So… Between life stuff this blog took over a week to write. It was first released with just the first half so my gap between posts didn't keep getting bigger. I'm happy to say now it is complete with the three other "movie" reviews and a special announcement at the end. I'm also happy to say that the life stuff was getting a job at a local café/wine place and it is going well.
So, I’ve got a bit of a back log of movies I’ve seen, but I haven’t talked about them here (as I am want to do). I like to have time to discuss spoilers, but some of the films I’ve seen and wanted to talk about are already on disc. I think that’s plenty of time. But before we get to the other portion of the blog where we’ll discuss movies released recently, I have been working on something else for a while.
An industrial-style entertainment center!
I really like building things, and that includes carpentry. Recently I’ve been making a series of industrial style end tables and distressed wood things (basically industrial means you use roughly finished wood and piping). This has all been working up to being ready to make the entertainment system in a distressed but simple way and knowing how to work with the flanges well. Now, the picture probably does seem like three boards and some pipe. It’s simple enough in concept, but wood warps and pipes and flanges aren’t always perfectly shaped. And the wood was really heavy* so my dad and I had a lot of finagling to do to get this right. Woodworking (especially with saws) is a two person job, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
* And getting the wood to the dimensions required for the space and the things we’re putting on it was surprisingly easy but really lucky because we just went to a wood salvage yard. They had a piece as wide as we needed, but it had to be cut and it was buried beneath a bunch of boards and tarps. That’s another full story though.
Enough about the process, I was building this entertainment console because the one we were using for the den was a shitty old one that only really made sense when the tube TV was in the corner before I came home from school. It was short, heavy, cumbersome, and we were running out of space for consoles, players, speakers, and, most relevant to this post, movies.
While that console had been useful for storing movies and video games as the collection started, now that I’m back home and my collection is still growing AND the storage situation has changed, now I’m at the point where I have too many movies for it and it also would be nice to have my games there too. I like displaying them like book spines but baskets would be better in the long run too so this open storage for baskets is the best solution.
So, I’ve built the stand and when all hands are home we’ll be assembling it (the TV is heavy, the stand is heavy, and cords have to be done). I thought I’d get a head start though and also do a fun project that’s been on my mind: cataloging my movie collection. It’s something I’ve seen people do online and I’ve always looked at a person’s collection of things as an interesting look at the person. So I’ll be listing all of the movies that will be shifting place and giving a little insight about each of them and why I have them.
Because what we’ve got here is already kinda lengthy this post is limiting my collection to just the movies that are “my collection” in the house. That means the ones that the other people in the house enjoy a bit but I probably bought them or was gifted them and I’m the one who watches them. This excludes some of the movies and tv series stored in the family room’s cabinet and the Disney/Gibli/Animated/Holiday/Other movies stored on the big Disney bookcase in the closet. Maybe I’ll do them if this is at all interesting to people.
Also, I sort my movies like I sort my books**: Things are placed with similar things and divided by themes or genres. I am essentially taking these directly from the shelves so that’s the order they’re in. Not really any importance to them. Not really…
**A book library catalog would be a very very long endeavor, but I wouldn’t mind it.
Here we go.
-RvB X Bluray: My first out of college purchase was me finally making good on my intention to start giving back to RT as I could. First thing, drop roughly two hundo on the best series ever, of all time. I bought this indispensable Bluray Set and seasons 11 and 12 and for a summer watched the entire series normal and commentaries. And I mean everything.
-Red vs Blue: Season 11 Bluray: I really liked this quiet little season.
-Red vs Blue: Season 12 Bluray: I really liked this explosive little season
-Red vs Blue: Season 13 Bluray: I really liked this season that made me sad as hell but happy too.
-Red vs Blue: Season 14 Bluray: I really liked a majority of this season of short stories.
-The Best Red vs Blue DVD Ever. Of All Time DVD: True to its name, this PSA-space clip show with a purpose / narrative / good excuse is very good.
-RWBY Volume 2 Bluray: I found this in Walmart. Finding any RT things up in Washington was really tough until the Hot Topic RWBY deal. It’s still great to find things. And for cheap was great. I eventually want to get the steelbook set. I’m a RWBY fan but getting it collection by collection or when it is super convienent is fine for me right now.
-Lazer Team DVD: So, I really wanted to buy the movie at RTX ’16 but guess what, it sold out in a few hours. So, when I found it at Target a few weeks later, I had to pick it up. Let’s be honest, it’s a fun really good B-movie. But it’s a fun B-movie we helped make and it is chocked full with references to the content we love.
-Star Wars: The Complete Saga Bluray: Big surprise, I love Star Wars. He’s definitely got his faults, but George Lucas is an inspiration to me. Getting the whole series in HD and with two commentaries each, and features out the wazoo is a wonderful no-brainer. I can’t tell you how great this set is. (Also yes, I have VHS of the original and special editions of the Original Trilogy.)
-Star Wars: The Force Awakens Bluray: I loved the new Star Wars. I wasn’t scared, but I was prepared for it to be off, not just in a prequel way, but in that it didn’t follow the very important core of Star Wars (the main series) being the almost Shakespearian historical tragedy of the Skywalker Clan. It did deliver and more. I can’t wait to follow this line in the story.
-Monty Python & The Holy Grail Special Edition DVD: The first thing I saw of the now intrinsic to my life Monty Python. I love this narratively sound but absurd movie and every time I watch it I catch something new and laugh at the same jokes.
-Monty Python’s Holy Trinity DVD: I received this, the oral history of MP book, and a cool Silly Walk shirt as a Christmas gift years back (during the time Netflix was just discs in the mail and I was working my way through the Flying Circus). It’s a great collection that has a better eidition of Holy Grail and special editions of The Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life. Cool casing and 3 great films. What could be better?
-Monty Python & The Holy Grail 40th Anniversary Edition Bluray: AN EVEN BETTER EDITION with more features and new commentaries in an even cooler case (it’s the French Castle).
