennials (at least Generation Z) are CLUELESS…on these characters that most of us from the 70s-90s grew up with and honestly…I don’t blame them.

When I saw the way the robots were designed, I could definitely see how they respected the lore that the character was from and then seeing Sonic roll up into that energized ball and taking out the tank which just slowly detaches from its destroyed body sections…to me…that was just classic Sonic being Sonic. The scene in which it is carrying the turtle…I couldn’t help but think of TMNT for a split second and then by the time the turtle is set down…it’s obviously shell shocked (pun intended).

One thing that went through my head was the last name of Wachowski. The only reference that I could dig up from that…is the brothers who did the Matrix trilogy. Pretty sure observant fans might have caught that reference. My best guess…the ones working on the film are fans of Keanu Reeves (I mean the guy did do an amazing job as Neo and John Wick). When Tom and Sonic were over at the bar as they were getting away from Robotnik and his robots, I was able to spot for a few seconds during the time slow down sequence of the fight (likely borrowed from other films) chili dogs, which Sonic happens to like. As for the climax of the film…I do admit that I liked the use of the rings and there are possibly some references to the level design of some of the areas (besides the actual Green Hills which is accurately portrayed) well done design team over at Paramount, but the overall climactic scene in which Tom realizes the use of the rings, I loved how he just distracted Eggman for a brief moment, long enough to give his spiel about Sonic and how deluded Eggman is for Sonic to wake up to his actual potential and bust Robuttnik to the mushroom realm using one of the rings.

Overall Thoughts:
Now, I admit that the addition of a piano rendition of the Green Hills zone is pure nostalgia and waking up the inner child for most adults (including myself), and I honestly think this is a win for the fandom at large and just proves if you pay attention to the customers but also know when to draw the line, you might have better success at promoting your product in this current clown world (which to be brutally honest, I would rather utilize to point out how deranged people have become). The Fandom Menace (of which the community is amazing by the way) illustrates how people who really care about quality and never quantity seriously get reality more than most of the corporate morons in the entertainment industry ever well.

Sonic was a part of my life and I have fond memories to a point of playing the games (despite not beating most of the levels) and Sega is a good company. Also, for those who plan to see it…definitely stay for the mid-credits, I kid you not.

The jokes may have been cheesy, the characters relatable, but I especially loved the seen of the kid giving sonic the iconic red shoes and Sonic going “Wow, I’ve never gotten a real gift before”. One other fun reference…the slowing of time and nod to the X-Men, particularly Quicksilver. Until Robuttnik uses the quill that Tom discovered to match him in terms of pacing. I can simply say this: Sonic fans rejoice. We get a total win in this culture war.

Character design: 9.0/10
Story: 8.0/10
Jokes: 7.5/10
Performance: 9.0/10
Accuracy: 10/10
Nostalgia: 10/10

Overall: 8.0/10

“Gotta juice”.

Time (Poem)

Time

So easily used and quickly wasted

Like money

Yet most can’t decide which to have more of

Precious but easily taken for granted

A warning alarm that doesn’t turn off

It never quits

It keeps on ticking

But unlike the clock life is limited

We are here one moment

Gone the next

The song If I Could Turn Back Time is foolish

It’s wishful thinking

Because the past is done

It can’t be changed

Regret begins to fester

Can drive a person insane

But the present is now

The clock is ticking

We should give it our all

I make an effort to not waste this chance

Time is limited

I make a silent vow

To not waste another second or minute in regret and doubt

I’m going to use it to the best of my ability

Are you?

#Poetry #perspective #reality

Which Fell First? The Quality or the Premise (Review of Angel has Fallen)

Author’s Note: OK. I’m going to be brutally honest here. I was entertained to a point on this movie but barely…however…I could easily point out the hypocrisy and the stupidity of Hollyweird just as fast as I could review this movie. Summarized spoilers for all 3 are in this review. For those that don’t want to be spoiled, I say it again and again, “Just go to the section titled ‘Overall Thoughts’”.

This movie was heavily laden with Anti-2A, Anti-American, Anti-Trump bull crap. Femenazi and weak men crap as well. Did it piss me off? You bet your bottom dollar. Unoriginal writing and fake representation. I’ll say this much: strong women representation is bull crap. It degrades women far more than those scantily clad ones that have brains and brawn and still have flaws. I would take them over any Mary Sue crap all day every day (Femenazis can shove it). The movie reeks with PC garbage. Put simply on my Anti-Hollyweird rant: it ranks 11 on a 1-10 scale of PC virtue signaling. It panders to these Anti-First Amendment terrorists and something that my family will never comprehend, even my little brother. If that makes me the only sane person in my entire family…I’m fine with that.

That being said…I’ll be working backwards from this ‘Has Fallen’ trilogy starting with the latest and then going backwards. Yes. You heard me correctly. I said “trilogy”. Starting from Angel, then London, and then finally White House.

To start off, the character development of Mike Banning was somewhat interesting throughout each entry. With the latest one however, the villains were too obvious from the opening scene. Most of the people there were obviously European or Arab to a point, yet that wasn’t what really grinds my gears. The VP was pathetic and just another “impeachment” Socialist fantasy of these ungrateful, illiterate, extremely stupid actors that never understood “real” oppression and prefer that Muslim hate filled bastard Obummer. Yeah…I said it. Always screeching about “appearances” and looks. The story was severely scattered, had zero substance. They shoved again with the bull crap of Russia. I took Mike as one of the type of guys that was willing to do what he had to in order to not just prove his innocence but there was a reason why he did what he did. Just like his father who he was tracking after being framed by the VP. Then he has to deceive those he worked with just to get to Trumbull. Painting Pro-2A individuals as crazy just shows how severe TDS is in Hollyweird.

