Tag Archives: Sci-fi

He-man and the Masters of the Universe: Mini Comic Collection (2015)

I grew up in the 80’s and for me that was a time that I remember fondly for two things: saturday morning cartoons, and the wonderful toys that these cartoons got their inspiration from. When I was a kid I used to get up at about 7 o’clock in the morning on saturday, turn on the tv to Sky Channel and there it was: the program that set my young eyes alight: Fun Factory. For the first two hours or so, Fun Factory was okayish. But things became really interesting when the “big three” came on: M.A.S.K., He-man and Transformers. Ahhh..to think back on those days, even though they are so many years ago (jeezzzzz I really AM getting old), just brings a smile to my face. When you look at the cartoons from this era and compare them to the golden oldies from the 80’s one can only say that they just don’t make them like they used too. I was and still am a huge Transformers fan (like many kids back in those days). But one of the biggest rivals of Transformers, a dude with a big sword called He-man, honestly failed to impress me. I never bought a He-man toy, and I really did not enjoy the cartoon as much.

image
This is a pretty big book alright.

Now, thirty years later, I came into posession of the complete series of He-man and the Masters of the Universe on dvd. And…I am loving it. For some reason I have found a new appreciation of the cartoon, but that is a story for another day. As is most often the case when I all of a sudden have a new obsession, I want to find out more about it. And that brings me to this incredible tome that was released a few years back by Dark Horse comics. He-man and the Masters of the Universe Mini Comic Collection reproduces the comics that came with the toys. Well as I was never interested in the toys in the first place I did not even know of the existence of these comics until I read about this book. The first thing you will notice is how thick this book is (and for that matter how much it weighs). With a massive 1232 pages it will take you a while to get through it all. So what exactly does this book offer you?

image
Gotta love that retro comic book style.

This being a comic collection it will not come as a huge surprise when I tell you this humongous book contains comics, and a lot of them. Nearly 70 comics in total are collected here, ranging from the orginal 1982 toylines of He-man and his sister She-ra to a shortlived comic run that should have served as a revival for the series but never quite took off. Besides the comics themselves it also contains a wealth of background info on the series,  which includes interviews with some of the writers and pencilers that created these works of art. And I do mean art. As you might have noticed from a couple of the shots I have included in this post, there was some major talent involved when you like at the drawings alone. I love the oldschool style of some of these comics, and for anyone who grew up with comics in the 80’s it’s hard to not smile at the nostalgic feel of it all. At the start of this run, you could hardly speak of comics as they were more stories that were accompanied by pictures. Later the series evolved and became more traditional looking comics.

image
The early comics could not really be called comics in the traditional sense of the word.

The art is good, but how are the stories themselves? Well, they range from totally awesome to downright sucky, if you will pardon my French. But overall though most of the comics are pretty cool. It’s classic good vs evil type of storytelling where He-man fights against his nemesis the evil lord Skeletor and his henchmen. A fun fact to know is that one of the comics was written by Robert Kirkman. If that name doesn’t ring a bell he is the creator of a little known comicbook/tv series called The Walking Dead. This being a kid show, are these comics any fun to read when you are an adult? Well, quite frankly yes. He-man always has been a series that targeted an audience of 12 years and older (and ofcourse younger children still watched it anyway because it was cool to do so), and as such some of the stories and comics depict some pretty gruesome creatures and situations. In fact one of the covers of these comics caused quite a big disturbance at the time of it’s release because it was very brutal and had parents all over the world in uproar.

image
Gee, I wonder why parents got upset by this cover?

This book is absolutely amazing. If you have a warm heart towards 80’s cartoons, or a love for oldschool type comics, this is a collection that you just have to pick up. It isn’t even a very expensive book, and for the amount of stuff it contains it is well worth the price. It gives a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of these mini-comics and the amount of work that went into creating these. Even if you have never heard of He-man it’s worth checking it out, especially if you like fantasy type storytelling combined with some of the best art possible. Even though not all of the comics are of the same quality, you will get enough of a kick out of these to make you enjoy it, and forget about some of the lesser comics. In other words go and relive your childhood if you grew up with these cartoons, and buy this book. I promise you, you will not regret it. By the power of Grayskull: I HAVE THE POWERRRRRR!!!!!!

I give He-man the Masters of the Universe mini comic collection a 9 out of 10 score.

Advertisements

Sword Art Online-Ordinal Scale, Japanese (animated) movie (2017)

The world of computergames is vast. Some say it is currently one of the biggest entertainment mediums, bigger even than Hollywood movies. Many of you already know this but I used to be a very fanatical gamer. One could argue that I was so fanatical that it wasn’t even healthy anymore. But that’s a thing of the past now, as I have stopped playing computergames altogether, well on consoles that is. I do play the occasional game on my Ipad, but that’s nowhere near the level of games that I was used to playing. Games these days are becoming ever more immersive, with virtual reality being one of the latest trends. Putting on special goggles, gamers can experience the gaming world in a way that is almost lifelike. I do say almost, as of course the technology isn’t anywhere close to the things you sometimes see in science fiction movies. Two years ago, around the time when my blog was up and running for a few months, I discovered the anime Sword Art Online, which focusses heavily on virtual reality gaming. It fast became one of my alltime favorite animeseries and now I have a huge collection of merchandise from that series (proving once again my point that I can truly become obsessed when I like something).

image
Don’t look now, but I think you might have something stuck in your ear.

