Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Avatar Series!

I just learned that a continuation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the animated series from Nickelodeon is now in the works with the title, Avatar: The Legend of Korra.

I absolutely loved Avatar, so I'm extremely excited about this news! Hardly any information regarding the series has surfaced with the exception of two things of note; 1. Nickelodeon has confirmed the show's existence and states that they're hiring staff for the show. 2. Former Avatar creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko are both involved in the series' creation.

Suffice to say, I'm ECSTATIC about this news! Even though Avatar was a children's cartoon, I found myself enthralled in it. It had an incredible feel to it; the stories were clean and well thought out and the characters were fresh and appealing. It was certainly a guilty pleasure for me. :)

You can look forward to more posts regarding Avatar: The Legend of Korra in the near future.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Show: The Cape

Along with canceling Heroes and renewing Chuck, NBC has signed on for a myriad of new shows. The one standout for me personally was The Cape. I'd heard about it before simply due to the fact that Summer Glau, star of Firefly/Serenity and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, is slated to be a primary character in the show.

Due to her track record with canceled shows, it'll be interesting to see how long The Cape lasts. It seems like an actiony kind of show, but one that doesn't take itself too seriously. I think I might like that. So without further adieu, here's the trailer.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Quick Movie Review: Iron Man 2 & Moon

Iron Man 2: The sequel to the hit 2008 blockbuster Iron Man, Iron Man 2 succeeds in returning us to a world wherein the witty Tony Stark (Iron Man) struggles with five major major problems. (1) His battle with the U.S. government over control of the Iron Man suit. (2) The appearance of a new villain who has created technology that is a duplicate of Iron Man's own weapons and power source. (3) A new creator of military grade weapons who vies with Tony over domination of the weapons manufacturing market. (4) His relationship with Ms. Potts is getting heated, and (5) Stark's dying. Oops... SPOILER ALERT!!!

The plot runs reasonably smoothly, though the pace does take a while in coming. After the pace is set however, the movie delivers. The action scenes are wonderfully shot and choreographed and the humor that we've come to expect from Stark seems to have transcended to encompass multiple other characters, which sounds like a bad thing but really isn't. Most of the new characters, with the exception of the main villain, Ivan Vanko who came across as an annoying nuisance, where quite fun to watch. Don Cheadle's role as Colonel Rhodes seemed to be a great improvement from Terrence Howard's portrayal of the character in the first movie and might I point out how fun it was to watch Jon Favreau reprise his role of Stark's chauffeur/bodyguard, Happy Hogan?

Also, there were multiple hidden references to the upcoming Avengers movie, with one example being Captain America's shield which can be seen in one shot when Tony uses it to prop up one of his latest experiments. Additionally, if you sit through all the credits, which I forced my forgiving friends into doing, you can briefly see Thor's hammer.

All in all with it's great action sequences and nonstop humor, Iron Man 2 might in fact be one of the only sequels to come out that is, dare I say it, better than its predecessor.

Rating: 8 (close to excellent)

DVD Review:

The British science fiction film called Moon didn't get much publicity in the US and frankly the budget of the movie seemed slightly low. With that being said Moon should have had more hype in the US! This was a great movie. The lead role was played by Sam Rockwell who subsequently played the weapons manufacturer, mentioned above, in Iron Man 2. Rockwell's performance was solid, though I've had trouble taking him seriously since I first saw him in Galaxy Quest where he played the ridiculously dim-witted Guy Flegman, and his role in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy didn't help either. However, even with multiple humorous scenes, he came off as a serious character, which I enjoyed seeing greatly.

The story follows the repetitive exploits of Sam Bell, an employee of a lunar mining operation whose job is to make sure all the mining equipment is running smoothly. He also happens to be the moon's sole inhabitant.

Without spoiling too much, things go awry when he gets into an accident on the moon's surface and upon waking up after the accident believes GERTY, his computer partner and only companion has been withholding information from him.

The movie runs at a slow pace, and you'll find yourself surprised that the film was only two hours long after watching it through. But the suspense and humor all quicken near the second half of the movie when Sam comes in contact with a mysterious person also on the moon.

I feel like I should stop here. Not only do I not want to spoil anything in the movie, but these are supposed to be quick movie reviews.

Moon is great! If you like Sci-Fi or drama, I highly suggest renting it. It is for sure a diamond in the ruff!

Rating: 7.5 (close to excellent)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Highlighted Song! Fire & Regeneration

In honor of the now canceled show Heroes, I give you Fire & Regeneration. I don't know what it is about this song, created for Heroes and prominently featured in the show on multiple occasions, but I've always enjoyed it. It fits the show perfectly. It's sort of a mix of cultural musical variations, which Heroes continually used in the show with characters like Hiro Nakamura from Japan, Peter Petrelli from the United States, and Mohinder Suresh from India.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Heroes R.I.P.

NBC has revealed their fall lineup, and among the multitude of shows that have been canceled is Heroes. I'm extremely sad to see it go. Heroes was such a great show during its first season, and its depressing to see it go in such a downward spiraling manor. Rumors were abound, before the official news of Heroes' cancellation, regarding a possible two-night Heroes movie event that would wrap up the show, however this too has been shot down.