The acting of some of these individuals was NOT the issue. The garbage of the editors, the writers, the directors, hell about 99% of them are delusional idiots.

That being said, what Mike’s father said about the government is absolutely true. I totally get what he is saying but unfortunately, my family only knows the surface.

“Once they have you in their tentacles, they will never let you go”.

What was said about the government when it has been infected with Socialist idiots who NEVER experienced Socialism in their freaking spoiled over privileged lives, there’s no doubt that the world has gone to s***.

The second quote I like just as much…something that Hollyweird and Demoncrats never takes to heart.

“Sometimes you have to know when to quit lying to yourself to spare the pain from your loved ones”.

Lying is a part of the job when it comes to acting. War isn’t only about deception. So is acting.

To get to some of the meat and potatoes of this movie (again HEAVY spoilers): Mike gets offered the job of Director of Secret Service by President Trumbull. He hides the fact that he has been having migraines and the like by taking medications to cope with the pain. Of course, the fishing trip goes south but the way how the villains operate in the movie is just so cut and paste that it is beyond pathetic.

When I saw London Has Fallen, I wasn’t surprised that they went with the usual crazy Muslim terrorist narrative yet the actual city took offense at how Hollyweird crapped all over the problems because of them. Again, they kept the same actors yet this time it was about making sure the President was safe during his visit to London. Mike was a part of the security detail. Same case with White House has Fallen. Part of the Secret Service yet they had to deal with Communist Koreans. The leader in that one is the same guy in Die Another Day (007 with Pierce Brosnan as the last time he plays Bond).

Overall Thoughts:

The entire trilogy cuts from the same cloth and is beyond repetitive. The stakes are hardly raised much. It’s a mediocre action flick with actors given crap roles but the writing and editing is utter trash. Especially the last one. Some people say to not listen to the critics…however…for those that really bash and hate this trilogy…I say kudos to them. They’re being honest at least. Anymore than I can say for sure.

Overall Rating: 3.0/10

Acting: 2.0/10 Gerard Butler was OK in the movie as was Morgan Freeman. However, Nick Nolte was the only enjoyable performance of the movie. Danny Huston was given a crap role as a villain. I was more convinced with the crap X-Men Origins Wolverine than this.

Action: 5.0/10 (Same old same old)

Writing: 1.0/10 (Garbage riddled with Anti-2A, Anti-American, Fake Representation, Femenazi and weak mean syndrome, Anti-Trump is strong with this one. Overall, a heaping steaming hot pile of Socialist Mainstream Media Hollyweird crap).

Consequences and Being Remembered (John Wick 3: Parabellum Review)

“Sic vis pacem, parabellum” – If you want peace, prepare for war.

Author’s Note: This will be a spoiler filled review with some references to the first two films even though the premise is pretty simple so if you don’t want to be spoiled, please by all means go over to the section titled Overall Thoughts.

When I first heard about the movie of John Wick, it sounded interesting at first because of both the story and the action sequences. An assassin that is now widower gets a gift from his late wife after she dies of a terminal illness, but then his car gets stolen and his dog gets killed by a young arrogant Russian. It then turns to a revenge film which then reminds me of one of the themes that gets brought into the film series: consequences. While I did just a brief summary of the first film at the bare minimum, the world building and the gun fights were great and the backstory in a way felt unique because of the fact that John did something that most never dared try.

With the Continental (a “safe haven” for assassins), I liked how it served as both plot device and the setting definitely reminded me of those fancy looking expensive types from days of old. Winston was an interesting character as the manager of the one in New York and the whole idea of how the rule of no “business”/killing can be done on Continental grounds was pretty good (something that gets revisited in chapters 2 and 3). William DaFoe’s performance was good as always even though he was in the movie for a little bit, but even then I enjoyed it a lot.

With the second chapter, the film introduces something that I have heard of only a few times in reality and it’s one that I find not only ironic but at the same time foolish out of human nature being corrupted. It’s a blood oath. In this case, it’s in the form of a medallion, or as it’s called in the film a marker. Even though John went to get his car back after the events of the first film, the moment that I came across Santino…I had a feeling that the guy was bad news. Despite John being able to fulfill his end of the of the marker, the fact that the High Table is nothing more than a bunch of criminals didn’t really surprise me especially with the fact that John was originally able to get out of the life. Charon was an interesting character as the Concierge of the New York Continental and another thing that I almost forgot to mention that Winston proves true that Santino could not is that when Santino said that no one could walk out of the life of an assassin, Winston sees something else in John. Not only was Wick able to get out, but he became a better person because of it.

The biggest irony about their so-called “rules” is that they are literally animals even though they say it’s what separates them from the rest of humanity. While the unbreakable rules appear to make sense on the surface, in reality…it was more of an excuse for some to become controlled by power and then there’s the saying that goes “There’s no honor among thieves” which is true because the very thing that those assassins claim that they’re different from (animals) is the one thing that they can’t really run away from, just lock it away.