Last year a movie that was a follow-up to the series saw the light of day, and now I finally had the chance to see this one for myself as it was released on dvd two weeks ago. (Well here in Europe anyway). Was it worth the wait? Hell yeah it was! It is the year 2026, and the world is under the spell of the Augma device, a new system that allows players all over the world to simulate reality while still being conscious. As a few years prior players became trapped in a virtual reality game called Sword Art online, that used a full dive system, this new device is deemed much safer. We once again meet up with Kirito and Asuna, both survivors of the horrible SOA event, and not surprisingly both are also using the Augma to play the newest and most popular game Ordinal Scale. Although Kirito doesn’t seem to be enjoying himself as much. But then a new event is introduced to the game: old boss monsters from the Sword Art Online world begin appearing accompanied by the mysterious AI idol singer Yuna. What at first seems like a fun and welcome addition to the game, soon begins to take on a much more sinister shape. With Asuna’s life on the line, Kirito has to find out what is going on, before it’s too late. But it might already be too late, for Kirito seems to have met his match in the form of a player that is able to counter his every move….

image
Gotta love Asuna’s new look in this film.

Sword Art Online is a series that is hated upon by a lot of animefans. I’m not going to start up that old discussion as I am here to talk about this movie. Suffice it to say though that I am a huge fan of this anime, in fact so much so that it has taken up a spot on my personal top 3 of favorite animeseries. When I first heard about the fact that there would finally be something coming out that would continue the storyline I was delighted. At the same time though I also felt anxious. What if it would suck? Well, having finally been able to see this film now, I am very glad to let you all know that my fears were unfounded. If you are a fan of the animeseries you will love this. Let’s talk about the storyline first. One of the things I really liked about it, is the way it treated the main characters of Asuna and especially Kirito. It was very refreshing to see the latter being out of his element and not the powerhouse player we are used to seeing in the series. Kirito really struggles within this new life and death game, and it takes him a long while to adapt. Asuna also at a certain point becomes very vulnerable, and it’s a side we are not always used to seeing from the starstruck couple. It’s their relationship and love for each other that continues to be heartwarming, and very touching though.

image
GET READYYYYYYY: FIGHT!!!!

Another thing I liked about the film’s story is some of the questions it asked that really made you think.What if you were able to forget about things from your past that were not very happy thoughts or events?  Would you do that if you were able to? Or are they a part of your life no matter how unhappy these memories might be? I think that is an intriguing question and one that could almost be the topic for an entire post or at the very least a lively discussion. The movie runs for two hours, and it is in my opinion just a tad bit too long. Some of the story elements felt a bit forced, and a few of the side characters had way too little screentime, but were probably just added to the mix for the fans. Nevertheless there are also quite a few things in it for fans of the original series that will in all likelyhood give you a few goosebumps. On the action front the film doesn’t disappoint. Even though it’s not a full on fight fest, there are enough action scenes in the film that make it very satisfying. The fights also feel much more threatening and dangerous.

image
I just love my special edition boxed set version of this movie 😀

 

While the animation might not be as beautiful as some of the higher level animefilms out there, I still found it to be very decent, with some spectacular setpieces. The new outfits for most of the characters also worked quite well and had a really nice look to it. Another thing that plays a big role in this film is the music. With the introduction of the new character of Yuna, an AI idol singer, there were quite a number of scenes that featured her singing. At times it almost felt as if I was watching a new installment of the  Macross saga. But I have to admit that this element did work quite well and wasn’t distracting in the least. The music featured in the film fits the tone of Sword Art Online and as such is very pleasing to the ear. Even though the film can be watched on it’s own without any prior knowledge of the world of Sword Art Online, you will find it more enjoyable if you first watch the original anime. If you hated SOA in the first place, this movie won’t make you love the series all of a sudden. For the fans though this is a more than decent follow up to the original anime and with the words Sword Art Online will return at the end of the credits, we can rest assured that we haven’t seen the last of Kirito and Asuna. And I would not have it any other way. Link start !

I give Sword Art Online-Ordinal Scale a 8 out of 10 score.

My Hero Academia Season 1, Anime tv series (2016)

Yes people I am back, here to kick things off with the first of the requested reviews for the anime theme month My Hero Academia. I did not expect to become totally addicted to this series. In fact I got addicted to this series so much that I immediately went on an impulse shopping spree buying the first season limited edition dvd boxed set, as well as the first issue of the manga. Well, hey I never denied the fact when I fall I completely in love with something I can do crazy things. Right…but where are my manners. Let’s first shed some light on the two bloggers that requested this review in the first place (yes, in a strange turn of events the random numbers generator selected this anime twice in a row, go figure).

image
Really? Two times? I find that very hard to believe.

Jiraiyan’s blog Otaku Orbit has been a blog that I have been following for quite a long time now. It is a very diverse blog that focusses on both anime and manga. As I am pretty much a noob when it comes to manga (well, yeah I can hear you saying it: “you are a noob at anime as well” So for sake of argument I won’t dispute that :)), I found it to be a rather helpful blog at discovering manga titles that are worth reading (Now if I could only find some time to read them, that would be awesome).

The second request for this anime came from Merlin. Another truly diverse blog that will satisfy all your geeky needs it features an astounding amount of topics ranging from books, anime, movies and television series to name but a few things. All of the posts are top notch and just as the blog mentioned above it is run by a very friendly host. If you have yet to discover these blogs, go do that now. This post can wait…no really, do that first. And ofcourse hit the subscribe button too if you are not a follower of either of them. Right…all done? Okay then. Let’s put on our superhero costumes and dive into the world of My Hero Academia.

image
Okay, I’m ready to start taking some notes now. Doubt this post will be interesting though….

