SOME STUFF FIRST
was a real doll for making this icon: , so give her some praise. Thanks for that! It was a neat surprise!
AS ALWAYS, SPOILERS
Other short stuff to say because I am far too lazy to review them individually: Brave is a good movie, but I wished it had been better. Merida is an excellent, well-rounded character and her issues with her mother is largely sound throughout (the bear transforming thing - did not see that coming and the trailers did a good job keeping it a secret), but it's largely iffy with the message (both mother and daughter must compromise and find even ground) it sends. Oh, it's there and easy to put together, but it honestly doesn't flow as well as I hoped and the issue of them compromising largely seems to work more for Merida than it does Elinor. I also don't care much for the slapstick humor. Slapstick in general is nothing bad at all (I was raised on Looney Tunes, consarn it), but well, I don't want to be that person, but I expected something a bit more poignant from Pixar. As it stands, none of it really stood out or made me laugh, though it also doesn't help that most of these Scottish warriors have about as much personality as a dead salmon. They're just manly and rowdy and they stay manly and rowdy. Not to mention it's a lot more cliche than I'm used to from standard Pixar flair. Actually a lot of their stories can fall under that radar, but it's filled with creativity in terms of characters, stories, settings, and Miyazakian levels of visual innovation that it often makes up and surpasses our expectations no matter what they do. Brave feels familiar - Disney Rebellious Princess of the 90s familiar (in fact, she remains me of Jasmine, only more aggressive and teenager-ish whiny). Even the way Merida settled peace among the warrior clan - while fitting - feels anticlimatic, especially how their sons are all, "Um, yeah, we don't want to get arranged married either." It's hard to root for that when they have so little characters devoted to them.
The one thing I was impressed on (besides the usual, gorgeous animation; Merida's hair is the stuff of animated dreams and nightmares and I love the color of her main dress) is that everyone sports a Scottish accent. Everyone, main character included. That's so rare because fictional media never really pulls that (that includes Pixar themselves; see Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, etc) because we use American English to identity with the core cast, so I thought it was a neat treat. It's still worth checking out, but I'm not sure I'll watch it again. I think Pixar's Golden Age is slowly behind them. Trailers for the upcoming Monsters University doesn't exactly fill me with glee and I adore the shit out of Monsters, Inc. I do think they have the right idea not to make it a sequel; I love the ambiguous ending of that movie just fine.
AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE
If the main course is a little lacking, its short isn't. La Luna's story is delectably simple and voiceless (as per tradition), but easy to follow. The visuals are simply breathtaking; the moon and stars itself gave me a very awesome Super Mario Galaxy/The Little Prince vibe. It's exceptional. Whether Pixar is going down the hole or not, they still have not yet run out of juice.
OUT OF FIVE
Transformers Exodus is one of the most blandest, boring-ass books I've ever read. I know a lot of adaptation from moneymaking fictional sources tend to be as generic as possible, but this is Transformers, a toy franchise where I actually can expect quality from. It's not bad or anything. Optimus and Megatron also get in a good amount of character progression on virtue of being the main stars, but the rest usually asses around doing their own things with presumptions that you know who these guys are and what they do. Granted, I assume the people reading this will be TF fans, but the lack of any elaborate character development beyond their one notes roles (Page 145 introduces Bumblebee; page 146 promptly causes him to lose his voice. He doesn't talk at any point in-between because it was all boringly narrated) renders this entire novel into one big yawn-fest. The book is pretty much exactly how I feel about Transformers Prime; good idea, lame execution. I don't have desires to read the sequel now. There is actually one way this book can be the greatest shit ever: pretend this entire novel is a torrent, tragic love affair between Optimus and Megatron. There's a couple of lines you can milk to support the delusions (however dull they may be), but it makes the novel just bearable. Okay, maybe not, but that's how humdrum this damn book is.
In short: it's average.
AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE
I read Book One of The Dresden Files and already I want more. It's a fun novel. The main character Harry gets into so much butt monkey-ish bullshit that you want him to solve the mystery (he's a wizard private investigator which is simply the greatest thing ever) and pat him on the back once he does. My only complaint is the often cheesy - and at worse - uninspiring dialogues and one-liners (it doesn't quite reach second hand embarrassment levels, but it's close) and some equally cheesy, cliche character archetypes. I heard this actually gets better the further you progress in the series. Well, I'm invested enough to keep going! Book 2, here I come!
OUT OF FIVE
TRANSFORMERS PRIME SEASON 2 AND RESCUE BOTS SEASON 1 (DEVIANTART JOURNAL LINKS)
Links to my DA review of the respective shows.
TFP Episode 27 "Orion Pax: Part 1" Review
TFP Episode 28, "Orion Pax: Part 2" Review & TBR Episode 3 "Hotshots" Review
TFP Episode 29, "Orion Pax: Part 3" Review & TRB Episode 4, "Flobsters On Parade" Review
TFP Episode 30, "Operation Bumblebee, Part 1" Review & TRB Episode 5 "The Alien Invasion of Griffin Rock" Review
TFP Episode 31 Operation Bumblebee, Part 2" Review & TRB Episode 6 "Cody On Patrol" Review
TFP Episode 32 "Loose Cannons" Review
TFP Episode 33 "Crossfire" Review
TFP Episode 34 "Nemesis Prime" Review
TFP Episode 35, "Grill" Review & TRB Episode 7, "Four Bots and A Baby" Review
TFP Episode 36, "Armada" Review & TRB Episode 8, "Walk On The Wild Side" Review
TFP Episode 37, "Flying Mind" Review & TRB Episode 9, "Christmas In July" Review
TFP Episode 38, "Tunnel Vision" Review & TRB Episode 10, "Deep Trouble" Review
TFP Episode 39, "Triangulation" Review & TRB Episode 11, "Return of the Dinobot"
TRB Episode 12+13, "The Other Doctor" and "The Reign of Morocco"
TRP Episode 40, "Toxicity" Review
TRB Episode 14+15 "Small Blessings" and "The Griffin Rock Triangle"
TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS, EPISODE 16: "RULES AND REGULATION"
Or "Who in their right mind would put Kade in charge?!"
Ahh, finally! A Chase episode.
"Rules and Regulation" is a good character study for a couple of characters. Chase is obviously the biggest one; he has to juggle between proper rule protocol and doing what's right. What's interesting isn't that the episode is about Chase breaking the rules because his friends need rescuing, but how he can successfully improvise within the numerous rules, commands, and laws and even find potential loopholes around it to utilize. All things considered, it proves Chase is a versatile figure despite his straightforward demeanor. I think it also says something that Chase has so much respect for his human partner that his command overrules his own Cybertronian leader's.
I enjoyed Cody's enthusiasm over quality father-son time because it's covered in fridge brilliance. The obvious is to keep focus on him since he's the main sibling (and target audience), but this is also remarkably true in real life. Cody's at the age where it's still considered cool hanging out with his parent. He enjoys the bonding moment, especially since he's the youngest and often does feel like he's not getting respect and/or attention. Charlie likely cherishes it just as much since his oldest kids (presumably all in their 20sone imagines what major reasoning prevented the Burns couple from having another kid for a good decade or so) has already been down that road and aren't as particularly thrilled. Episode Ten is another good example when none of the Burns kids sans Cody are remotely interested in the family fishing trip, so there's continuity. Also, TV; respect the TV.
I'm super keen that the series actually dives into the issue of what will happen the day
A couple of complaints: why the hell didn't Heatwave remove the sandwich? Kade was already being a dick callously tossing it on his seat in the first place (also, it's gross) and Heatwave complained about the small later on, so why didn't he just get rid of it? No way in hell Heatwave would tolerate this bullcrap. Secondly, why didn't Charlie just tell the Bots that Griffin Crest was off-limits because of a magnetic field? Instead he completely omits the last part and makes it sound so damn mysterious and foreboding that it made the situation worse. Issues aside, it's a worthy Chase episode.