As I stated from the start, one of the theme besides vengeance was consequences. John eventually had to face those consequences despite him and Winston being “friends”. The irony though is that Santino betrayed John and saw him as a means to get power. So despite John having to honor his marker and also realizing that he was just a pawn, Wick then also asks for assistance from an underground crime lord dubbed the Bowery King, the consequences of what John had to go through in part 3 as well as the repercussions of those who helped him in the second chapter then made me realize what was really going on. The High Table is arrogant and Winston was willing to go to war against them. However, what John doesn’t realize is that the initial betrayal after the gunfight in the Continental is that it was intentional. Or was it?

Because it wasn’t just him that was now declaring war…my guess…is that in order for John to really understand the question that Winston told him prior to the Continental being temporarily “deconsecrated”, he is going to have to literally go against the very thing that made him a killer.

Overall Thoughts:

Since there’s going to be a chapter 4, one could only wonder and hope that this one will close the whole story of Wick. Because now, it’s not just the consequences of those who helped John and the ones that got maimed that have an agenda, but I’m guessing that Sofia might have one as well because of what happened in Casablanca.

The second time that I watched it with my brother and his friends later at night, the theater was full but the audience was livelier than the first time that I watched it with my brother and my dad. The fight in the antique weapons shop was amusing and well done in terms of choreography. Definitely enjoyed the music from the movie and I was grinning when I heard the Vivaldi piece for the Four Seasons “Winter” during the Continental gun fight since I felt that it fit the mood of the movie. Among some of my other favorite tracks from the official soundtrack, it would be the following: “Parabellum”, Excomunicado, Antique Gun Assembly, Dance of the Two Wolves, Winter at the Continental, and Zero vs. Wick. Overall the soundtrack was great as it captured the tone and mood of the film.

Seeing Marc Dacascos performance as Zero was a bit of a treat since I recognize him from Double Dragon (yes…that far back) as well as Kamen Rider Dragon Knight (Master Eubulon). One of my favorite lines was from Winston when John came back and literally confronted him in the Administration Room (the Glass Room).

“Who do you wish to die as Jonathan?”

Reason…sounds a bit simple at first but…consider this: if one does not know how to live, how can one expect to know how to go out once he/she has lived or used up their life and for what purpose?

Fans of The Matrix (myself included) were probably grinning or smiling widely with a nod to the first film even though we know that Laurence Fishburne and Keanu Reeves have acted together on all 3 films but I couldn’t help but bring it up.

“Are services still off limits to me?”

“As far as I am concerned, they’re fully reinstated. What do you need?”

“Guns. Lots of guns”.

I can only hope it gets better with 4 and if it ends on chapter 4 then I seriously hope that it goes out on a really high and satisfactory note. I seriously hope that the Adjudicator is prepared to face the Boogeyman.

Overall: 8.3/10

First film: 9/10

Second film: 8.1/10

Long Live the Kaiju King (Godzilla: King of the Monsters Review)

Author’s Note: Slight spoilers for the movie but overall not so much. However, I will be referencing the original (which I need to rewatch fully) and the Ghidorah movie itself to a point. So if you don’t want spoilers please go to the section titled Overall Thoughts. Don’t say you weren’t warned because you decided to gloss over the author’s notes.

Oddly enough my first memories of watching the King of the Monsters actually started back in my years of youth (90s to be exact) with the cartoon from the 80s (yes, it was from that time) followed by watching one of the old Godzilla movies back in the early days (before the 90s adaptation done in America). Now when I did watch the very first one in 2014, I was quite impressed not just with the visuals but also the story to a point. While the first was just as much of an homage to the King itself, the sequel brings it back to its origins even more. For those who have seen the old black and white film, there are references to the very first Godzilla movie. One being Dr. Serizawa and another being a weapon known as the Oxygen Destroyer. Tiny spoiler regarding the weapon, it doesn’t do squat to Ghidorah.

While I was interested in how the story went for each kaiju, they didn’t explore much except for the fact that the government regardless of ethnicity doesn’t know crap when it comes to science, military is pointless, eco-obssessed activists are just as bad and stupid (and this movie definitely points that out, so I’m not sorry for hurting feelings). That little rant out of the way, now I can dive into the meat and potatoes of this review. First off, the monster designs. Rodan was alright and somewhat similar to its original counterpart (I did watch that movie and found it OK) and I liked the destruction scenes as it was flying and gliding. Mothra and Ghidorah were amazing eye candy. Godzilla was impressive as usual, but what was just as interesting were the other kaiju as a result of Ghidorah besting Godzilla temporarily and seeing the various others appear around the world. I had a feeling that I would literally, slowly become a Mothra fan and boy was I right.

Second, the human aspect of it…most of it at least…was flat to a point. The fact that fake feminism was being pushed again and Hollowood never getting it through their thick skulls that nobody gives a crap about rigid poorly written narcissistic dirtbags just never ceases to surprise me. What really made sense however, besides the environmentalism aspect of the movie is not just the poorly written lines of Charles Dance’s character (Colonel Alan Jonah) is one particular line “What lies did your mother try and sell you?”. What’s the significance? Besides Alan getting caught up in his own lies, what he was trying to point out to Madison realistically was that her parents were just as bad as he was. Drowning her with their eco-terrorist propaganda after Godzilla killed their son. Maddened by their grief, Madison slowly fell into the same stupidity that her mother was. It was during the conversation between Serizawa and Mark about having to make peace with their demons that really struck a chord with me. It is only when Madison realizes that she was being manipulated the whole time by her insane mother after both of them were captured that she realizes that what her father was trying to point out is reason over being emotionally possessed.