-Jabberwocky DVD: It’s a fun NOT Monty Phython medieval movie loosely based on Carrol’s work.
-The Adventures of Baron Munchausen DVD: A super absurd Gilliam movie that also was a lot of fun.
-Time Bandits VHS: I hear this is quintessential Gilliam. I don’t know where this VHS copy of the movie came from but it was in our closet when we sorted it out two years ago and I put it on the shelf meaning to watch it. Our VCR was acting wonky back then.and I guess I forgot it was back there. I’ll try again soon.
-Fawlty Towers The Complete Collection Remastered DVD: John Cleese is my favorite of the Pythons (him or Idle) and back in high school I had the opportunity to see him on his Pay the Alimony Tour and during his hilarious lecture he showed us scenes from this show when defining comedy. I was hooked. Then, Costco had this collection with commentaries from Cleese on every episode. It is great.
-American Graffiti Special Edition DVD: The movie that started George Lucas’s Hollywood career. I only bought this recently but I love it. And for how quiet a movie it is I’m surprised. I think it’s because even though the whole plot is incidental, it means something. There’s a thread beneath it all. And I love the atmosphere of it.
-Ratchet & Clank DVD: The random fun reboot of the zany comedy science fiction video game series from my childhood the retcons it to clean up the whole series and introduce new audiences to a decade-old series does exactly that with stellar animation and a satisfying payoff. I didn’t see it in theaters, I don’t feel like I should have saved for the blu-ray, but like the original games I had fun for a decent price (PS2 Greatest Hits cheep but stagnant pricing is really something the 4 needs to implement).
-The Hunger Games Special Target Edition Bluray: STORY TIME! I’m the reason my high school’s entire senior year Creative Writing and Modern Litterature courses had to read this book for at least three years (not sure if it is still going on because it has been seven and just now we’re getting out of the group of kids who probably have read it already). I am the son of the current English Chair of my high school, but at this point she wasn’t. She was, however, teaching the Senior Creative Writing course (and yearbook) and the Chair back then also taught CW and ML. Even without that connection, I was well known in the department as that geek who read all the books ever (that were Sci-Fi/Fantasy and age appropriate (and not)). So after she had read this science fiction story that was getting a lot of attention she handed my mom a copy and said to my mom, “You and Max need to read this and if you he likes it we’re teaching it and the sequel next year” (as the Junior-going on Senior targeted for the books and the classes being discussed my vote was apparently key). And I did.
So these stories are not only really good, but they are a good part of my story that I enjoy telling. And I may have a crush on Jennifer Lawrence.
-The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Special Target Edition Bluray: I like this book best from the whole series. (Finnik Odair is my favorite character.) This also is a really good move. So I was disappointed when the Target Special Edition Blurays ran out when I finally had money to buy it. But I lucked out and got it when I found it at Half Price Books. Like everything so far (and I’m sure I’ll say it again) I am a huge nerd and love commentaries and features which is why I got these editions. I also can’t argue with glossy highquality pictures of J-Law with no text/minimal text over them.
-The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Special Target Edition Bluray: I bought the set of these together (I knew they were coming so I waited). These movies are pretty great adaptations (all of them) but this pair especially (because they are split up). That’s maybe not to the betterment as the book was essentially Katniss broods in a cave for half a book and then there’s a complicated propaganda story in halves, but I enjoyed it enough as a conclusion. The fact that these movies pull out of Katniss’s PoV is good. I also have always loved the cinematic quality of these films.
-The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Special Target Edition Bluray: Not sure what else to say, I have the full special editions of a movie series based on a book series I like. Jennifer Lawrence is a great actress.
-Pitch Perfect DVD: A fun comedy about acapella singers starring hilarious actresses. What’s not to love? I also saw this when a friend and I played hooky from college because we needed to. And my mom loved it so it was something wanted in my house.
-Pitch Perfect 2 DVD: My mom and I went to see the sequel to find it was more of the same from the first one. We said, as soon as a decent double pack came out, we’d get it. On black Friday I got them both for 8 bucks.
-Labyrinth 30th Anniversary Edition Bluray: These first movies seem to play a lot into “Max’s inspirational conent” (with my writing, sense of humor, pop-culture niches, and aesthetic choices). For the longest time I only knew David Bowie from this film. I later went on to find and really enjoy his other music. It’s a film filled with solid storytelling and practical effects. A Jim Henson masterpiece. I was saddened by Bowie’s passing but would have gotten this edition anyway for the features.
-Labyrinth DVD: My original copy of the film that I kept on the shelf for reasons.
-The Dark Crystal DVD: Labyrinth’s other and a phenomenal film in its own right. I liked it so much that I figured out how to teach it at a High School level for myth theory type situations.
-MirrorMask Bluray: NEIL GAIMAN DOES A SPRITUAL SUCCESOR TO LABRYNTH ENDORSED BY THE JIM HENSON COMPANY. That is all you need to know. Find a way to watch this. I’m not saying own it on the highest quality format, but it is a definite watch in my opinion. I also have the storybook (signed) and the script/storyboard book for this film. For some context Neil Gaiman’s books (and books about his books) takes up over five feet of Bookshelf space in my room.
-Coraline 2-Disc Collector’s Edition DVD: It’s a successful additive adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s super scary children’s story in claymation. It’s a lot of fun. 3D doesn’t work for me (my eyes are so wonky), but the features and having the movie make up for that detraction from owning this edition.
-Stardust DVD: I am not surprised at the idea of it, but I’d never had guessed Michael was a fan of this movie. Like Coraline, things were added to this story but Neil Gaiman was involved some and it made a good illustrated book story work as a good movie (the climax at the end for instance.) The interesting thing about this movie is more that every version works for me. The illustrated original version, the prose-only version that I read first, and this film. I’m glad to have it.
