Monthly Archives: March 2016

Super Recaps: My Little Pony season 6 (The Crystalling)

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Hasbro.

Episodes directed by Denny Lu and Tim Stuby

It feels like it was just yesterday that this show was still on the air and not living up to it’s potential, doesn’t it?  Season five was overall a disappointment, mainly due to the MacGuffin they introduced being underutilized (the Cutie Map) and the finale not really having the kind of punch and significance that we are used to getting from this show.  There were more than a few important and satisfying episodes throughout the season (The Cutie Map, Slice of Life, Rarity Investigates, Crusaders of the Lost Mark) but taken as a whole it just didn’t do much to advance our main characters or the world that they inhabit.  Fortunately, the best thing Hasbro could have done was to minimize the hiatus between season which means we can move forward right away so that fans (like me) aren’t moping for too long about the mediocrity of the last season.  Can they manage to recapture the magic of this series with a smart and exciting season premiere, or will the mediocrity continue as we slowly realize that the show has reached its peak?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Starlight Glimmer walking through the halls of Twilight’s Doom Fortress; looking for the library and hanging lampshades along the way.

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“It sure is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside!  I wonder if that’s a reference to something… *COUGH* Badwolf *COUGH*  Excuse me.  Must have something in my throat.”

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Cinema Dispatch: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Zack Snyder

The day has finally come where DC and Warner Bros step up to the plate and take their best swing at catching up to Marvel before being left irrevocably behind the curve.  There is so much about this movie that could go right and can also go horribly wrong.  It’s the first movie that not only has Batman and Superman together, but is also the first appearance of Wonder Woman.  It’s taking a lot of inspiration from one of the most revered Batman stories of all time.  It’s setting up a DC universe that intends to rival that of Marvel Studios.  All of this CAN be great if they can pull it off, but the sheer magnitude of this release and the expectations from not only fans but the studio itself does not bode well for a director who is already hit or miss an on screen interpretation of Superman that has gotten heavily criticized.  Can they pull off the impossible as effortlessly as The Last Son of Krypton would, or is this going to be an atomic bomb of a mess that will shake Warner Bros to its very core?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins at the end of Man of Steel, only now we’re following Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) as he tries to save people in the city of Metropolis while Zod (Michael Shannon) and Superman (Henry Cavill) are having their big smack down.  Needless to say that there’s not much he can do (especially outside of his Batman suit) and has to more or less sit there as the city falls apart around him due to these two men who have come from the sky and could crush all of humanity.  Cut to a year and a half later, and we see a world that is very much split on Superman.  Sometime between then and now there was apparently enough people who LIKED Superman to make him a memorial in the middle of Metropolis, but for the most part he’s being attacked on the news and constantly questioned about his true motivations.  One such Superman naysayer is Lex Luthor (Jessie Eisenberg) who is trying to manipulate the US military and members of Congress to give him access to all the resources they have on Krypton (mainly Zod’s ship and his lifeless corpse) as well as permission to import some Kryptonite that was found in India.  While Lex is working on that, he’s also working surreptitiously to undercut Superman’s acts of genuine good while laying traps and breadcrumbs for Batman (who I don’t believe he knows is actually Bruce Wayne) to become even more resolute that Superman has to be stopped before he becomes a true threat to humanity.  Along the way, we’ve got Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane) keeping Superman’s spirits high while he grapples with a world that hates and fears him (Lois is also working on a story about clearing Superman’s associate with something bad that happened in Africa), and we also have Bruce’s faithful butler Alfred (Jeremy Irons) trying to steer him on the right path and away from Superman.  Still, the punch up is inevitable if the title is any indication, and the two of them have to hash out their differences before eventually working together to fight Doomsday alongside their new ally Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot).  Will they be able to stop Lex Luthor and his plans to… do bad things I guess?  Will the world FINALLY accept Superman after he fights ANOTHER city destroying bad guy?  Are they SERIOUSLY gonna try to launch an expansive DC film universe off of this movie?  Can we just get to Suicide Squad already?

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“What the fuck is going on!?”

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Super Recaps: Sailor Moon Episode 17 (Usagi’s a Model: The Flash of the Monster Camera)

Sailor Moon and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Toei Animation and licensed by Viz Media

Episode directed by Yuji Endo

We’re back with another episode of Silver Millennium’s next top model as we once again have to watch Usagi fail to win a contest that is obviously set up by the Dark Kingdom for nefarious purposes.  You’d think she would catch on at some point.  Anyway, now that we are several episodes deep into Nephrite’s rule, I have to say that I’m still pretty lukewarm on him as a villain.  He has a solid premise behind him (focus on individuals rather than groups), but in terms of execution it has been very much hit or miss.  The last episode had a pretty decent transformation for the victim of his plot, but the monsters behind these corruptions have been bland across the board.  Will this episode be the one where they finally manage to balance an interesting villain with the standard Sailor Scout shenanigans, or will the show continue to not live up to its true potential, at least until Nephrite is out of the picture?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Usagi doing what she always does which is to get INCREDIBLY involved in some sort of hobby or interest that she had no prior knowledge of or inclination towards.  She’s like a pop culture goldfish; chasing whatever trends tickle her fancy until she forgets about it half an hour later.  This time around it’s about a very accomplished photographer who is still in middle school and JUST SO HAPPENS to go to an all-boy academy that’s close to Rei’s all-girl academy.  She desperately requires this guy’s autograph… for some reason, and tries to rope Ami into going with her who is too busy solving bullshit equations (how hard is it to write REAL functions to have the characters work on?) to indulge Usagi in her latest obsession.

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“Look!  I’m using the derivative of pi to find the circumference of a hyper-plane!”     “That’s not a real thing, is it?”     “Fine.  I’ll go with you on this adventure of yours if you can tell me WHY that’s not a real thing.”     “…have fun at cram school.”

