Sonic the Hedgehog and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Archie Comics and Sega of America
It’s time once again for everyone’s favorite hedgehog rear his spiky head once again and mildly amuse us with woodland critter shenanigans and an endless barrage of painful puns! The last two issues did show some marked improvement as the series seems to be slowly heading in the right direction, but issue six also had the inexcusable Christmas Carol retelling so there’s definitely lots of room to improve. Is there anything that terrible in these two issues? I doubt it considering how deep of nadir that one story carved out for the series, but let’s find out!!
Issue 8 (March 1994)
I guess after seven issues without getting cancelled, the writers of the Sonic comic felt they could start taking shots at the competition; hence why the first story in this issue is about cracking wise at the entire superhero comic book genre. The justification for this is that one of Robotniks robots is caught with a huge stack of comic books (a crime punishable by death in the glorious robo-empire) but the leather clad beefcakes on the covers start to give Robotnik ideas on how to stop that pesky hedgehog! TO THE ROBOT-A-TRON!!
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 Everybody Loves Rei! So it’s become clear that the writers here have decided that the Rainbow Crystal arc will primarily be about the other Scouts working through their love lives; a concept that MIGHT work if they could come up with good ideas on exploring that and they have yet to prove that that’s gonna be the case. Still, maybe they can succeed with Rei where they failed with Ami and were merely underwhelming with Makoto? Is this a new leaf for the arc that started off really well, or will we just have to ride this out until we finish up with all this filler? Let’s find out!!
First two minutes of the episode, and BAM! Rei’s grandpa gets hit by The Dark Crystal and starts turning into a monster! No bullshit! We know that Zoisite is gonna turn SOMEONE into a monster, so might as well get it done upfront! Unlike all the other times he’s done this though, the transformation doesn’t complete as Grandpa Rei apparently has powers that allow him to resist the Dark Crystal and keep his Rainbow one intact (which I don’t THINK he’s aware is inside him, but I’m not certain about that). Still, while the attack wasn’t quite what Zoisite wanted, there’s no doubt that the transformation process has begun and that Grandpa Rei will turn into the monster, albeit at a slower pace (similar to Joe the Crane Game Troll from episode 25). On top of that, this JUST SO HAPPENS to be the night that Grandpa Rei takes on a bum for an apprentice named Yuichiro who at first looks like a lame knock off of Spike from Cowboy Bebop. What, was Crazy Gramps not enough to carry this episode?
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Hasbro.
Episode directed by Denny Lu and Tim Stuby
We’re back with another episode of the Discord Diaries! Now the last season used John de Lancie’s iconic character a whole bunch, so maybe the thinking on this season is to not overload us with his presence; lest he end up overtaking the show which can happen when side characters get to popular (*cough* Jack Sparrow *cough*), so saving Discord for when the show really needs it might be the right move. Does this new strategy pan out as we get a REALLY great Discord episode for the sixth season, or is this just another mediocre romp for the season’s mostly disappointing second half? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins with Discord acting all pissy (as is his nature) because Fluttershy has to go to Yakakistan (ugh…) on some sort of goodwill trip with Princess Celestia and the other protectors of Friendship. Discord obviously can’t go because he’s not known for his tact and grace… and I’m pretty sure that brining a destructive God of chaos sends the wrong message on a peacekeeping mission. That and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has arrest warrants all over Equestria; not just for enslaving everyone thousands of years ago, but for shit he’s done recently.
Don’t Breathe and all the images you see in this review are owned by Screen Gems
Directed by Fede Alvarez
Oh look! It’s that guy who did the Evil Dead reboot! I actually thought that movie was really good, but then maybe I’m the only one who thought so considering we’re getting this instead and as far as I know a sequel has been indefinitely put on the back burner. That, and Ash vs The Evil Dead kind of drew all interest away from doing something new to instead milk the original franchise, but whatever. The reason that new Evil Dead works isn’t because it was a remake of a movie everyone loved, but because the guy they got behind the camera was a real talent and knew how to bring something new to a franchise that is about untouchable as the Back to Future; a series even Hollywood hasn’t had the guts to try and reboot yet. So now that the director’s remarkable skills are being used for an ORIGINAL horror film, does he still seem to be the next big genre filmmaker, or will this Raimi protégé prove himself to be a one trick pony? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows three dumb ass…. well I guess I can’t call them KIDS considering they have to be at least in their mid-twenties, but these three ragamuffins are a trio of burglars who go around Detroit and pull small time jobs to keep roofs over their heads and a slowly expanding rainy day fund. We’ve got Serious Bro named Alex (Dylan Minnette), Wild Card Bro named Money (Daniel Zovatto), and Girl Bro named Rocky (Jane Levy); all of whom have their own clichéd and contrived reasons for doing what they do. They hear about some blind dude who got a lot of cash after his daughter was killed by some rich kid in a hit and run, and so they figure this is gonna be the last score to get them out of Detroit and go straight to LA… where whatever money they score will probably disappear in a three months. Do you know how much stuff costs in that town!? Anyway, this turns out to be the last freaking house you’d ever want to B&E considering the guy may be blind but is built like a brick shit house which makes sense because he’s played by Stephen Lang. Will the thieves get out the house alive, and will we want them to by the end? Is there more to the blind man than just being a bad ass military dude you don’t want to fuck with? Just what kind of sadistic game of Marco Polo is this!?