-Earthsea DVD: Continuing with the fantasy adaptation of beloved books by beloved authors streak, this one is… okay. I was at a signing for Le Guinn where she her self said how this isn’t a great adaptation and a little obviously Hollywood-ed on a Syfy (nee Sci-Fi) channel budget. That’s true but it’s still nostalgic and entertaining for me and salvageable at points. It’s got interesting parallels in my mind to compare it to the Ghibli movie too. That’s a discussion for later though.
-Eragon DVD: Why do I have this movie? It was 2.50 when my local Blockbuster closed and I have it because it is a bad adaptation (and I do like how they animated and designed dragons). The books deserve a better adaptation (hopefully now that the whole first cycle is done that can be accomplished at a later date) and it is clear that the script they went with was a speed-read version of the plot with all but the beginning and the end of the book thrown into a blender for “easier” cinematic telling of the story. It’s bad, but I have it because its bad but money went to Paolini.
-The Franchise Collection Dragonheart: 2 Legendary Tales Dragonheart and Dragonheart: A New Beginning DVD: These are good Boy and His Dragon movies. The first one is the first of four to make me cry (in order of watching them in recent memory). Sean Connery as an old CGI dragon that made me cry. It’s a con-man buddy comedy about a dragon and a knight and it made me cry. Lupin is also the pervert badguy. The second is even cheesier but I love it in its own way and it stars Francis from Malcom in the Middle and sets up the actual pattern of the films for 3(the prequel) and the upcoming 2nd prequel which I am stoked for. Nostalgic shlock but I love it.
-Highlander: Director’s Cut DVD: Speaking of nostalgic shlock, this is the great movie with a soundrack by Queen about “immortal” (aliens) cutting off each other’s heads for magic powers with swords throughout human history. Sean Connery plays an Egyptian pretending to be Spanish in Scotland (and I didn’t cry, but almost). This franchise is built on an awesome premise and just kind of went everywhere it could. But this movie is good. I would love to have the entire collection of media in this franchise, but that’s a matter of money and/or luck.
-Hightlander: Counterfit DVD: This was an instance of luck. Like a rare… thing, a sealed DVD copy of one of the Highlander TV show from the 90’s is something I’ve never come across for a decent price. This was $3.00 at comic shop. I haven’t opened it yet because it will be an event for sure. I just need an excuse. I might have one soon.
-Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete Bluray: I got onto the big hype of FF VII when the Compilation was started way back. I still have the issue of EGM that announced all the projects. This movie is a good thing to come from it, especially this extended cut that is also beautiful on Bluray. It is a movie for fans of the game who know it. I especially appreciated the added Zack Fair scenes.
-Double Feature: The Road Warrior / Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome DVD: My father, brother, and I bought this before seeing Fury Road to catch up on the series. I like serial storytelling and these movies are a great example of that, tied by a hero and different each time. I also like these better than the first, they’re all very close, just these are good and I am fine having just them and not the first one.
-Star Trek: Into Darkness DVD: This movie is good. I enjoyed it in theaters. I’m not a huge Star Trek fan but it’s a solid sci-fi romp. I attained it easily. Cumberbatch does a good job as a brooding villain. (I want to see him play Q myself).
-Cloverfield DVD: Highlander was movie franchise with a great idea and weird execution. Cloverfield is a good horror sci-fi movie with a neat format that was built on a fantastic idea. Augmented Reality Games, a series of films about the same event from different perspectives, J.J. Abrams’s ability to pull off complex ideas. I think this had it all going for it. But it didn’t catch on. The project was shelfed and what we got was the entertaining movie we had. I haven’t seen the “sequel” which was its own movie slightly altered to fit the Cloverfield brand for funding but I hear was good. Maybe.
-Donnie Darko DVD: My thoughts are also a simple description. This is a cult complex dark sci-fi movie that came at a time when that was not common and was well thought out but a bit too complicated and took three edits to find one that fully explained things enough. Cool idea and a fun movie.
-Edward Scisorhands: Full Screen Anniversary Edition DVD: I like Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. Their deal has become a little repetitive but this is an early, simple, and imaginative modern-gothic fairytale. Vincent Price is in it and there’s color and interesting design elements. It’s a fun movie.
-Dark Shadows (2012) DVD: Same story, some odd years later. As hokey as it is and not “high quality cinema” it plays to the strengths of the people doing it who obviously had fun and checks the boxes of stuff I like. I also got into this movie when I saw a preview for it and was told that my grandmother who was a huge part of my life had enjoyed the original soap/serial.
-Dark Shadows: The Vampire Curse DVD: Speaking of the original, let’s do another shout-out to Target (#NotAnAd) for having arc collections of this show for me to see the original. I enjoy it too.
Still with me? Good, we’ve reached only about the third-way point. I’m not really counting, but since things take a hard genre shift here I think I may as well take the time to remind you that there’s probably a bathroom within walking distance of you. Maybe you want a snack or need to look at not a screen. Don’t worry. Take a break. The great thing about text is it is consumed on your time. Back? Okay. Here we go.
-The Shwing Shwing 2 for One Pack: Wayne’s World / Wayne’s World 2 DVD: Fun fact I’m in a similar situation to the hero of this movie series right now. It’s a great couple of comedies from a great SNL recurring skit. I love the off-the-wall meta-humor. I like the failing-upward arc. The sequel doesn’t just re-hash the original so that’s a plus. I quote these movies a lot.
-Joe Dirt DVD: One of my favorite actors is David Spade and this is a quality retelling of the Odyssey with a modern comedic spin. I watch this every once in a while.
-Young Frankenstein DVD: This will make the next few entries on the list go by fast. I think Mel Brooks is a comedic genius. There are few jokes that fall flat. This one is great to me because it fits the stylistic choice well and as parody.
-Robin Hood: Men in Tights DVD: This one is the second Mel Brooks movie I ever saw and the one that got me into Mel Brooks (multiple times one summer on ABC Family) and might be my definitive version of the Robin Hood character.