Unless you have been living under a rock (well I have to admit I did, as I was very late to discover this anime gem), you must have at least heard of this show. But helpful as I am let me break the storyline down for you in case you have yet to see this. No worries as always, I will do this spoiler free. In the world of My Hero Academia 80% of the population has manifested some form of superpowers. Let’s let that sink in for a minute. Imagine living in a world like that, and you yourself don’t have any of these powers that are called quirks. It’s the nightmare that young Izuku Midoriya has to live with though. Even while he is ridiculed by his classmates for having dreams of one day becoming a superhero despite his lack of powers, Izuku refuses to give up. One fateful day his highschool bully Katsuki is attacked by a villain and Izuku is the one that tries to rescue him. Just when things start to get grim, his childhood hero All Might, the world’s mightiest hero shows up and intervenes just in time to save both Izuku and Katsuki. All Might is very impressed by Midoriya’s courage and in the end decides to bestow upon him a very special gift. A gift that will change Izuku’s life forever and allows him to enter the prestigious U.A. High School, a special school that trains the next generation of superheroes. Izuku is about to find out though that the life of a superhero isn’t that easy…..

image
Hmm, that guy on the left truly gives a whole new meaning to the word handjob.

Now I know there must be a few of you that after having read the synopsis above are probably thinking: do we really need another superhero show? In a world that is currently being dominated by superhero movies there are quite a number of people that are experiencing the so called “superhero fatique syndrom”. And honestly I don’t blame them. But let me try to convince you though that it is in your best interest to really check out this show. Nothing could have prepared me for the addictive nature of this series. After watching just one episode I was hooked. This series has a way of drawing you in, and never letting you go. So what is it about this anime that sets it apart from your usual superhero stuff? Well, let’s start with the characters. You are going to love them. The cast is huge, but never seems to overwhelm you in any way. It gradually introduces new characters in every episode, and pretty much all of them are awesome in their own way. The anime’s lead character Izuki is almost impossible to dislike. I think we can all identify with someone that has dreams, and tries to realise them, without ever giving up, even though it might at times seem like a lost cause. All Might, the world’s mightiest hero, is just amazing. He has a vulnerability in him that you will grow to love, when you find out more about him.

image
Yes we look weird, what’s it to you?

Now I could go on and describe even more of the cast, but I will leave that for you to discover. Suffice it to say though that these characters are the main drive of this anime. That and the relationships between them. This show has a heart to it that comes to the fore in the bonds that are established between these wanna be heroes. While it might seem cool to have a superpower, it certainly has it’s downsides as well. This first season lays the foundation for the world of My Hero Academia. When it ends, you can almost feel that there are even greater things to come. Which brings me to another selling point and that is the storyline. While most superhero shows focus on the heroes banding together to fight a common foe, this isn’t the case in this anime. Yes ofcourse there is a threat and there are some very cool fight sequences between heroes and villains, but at it’s heart this is a show that has much more to it than that. You will have moments where you will laugh out loud, and then there are also moments that are very touching and downright scary and exciting as well. I love it when a show combines all these different kinds of elements and succeeds in blending it into a wonderful and very potent cocktail.

image
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s….naw…not going to head into that territory….

My Hero Academia is a series that I can’t recommend enough. If I haven’t managed to succeed in convincing you that this series really does try to do something else with the superhero genre, just give the first episode a shot. If that episode doesn’t hook you in, then chances are that the rest of the series won’t either. But I doubt that will happen though. This anime is a gem, and I honestly can’t wait to get started on season 2 which I hope to be doing somewhere in the upcoming weeks. With a cast of loveable and quirky characters (yes…pun intended), a truly unique and wonderful storyline and some great action sequences added to the mix, this anime has very little not to like. In fact after having thought about it for a while I can’t think of any things that I did not like about this series. And thus we have reached the end of the first post for the anime theme month. Next up is Baccano! another anime that I have heard a lot about but haven’t seen yet. For now though, keep your dreams alive: Plus Ultra!!

I give My Hero Accademia Season 1 a 9 out of 10 score.

 

Aliens, American movie (1986)

I have talked a lot about sequels on my blog in the past. Some people love them, some people hate them. One can’t deny that in the current movie climate sequels are coming out of the woodwork. Not a year goes by that we don’t get some kind of sequel to a movie that has been successful in the theatres. Usually for the sole reason to obviously make more money. But there are certain films that were so good, so incredible, that you don’t even want a second part. Huh? What’s that? Why would you not want a sequel to a movie that you loved? Well how on Earth could it ever surpass a film that left you in total amazement after you have seen it for the first time? So why tarnish that film with a follow up that can never be as good? I’m sure that is what the moviegoing audience must have thought when Aliens was released, seven years after Ridley Scott’s original Alien. That classic movie is a masterpiece. So how did, at the time relatively unknown director James Cameron, even dare to touch such a sacred work of art. Total blashphemy right? Wrong… People, stop your grinnin and drop your linen: LET’S ROOOOOCCCCKKKKKK!!!

image
Jeezzzz, I can never get a break. First I deal with a cybernetic organism, now this crap…..

At the start of Alien a small shuttlecraft is found by a salvageteam. Aboard is the sole survivor of the spacecraft Nostromo, Ellen Ripley. After her rescue she is shocked to learn that she has been in cryosleep for 57 years. When she tells the story of what happened to her and her crew, to a bunch of executives of The Company, no one really believes her. Especially since the planet where the Nostromo first encountered the terrifying alien species is now terraformed and has been occupied by a human colony for several years. In all that time no one ever reported anything out of the ordinary. Ripley is being dismissed and left to deal with her demons alone. Waking up in a cold sweat every night, Ellen feels like she is slowly losing it. But then she is contacted by Company man Burke, who tells her that all contact has been lost with the colony on LV 426, and that they need her help in finding out what is going on. At first Ripley is very reluctant to do so, but eventually she relents and together with Burke and a group of Colonial Marines she heads back towards the planet of her nightmares. But the nightmare is even worse than she imagined and not even a group of the toughest hombres of the galaxy might be enough to save the galaxy. This time it’s war….

image
What are you looking at me for? I’m just looking for the bathroom.