Kubo and the Two Strings and all the images you see in this review are owned by Focus Features
Directed by Travis Knight
While Disney and Dreamworks are constantly fighting over dominance for CG animated features, studios like Aardman and Laika are still making an argument for more traditional forms of animation with films like Paranorman and The Pirates. Now we’ve got this movie which hopes to stand alongside some of the bigger hits this summer like Finding Dory and The Secret Life of Pets while also finding a spot in theaters just as the latter is starting to leave and Pete’s Dragon is under performing. Can the latest Laika creation not only manage to be an excellent film but be the big hit to end the summer with, or is this movie all style and no substance? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows young Kubo (Art Parkinson) who’s living with his mother in a cave that’s within walking distance of a nearby village. Why are they living there? Well apparently Kubo’s mother is the daughter of some super powerful dude known as the Moon King (Ralph Fiennes) who can do… stuff. Okay, I’m not sure what his powers are, but he ripped out one of Kubo’s eyes when he was an infant, and his mother just barely managed to get away with him; though at a severe price as she was injured during the escape and now suffers from memory loss. That only leaves Kubo to take care of her (though I’m not sure how they survived long enough for him to be able to do that) and he makes money by using his magic powers to put on fantastic origami shows for the people of the village. Seriously, Kubo’s got some badass magic powers that he’s able to conjure up with his Shamisen which can put on very elaborate stop-motion performances by Origami dolls, and you’d think that powers like this would either earn him enough to move his mom into a nice home or would brand him as a witch. Still, things seems to be going well as Kubo goes about his day to day life busking for coins on the sidewalk, when he stays out too late one night which gives the Moon King a chance to find him (I guess that guy can see everything at night) and sends out his daughters, who are also Kubo’s aunts (Rooney Mara), to find him. Kubo’s mother however manages to find him first and uses her remaining magic to send him off somewhere else while also bringing a charm to life in the form of a monkey (Charlize Theron) because apparently Kubo’s mother can do that. From there, we’ve got a whole lot more exposition as apparently the monkey knows what Kubo needs to do next and the end up finding a Beetle Samurai (Matthew McConaughey) to tag along on their adventure. Can Kubo stop his evil grandfather and save his mother? How exactly does this monkey know all this stuff if it’s only been alive for like a day or so? Most importantly, how many MacGuffins do they plan to stick in this movie!?
Ben-Hur and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov
On the list of unnecessary remakes that no one was asking for ever, I can’t imagine one being worse than this except maybe Citizen Kane or ANOTHER remake of The Jazz Singer. Hell, I haven’t even SEEN the original Ben-Hur (I know. Shut up!), and even I can tell this is completely unnecessary! Oh well. Maybe this will be a faithful adaptation that understands what made the original so great in the first place and gives its own modern interpretation of those amazing qualities? Yeah… I doubt it too, but you never know! Is this a new classic that can stand alongside the original film, or is this a half assed effort that’s hoping to make big bucks on the name alone? Let’s find out!!
Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) is living his life of luxury as the rich prince of Jerusalem which by this point was embroiled in strife due to the Romans continuing to push into their lands and occupying them. It’s not of much concern to him though because he’s the one percent, and nothing bad ever happens to them! Well when his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell) goes off to join the Roman army and comes back years later as one of the lead occupies, things get a bit strained and Judah can’t keep living under a rock. When some shit goes down that’s totally not his fault, his brother ends up enslaving him and sending him to be a rower in a warship until he keels over and dies; leaving the rest of his family to presumably die for whatever trumped up charges the Romans can think of. Judah eventually escapes after five years however and SOMEHOW washes back up onto Jerusalem (boy was THAT convenient!) and meets some dude who trains chariot racers (Morgan Freeman) who agrees to help him get revenge on his brother and Rome. Oh and Jesus (Rodrigo Santoro) is in the background somewhere. Will Judah be able to avenge those who were so viciously taken away from him? What will he find after his five year absence from his homeland? Wait a minute… is this the story of Biblical Batman!?
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Hasbro.