-Blazing Saddles 30th Anniversary Special Edition DVD: Wonderful wonderful send-up of westerns and a poignant look at race relations that does its job through comedy. I’m so glad it was done because it probably wouldn’t have made it past scripting now. It’s also probably my favorite Gene Wilder performance.
-Mel Brooks’ History of the World Part 1 DVD: This one is great because a lot of those jokes were great and worked. Since it had so much to do though it’s my least favorite of the ones I own (I still own it though).
-The Producers (1968) Deluxe Edition DVD: This movie is the original classic Mel Brooks film. It has everything. The Musical has songs and Mel Brooks’s wit, but there’s just something about this one.
-Spaceballs DVD: This was the first Mel Brooks movie I saw and was a gift from my grandmother because I was old enough for a raunchy comedy and liked Star Wars. Annother one that hits all the notes, makes the right points, and I still laugh. I have a thing for comedic sci-fi.
-UHF DVD: Weird Al made a movie. It’s a brilliant pastiche of parodies that has a good narrative and some moral grounding. Stanley’s mop speech is legitimately inspiring. And of course I’ve been a Weird Al fan since the 2nd grade. That should go without saying. Really, guys.
-“Weird Al” Yankovic The Ultimate Video Collection DVD: Back when I was younger and had a bedtime/in-your-bedroom-time, on the weekends it was 10:30 or when the movie ended that night if it wasn’t too much later. On the nights when the movie ended earlier I’d watch these music videos over and over to fill the gap. They’re all funny and make sense to the song and very well done.
-The Weird Al Show: The Complete Series: DVD: It’s Peewee’s Playhouse (which is up on Netflix now and I should watch) but with Weird Al. The theme song was on his Running With Scissors album but I just figured it was a joke or his show was lost to time. And then I found this. It’s not great, but the use of the AL TV shorts and a flaberagastingly funny send up of Mr. Rodgers that is the highlight of any episode it is featured in. Go look up Papa and Baby Booglie. There you go.
-Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Complete Series DVD: A great mythic series from childhood that keeps getting better. When I bought this just this last year I went back and watched to find so much of it was so well planned out. The Easter Eggs will blow your mind. It has blown my friends minds before on late night Skype calls. That’s the benefit of having a series this good on disc. You can catch anything and on your time.
-Avatar: The Legend of Korra: Book 1: Air DVD: I bought these seasons all when they came out, so that’s 1, 2, and then 3 and 4 immediately together and after the Twin Peaksing of the finale (ABC ran its own show off the air with rescheduling back in the early nineties (and don’t get me started on the state of the Nickelodeon website)). This season is good, but because no one knew how long it would go, the ending feels rushed and off.
-Avatar: The Legend of Korra: Book 2: Spirits DVD: Korra herself had to go back through the same arc this season and though I thought I had a much better end in mind, this one was alright. Varrik is my favorite.
-Avatar: The Legend of Korra: Book 3: Change DVD: I had a hard time buying these ones. This might be my least favorite of the seasons. Again, the ending was anticlimactic if you ask me (and could have easily been done better) but we got another batch of fun side characters.
-Avatar: The Legend of Korra: Book 4: Balance DVD: I’m sensing a pattern here now that I’m taking the time to write it out. The way the villain was handled worked… It was just a good season of build but less. It did have what most of the series had though and the characters had growth. And you know this season was great for my ship. I wish there was a catchy name for it though. Anyway, Bolan and Opal are prefect. Korra and Assami makes sense too and I’m glad they went with it.
-Heroes Season 1 DVD: I love this series. I re-watch the whole original series regularly. I don’t talk about the reboot though… (I wanted to enjoy it.) But this first season is the great one. It’s why everyone got hooked, including me and my dad. For six months of the year four years in a row my dad and I took every opportunity we could to watch Heroes on Monday nights. We watched Chuck some too, and House, but Heroes trumped every other show.
-Heroes Season 2 DVD: Being honest though, this season, and the writer’s strike, was the beginning of the end. Rushed plots and character growth came out poorly and the new characters which would have added to the mythos became mostly complications.
-Heroes Season 3 DVD: The season of fallout. All of the things that 2 had left open or even more complicated had to be dealt with but I have the feeling that they also went ahead with the original plan a little too readily. However, what this season did for Sylar, even with the soap opera-y backdrop. Just wow. The second arc with the government was another thing that felt rushed but
-Heroes Season 4 DVD: For all of the confusion and missteps we got here, to the Carnival. Weird? Yes. But I loved it. There was a serious threat but in my eyes the majority of this season dealt with normal people dealing with these powers with a backdrop of the carnival which was interesting as contrast and a vehicle for the story. This season also, I feel, put the show back on track by the finale. The penultimate episode is my favorite though. It has the kind of conflict where the hero and the villain are stuck together to learn for their betterment. I was very disappointed when, after the finale had been shot with the real sixth volume in mind, the show was canceled. If I could reboot any tv show, this would be it. And it would be a hard reboot that “starts it all again.”
-The Cape The Complete Series DVD: I’m not really sure why this show didn’t make it. It wasn’t great, but the cast was solid. The plot worked and was going places. I haven’t watched it in a while though, I should fix that and maybe I’ll answer my question.
-Unbreakable The Vista Series Edition DVD: Myth Theory, early Shamalan, and superheroes; I am very interested in watching this movie. After hearing the good things about it I heard I told my mom about it when we were talking about what movies she could rotate in to show in her class during off days. So we’re going to watch it together. Eventually.
-V for Vendetta DVD: Though I can’t say I agree with the specific acts in this movie, it’s a good and accessible philosophical movie and Hugo Weaving kills it as V.
-Watchmen Director’s Cut Bluray: So, my simple review of V for Vendetta is followed up by the simple appreciation of a stylistic, dark, and thought provoking comic turned into a similar movie. I enjoyed it and this was one of the first few blurays I bought because it had so many features and the image quality fit the spectical of the movie (and something I DO appreciate about Zack Snyder). It is long though, like intermission needing long.