This is one of the few times that a male character utilizes his dark moments (in Mark’s case, the drinking as a means to ‘escape’ from the problems that were made from his mistakes; although to be harshly fair, the mother did just as bad) to make sense about the environment and what humanity’s place was as Ghidorah began controlling the other Titans around the world.

When Madison confronts her mother about the real reason she was using the technology for bad purposes, she then decides to take matters into her own hands and rebel; basically taking the “Orca” and using a particular frequency to calm the other Kaiju down. One other line that really made perfect sense that Mark was able to convey and his daughter was able to understand was this “Releasing them will not bring our son back”.

This is what those possessed by emotions and obsessing with nature fail to grasp. In trying to save the Earth, you only kill it faster. While I did enjoy the environmental disaster aspect of the film, the whole “save humanity from itself” trope has been overused, abused, and misguiding. The reason being is that radicals are the dark side of humanity and always has been.

I won’t spoil much into the final battle but I will say this: Godzilla after getting some help from the humans was able to hold his own against Ghidorah and even though Mothra had her moment, the fact that she was able to take on Rodan being influenced by Ghidorah makes me like the character even more. Plus…she was able to detect Godzila napping as Mark and some of the others went to look for him earlier on before the final battle.

Overall Thoughts:

Visually, the movie was a treat and being an average fan of kaiju films this definitely delivered the goods and then some. While some of the human aspects of the movie was treated in a mediocre manner, the homage to the original Godzilla is something that fans of the franchise might have noticed. Both in music and the references that I mentioned earlier. The disasters made in the movie were believable, Ghidorah was intimidating to an extent but I seriously wish there was a bit more personality with the heads. To me…that tiny detail felt underused. When Rodan did that barrel roll as he was chasing down the main airship of Monarch, visually that was well illustrated even though it was CGI. Ken Watanabe’s performance was great as usual. The whole “saving the Earth from humanity trope” has been overused and abused that you can beat it with a stick. However, do I think it was utilized effectively? To a degree yes…at the expense of half baked written human characters. After all…it’s just as much of a monster movie and the humans are just along for the ride. The paradox however, is that humanity makes things a lot worse when trying to save the planet from itself. I think this movie does bring it up pretty well.

Overall: 8.8/10

General Thoughts and Opinions for DOM (Decade of Marvel): The Road to Endgame Part 1

Author’s Note: While I have read a few Marvel Comics and consider myself an average fan of the franchise, I will admit that it is usually the first film that comes to mind when comparing stories of a certain character, the origin story and rarely do sequels top the original. However, do some of the choices made by the studio seem out of place? Definitely. How and why? I can answer that question in one sentence. You sacrifice quality for a quick buck. That’s how low the entertainment industry (even comics) have fallen. Way past the bottom of the barrel, and down into a near endless abyss. But I have excluded one film even though it has some ties to the end of Phase 3, which I will get to (3 guesses who). I would easily summarize it in a short paragraph despite not seeing it for a good reason. Keep in mind that this is a combination of both my opinion and some notes about the films that I have seen so tiny spoiler alert for those that have never watched some of them. So…after a decade of Marvel films and sequels and new starts…it has all lead to the Endgame. So, let’s start all the way back to 2008 with the film that started it all shall we.

[PHASE 1:] The Blueprint

Iron Man (2008)

“I am Iron Man”

“Did you really think you were the only superhero in the world? Mr. Stark you just entered into a bigger world. You just don’t know it yet.”

“How ironic Tony. You tried to rid the world of weapons. You gave it the best one ever”.

The film that started it all. I only knew the bare minimum about the character. Weapons dealer, arrogant, bright, billionaire, gets captured by terrorists and then makes a suit of iron to escape from his confinement after realizing the mistakes he has done. The poetic irony and the only inner demon that I realize Tony will never admit he has inside, is his ego. Yes, his military friend Col. Rhodes tries to help him get back into the world after what Tony went through in the Middle East, but sometimes even the brightest of minds can also invoke monsters worse than they can imagine. Stane represented the dark side of corporations that exploit for their own personal gain, that even though the guy built the company from nothing, the morals are just as much as night and day between the two. What would not surprise me later was how some of the later films would harken back to not just this film, but a few would harken back to the origin films of the so called “trinity” of Marvel.

The Incredible Hulk (2008):

“I hate to say that I told you so General, but that Super Solider experiment was put on ice for a reason”.

Not to be confused with the Hulk film of 2003, the base of the story deals with scientist Bruce Banner getting exposed to gamma radiation because of a military experiment while being hunted by the military and turning into the giant green anti hero monster that many Marvel fans love. However, the only tiny difference between the two films is the fact that the main villain Abomination is the antagonist. What makes the connection to Captain America however is the failed attempts at doing the “Super Soldier” experiment of which Tony’s father was a part of. Hence, the reason why Bruce Banner gets turned into the titular character. While Betty was the only one keeping him sane at first, the fact that the experiment of Bruce turning into the Hulk and the supposed secrets of creating a “super solder” could create a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions bothers Bruce and he tried to get the sample destroyed, but someone gets injected with the serum and becomes a monster just as bad as the Hulk. While having understood the basic storyline of the character, the visuals were pretty good but it was pretty easy to follow what causes people who are obsessed with power and control yet forget to control themselves; making an inner monster while lashing out at others for something that they themselves caused.