Episode directed by Denny Lu and Tim Stuby
Ugh… we’ve got two lousy episodes in a row following the return of the season which actually managed to kick off with a good episode, but it all went downhill from there. Maybe it’s just me, but episodes about pranks and go kart racing just don’t hold much appeal in a fantasy world with dragons, champions of good, and colorful villains who should be the focus of every episode rather than every once in a while. Hopefully this episode will mix things up as it has two of the best things the series has going for it; the Crystal Empire and Changelings! Can this episode turn the tide on the post hiatus episodes, or are we doomed for mediocrity no matter what they try? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins with Twilight and Starlight getting the hell out of Ponyville to visit Cadence and Shining Armor in the Crystal Empire; a move I whole heartedly endorse because since we got back from our mid-season hiatus, the only episode worth a damn was decidedly OUTISDE of Ponyville. This also gives us a chance to catch up with Starlight who’s been missing in action since we got back and is still the most interesting aspect of this new season (though only half as interesting since she’s not with Trixie). So what’s the story for this episode? Well… I can only guess at this point, but Twilight has a VERY specific line that, when combined with the title of the episode, gives me an idea as to what’s about to happen. During the train ride, she offhandedly mentions that Baby Flurry Heart might have grown so much that she won’t even recognize her. Hmm…
War Dogs and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures
Directed by Todd Phillips
The guy who burned out after the FIRST Hangover movie has decided to try and go the Adam McKay route; mainly by making a comedy that ALSO has brains and a message about contemporary America. I mean, at least this will probably be better than giving him time to do Hangover 4: The Revenge. Not only that, but the trailers look like there might be something there to enjoy. Maybe not great, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this mildly amused me the same way Our Brand is Crisis and Whisky Tango Foxtrot did which seem to be covering some of the same ground, albeit with a lot more violence in this one. Can this movie manage to be a fun and engaging exploration into the world of weapons contractors, or is this just a guy who probably peaked seven years ago drying desperately to jump on a bandwagon? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows David Packouz (Miles Teller) who’s some twenty something loser bumming around Miami; working as a massage therapist while trying to get a bed sheet business off the ground. Right off the bat it’s clear that this guy is a Grade-A loser, but opportunity comes knocking when an old friend from middle school Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill) moves back to town and has started a weapons contracting firm to sell supplies to the military. David, having nothing else going on and a kid on the way with his girlfriend Iz (Ana de Armas), agrees to work for him despite his… moral objections I guess? Well whatever makes him hesitant about the job quickly falls away as the small company starts winning tiny contracts from the government; slowly building up their clout and influence. Over time though, it’s clear that Efraim wants to go really big really fast and is willing to do whatever it takes to get there, even working with Henry Girard (Bradley Cooper) who’s well known and respected in the industry, but is shady as all hell and is even on the US Terrorist Watch List. Will the two be able to keep their head above water as they sink deeper and deeper into the seedy and dangerous world of illegal gun trading? Will the government turn a blind eye to this duo just so they can get the weapons and ammo they need to fund the war on terror? Are these REALLY the faces of people you would trust with multi-million dollar contracts paid with the use of taxpayer money?
Pete’s Dragon and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios
Directed by David Lowery
Disney is at it again with another fresh milking of the nostalgic cash cow! I really don’t know anything about the original Pete’s Dragon other than Don Bluth did the animation on it, so they won’t be hooking me in with that alone, but then I never had an affinity for Sleeping Beauty and still though Maleficent was one of the best movies of that year. Can this new movie manage to capture the charm and spirit of the original film while also roping in new fans, or is this going to be as uninspired as The Jungle Book? Wait; am I still the only one who didn’t like that? Anyway, let’s find out!!
The movie begins with little Pete (Oakes Fegley) having to watch his parents die horribly as their car ends up flipping over on the interstate, though you’d think the airbags or seatbelts could have saved one of them considering it wasn’t a head on collision. Well in any case, little Pete is all alone in the woods (who SHOULD be covered in his parents blood but I guess you can’t go there in a PG movie) and is about to be killed by wolves when something starts to approach from beyond the trees. It turns out that there be dragons in these hills, and he takes little Pete to raise as one of his own. Many years later, Pete is now at the ripe old age of ten and gets discovered in the woods by a… Forest Ranger I think called Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) who takes him in and tries to get him acclimated to the real world before sending him off to the state. While that’s going on, Gavin (Karl Urban) who works as a lumberjack (he’s either a manager or just an employee that everyone likes) and is certain that he saw something out in those woods and is gonna hunt it because… reasons. Will Pete be reunited with his best friend? Can they keep on going with their living arrangement now that Pete has had a taste of the good life as well as peanut butter? Am I SERIOUSLY going to be the only one who didn’t care for this one, just like with The Jungle Book!?