Let me make one thing really clear to you before I am beginning this review. I almost know this film by heart. I can pretty much recount every single line of dialogue from this film. I could have written this review without even rewatching the movie itself. But the only reason I did watch it again anyway is because I am in complete and utter love with this film. You might even call it a small obsession. This is my alltime number 2 favorite movie, and the best science fiction film that I have ever seen in my entire life. (So Karandi I guess your question has been answered now). To compare Alien and Aliens is almost impossible as they are two completely different films. Where the first Alien is true horror, this second movie is an action film. While of course there are still horror elements in it (it would almost be impossible not to include those, I mean just look at the creatures themselves), it is not as claustrophobic as that first masterpiece. But that doesn’t matter as this film has an intensity and thrill level that more than compensates for that. This film is an express elevator to hell, and it doesn’t let up until the final credits.

image
Don’t worry honey, I will protect you from all those nasty monsters.

A big part of what makes this film so memorable is the incredible cast of characters. Let’s start with the heroic Corporal Hicks, played by the in my opinion highly underrated actor Michael Biehn. He is just one of those men that has this natural charisma that you instantly like. In a very tense situation, Hicks is the one that stays frosty and inspires the troops with his calm and motivating presence. His on screen chemistry with Ripley works incredibly well, and there is an underlying romance that is never acted upon, but definitely there. The opposite of Hicks is Hudson played by the late Bill Paxton. Also serving as a bit of much needed comic relief, he has some of the best lines in the film, especially when he keeps losing his cool. In the end though he is every bit the hero that Hicks is. On the sleezeball side is the character of Burke, portrayed by actor Paul Reiser. It’s funny to see him play a role that is quite unusual for him as he normally portrays gentle characters that have a real sense of innate goodness in them. Burke though, is a slimy and utterly loathsome man that only has substantial dollar values in his mind, and has his own secret agenda for coming on this mission.

image
Awww…true love here. Isn’t that just the sweetest thing?

But, ultimately it is once again Sigourney Weaver who returns as Ripley, that is the driving force of this film. She got an Oscar nomination for her role and deservedly so. Even more than in the first movie, Ripley is a lean, mean fighting machine. But her love for the young child Newt, the sole survivor of the doomed colony is what makes you like her even more. The bond that forms between the two of  them, is a mother and daughter kind of relationship and ultimately gives this film a true heart. And that is an incredible thing to pull off amidst all the action and incredible special effects. Because really let’s talk about that for a second. There is a fight sequence between Ripley driving a power loader and the Alien Queen that to date I am still in awe of. The way they filmed that sequence is just absolutely astounding, and in spite of it being a film that is now 32 years old, it doesn’t look fake at all. In fact you just have to wonder if the government somehow kept these aliens a secret from us. That’s how incredible this looks. And that scene contains one of the greatest lines ever in a movie. Don’t know what I am talking about? Just look at the clip down below.

I haven’t even talked about some of the other characters like Vasquez, or the android Bishop, but if you let me I could write a review that could possibly go on forever. And as that might become bit too boring I’m going to call it a day here. As this review contains not a single negative word from me about it, I can hear you wonder if I am being objective here. Quite possibly I am not. But for the life of me I really can’t think of anything that was bad in this film. This for me has been and always shall be the greatest single piece of science fiction moviemaking that I have ever had the pleasure of watching. A gripping, powerful and utterly moving film, that is accompanied by the terrific score of composer James Horner, you just have to see this movie at least once in your life. It is in my opinion the best sequel to a film that has ever been made, and I don’t think that there will ever be a greater sequel in movie history. Then again, I have been wrong before. So in the words of Hudson: Game over man! Game over!

I give Aliens a 10 out of 10 score.

Alien, American movie (1979)

Although the official part of my science fiction and horror theme month might be over (the requested reviews), the month it self definitely isn’t yet. And this is well, not a real request, but more something that came up in a conversation. I was talking to Lina the other day (No,not going to be doing a promo here again, you already all know how awesome she is. And if you don’t just press on the link and go follow her already. Whoops…still did a promo, sorry!) and at one point the conversation came to science fiction films. And how cool the movie that I am about to do a review for still is even after so many years. So, seeing as this is one of my all time favorites, and I was planning on writing this one anyway at some point, I figured I might as well do it now. And Lina wanted me to write this too, so there is that. It was the late 70’s when this film came out, and remember this was around the time when the first Star Wars movie had become an overnight success. Science fiction was a very hot property to have and movie studios had certainly discovered that. But audiences just weren’t prepared for the terrifying vision that director Ridley Scott had on this genre. In space no one might hear you scream….but in the movietheatres everyone could hear you scream!

image
I know some people like to cover their eyes when going to sleep. This is a bit extreme though…..

