May 10, 2015

[Short-Lived Showcase] Cybersix, episode 2 "Data 7 & Julian"

"Data 7 feels like it shouldn't work. Cyber's brother is suddenly a panther, with a backstory straight out of a swingin' 60 Shotaro Ishinomori manga, and this should completely clash against the Julian/José plot. It doesn't. It's beautifully executed as they play Data dead straight, having him be the fantastical overseer of José for the as yet unnamed mad scientist behind everything, and use elements of the Julian plot to tie into Data's backstory with Cyber. Those flashes, of him falling from a cliff, Cyber failing to reach him in time, of flowers falling apart. The slash he makes on the photo to explain the scar over his left eye. These are beautiful narrative stings, on top of some absolutely spectacular animation of a panther in repose and action. Seriously, the fight between Data and Cyber is jawdropping and exquisitely well put together."

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May 3, 2015

[Short-Lived Showcase] Cybersix, episode 1 "Mysterious Shadow"

"Shockingly, unlike many other shows, the animation quality doesn't suddenly take a nosedive once we get into the episode proper. No, there isn't the same level of gloss and detail all the time, and a couple of shots are a bit more basic, but there's still a beautiful fluidity to the animation, with sharply composed shots, pounding, whipping action sequences, and so many little moments of character business which give things life. One of my favorites is the scene where Adrian storms out of the cafe and Lucas shoots up to follow. Instead of just sailing out the door or the directors cutting there, Lucas fumbles for his jacket, digs around until he comes up with a couple of bucks, plops them on the table, then can't resist grabbing one more slice of pizza before then making his way out, all while juggling the glowing green vile. If nothing else, this level of animation is the highlight of the episode, to the point where it's mesmerizing at times. I'm really curious if this is a standard they'll be able to maintain over the whole run."

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April 28, 2015

[Castle Rock Companion] The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole

"The actual story of The Wind Through the Keyhole reminded me greatly of Eyes of the Dragon, and not just because it features a dragon and even at one point a very special napkin. It just has that same fairy tale quality to it, of a young boy set upon a quest to become a man. He overcomes a lot of challenges and meets some interesting creatures along his journey. Of the three stories set within the book, it's definitely the strongest, and I found myself very fond of the young boy Tim, wanting him to survive his ordeal."

For more, check out Angie's latest post.

April 27, 2015

[Castle Rock Companion] Dark Tower: The Little Sisters of Eluria, Everything's Eventual

"It's also just a good short story, as King does a good job of introducing us to this young man and the way he is paid for his job first, then slowly revealing all the stranger details later. It helps to keep you interested as the story goes on. Wikipedia tells me that Dinky will appear in the regular series eventually, and I have to admit I don't remember where or how, but I'm looking forward to it now. He's an interesting character."

For more, check out Angie's latest post.

April 26, 2015

[Castle Rock Companion] The Dark Tower: The Waste Lands, Wizard and Glass

"But I do think if King couldn't quite settle on how to resolve the Blaine conflict here, he should have just ended the story sooner and included these moments at the beginning of the next book. Because doing it that way, you now have this highly active riddle fight at the beginning, and then everything comes to a grinding halt as Roland tells a story to his companions about his youth. I'll admit, part of the problem here may be me. I found the tale of young Roland, Cuthbert, Alain, and Susan far less interesting this time around, and it may be about fatigue."

For more, check out Angie's latest post.

April 25, 2015

[Castle Rock Companion] The Dark Tower: The Eyes of the Dragon

"Even without the Dark Tower connections, this is simply a great book. King has said that he wrote it for his daughter Naomi, who was not a fan of the horror stories he normally wrote. While not 100% a children's book, it does certainly have some those traits. This is The Hobbit of his Dark Tower series in a way, written in a wonderful conversational style much like that book was, being a bit more whimsical in places though still a bit of dark fantasy at times. There is magic and dragons, but it is also fairly grounded in reality, so that the world is not too far off from our own medieval period."

For more, check out Angie's latest post.

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power: Final Thoughts

"Might as well just rip the bandaid off fast... Captain Power is not a great show. It is not a lost masterpiece. It is not a show that the networks did wrong by us in cancelling too soon. It's just not."

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April 24, 2015

[Castle Rock Companion] The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three

"This book largely feels like it's broken up into two segments, the first being Roland drawing Eddie, and then the remainder is all about Odetta Holmes and Detta Walker, two women living in one body. While I love everything about the first part of the book, the second half has some flaws that prevent me from loving it as much. The first is that Odetta's condition is constantly referred to as schizophrenia, which it is not. Part if this may be characters making the mistake, but the fact that King never once has anyone use the term "multiple personality disorder" (which would have been the proper term when this was written) makes me think it's his mistake as well. The other issue I have is the personality of Detta Walker, and that's a bit more complex."

For more, check out Angie's latest post.

April 23, 2015

[Castle Rock Companion] The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger

"King really does a great job of balancing that dread and tension with moments of general calm, and the glimpse back into Roland's youth provides a great distraction from the peril that he and Jake face together. The flashbacks also fully cement the idea that here gunslingers are just knights with guns, and as someone who has always loved the more medieval stylings of fantasy I can appreciate this slightly altered form."

For more, check out Angie's latest post.

April 18, 2015

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power: The Original Bible

"And that's the end of the Bible. It sets up a potentially good show, and the foundation of much of what we ultimately got. It's interesting to see what Straczynski and DiTillio changed and what they didn't, bringing some more depth to the characters and richer story arcs, and what was shifted or discarded in the compression from a 65 episode season to just 22. Ultimately, I think the finished version is the better of the shows, and while this certainly would have been enjoyable, Zicree largely lost me with his Story Springboards, which aren't all that interesting for the most part, and I'm not surprised none of them made it into the show."

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