The post credits of The Incredible Hulk harkens back to the problem of hubris of which Tony easily forgets when he “confronts” Gen. Thunderbolt Ross and alludes to the “Avengers” project that Director Fury mentioned in post credits of Iron Man.

Iron Man 2 (2010)

“You lose Mr. Stark”.

“I’m very real. I’m the realest person you’re ever going to meet”

“I didn’t give Rhodes my suit. He took it”.

“Hold on. You’re Iron Man and he just took it?!”

While the take on SHIELD, Whiplash, and War Machine were for the most part, spot on, Tony having to find an alternate power source to power up the reactor in his chest and having to deal with not just past ramifications of his father’s work but realizing that sometimes certain things are just not meant to be done because others will take advantage of it right under your nose. Such was the case with the petty Hammer company not realizing that he was being manipulated by Whiplash. Black Widow’s introduction was obviously the best part of the movie, while Tony teaming up with his best buddy Rhodes came in at a close second before the second round with Whiplash. However, Rhodes having to literally snap Tony out of his mental instability to Fury and Agent Romanov trying to help Tony focus on finding a new element to his reactor battery problem while making Pepper the new CEO of Stark Industries really makes for one hell of a ridiculous laundry list of issues for someone as ego centric as Tony Stark.

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011):

“I could do this all day”. – Steve Rogers

“Arrogance may not be a unique American trait, but I must say Captain you do it better than anyone. But there are limits to what even you can do, Captain, or did Erskine tell you otherwise?” – Red Skull

“I don’t want to kill anyone. I don’t’ like bullies; I don’t care where they’re from”. – Steve Rogers

“Whatever happens tomorrow you must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man”. – Erskine

The fact that this one went a bit on the old school design in terms of how the times were and since we’re also talking about how the character exemplifies American patriotism and defending the values of the Constitution against tyranny…I thought the first film would actually still be great. What mattered more with the titular character was values and morals vs tyranny and pursuit of power by any means (which is what was the case with both the modern military and Abomination in The Incredible Hulk). While I did enjoy the timely visuals in terms of what went around during that time, I especially liked the origins of Captain America in general and especially with the fact that during the time, America was facing the fight against Communists and Nazis. However…the fact that such individuals existed in America didn’t surprise me. Moreso in the fact that such sleepers blended in the general public (more on that in part 2 Phase 2). The interesting part about how the Infinity Stones became an integral part of the MCU made me wonder how the others would be incorporated film wise based on the numerous comics for many of the characters of Marvel. In this case for The First Avengers (and again with The Avengers) the Tesseract (or the Space Stone). What made me curious about the climax was where the Red Skull was transported. I know that the Wikipedia assumed that he was dead but I had basic knowledge of its ability so I knew that Red Skull was alive (more on that in Part 3 Phase 3).

Thor (2011):

“You are a vain, greedy, cruel boy!”

“And you are an old man and a fool!”

“Yes… I was a fool, to think you were ready.”

[Odin to Thor

“It’s not a bad thing finding out that you don’t have all the answers. You start asking the right questions.”

“For the first time in my life, I have no idea what I’m supposed to do.”

“Anyone who’s ever going to find his way in this world, has to start by admitting he doesn’t know…”

[Thor to Selvig]

While I did have basic knowledge…or limited knowledge on Norse mythology (ie: who was who, the setting, etc.), this version of the Norse god of Thunder was more or less an arrogant young man that needed a bit of reality and humble pie. I did enjoy the visuals of Asgard and the Bifrost. Anthony Hopkins’ performance as Odin was really good and Tom Hiddleston as Loki…I can see why fans like the God of Mischief. But I can definitely see Chris Hemsworth as Thor because of how he portrays the character. The only minor cringe has to be some of the writing (but it shows a little more in The Avengers). While Selvig and Jane Foster did serve as a means to help Thor adjust to Midgard, it was the Warriors Three and Sif who were his friends in battle whereas the aforementioned two helped Thor become humble and understand what it meant to protect the innocent and those who could not defend themselves. However, in reality, this was more of the classic mind over matter and brains vs. brawn scenario (the geek modern version is Batman v Superman and I don’t care if I am getting off track for a brief moment but the fact remains the same in terms of how everything doesn’t involve brute force).

Even after Loki found out about his real heritage, what was a bit sad and vain of both Loki and Thor was trying to gain the approval of Odin, their father but in different ways. However, Thor’s time on Midgard made him realize that they were worth protecting despite all the flaws that humanity usually has. While Hawkeye had a brief cameo and Coulson was in the film after his brief stint in Iron Man 2 per orders of Director Fury, the only question remained as to who the main villain was going to be when The Avengers started, that is until the post credits of Thor happen when Loki arrives on a parallel plane to Midgard and the Space Stone is rediscovered after being fished out of the ocean.

The Avengers (2012):

“Yeah, you say ‘peace’ I kind of think you mean the other thing” (Fury to Loki)

“You know the last time I was in Germany, and saw a guy standing over everyone else…we ended up disagreeing” (Capt. Rogers to Loki)

“Aren’t the stars and stripes a little…old fashioned?”