-Batman The Complete 1943 Movie Serial Collection DVD: These laughably sign of the times shorts are pretty interesting and were worth the five bucks I spent on them at a Safeway.
-Batman The Television Series (’66) The Complete First Season DVD: I love these zany adventures. It’s not my optimal image of Batman, but it is so much more enjoyable to me than others and I can believe these are Batman though. Ceasar Romero is one of my favorite Jokers.
-Batman The Movie Special Edition DVD: They knew they were having fun with the concept here. A dehydration machine guys. But it once again falls into the category of things I love because it is just appreciable fun from the people making it.
-4 Film Favorites Batman Collection: Batman / Batman Returns / Batman Forever / Batman & Robin DVD: Burton and Keaton understood Batman better than the modern film adaptations do in my opinion. Things got weird, but I maintain things are still believable as Batman in my holy rule of adaptation, if you changed names and aesthetic details a bit would you be able to guess it was based on the source material?
-Batman The Animated Series Volume One DVD: This is a great show that I just missed during childhood. I was a Nickelodeon and Disney kid in my younger years and didn’t really watch WB content outside of Looney Toons until it was off the air. I’d seen some, but only enough to remember it was good. As I grew up though I learned how good it was, but I don’t like doing things illigetimately so I didn’t watch it. That is, until each season was available for $10 each at Costco. I’m catching up.
-Batman The Animated Series Volume Two DVD: So yeah, I’m not all the way through, but I know I have to be thankful to this show for Mark Hammil’s Joker who is as close to my definitive version of the character outside of the comics themselves as things get. Also Harley Quinn.
-Batman The Animated Series Volume Three DVD: More words of positive anticipation.
-Batman The Animated Series Volume Four DVD: I hear this one is a bit weirder.
-Batman The Killing Joke Steel Book Bluray: This is an interesting adaptation. We all know why, the “prologue” in the first half hour is a misstep. I appreciate what they were attempting, showing a different version/cautionary tale version of what was to come through Batgirl and make it so the story didn’t only feature her getting shot. What they did worked a little. But the Batgirl and Batman tension just wasn’t necessary. Overall the whole prologue wasn’t. This story has in-continuity context and that is it was a part of the regular Batman run. Fans know from the previous and subsequent decades of comics that Barbara is not just a victim of the Joker and that she grows out of it. This is just an instance of all of their lives. And if this was just a single hour short movie I think it would have been fine.
Because the last hour of the movie IS an entertaining and very close adaptation of the masterful graphic novel that showed a core aspect of the Joker. It really is to me like if the comic started movie and got the best voice cast. When I re-watch this is what I watch. I already reviewed this, but I’ve gotta say, the musical number especially was great.
-The Dark Knight Steel Book Bluray: This was a gift. This is the best of the Nolan trilogy (which I own all of on DVD despite my opinions that overall these are awful adaptations (because I intend to write out my full study of the subject and let it be known in due time)). Ledger has a VERY good performance as a different but identifiable Joker. The Two-Face plot is classic Nolan pretentious over-complication and the root of the biggest gripe I have about the series. It’s another film I watch for the salvageable two thirds.
-4 Film Favorites: Superman: Suparman: The Movie / Suparman II / Superman III / Superman IV: The Quest for Peace DVD: I like the classics. Another old film series that got off the rails at the end but is still entertaining and fitting to the character. It’s also a series of films my father and I watched together during the time we watched Heroes.
-Green Lantern Extended Cut Bluray: The Extended Cut was… More movie than the original? It’s not great. This was really cheap at FRY’S and I had no more problem with the plot of this than Spider-man 3, X-men 3, or the Amazing Spider-man 2.
-Spider-man 2 Full Screen Special Edition DVD: This is listed here because 1 it was on the shelf right next to the following entry and it is my favorite of the Raimey films and I think really good.
-Triple Feature 3-DVD Set: Spider-man / Spider-man 2 / Spider-man 3 DVD: Beyond the nostalgia of being a young adolescent when these came out, these are damned entertaining and good light-hearted adaptations. Not perfect, we’ll get to perfect adaptations of comics, but a lot of fun. I splurged and bought this set for myself during college to re-watch them, willing to buy 3 again and I re-watched them and then watched all of them with the great commentary tracks. If you can you should watch them too. Everyone enjoyed making these films and they were all made with the best intention. 3 just fell to studio interference (kind of like Batman and Robin).
-The Amazing Spiderman Bluray: When I went to see this movie a little after sing the Dark Knight Rises I said to myself that THIS was a comic adaptation. Stylistic, close to the source material, and entertaining, I felt like this movie really hit the money in a way so few had done before. At times it felt like it was over-reaching just a bit, but otherwise it was great.
-The Amazing Spiderman 2 Bluray: And then Sony decided to throw too many villians into a story that combined the original and Ultimate versions of continuity (which had worked for Marvel). Does no one understand that the way the comics and Marvel studious built universes was with one story at a time for a long time? Still, it’s good action, a good Spider-man, Gwen, and a decent visual style.
-Daredevil Director’s Cut DVD: This movie wasn’t great in its regular form but I liked it. The director’s cut though I do love. It focuses more on the blue and red on black tones of the Millar comics, changes a few characters but keeps their cores. Evenescence music intrinsic to the times is a plus too. Oh, and it also deals with the Catholic side of Daredevil more than the regular cut and that’s a plus.
-Iron Man Special Edition (Holofoil Cover) DVD: The start of the MCU and may favorite and most identifiable character in it. A reasonably smart and innovative guy who hides a more genuine nature behind some snarky comedy? Here’s one of the best examples of that in comics. It’s also a great example of the Hero’s Journey in a modern contextualization.