OUT OF FIVE STARS
ABOUT SIX MINUTES IN: Just wanted to point out some neat animation. I don't have much to praise Rescue Bots in that department (sadly), but I love the camera slowly panning upwards as Cody and Charlie walks further away from it. I'm more impressed the animators didn't make Charlie static; he moves his arms to emphasize every sentence he speaks. Shortly after, Cody skips a little to catch up to his fatherit's absolutely perfect.
I WATCH TOO MANY MOVIES: Blades is genre savvy enough that he calls Heatwave out for saying, "This day can't get any worse."
GEYSER HEAT: Yeah, the Bots will be melted alive, but lava totally not a problem.
BEAR COUNTRY: The ending is probably the most unintentionally fucked up thing ever because it's essentially Charlie telling his older kids to stop the bear and go fuck themselves because he's going to spare his one good kid. XD
BEST LINE: Kade's "Respect the TV" line is fantastic, but another one beats it to the punch, "Kids, let's play a fun game called "Go inside right now." It's something that you have to hear instead of read because he starts off pleasant before he dives right into demanding. It's hilarious and the delivery is gold.
WORST LINE: None
TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS, EPISODE 17: "THE LOST BELL"
Or "The kid died somehow and the robots drew straws to see which one would eat which to ensure their survival."
The first thing that popped into my head when I saw Cody and the Bots stuck on a deserted island is that they need Animated Prowl therestat! That's until Cody proved to be resourceful by keeping himself alive during his stay. To be fair to the Rescue Bots, they're doing a much better job than either Animated Bumblebee and Sari ever did during their brief camping trip. Honestly, when you make this...
...look like decent effort over those two, that's saying something.
Otherwise, I can't say much for this episode. It's mostly amusing just seeing these Bots struggle to survive and doubting Cody's skills until he trumps them all. They're not exactly clueless as much as misguided. The only other thing I observed is Heatwave's view on history and the past when he complains and pinpoints humanity's desire to remember. In a way, our much shorter lifespan likely forges a good amount of memory to treasure (in direct contrast to Cybertronian age), but I think this is actually more Heatwave's point of view than anything else. The war for Cybertron and the waste the planet's become is a constant reminder of the severe consequence that the cast in Prime has dealt with. "Orion Pax: Part 2" had Arcee lament the fate of her loss world, so I think any dismiss of remembrance is directly Heatwave's personality and train of thought. Personal headcanon: this is a defense mechanism for his actual true feelings and he's really upset over Cybertron's loss as much as the next guy, so he secretly thinks about it a lot and is probably upset he couldn't save it.
Also, this entire episode would have been over in ten minutes if the Rescue Bots just took Cody inside one of them and walked/swam underwater back to Griffin Rock. "The Griffin Rock Triangle" showed this is possible, so what's the deal? Swimming back to shore would actually be a bad idea in a storm, but the Rescue Bots shouldn't be affected if they walk underwater. Not enough oxygen in their tanks to preserve Cody for that long? Yeah, I don't know and it's a minor issue for a good adventure (and I'm overthinking) because pirates! Lost treasure! Stranded islands! Heatwave getting bonked on the head by a fucking crab and colliding down a cliff! What's not to love? What could possibly make this episode bett
OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD BLADES WEARING A BANDANNA LIKE A SCOUT! HE'S LIKE A GODDAMN PUPPY YOU NEVER, EVER WANT TO DO ANYTHING BUT CUDDLE THAT ISSOADORABLEGODDAMNITBLADESSTOPBEINGSOADORABLE!
AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE
FOUNDING: Okay, now we know Griffin Rock was founded in 1649.
"ANCIENT HISTORY": You're a Cybertronian; isn't 200 years basically like three days for you?