“With everything that’s happening, the things that are about to come to light, people might just need a little old-fashioned”. (Agent Coulson to Capt. Rogers)

“We have a Hulk” – Tony Stark to Loki

“Because if we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damn well sure that we’ll avenge it”.

After five years and 5 films, the first time I heard about the movie coming out, I had a feeling that it might be great. While the main villain was obvious I kept getting the nagging feeling that this first team up was just a set up to something more. Some of the dialogue wasn’t too bad and I could rattle off some quotes if I felt like it but…before I get to some of the good ones, I had to admit that I have to give kudos to the script writers and the genius of Alan Silvestri who made the theme of The Avengers. Most fans can easily rattle off some lines but I sometimes stick to some of the most significant quotes. Dr. Banner explaining about how he wanted to be rid of the Hulk by ending his life and yet the doubt he was wrestling with caused the Hulk to come out anyway (2003 Hulk). [Note: This was actually a deleted scene, but referenced].

“Big man in a suit of armor. Take all that away and what are you?”

“Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist”

“I know guys with none of that worth ten of you. I’ve seen the footage. The only person that you fight for is yourself. You’re not the guy to make a sacrifice play. To lay down on a wire and like the other guy crawl over you”.

“I think I would just cut the wire”.

“Always a way out. You know you may not be a threat but you better stop trying to play the hero”

“A hero? Like you? You’re a laboratory experiment Rogers. Everything special about you came out of a bottle”.

While this exchange between the two not only shows how much they dislike each other, what shows is that Tony is every bit like his father and never puts himself in check because of his ego whereas Steven has the set of morals that has slowly been forgotten by most people (which…in all honesty is sad), but…keeping those values and morals despite being literally “out of time” is what make Captain America so memorable. Despite Loki being captured voluntarily after running off with the Space Stone and having been given the Mind Stone (the Scepter) [already 2 out of the 6 Infinity Stones] plus putting Hawkeye and Erik Selvig under his temporary control, while some of the Avengers dislike Loki and Thor dismissively disregarding the fact that Loki is playing them (although only Capt. Rogers seems to have figured that detail out), and then Director Fury having to ask “Then why do I get the feeling that he’s the only one that wants to be here?”, it’s Black Widow that was able to piece together Loki’s real plan, letting the Hulk destroy the Hellicarrier.

By the time we get to the Battle of New York, parts of the Helicarrier are in shambles, Loki killed Agent Coulson and Thor and the Hulk are far from the others; the remaining Avengers realize that they have to put their differences aside and work together in stopping Loki and the army that he plans to set loose on the city (the Chitauri).

Visually, most of the fights were good and the Battle of New York was done well. Plus the music was tied in nicely to each of the great scenes. It was also nice to see a cameo from the man himself, Stan Lee. Near the end, when Fury faces the World Council post Battle of New York…I love the exchange that he gives.

COUNCILMAN: I don’t think you understand what you’ve started: letting the Avengers loose on this world. They’re dangerous.

NICK FURY: They surely are. And the whole world knows it. Every world knows it.

COUNCILMAN: Was that the point of all this? A statement?

NICK FURY: A promise.

Because no matter how great the danger may be, there will always be a need for heroes.

With that being said, here’s my ratings on the first 5 films:

Iron Man: 9.0/10

Iron Man 2: 8.0/10

The Incredible Hulk: 7.5/10

Captain America: The First Avenger: 8.9/10

Thor: 8.0/10

While I have been curious about the pathway of the franchise, I did have to remind myself a bit of caution because of “fatigue” and it’s potential. However, with what modern Disney was doing…part of me didn’t trust the brand entirely. Could some characters show growth and development? Likely. But all of it depended on how the rest of the story arcs came through.

DC Outdoes Marvel Comics with Their Captain Marvel (Review of Shazam!)

Author’s Note: While this is a spoiler free review (to an extent), I will admit right now that I know only the basics of Shazam and what realm he technically falls under with not just regards to powers but also when comparing the two comic industries…it’s almost night and day.

I will admit that the amount of humor in the movie was good and that the seriousness of the film was pretty well balanced. However, in terms of the plot itself…it was to a degree…a bit predictable. In terms of the origin story about how the character came to be, it was pretty interesting. How the test was done to root out those easily the ones who gave into the temptation of power by the 7 cardinal sins. One of the key points in the movie that I easily spotted was manipulation by both human nature and also the dark side of it.

What I found fascinating was how the story of the champion came about and how the previous choice betrayed the Council of 7 Wizards by releasing the 7 sins into the world wiping out an entire civilization and attacking all but Shazam before the sins were encased in the Eye.

Getting back to the key point of manipulation, what was clear in terms of the difference between how Dr. Thaddeus Silvana was manipulated and how Billy Batson was manipulated (in a manner) as Shazam by one of the other foster kids he was living with is the fact that both were bullied when they were young. However, the foster family that Billy Batson is with, despite the diversity all have had their fair share of being picked on and how bullying is still an issue regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or job profession. It’s more on how one responds to it. One of the foster kids, Freddy despite having a slight disability, did temporarily use Billy’s ability to change into Shazam and his abilities for his own gain and the desire for fame and attention. Although Billy slowly became a bit arrogant to a point with his powers. It was when a bus almost falls because of his carelessness with his lightening powers that Billy literally gets woken up by Freddy when Shazam gets berated.