-The Incredible Hulk DVD: I watched this movie while drinking with my grandfather once. And that’s the way I remember it best and the way I like my Hulk movies. I remember him saying “hey, they just skip right to it in this movie, none of that origin crap.” And it’s good. The Hulk has a simple origin and the intrigue is in him running from it, not really in looking into it. We know how that worked out.
-Iron Man 2 Bluray: I like this one. There is a LOT going on, but not like on Spider-man 3 levels and it’s not like there is much bad going on. This movie had Black Widow and Nick Fury in it for crying out loud. AND Demon in a Bottle.
-Marvel’s The Avengers Bluray: This movie just works. The product of all the work done before paying off. And I’m not even a Whedon fan. I was very VERY happy with this movie. I even went to go see it with six of my great friends freshman year at college. And I was named the Iron Man (and photoshopped into the poster as such). My mozzarella sticks came out right when Pepper walked in. (The Cinnebarre is like the NW’s Alamo Drafthouse)
-Iron Man 3 Bluray: I watch this movie every Christmas. It’s my Die Hard. Funny and implausible action with a significant amount of character work. I would still be a little ticked at the waste of the Mandarin, but acknowledging that the idea is based on the historical position and the rumored figure was enough to tide me over until it was revealed in an MCU short that the Chinese expatriot who was frustrated after having his family’s position taken away by the Communist regime existed and he may also have
-Avengers: Age of Ultron Bluray: In my opinion it’s the least of the MCU movies, easily of the ones I own and maybe of the whole series. I understand how restricted they were by Fox’s X-men ownership. I also know that Ultron is a hard nut to crack for a movie, but how do you screw it up this badly. The summary of the film said Tony unleashes a dormant technology in a failed attempt to better things. How easy would it have been (with the established idea of an older Hank Pym) for Tony to have resurrected a dormant Ultron AI project from the Cold War? Just say’n. They needed an infinity stone, but that’s not mutually exclusive. They needed fuel for the fire of Civil War, well a lot could have been done for that. And why did they have to introduce the Ultimate background for Hawkeye when the rest was all the other movies play him as standard? The Black Widow and Hulk relationhips too… I’m not opposed to it, it just seems like they added a lot of things for no real reason. And this is the kind of movie you get when that happens.
-Captian America: Civil War Bluray: In my opinion this is the real follow-up to the Avengers. All the fun, all the scope, all the action, and ALL the characters. And, of course, I don’t think I’ve mentioned for quite a while that the features make the disc doubly worth it. It’s also far enough into the timeline that what I can find to fault it mostly comes from the previous films.
-Doctor Strange Bluray: I loved seeing the movie in theaters. It shows a new aspect of the MCU and it’s one that I’m eager to see play out. Further it was very fun, very efficient about the origin, and had a really natural and clever end. It makes me very excited about the future of the MCU that they can keep things going this far into the story.
-X-men: First Class Bluray: You might be wondering why these movies are in this order. Well, I have them organized by their tentative positions in the timeline because I have all but one of the X-men films because that’s the one I didn’t see and mostly because I was busy. I just realized that I had all but two a while back and because of one project I am working on I thought I’d do the shorter version of it too (eventually).
But this one. It’s an X-men movie starring J Law and those two Irish guys. (Fassbender and Mackavoy, I know, they’re really cool guys.) It’s a return to form in the series after 3 and Origins: Wolverine and just a very solid movie.
-X-men Origins: Wolverine DVD: A short summary of this movie. They cast Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool in a movie that covered the Weapon program and Wolveriene and Sabertooth’s life as very similar but very different people. And somehow they screwed it up. This is what I expect of a modern DC movie, but this is what started the fantastic casting and a great in-comic story and they decided to ruin it with quirks and bad story development. I was sad because as bad as what they did to my favorite mutate, they had so much in concept.
-Triple Feature 3 DVD Set: X-men / X2: X-men United / X-men: The Last Stand DVD: Confession time. I like all of these movies and I like them all about the same. They had no idea how to end the trilogy so they just threw everything into a pot, but for the most part they walk the middle road of realistic scenarious with extrodinary characters and elements. A whole lot of black leather in these films but over all a great cast. There also was an arc to these movies with multiple leads. That’s impressive for the first go.
-The Wolverine Bluray: BLACK FRIDAY BLURAY SALE! Otherwise, meh. Fine movie with an alright ending that could have been better. Still, with all the investment Jackman had put into the character by this point he just deserves that I buy it.
-X-men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut Bluray: This is my favorite X-men movie. The normal cut is good too, but the Rogue Cut is up there with the Avengers in terms of comic-book adaptations (I waited nearly a year to buy the movie because I knew I’d buy this one). If Avengers has the feel down and Amazing Spiderman has the visuals, this movie has got the scope right (prior to Civil War, but they’re close). It also accomplishes for movies what I thought only comics could successfully. An in-continuity reboot and recon of every movie to come before it. And not just in a Back to the Future Part II it was all happening just of screen kind of way. This is honest-to-goodness past characters coming back to fix problems and save each other in a different timeline. Have any of you seen this? I hope so. If there’s any director’s cut on this list to see. It’s this one. Also, Rogue was a great addition to the movie that I’m not sure why they took her and her rescue mission out. That sequence is worth the price difference.
-Deadpool Target Edition Bluray: I love this movie. I love this character. He’s my favorite mutate. It also is a movie that proves that when you want to do right by a story or an idea you should just do it and have fun. I reviewed this movie last febuary but I’ll just let you all know that this is my favorite Superhero movie and the best adaptation in all of the catagories I’ve outlined before now.
-The Lego Movie DVD: This is the latest addition to my collection. I bought it immediately after seeing The Lego Batman Movie and remembering how much I liked the original. I haven’t watched it yet, but I’m looking forward to a good time when everything is awesome.