In the darkness of space a large spaceship slowly comes into view. The camera moves inside the craft where lights and machinery is being turned on by the ship’s computer. Not only the ship is coming alive though, but also it’s human crew, that is being awakened from their cryosleep. The ship is called the Nostromo, and after having been in space for a very long time, it’s crew that includes Captain Dallas and Warrant Officer Ripley, were looking forward to finally heading back to Earth. But unfortunately they are not anywhere near their homeplanet. A transmission of some kind, maybe even a distress signal, has been picked up from the nearby planet designated LV-426. As per their company’s policy they are obligated to investigate any unknown signals. Using a shuttlecraft they descent towards the surface of the planet. When they finally make it to the ground a small team, under the command of captain Dallas, is leaving the shuttle behind to find out where the signal originated from. Meanwhile Ripley stays on board the ship trying to decipher the transmission. When she finally manages to uncover at least a part of it, she finds out it was not a distress signal, but a warning. However, that warning has probably come to late. For what they find on the desolate planet is something that has come straight out of the darkest pits of hell itself….

image
Heeeeeerreeeee’s……Johny!!! Erm…no wait….

It doesn’t matter that this film is now almost 40 years old. Because it is still every bit as terrifying as when this was first released all those years ago. What we have here is a movie that might very well be one of the most claustrophobic horror films ever made. Right from the very start of the movie, when the letters of the word Alien begin to slowly make an appearance, the atmosphere for this film is pretty much set. It is a dark film, both in tone, but also in subject matter. One of the most memorable sequences ever created for film, and maybe even one of the most horrifying ones, is where the alien’s first form emerges in all it’s bloody glory on the screen. The reactions that you see at that point from the terrified cast were real. Ridley Scott never told them exactly what would happen at that scene when they filmed it. And even if he would have told them, I think they would still all have been shocked at the way it looked. Even today it is still horrible. The only reason I’m not going into any more details is because I don’t want to give away spoilers in case you might have not seen this one yet.

image
In the future amusement park attractions have certainly come a long way.

The alien itself, designed by H.R.Giger, an artist from Switzerland that has sadly passed away, is a vision that seems to have been born straight out of the mind of a complete madman. It’s dark and sleek form, that can even be called very sexual in a disturbing kind of way, is one of the best movie monsters ever created. Director Ridley Scott has done a great job in not showing the monster right away, but just taking his time, building up to the reveal. It works perfectly. But when talking about Alien, it is not enough to only mention the cool set designs, the terrifying creature and terrific special effects. No…there is one other element that makes this film so great, and that is actress Sigourney Weaver. In her role as Ripley she created the most iconic female character to ever make an appearance in a science fiction movie. She is totally bad ass. Ripley is not only a strong figurehead for women all over the world, she is a character that personifies the word girlpower. Yes she is scared, who wouldn’t be when faced with such a terrifying creature. But she doesn’t cower in a corner: she takes the lead, and does something about it. And by doing that she more than gives the men in this film a run for their money.

image
I’ve got some thinking to do here. Will I go shopping tomorrow? Or kick some aliens behind?

The rest of the cast of characters in this film also do a great job in their respective roles, especially actor Ian Holm who plays the sinister character of Ash. And yes, trust me when I say that he becomes very sinister indeed. I could go on talking about this film all day. Don’t worry I won’t be doing that as this review is already getting pretty long. Alien is simply one of those rare films that, just like the Xenomorph itself, is simply the perfect organism. It’s a timeless film, that doesn’t feel dated even for a single second. Okay, maybe the spaceship scenes don’t look as great anymore as they did back in the days. But seriously I’m really nitpicking now. Well..and now there is a question that needs to be answered, right Karandi? Is this film better than it’s sequel? Sorry…I’m not going to answer that one just yet. I will though….soon…in the review for Aliens that will be coming up somewhere next week (yes…I am evil that way). As for this film: see it! That’s pretty much all I can say about it. It is one of the most powerful science fiction horrormovies ever made, and I absolutely love it!

I give Alien a 10 out of 10 score.

March Theme Reveal: Anime

Goodmorning, goodafternoon , goodevening, or maybe even goodnight! No idea when you are reading this post ofcourse, but I always try to be polite. So, we are already at the halfway point of February, and that means it is time to reveal the theme for next month. A few of you already knew about this (because really I am terrible at keeping secrets), but for those of you that didn’t yet know or for some reason missed the title of this post: it’s anime! I’m very excited for this month, for not only is it a theme that is very close to my heart, it’s also because if all goes well I have some collab posts lined up that I am really looking forward to. Just like last month I am going to ask you for some help again. For this month I am going to be reviewing two animes that will be selected by you the readers. And yes…..there are again a couple of rules for this. Ugh….I know I hate them too. But let’s get them over with, shall we?

The Rules

image
Ughhhh…rules? Again? This is getting so annoying!

Well, don’t worry I’m not going to make them very tough again, so here goes:

  • The anime must either be on Crunchyroll or Netflix (please bear in mind that I live in Holland, so not every show might be available to me. If it isn’t I ofcourse will let you know, so you are able to choose another one)
  • The anime must have a maximum length of 12-13 episodes (It can be a first season, if it has that number of episodes)
  • Any genre of anime is allowed, except full on comedy series (sorry, I just don’t like that genre and would not even know how to write a review for that)
  • Leave your choice for the two animes in the comments section
  • You can leave a comment on this post up until the 25th of February
  • The two animes that will be selected will be revealed on the 1st of March and just like last month I am going to use a random number generator to determine who has won
  • The two bloggers that have won will get an honorable mention on my blog

That’s it! Pretty simple huh? As always I want to thank you for your help, and I am really looking forward to seeing what you are going to come up with. Rest assured for the people that are not into anime, there will still be other content as well such as movie reviews and hopefully another Korean drama series. See you on the next post!

image
Okay, let’s get out of here!