It's possible that another network such as SyFy or TNT would pick up the show, however this is highly unlikely due to poor ratings for Heroes here in the United States.

Luckily my other favorite show, Chuck HAS been renewed. Last season fans rallied together to insure the show's survival. This season brought about no such thing. NBC renewed the show without a hitch. So thankfully I'll have something to watch on boring Monday nights.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Countdown: Top 5 Best The Clone Wars Episodes of Season 2

Now that the Clone Wars has wrapped up its newest season I thought it fit to compile a list of my five favorite episodes from the season II. These episodes are by far the shining stars of season II and even if you've not been interested in TCW previously, these are certainly worth watching.

5. Lethal Trackdown

The final episode of season II, 'Trackdown' featured some of The Clone Wars' strongest characters, Aurra Sing, Plo Koon and Hondo Ohnaka. While that alone may support an episode, Trackdown also features great action scenes and wraps up the Boba Fett story arc quite nicely.

Though I don't understand how both Slave I and Jango Fett's helmet could both be destroyed when they appear in episodes V and IV of the film saga.

4. Voyage of Temptation

Though its name seems to have been derived from a raunchy romance novel, 'Voyage' was by far the greatest TCW episode to date in terms of character development.

'Voyage' showed a side of Obi-Wan not seen in the films. By throwing a new character by the name of Duchess Satine into the mix, (a peace loving politician with ties to Obi-Wan's past), TCW successfully added new depth to these characters we all know and love.

Obi-Wan's romantic side shown in 'Voyage' was quite a breath of fresh air compared to his constant role in the television show of Anakin's strict former master. While on the subject of Anakin, we also get to see quite a bit of foreshadowing with him at the episode's end.

3. Lightsaber Lost

Until Season II I hadn't seen an episode that I thought portrayed Ahsoka very well, at all. 'Lightsaber' showed just how competent Ahsoka is and isn't. It also introduced a fun new character in the shape of Terra Sinube, an aged Jedi Master who accompanies Ahsoka on her quest to retrieve her lightsaber from a pickpocket.

Finally, Lightsaber featured incredibly detailed shots of Coruscant, something TCW crew seems to have nailed since season one when shots of Coruscant outside of the Jedi Temple and Senate were quite rare.

2. Landing at Point Rain

Hands down the most action packed episode The Clone Wars has to offer, Landing at Point Rain is full to bursting with massive explosions, aerial attacks and not to mention burning bugs.

Rain was a huge step forward for TCW, showcasing near cinematic visuals and an amazing amount of on-screen CGI models. 'Rain' also features the first appearance of Jedi Master Ki-Adi-Mundi in The Clone Wars.

1. Children of the Force

Children of the Force was an awesome ending to the Cad Bane-Holocron story arc and actually aired as the third episode of Season II. After watching this for the first time I had high hopes for season II and, for the most part, those hopes were fulfilled.

'Children' showcased a myriad of 7 planets and locations in its 22 minute time slot, and while I'd usually consider that a detriment to the story, well to put it simply, it worked well for this particular episode. The pacing wast fast and the action was packed.

The mysterious tone of the episode combined with what is by far some of the greatest examples of both Bane and Darth Sidious' villainy, created a wonderful episode that will remain the highlight of Season II for me.

Honorable Mentions:

Brain Invaders:

Brain Invaders is action packed and contains multiple examples of Revenge of the Sith foreshadowing. In addition to that, a great Jedi VS Jedi fight can be seen in the episode.

The Deserter:

'Deserter' is one of the only episodes from season II that showcases Captain Rex. His character development throughout the episode is memorable, along with the final fight with the clones and the commando droids.

Senate Murders:

I could sum up why this episode is a standout with one simple statement; Padme doesn't need rescuing for once in this episode. But that alone doesn't make Senate Murders great. The ambiance in this episode is wonderful and while I could do without Spongebob voicing the obnoxious police detective and the ending was quite foreseeable, Murders truly deserves to be an honorable mention.

So to wrap things up, The Clone Wars pulled through in season II. It fixed multiple problems from season I, no Jar Jar and less "Roger roger". It also featured more side characters compared to the constant use of Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka in Season I.

The one problem I can think of is that Asajj Ventress wasn't shown once in the entire season. Why?!? Ventress improved some of season I's episodes greatly, and while she did appear in a season two episode that was pushed back to season I, I'd certainly enjoy seeing her role expanded in Season III.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Firefly: Still Flying

I opened up one of my recent Star Wars Insider magazines, and within it I found an add for a new Firefly/Serenity book coming out soon. I was REALLY excited, because after inspecting the add it stated that new stories involving the crew would be published in the book, and penned by the same people who wrote for the TV show.

I was already interested in buying it, but that is icing on the cake! We've not had an original Firefly story in quite some time with the exception of the comic books. I'll be sure to post a review of 'Still Flying' after it's released on the 25th. FIVE STARS!!! Oh wait, too soon?
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