And there you have the entire collection of “My Movies” that were on the entertainment center. Left out discs of note are Black Sheep, Tommy Boy, Breaking Bad (every single season release (5-1 and 5-2)) and every season of It’s Always Sunny in Philladelphia plus the Christmas special. I am sure I have others around the house, like the Matrix four pack and Anchorman 2 is somewhere, but if I ever do a post like this after the Disney one we’ll cover the random ones.
WOW, twelve whole pages. I did not expect that. Oh well! It took a while to write up and I still have three movies to comment on. It won’t be 12 pages, but let’s roll with some “segments” and wrap with an announcement.
Star Wars: Rogue One
I liked The Magnificent Seven Samurai in Space. It was very well done and it went against my greatest fear that it wouldn’t fit as a Star Wars movie. The characters and the adventure fit into the world in a way that kept with this movie’s war-heist theme despite the difference to the family history nature of the other Star Wars movies.
Unsurprisingly though, my favorite parts were the Darth Vader ones. Personally the events on Mustafaar. That final fight was badass and does lead perfectly into A New Hope.
There is a new aspect on the Death Star that answers the question of why there was that glaring a defect in the plans and that’s something special that I’m liking about the Disney continuity. Things are very tightly woven together. As this new expanded universe grows there will be weak spots probably, but I’m still looking forward.
I am also pleasantly awaiting the Han Solo-film and will sign everything for a film based of off Kenobi.
So, our good buddy on the site @JohnathanWelker has asked what my thoughts on this most recent volume of RWBY were and I’d already said I was going to do some more detailed thoughts in whatever I chose to do as Update #22 and, well, here we are. So I’ve gone back and watched the entire thing to refresh myself now what we’re in the time when such a discussion openly would necessitate SPOILER tags. However, if you’re waiting to watch it still, don’t read this section.
RWBY Vol. 4 was, in a very good way, about what I expected. After the fall out of everything that happened in Vol. 3 We needed some quite, some explainations, and seeing where everything settled. It was more than just our heroes walking to the next plot point, but I’d be lying if it wasn’t half that and half new details. The details we got were also simple and straight foreward. There were only a handful of things that brought me to speculation. I want to make sure everyone understands though, I enjoyed this season, not just for what it had to be, but overall as a show. And having nearly triple the usual World of Remnants helped me a lot as we explored out from Beacon and into the grander world and conflicts of our characters. While I could go chapter by chapter I’m going to keep this more as general thoughts though on characters and elements to be more cohesive.
-SALEM’S EVIL COUNCIL OF EVIL
Salem’s table had six seats for guests. Not only did it have six seats, but the seats that were sat in were sat in a way to make it obvious that people were missing from the table. First off, there were six people present in the room other than Salem and Mercury and Emerald weren’t allowed to sit or didn’t out of propriety. But, if there were only four people who were allowed to sit at the table it would make sense for them all to sit as close to Salem instead of leaving two open seats unless the seats were assigned to specific people. This means two people were missing. It is possible that those seats belonged to Roman and the leader of the White Fang / Adam, but it only means for sure that there are two other members of the council. I hope we can figure this one out eventually.
Salem has her whole supernatural queen of the Grimm thing going. She’s creepy and cold which works but it’s nothing we didn’t know already from Volume 1 Chapter 1. It is interesting to see how she pushes each of her council members though.
I like that Cinder’s wounds are actually effecting her, as are her powers. She’s taken throat damage and lost an eye to Ruby. I’m sure there will be some symbolic significance to that eventually. I’m also wondering what she’s trying to control within herself. My money is the Grimm scarab and the Fall Maiden powers are at odds within her.
Tyrion will come back up, but for his general discussion. I liked him as a villain this time. He was just interesting enough as a character and a threat but if it’s true that he was beset by Grimm until he died as punishment I’ll be fine with that. He served his purpose and that opens up another seat at Cinder’s table. It’s really cool to see some of the rarer Faunus types.
Watts, someone brought up on an Afterbuzz TV episode, is probably Watson and so his backstory should be interesting. He’s also clearly the token dick of the Villain team.
I don’t remember the name of the big brooding one. His comments to Oscar seem like he’s the noble type of bad guy who is going to extreme measures for some sort of betterment to people. Or I could be reading too much into him giving a poor kid a ticket to a train. It’s also cool that Ozpin recognized him. I looked it up, his name is Hazel Rainart (Reynard?) and I did have to look it up.
Ruby this time around had a lot of subtle growth, she’s ~16 now and went through a whole lot. But she’s still Ruby, as Jaune said, and that is a lot of what makes her special. The more Red-Riding-Hood outfit’s cool too. Still kicking ass and drinking milk, her letter at the end of the season makes me tear up.
If you’re noticing this section is short, it is. Ruby had a very clear goal this Volume and that is what she did. There was some more incedential stuff like her forgiving nature to Uncle Qrow and some slight new information on having Silver Eyes.
Well, we learned what is on his hoodie and it’s better than I could have imagined and just like the Left and Right on his shoes. Very fitting.
There’s still mysteries about this guy. Why’d Tyrion smell something interesting about him? Was that all he did to his sword? What kind of connection does he still have to Pyrrha (and how does Ruby fit in)? Silver eyes, maidens, and a sword from the Great War…
This Volume his role as strategist was expanded upon and he hit the emotional and comedic notes they tried for.
-NORA and REN
It can be argued that this was their season for major development. We learned what Ren’s semblance is (emotion muting) and their backstory. Even sadder than I expected. The Grimm and final battle we got out of it was amazing. And they held hands at the end of the volume! You, know, the important stuff.
It’s good to see them developed and in the season where it didn’t detract from the over-plot going on.
Well, when Jacques Frost marries Santa II’s daughter and takes over the family business, this is the dysfunctional family you’d expect. The intensity of how awful Papa Schnee and Whitly are to Weiss was a little surprising. But then she showed great resolve in practicing her summoning and then running away. I sort of understand why, but in the end I don’t see why she didn’t got to Ironwood with the intent of her father not knowing instead of sneaking away to Winter.