 

Starship Troopers, American movie (1997)

Can you believe it? This is already the final requested review for my Science Fiction & Horror theme month. But that doesn’t mean that this is the end of the month itself though. There are still some reviews coming up, one that is kind of a request as well, but I don’t want to give that one away yet. (Although there is probably one person reading this that knows what I am talking about). Now, this review was requested by someone that I really think the world of and is truly special. I am talking about the astonishing Dani who has a blog that focusses on books. Even if you don’t like books, I still urge you to follow her anyway though. You know how some people can have a rough time in their lives, but still triumph in the end? Dani pretty much wrote the book on that. She is a powerhouse of a woman, that just spreads so much happyness and joy around with her reviews and comments, that you cannot help but smile. And considering all that she has been through, that is something that still amazes me to no end. My respect for her is enormous. Her positive attitude is something inspiring and if this hasn’t convinced you to follow her now, go and check out her amazing blog and you will know what I mean. Dani, my amazing and kindhearted beautiful friend, as you are so fond of saying: you rock! This review is for you!

The review

image
Hey look, it’s a giant erm….🤔🤔🤔

 

Yes, we humans are at it again. In the 23rd century we begin colonizing new planets and wouldn’t you know it, we of course encounter a hostile alien species. Well, at least we know that we humans are always very peaceloving beings right? So what do we do when we encounter something that is hostile? We of course squash it. And in this case that term is pretty relevant as this hostile alien race are a bunch of bugs. Only not the kind that you can trample underfoot. No, I’m talking about big giant bugs that are as big as houses, and a few that are even bigger than that. These Arachnids, as they become known, are hellbent on destroying our beautiful planet, and so we go to war! But for a war one usually needs soldiers. The Federation is the organisation that governs the Earth and in order to gain citizenship that grants special privileges one can for instance, enlist in the military. John “Johny” Rico decides to become a soldier against his parents wishes. His girlfriend Carmen Ibanez and one of his best friends, Carl Jenkins soon join him in the Federal Service, together with Isabelle Flores (who secretly has a crush on Rico….awwwww). One of their first missions will sent them to the heart of the Arachnid race, their homeplanet Klendathu. And this is ofcourse going to be a peace of cake right? Erm…wrong. Soon John is about to find out that the human invasion force might have bitten of more than they can chew……

image
Taking selfies in the future can be very hazardous to your health.

Starship Troopers was directed by Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, who is responsible for such science fiction classics as Total Recall and Robocop. And most people that know his style will probably also know that he really isn’t one to handle things in a very subtle way so to speak. Extensive use of gore and sex/nudity are certainly some of his trademarks. One only has to watch Basic Instinct and you will get the picture. And this movie definitely isn’t an exception. In a pretty controversial scene we get a number of the male and female soldiers all taking a shower together, and yes they are naked. One has to wonder if this was a scene that was purely added to shock audiences or if it served any kind of purpose. But we have a film here that also is meant, in part at least, as a satire. The “benovelent” Federation, is little more than an institution that sends young people into a meatgrinder. But the way that is done, the propaganda it uses in for instance television commercials, is at times quite hilarious.

image
Iron Fist is in this film as well? That is so awesome!

Another thing that one has to note is the actors that are being used in the roles of soldiers. Casper van Dien, Denise Richards and Patrick Muldoon are all way to pretty to be playing at Gi-Joe/Gi-Jane. But this was also clearly the intention of Paul Verhoeven. The acting in this film is quite atrocious. It’s so wooden at times that there are some scenes that become unintentionally funny. But in amongst the youngsters are luckily a few veterans such as Michael Ironside and Clancy Brown. Both of them have some fun parts in playing veteran soldiers that work as drill instructors, that try to get the new men and women into shape. Casper van Dien plays the hero of the movie, John “Johny” Rico (seriously who came up with that name), and he is just likeable enough to carry you through the film. Actress Dina Meyer’s character Isabelle, is one of the characters that you will like the most. She plays the tough woman soldier that kind of kicks ass, but also has a weakness, her love for Johny.

image
Hi! Now I am here to give you some make up tips before you head off to war.

But where this movie excells at is the fights against the Arachnids. While I am not quite convinced by the special effects they used for the shots in space , they more than make up for this in the way they depict the bugs. Usually with films like these you see the monsters in total darkness. Here though, we get fight sequences in full daylight, that not only look enormously convincing, but are also highly entertaining. The multiple different species of Arachnids are definitely the highlight of this film. The fights are bloody and very gory, and we get to see people that literally get torn apart by these nasty critters. As such it is definitely not a movie that is for the faint of heart, or when you are easily shocked by violence. But, it has to be said, this is a war movie. And even though we are of course talking about a fictional war against an inhuman species, it’s still a war. And war is never pretty, no matter which way you look at it. And this comes across perfectly as Starship Troopers doesn’t pull any punches on that front.

image
You have a metal hand? That is just disgusting. Get away from me!

So is Starship Troopers a film that is worth seeing? Well…..hell yes! I’m not going to lie here, this won’t be a film that pleases everyone. There is enough stuff in this film that probably will have some people raise their eyebrows, especially considering the acting involved and the extensive use of excessive gore and violence. But if one is willing to look beyond that, and enjoy the film for what it is, you will have a blast. This is just a solid peace of sciencefiction action film making, with cool creatures and some incredibly well made special effects fight sequences. Considering this film is now over 20 years old (seriously where does the time go), it is one of those nice and cool cultclassics, that will always be fun to watch. And I also like the fact that this movie doesn’t take itself too seriously either. Now if you will excuse me, I’m off to go find me some bugs to squash. Naw….not really. Unless they are wasps that is…..

I give Starship Troopers a 8 out of 10 score.

Competition time!