When Dr. Thaddeus Silvana gets manipulated by the 7 sins, it not only addresses the dark side of human nature, but also how our own inner demons can literally control us if we’re not careful. However, when they come out the first time, I noticed all seven. But when Thaddeus confronts the foster family and then they find themselves at the Rock of Eternity and I count the ones that came out…I only spotted 6, which meant that the last one, Envy was in Thaddeus.

The humor dynamic although a mix between cheesy and silly to outright hilarious was just the right balance to counter the dark and serious tones with the 7 sins, what they did, and the connection between them and the Council of 7 Wizards. The climax had a good bit of humor to a degree but it was pretty amusing when Shazam was in that familiar scenario of the villain being a good distance away from him as he was giving the typical “villain” speech. Though I won’t go into detail about it to spoil the movie, overall…the movie was quite enjoyable even though there were a few moments that felt a little over the top on the humor side of things.

Design wise, I eventually got over the size issue of the suit and I really liked how the designs for each of the 7 sins were made. However, some of it did look a bit…redundant to a degree. Like I have seen a few of the designs before in other fantasy or dark fantasy films or TV shows and the like. Heck, even in video games (Blizzard’s Diablo does sort of come to mind to a degree). A few almost looked a bit troll like in design to be honest (not like the one from Harry Potter thank goodness).

What’s pretty obvious is that many young kids and even adults (including myself) can all relate to those times when we have been picked on at school or elsewhere and sometimes wish we had some sort of magic word that could ease away our troubles, however…that’s looking at things through an extremely narrow and selfish viewpoint as Billy Batson slowly had to figure out and something that Thaddeus never did.

Despite not having read the comics and having only grown up with the trinity of superheroes and even Green Lantern (John Stewart for me at least) as well as the Teen Titans, I slowly began to figure out in what category Shazam fell under especially when I look at it from a mythology lens. It was pretty easy to place him in the realm of magic and Greek mythology since Wonder Woman is also in that category of sorcery and mysticism like Dr. Fate (DC’s main mystic). The only time I began to understand the origin story of Shazam a tiny bit was from playing the video game Injustice and also reading the comic accompaniment that tied to it (which is really awesome by the way).

Am I interested with what Warner Bros. is trying to do with DC now that Marvel is slowly on a decline? Maybe. Cautiously optimistic I would say. However, such a thing called superhero fatigue does exist. I’m slowly starting to feel it.

Overall rating: 7.3/10

Separation Is Bittersweet but Necessary (Review of How to Train Your Dragon The Hidden World)

Author’s Note: Despite never having watched the mini series for HTTYD and having only seen the films and have not nor will not read the books despite knowing there are differences, I know that I won’t be able to comment on whether or not there was much character development for said characters but sometimes it’s the antagonist that causes people to think more than the protagonist. I speak in terms of what motivates and cause said antagonist to go down the wrong path and despise people/others in general.

As the title of my review suggests and as an old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. The matter is how it will end. On top of that, I have a slight theory as to why these films hardly ever continue and instead the continuing stories are either abandoned or put in a different format altogether, but I will save that towards the end.

When I first heard about How to Train Your Dragon, I almost dismissed it as an average animated cartoon for kids, yet I couldn’t help but get the gut feeling that unlike another kids book series (as I eventually looked up) Guardian’s of Ga’Hoole wasn’t able to take off (pun intended), this one seems to have potential to a degree. However, what didn’t surprise me that I should have caught on quickly was the “role reversal” of the genders and the obsession with appearances. In short, poorly written female characters by both genders. Yes, for those that are reading, I’m not kidding. I don’t care if I come off as misogynistic, there are women that are misandrists and they are a lot worse than men. Case in point, poorly written characters from both men and women show that there are some who really don’t know how to write in general.

Literary generic rant aside, I felt a bit skeptical for a tiny bit about this last film for a few reasons. One, it pushes the narrative of caring more about animals/creatures than humans; two, said antagonist is another one of those trophy hunter tropes; three, female dragon is based straight off of the unicorn type design; and four, the film was designed to pull on heart strings. Am I a bit disappointed that it’s ending with three films? No. Am I a bit disappointed on how literary tropes are abused? Yes.

The whole staying in a safe secure spot because its familiar scenario is all too obvious. Why? Because if you don’t venture out of your comfort zone, you get stagnant and never develop. It is in the unknown outside of said comfort zone where the most development takes place. In the case of Toothless, while having been cared for by Hiccup and finding out that he wasn’t the only one and having been the new Alpha Dragon, Hiccup realizes that the two have to part ways and take care of their own respectively. Yes, they’ve been friends for a long time but as someone once said, “friends come and go all the time”.

The opening sequence was somewhat amusing and fun while Hiccup’s mother was watching from above despite a few…missteps by the twins and Snoutlout. Although…one interesting bit early on was how Toothless reacted to something as if it was familiar to him. This gave me the slight impression that he would eventually find out he wasn’t the only one while bringing up the question who hunted most of the Night Furies to extinction.

While Hiccup had been struggling with his duties as chief, and Gobber had to bring up the subject of marriage, what temporarily caught my attention was that the dragons had found their respective mate…all except Toothless. Despite the guys being ridiculous, I find Toothless’ reaction to the Light Fury (good writing on the script writers’ part) amusing but the part in which Hiccup gave his friend a few suggestions to try and impress her was hilarious. But what was glaringly obvious was that the Night Fury was missing the other half of his tail fin. So even though Toothless tried to follow the female, technically, he was grounded.