I expected the charity event to be “bigger” but we did get to meet her obviously one off foil character and not rival/possible romantic interest Marigold. Not sure how he’ll fit in later if she ran away, but who knows. It also was made to look like she had gone crazy. That’ll be a redemptive arc.
-BLAKE (And SUN TAGGED ALONG TOO)
Blake’s in a “noble family” too? That was surprising. And her parents are perfectly normal too.
If Sun hadn’t tagged along, it’s very likely Blake would have stayed home, not had to exposit her emotional state, get through it, and then fight against chameleon girl which sends her on her current path. I also love awkward “not-boyfriend” Sun.
I’ve always seen the White Fang as a slow burn enemy in the series so, while there was things going on here, Blake’s development was like Ruby’s and satisfying but small.
One of the things I’m happiest about from this quiet volume is that Yang dealt with her problems internally and quietly. And in the end she came to a mature conclusion and set off on her path. She has PTSD and it was shown realisticly with a supportive environment. What I’ve always found most important in this kind of situation though is that the affected person is incharge. Yang took charge and that’s great.
I’m going to include Raven’s reveal that the Branwens are the leaders of a tribe of bandits here because it presents a choice Yang will have to come back to. And eventually I’d like to see Yang giving them all motorcycles and become Road Warrior Princess, but that might just be me.
If his semblance is misfortune, how can he turn into a bird?
That really shouldn’t be my primary concern with what he revealed. The “Much Needed Talk” is the other central thing to the volume. This volume explained things and set them in motion for the future and the grander series. Monty had 9+ volumes in mind, and that was before Volume 2 became Volumes 2 AND 3.
I did not want this, but I expected him to die this Volume. There were multiple times I thought he did. It’s good he survived though because there’s eight kids that need his guidance right now.
Having Ozpin in his head, this new character filling Ozpin’s shoes is good and a nice surprise. It seems to be a situation like a maiden’s but different. The thing about Oscar is he’s also a cool younger character so I’m looking forward to the dynamic he’ll introduce to the core cast. His multi-colored scheme will also be important I feel. But seeing as he had maybe fifteen minutes of screen time, I’m going to go ahead and say we’ll just have to wait to actually learn stuff about him.
-THE GODS of LIGHT AND DARKNESS AND THE RELICS
More explanation of the Grimm and how this world works in a season is pretty interesting. More so, the relics and the four gifts were the other thing that really got me thinking this season. If I had to guess I’d say the Relic of Knowledge is Ozpin’s staff. It could be something ese, but at the very least that’s the Relic supposedly at Beacon. I’d place the Relic of Destruction in Atlas for obvious reasons, Creation in Mistral because it’s the artistic nation, and Choice in Vaccuo by default (though historically they were the ones who kept their options open). Odds are Ozpin put those relics in the schools because of his ties to them and the powers that be. I also think his staff is the “scepter” of the king of Vale and the sword is Jaune’s tying together the two poofy haired mystery men but also putting a relic in the Great War.
Corsic and Fennik are creepy Cult higher-ups. That’s what I thought and that’s what I’ve got to say.
It’s interesting and fitting that Blake’s dad was the leader of the White Fang when it was blue and white.
Illya will be an interesting addition to the cast as well.
The level of duplicity in the White Fang is something I want to figure out, but for now it’s difficult to say if Adam is the scapegoat of the real leader, his secret left hand, or truly the leader of a splinter group that Fennik and Corsic are in. We’ll just have to wait for next volume’s White Fang episode.
-FINAL SUMMARY OF THOUGHTS
I enjoyed this volume because it was entertaining and accomplished the small goals it set out with. Next year I want to see at least some of Team RWBY coming back together, maybe in those opposite pairs I predicted earlier. I’m also surprised we didn’t hear from Neo or Penny’s Father at all this volume. Those are going to be interesting developments eventually. The final twist will need some pay off too, but that’s very likely to happen on its own time. It wasn’t the biggest season, but I liked it. I also want to talk about the great technical work from RT animation and the writing from Kerry and Miles. I prefer the new style of more cell-shading on what looks like painted backgrounds.
Looking forward to Volume 5.
-TANGENTAL RWBY COMMENT
I’m still casually playing GE, mostly as best girls Ruby and Pyrrha (don’t tell Nora (I love her but she’s also too slow for my playstyle)). It’s still pretty fun. If any of y’all are PS4 players, hit me up and we can try to play sometime.
A Guttermouth Section about Logan
I really liked that Deadpool trailer. It got kinda long and weird towards the end there.
But seriously, I don’t have much bad to say about Logan. It was a very, very, good Shane reboot.
I might be done with jokes now, but I should warn you I can’t make any promises from here on except there will be spoilers.
This also isn’t quite a “guttermouth” review because I liked this movie but don’t have much swearing and shouting to do in that regard either. It was really good and definitely a rated R X-men movie. Not exactly in or out of continuity but a perfect send-off for Hugh Jackman. Even if it is the last third of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome too…
Yeah, I’m still trying to hide my spoilers through jokes. I regret nothing!
My verdict is go see it, it’s a very good and poignant story featuring a character that has been 15 years in the works. If nothing else it is an appropriate way to appreciate Jackman and Stuart’s contributions to the X-men. And odds are I’ll buy a copy sometime after release.
We’re nearly at 18 pages now in the document. I’m not going to do any more to you all than I have to right now.
I know what I said.
I also know I’ve been talking about something RvB related for quite a while, and I can think of no better way to expand my hype and keep my promise than release the “proposal draft” script for Red vs Blue: REC0VERY Issue 1 on April 1to show my appreciation for all that this company and show had done for me in fifteen years. With all the influence it has had on my writing alone, something like this was inevitable.
It's also going to be a post at least 33 pages long.
It’s time to #tellmyRvBstory.
I’ll see ya then.