Yes people, the moment that you have all been waiting for has finally arrived! As most of you know a short while ago I reached  1000 followers. I’m still pretty much completely in awe by that, but to celebrate I also promised that I would be having a competition in order for you to win some cool stuff. And now, it’s time to finally do that. Before we get into the rules for this (yes I know, horrible, there are rules again) I’m thinking you would probably like to know what you can win right? Well, you have the chance to win one of three different prizes. As I run a multi topic blog, I have decided to give away one prize in three of the categories on my blog. So without further ado, let’s go see what these goodies are!

image

I have been thinking about giving away some kind of boxed set of dvds but with the regional codes that might not be such a good idea. So instead I ordered a Mikasa figure from Attack on Titan. You can see her on display down here. The one thing I am extremely disappointed in was the fact that it got delivered to me without a box. So, really my apologies in advance for that. The figure itself however is intact and looks pretty freaking awesome if you ask me.

image
Pretty bad-ass isn’t she? 

image

As with the Anime category I decided not to give away dvds because of regional codes, but I did order something cool that movielovers would probably enjoy as well. Last year I read a terrific making of book of one of the coolest movie franchises ever: Back to the Future. You can read my review for it right here. It was an awesome book to read, and in case you are wondering: no, this is not my own copy that I am giving away here. All of these prizes are brand spanking new items.

image
Well…as you can see I now have two copies of this book: so the new one might become yours! 

image

Last but not least I am delighted to present to you a prize that grants you the opportunity to read one of my most beloved fantasy epics: The Dragonlance Chronicles. Did you ever wonder where my Blogname came from? Well…Raistlin is a book character that came from the pages of these books. He is one of my all time favorite characters, and if you read the novels you will find out why. I am very happy that I was able to track down a very rare edition for you guys that collects the first 3 novels in one beautiful tome.

image
Even I don’t own this copy….I might keep this myself. Kidding of course!

The rules

image
Rules? Really? Do I have to write these down as well?

Yes…I know why are there rules? Well, can’t have a competition without some form of rules right? So what am I going to ask of you? Do you need to sharpen your swords for gladiator combat? Do I want you to take place in a marathon? Perform in a live Karaoke show? Do some mud-wrestling? Erm….no…no worries. I’m a simple guy, so I am going to keep it very simple for you all:

  • As this is a celebration of my reaching 1000 followers, you can only participate if you were following my blog before the 23rd of January 2018 (I reached the 1000 follower mark on the 22nd).
  • You can only choose one category in which you want to participate.
  • Participating is easy: just leave a comment below this post telling me in which category you wish to win.
  • You can only leave one comment. Duplicates are not allowed.
  • You can leave a comment up until the 28th of February at which point the competition will close.
  • The winners will be determined by the random number generator (the one I also used for my current theme month).
  • I will announce the winners on the 9th of March (Which coincidentally is my birthday, and there is nothing better than giving away presents on your birthday)

And…that’s it. That’s not too hard right? For those of you that have started following me after the 1000 followers mark, rest assured there will be another competition somewhere in the future. So I hope you don’t feel too left out, because I really appreciate everyone that reads my posts, leaves a like or a comment in some form or another. I will leave you now with saying good luck if you are going to be entering this, and I hope that the prizes are to everyone’s liking. Thanks for reading and see you on the next post !

image
Now…..fight! 😂😂😂

 

Pacific Rim, American movie (2013)

Hello everyone, it’s time to get things kicking into high gear with another movie review. This one will be the first science fiction film review for the current Theme month and it was requested by Bizarre Brunette. Now, if you don’t know who she is yet, I suggest you quickly take a trip over to her blog as I am pretty sure she will appreciate it. I came across her blog somewhere last year and I really love the content it contains. She covers a very diverse amount of topics with posts about boardgames, novels, comic books, real life, tv-series, and the list just goes on and on. Needless to say, it is a blog that is well worth checking out, as it has something in it for everyone. And just like most bloggers, she is also a very kind person who always responds to your comments. So head on over there and start reading her posts! Bizarre Brunette has requested a review for the awesome blockbuster Pacific Rim that was directed by the talented director Guillermo del Toro. It is a movie that I myself love very much as well, and when I rewatched it for this review I think it must now be the fourth or fifth time that I have seen the film. So, all systems go: let’s get started on the review!

The Review

image
Row, row, row your boat…gently down the, erm…robot?

One day an enormous and monstrous creature arises from the ocean depths and begins to wreak havoc on humanity. After a long and bloody struggle that left thousands dead, the monster, that gets nicknamed Kaiju, is finally defeated. But just when everyone thinks it’s over, another Kaiju arrives, and then another, and another….With every passing day the human race struggles to stay upright against these monsters. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Former differences are set aside and everyone in the world bands together to create a new weapon system: The Jaegers. These giant robots that are piloted by two people, are finally beginning to turn the tide and humanity is slowly starting to win the war. Or so they think. The terrible aliens are quick to adapt and more powerful and deadly Kaiju’s start appearing, and slowly but surely the Jaegers are beginning to lose ground. Twelve years after the first monster appeared, the funding for the Jaeger program has stopped and instead money has been put into building giant walls. But this plan seems pretty futile. Meanwhile in Hong Kong, Marshal Stacker Pentecost is in command of the final four remaining robots. He has a plan that might put an end to the alien threat once and for all. But he will need the help of the former Jaeger pilot called Raleigh. But Raleigh has a severe trauma from his past, and is very reluctant to help out. And with the attacks of the Kaiju becoming ever more frequent, humanity’s dusk seems close at hand……

image
Looks like he drew the short end of the stick…..yeah better move on I guess.