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Cinema Dispatch: Miracles from Heaven

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Miracles from Heaven and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by Patricia Riggen

These movies are just going to stop, are they?  Well certainly not as long as Sony’s Jesus Department (Affirm), Roma Downey, and The Kendrick Brothers haven’t been driven out of Hollywood for being hacks.  Oh who am I kidding?  No one has EVER been driven out of Hollywood for being a hack.  Still, these crappy religious movies are starting to look more and more like crappy regular movies now that their attracting big name talents like Jennifer Garner.  Does the fact that this movie attracted an ACTUAL actor instead of one who’s only looking to be in Christian cinema (or are desperate for cash) mean that this might be one of the better films to come out of the Christian Film Revolution?  Even if it is, does that mean it’s actually a GOOD movie?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the tragic and uplifting story of the Beam family who were met with an unbelievable crisis when one of their daughters Annabel also known as Anna (Kylie Rogers) is diagnosed with an incurable intestinal disorder that leaves her unable to eat and in constant pain.  For the most part, the movie is from the perspective of her mother Christy (Jennifer Garner) who takes the brunt of the action and the emotional toll by doing everything she can to get her to the best doctors and come up with ways to pay for all these expensive treatments.  The trailers are a tad misleading considering that the fall from the tree that cures Anna (spoiler alert) doesn’t happen until the last twenty minutes of the movie, so it has more in common with something like 90 Minutes in Heaven than Heaven is For Real, considering the majority of the movie is about the suffering rather than the aftermath of the divine intervention.  Still, is it an inspiring and heartwarming story BEFORE we get to the Deus Ex Machina?  Does Jennifer Garner actually manage to elevate this material above its very simple premise?  Couldn’t God have come up with a way to heal her WITHOUT giving her a concussion!?

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“This is the fire department, Anna!  If you can hear me and are still conscious, don’t make a sound.”     …     “Well I’D call that a good sign, wouldn’t you?”

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Super Recaps: Sailor Moon Episode 16 (A Girl’s Dream: Usagi Becomes a Bride)

Sailor Moon and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Toei Animation and licensed by Viz Media

Episode directed by Kazuhisa Takenouchi

Welcome back to another episode of Nostalgia Moon!  With Nephrite’s reign of terror in full swing (and no sign of Queen Beryl to mock his failures) the Scouts have to more vigilant than ever for signs of Dark Kingdom’s unholy skulduggery.  That doesn’t mean we don’t have time for Girly StuffTM such as weddings and dresses though, right?  Well we’re about to find out as this episode seems to go back to what this show was originally about during Jadeite’s tenure which was to take relatable staples of modern day culture (primarily from the point of view of young girls) and have them twisted to suit the needs of the bad guys, only to be foiled by the Guardians of Justice.  Wait a minute… the bad guys are dudes and they’re exploit things girls like for profit.  Is this show all about the Patriarchy!?  Hidden (or not so hidden) feminist messages aside, does this episode prove to be an entertaining ride or a weak piece of filler fluff?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins in Usagi’s home economics class where spirits are at an all-time low due to the unenthused teaching style Miss Akiyama.  Normally it’s just Usagi’s who’s asleep, but everyone else is having trouble keeping their eyes open though this riveting discussion of measuring darts which leads to the teacher’s absentmindedness becoming the hot topic at the post-class ice cream break which for some reason reminds me of the beginning to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

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“That class was so boring.  Do you think I should skip it next time?”     “As your attorney, I advise you to go to the arcade instead and get lots of cocaine.”     “Okay… Would you happen to know where to buy some?”

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Cinema Dispatch: 10 Cloverfield Lane

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10 Cloverfield Lane and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by Dan Trachtenberg

Look, I barely remember the original Cloverfield, so I’m not gonna have a clue if this has any connection to it other than if the monster itself shows up for a cameo.  That seems to be working in my favor though because the movie is not being sold as a direct sequel (some are calling it a “blood relative” of the original) and it also means I won’t be distracted by looking for connections or hidden Easter Eggs while watching it.  Besides, who needs ANY of that giant monster stuff when the real monster is… man?  Yeah, it seems to be one of those movies (aggressively small cast in a claustrophobic environment) which can be REALLY compelling if all the pieces come together correctly; leaving very little room for error considering how sparse the resources they have to work with are.  Is this going to be an amazingly taut thriller for the modern day, or will this be a simple cash grab for a studio that didn’t have faith in a bottle film making enough money without attaching it to a completely unrelated movie?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) leaving her husband for unknown reasons and eventually getting into a car crash on her way to… somewhere.  That’s not too important though as she wakes up to find herself in a small cell; shackled to the wall like a prisoner of some kind.  It doesn’t take long for her captor to reveal himself (Howard played by John Goodman) and inform her that the world has more or less ended while she was unconscious, and that he’s taken her to his fallout shelter to ride out the apocalypse.  In the bunker as well is Emmett (John Gallagher Jr) who doesn’t seem to be thrilled sharing a space with Howard, but somehow finagled his way in as a way to survive whatever it is that’s going on outside.  Without any real information to go on, Michelle eventually capitulates into staying with Howard and Emmett for the time being, but also seems cautious of Howard who is clearly a psychological mess, and extremely dangerous.  Can the three of them survive whatever is going on outside by staying in this bunker together, or will they all kill each other in the process?  What exactly IS lurking out there that they need to be protected from?  Will Howard at any point take a chill pill!?

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“So Howard.  You know any good knock knock jokes?”     “Shut the fuck up Emmett.”     “I’m sensing a lot of hostility right now.”     “Yeah, I’ve got your hostility right here.  Keep at it bucko.”

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