IRON BOOTS: The wind is strong enough to push a plane, but not humans for some reason. What the fuck is that man wearing, magnetic boots? Also, what's up with the silent treatment of any Burns' love interest? Did they take a vow of silence? Are they not allowed to talk because the Burns family demands it when they choose them to mate and continue their tyrannical bloodline?
COOL, CLEAN WATER: Fresh water? Fat chance! That thing is probably swimming in e.coli.
CRUSTECEAN CRAP: Blades has the worst luck with those things; first lobsters, now crabs.
BIGASS SECRET: What the HELL were the pirates expecting when they build a hatchway big enough for even giant robots to fall into? O_O
BLADES, YOU LITTLE SLUT:
"We tell no one of this."
Well, you're just fucking anyone you see just to get Heatwave's attention, aren't you? Heatwave will never know of your mysterious "time in the woods", but you hope he'll find out somehow and fucking Chase is the only way, is that right?! Is Boulders not that far behind? Ohhh Blades, I thought you were so innocent.
Just look at their faces. This is the look of two bots who had hot, dirty, messy, "I'm-glad-we-survived" forest sex. Finger of shaaaame!
"You thinking what I'm thinking?"
Oh geez, and the first thing Blades does is say "yes" like it's on automatic. Look at his face and the tone of voice when he says it; this is a bot who is ready to get even hotter and dirtier with Heatwave. By the end of Season One, the Rescue Bots will all be one, big orgy and it's because of the series' bicycle. You robots make me sick. Numfar, do the dance of shame!
PIRATE TALK: Blades pirate talks again. He did it back in Episode Ten. ^^
BEST LINE: "We arrived, we survived, we thrived." Catchy, rhymes, and sounds like a badass boast if you scream this at the top of your lungs.
RUNNER UP: "People gather on Founder's Day to share their anger over theft of personal property." Effigies, torches, and pitchforks for everyonelittle pitchforks for the kids.
WORST LINE: None
I'm going to try and not be lazy and create an Index Journal that archives all these links so it doesn't gobble up 1/3 of the damn blog.
TRANSFORMERS PRIME TOONZONE REVIEWS
These are the links to the Transformers Prime recaps I do over at the Toonzone blog. They're generally more condensed forms of the reviews I do here (except no foul language XD), so for those who thinks my reviews on DA are tl;dr, you can always check these out. Also, shameless promotion and all.
1 -5. Darkness Rising Review
6. Masters and Students
8. Con Job
10. Dues Ex Machina
11. Speed Metal
13. Sick Mind
14. Out of His Head
16. Operation: Breakdown
18. Metal Attraction
19. Rock Bottom
20. Partners (NOT REVIEWED YET)
21. T.M. I (NOT REVIEWED YET)
22. Stronger, Faster (NOT REVIEWED YET)
23. One Shall Fall (NOT REVIEWED YET)
24. One Shall Rise: Part 1
25. One Shall Rise: Part 2
26. One Shall Rise: Part 3
27. Orion Pax: Part 1
27. Orion Pax: Part 2
29. Orion Pax: Part 3
30. Operation Bumblebee: Part 1
31. Operation Bumblebee: Part 2
32. Loose Cannons
34. Nemesis Prime
37. Flying Mind
38. Tunnel Vision
Discovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic): Read the entire thing here. More updated as the series progresses. Placed there for archival purpose.
Chess Piece (A Danny Phantom Fancomic):
An AU Danny Phantom comic. It's been canceled, but for those morbidly curious to read this convoluted train wreck, the link is here.
My Twitter: Follow me ramble in 100+ words or less here.
My Tumblr: Lots of pretty pictures I like. I may also submit sketches of "Discovery" that I won't put on DA.
Ask Crescendolls on Tumblr: Ask those four losers (and their cats) whatever you want.
"Discovery" TVTropes Page: I actually didn't make this TVTropes page. Someone else did and that person has my eternal thanks. So I'm promoting it because, well, it's my fancomic. XD
REQUESTS: No, I do not. Sorry.