Okay, I’m not going to be very subtle in this review so let me just come out and say it right here and right now: I freaking love this movie. It has the word “geek” written all over it, and as I am geek myself and very proud to be one, it is hard to be objective for a film like this. I often hear people say that films such as these are trash and are not even worthy of the name movie. As you all know I love films, but I also have a very open mind when it comes to the type of movies that I watch. I can find enjoyment in arthouse movies, classic films and yes blockbusters such as these. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a movie that isn’t overly complicated but has enormous entertainment value. And this one has just that. It certainly isn’t without it’s flaws, that’s for sure. But before I get to that let me first focus on the things that I love in this movie. For one thing it has giant robots that make the very ground shake, beat the crap out of gigantic alien monstrosities. It is Del Toro’s loveletter to the anime genre known as mecha, that usually features robots piloted by humans fighting either each other or some kind of other threat.

image
Look mum, I finally made it on tv!

And boy or boy are these fights fun to watch. In one of my favorite scenes from the film, we have the giant lead robot known as Gypsy Danger fight a Kaiju using a ship as a club. It doesn’t get much better than that. The special effects in this film are astounding and the absolute highlight of this film. But how about the actors? We have a pretty impressive cast that amongst others, features the always charming Idris Elba and Charlie ” Sons of Anarchy”  Hunnam in the lead roles. Idris plays the charismatic Marshal Pentecost and is the driving force in this film. He is calm under fire, has a really commanding presence, and is very protective of the young Japanese woman called Mako. His bond with her is very touching, especially when you learn exactly why he is so protective of her. Charlie plays the brash pilot Raleigh, and while I certainly would not call it on Oscar winning performance it gets the job done. Just like Elba he has a very natural charisma in the way he acts, and that’s why it’s hard not to grow attached to his character. Also be on the lookout for a very hilarious appearance by actor Ron Perlman, who in this film has the best pair of shoes ever seen in a motion picture.

image
Get to the chopper!!….whoops…wrong movie.

But yes, I did promise to at least try and stay objective in this review. So, I guess I now have to adress the fact that as mentioned the film also has it’s flaws. There at times is some cringeworthy humor in the movie. Humor is of course a very personal thing, but there were times I just had to roll my eyes at certain scenes. But on a good note, it luckily is nowhere near as bad as in the Michael Bay Transformers movies. Then again if there is anything even worse than the “humor” in those movies, I really don’t want to know. The script of the film admittedly does have a few holes in it. The storyline such as it is, pretty much comes down to having the film move forward from fight sequence to fight sequence. But to be fair, there is also a human element in this film, that definitely creates a kind of heartwarming atmosphere so to speak. Which is saying something as it at certain points is also a very bleak and dark movie.

image
I’m blue, laba di laba da…..

But, despite all that, at the end of the day this is just a fun filled movie. The Jaegers and Kaiju beating the living daylights out of each other is pretty much the sole reason why you should see this film. The other one being the fun characters that really also create a heart in this movie that goes along with all the special effects. If you like your films to have a deeply layered storyline, it is probably very wise to avoid this one. If you are like me though, and you want to keep your inner child alive, this is the movie to do that with. Later this year the sequel for this film will be arriving in theatres. Having seen the trailer for it I honestly have to admit I don’t get the same vibe from it as this one. It looks like it’s going to be more of the same, only a little bit less impressive. But then again I could be wrong. You can definitely expect a review from me for part 2 later this year. For now though I hope you enjoyed this one!

I give Pacific Rim a 9 out of 10 score.

February’s Theme: Science Fiction & Horror movies

Can you believe it? The first month of the year is already over. Time sure does fly when you are having fun right? But with January now being a thing of the past (though I am pretty sure it will return next year), this means we now have a new month to get through. And a new month, means a new theme for my blog. In January I already let you know what that theme would be, namely science fiction and horror movies. But that’s also because I needed your help. You might recall that I asked you all to let me in on which movies you would like me to review. A lot of you gave me some awesome suggestions, and now the time has arrived to decide which ones would be the winners. So how did I set about in doing this? I of course consulted a number of the most scientific and inventive minds our world has to offer. Erm…sorry to disappoint but no, not really. Let’s find out how I did decide and then ofcourse which ones have made the cut so to speak.

Total Randomness

Now I did not really use rocketscience people. In fact it was all done in a very basic way. I  made two lists from all of your comments, one for the horror movies, one for the science fiction movies. Each comment got a number, and after buying a random number generator from the Appstore, I let fate decide on the winners.

image
The horrormovie list! With 26 movies to choose from.
image
The science fiction movie list! With 28 movies to choose from.

So….who has won? Well, let’s find out shall we?

And the winners are……(horrormovies)

image

The random number generator selected number 9 and number 14 from this list. Number 9 was a suggestion from Vinnieh and will go down in history as the oldest movie that I have ever reviewed on my blog: The Haunting from 1963. The second number, being 14 was a choice made by Shadowcat99 namely the Stephen King adaptation It from 1990.

image

And the winners are……(science fiction movies)

imageFor the science fiction movielist we get two numbers that were next to each other. The first, number 22 was a suggestion by Bizarre Brunette the epic Pacific Rim. The number 21 that was selected next, was chosen by Dani being the Paul Verhoeven classic, Starship Troopers.

image

In closing

Congratulations to the winners! I hope that the reviews I’m going to write for your choices will live up to your expectations. And, each review will also as promised contain an honorable mention, which means a small promo from me about your blogs as a thank you for participating in this event. Just like last month, the theme will not be the only thing that is going to be happening on my blog. There will also be plenty of other content heading your way for some anime, another Korean dramaseries and hopefully a book review as well. I’m looking forward to another cool month of blogging. Thank you all for reading, see you around!

image
Sorry could not resist in scaring you a little bit. My apologies…😈😈😈