Eret explaining about Grimmel and how he temporarily knew of the guy and his methods was an interesting insight into who he was as a character and a villain and his motivations. However, I assumed at first glance he was like one of those trophy hunter types but I was slightly off. The interaction between Astrid and Hiccup I found pretty cute. While I may not have recalled off the top of my head of what she said when she mentioned that Eret and Snotlout being into Hiccup’s mother, I enjoyed the way how their personalities, while opposite, bounced off each other to a degree. Toothless was a lot of fun to watch as he tried to catch the female’s attention.

However, when I saw those scorpion-like dragons come up, I was like “Talk about formidable. Their venom like spit is both corrosive and flammable. Plus their venom is like a mind controlling neurological disruptor”.

I may not have paid much attention to the soundtrack as it was playing but the “date”/courting sequence between Toothless and the Light Fury was a joy to watch. But what really caught my attention early on as the female lead him on, was that both had their own way of “disappearing”. The female just uses her fire attack and then charges into the explosion, whereas Toothless uses lightning to charge up his attack and then go invisible for several seconds. The interior of the “Hidden World” when Astrid and Hiccup go to find Toothless definitely gave off Avatar vibes to a degree.

The way how Grimmel uses a bit of psychological tactics to try and get into a creature’s head and how he “lived for the hunt” gave an arrogant hunter trope vibe, but…what Hiccup doesn’t realize later is how Grimmel got to his head slowly. I found it a bit interesting to watch to see how Hiccup’s attachment to Toothless would also be a crutch in and of itself. Yes, while not the only focus of the story, it does ring the question of “Where would Hiccup be if he never met Toothless?”.

During the meeting/hearing when Hiccup tried to explain to his people the situation of what happened after Grimmel attacked despite Hiccup and the others trying to set up a trap for him, the people found Hiccup’s explanation about the Hidden World a bit ridiculous but I wasn’t at all surprised at Astrid for supporting him and letting him say his piece. But despite having to find a new place to settle and call home, I did find a touch of the whole “the people make the nation not the other way around” a quick recall to Thor Ragnarok at what Odin tells Thor or probably because I have a habit of over analyzing films.

When Hiccup, his friends and his mother go to confront Grimmel and he explains his motivations after settling, I find his reasoning has a tiny bit of merit despite the fact that villains still twist their own logic without realizing it. But when Ruffnut is captured, Grimmel over hears her talk about the new spot that they settled in and lets her go on purpose acting as if he was annoyed with her yapping.

Despite Hiccup and Astrid finding the Hidden World and seeing Toothless with the female as “King and Queen”, I wasn’t as surprised when the pair find the Light Fury following them and then Ruffnut coming back because Hiccup and Astrid were able to piece together that she was followed and then Grimmel sprung his trap.

The chase sequence was pretty good although the battle on the ships was fun. The other hunters seemed like they were there for just acting like dumb minions. Hiccups reaction to Toothless’ lightning ability was amusing because he thought he was going to get “shocked” from the attack. (Couldn’t help it).

The little round purple dragons that were considered a bad omen was a tiny bit creepy but when they attacked, they sort of reminded me of piranhas to a point, and it was kinda amusing seeing Gobber sort of…overreact to them. But…the talk that he gives Hiccup about him bringing dragons that they rescue and the fact that most of the people of Berk kept them as pets did question the title of the trilogy itself.

However, what did sort of impress me besides the visuals was the focus on human relationships. But there was one thing that did get annoying to me as a starting writer but I will get to that part in a bit.

I definitely enjoyed Gerald Butler’s appearance as Stoick even though it was only in flashbacks. Both me and my brother agree that it was literally the best pay roll he could have ever gotten.

Overall:

I know that I stated the main point of the film early on but now I will get to the one thing that bothered me. Sameness. Simply put, pandering and repeating like a broken record. Two and three have practically the same rehash stupid issue which surprisingly is brought up briefly in number three. But the biggest crime is and always will be character development. As much as I would want to care for these characters, it was severely lacking. Literary tropes are beaten to the point of death that they become useless. Nostalgia kills more than helps a case (Entertainment industries always always failed to comprehend this. It’s like talking to a wall).

Quality always, always matters. Quantity is an excuse and a way of saying that you don’t know what you are doing. Pushing false equality is the equivalent of poisoning the young. It sends a terrible message and overprivileged women and men are to blame for destroying young girls and boys for fake diversity.

Did the visuals outweigh the problems that I stated? Hardly. It did distract temporarily but that was it. The whole having to take better care of animals message has been overused a lot. It’s no longer about what kind of world future kids are going to be living in, but what kind of kids are being brought into the world.

Now, I did say that I had a theory about why some films don’t do well with sequels. Changing of hands means the next person will respect what was given or mess it up royally. (Star Wars is dead by the way). Change was never the issue. Quality has and always will be, the number one factor that determines if a movie should have a sequel. You start strong at first but over time, you begin to falter, and then the end result becomes a half baked rehash rushed below par quality of a product.

Despite all of the problems that I stated, overall…the film was fun even though it had a laundry list of missteps and flaws from a literary perspective.

8/10