October 11, 2014

[Midnight Movie Exchange] The Gods Must Be Crazy 3 (aka Crazy Safari)

"I was very skeptical of how they'd blend this horror/action/comedy about hopping vampires with the adventures of N!xau in the Kalahari plains, but they do a pretty decent of job working those outside elements into the structure of the established Gods Must Be Crazy franchise. The vampire (Chan Lung, in a pantomime part that grew on me) is now himself the mysterious object who falls from the sky and, after discovering the paper is what keeps him from going on violent rampages and that he can be led around by a bell, N!xau (just referred to now by the actor's name instead of the character Xi) and his people put the vampire to use as a golem beast of burden, carrying heavy loads and having him smash head-first into trees so as to knock loose their fruit, and the children come to adore playing with him in the fields as they toss bells back and forth and watch him fly."

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[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 14 "Suited for Success"

"I absolutely love this one. The songs are well used, with great characterization and flow, perfectly evolving from a Disney-esque 'this is what I love' to a more frantic 'this is what I must do' to the piling of 'MUST MUST MUST WHY MUST'. I love that every pony is unique in expressing the issues they have with the costumes, with Twilight's representational accuracy, Fluttershy's wonderfully unexpected oppositional views on fashion design and stitch technique, Applejack's desire for practical application, Pinkie being all Pinkie (love that we get one of those jutting closeup 'Huh huh HUH?'), and the nice lull between the demands with Rainbow's equally frustrating '... Just make it cooler.' "

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October 8, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] The X-Files "Chinga"

"It's a very typical King story, with everyday small town affairs and suspicions and people just trying to get by pleasantly enough, all coming to a head as a supernatural item swoops in. The doll is very spookily done for the most part, with some nicely constructed King sequences of people being driven to self harm and suicide. The attack on the teacher is especially straight out of King with the use of 'Hokey Pokey' on the record player, and I like that their use of an actor dressed as the doll is never over-played or shown full on."

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October 5, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 7 "The Ferryman"

"I haven't been clear on whether Lord Dread oversees the Overmind or if it's the dominant force he's in servitude to. It seems to be a bit of both, as Dread is clearly the mastermind behind much of everything, and the giver of orders, and yet there's the moment where Overmind chides him for expression emotion, followed by a quick flash of fear Lord Dread is quick to bury."

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October 4, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 13 "Fall Weather Friends"

"The initial competition is still staged really well, with the great development of more and more ponies showing up to watch as it goes from some friends pitting themselves against one another for laughs to a sprawling event that carries over into the Running of the Leaves. Which is itself a wonderful bit of wold-building and further explores this as a wondrous land the inhabitants have learned to control and manipulate, though in a way that still needs to be routinely maintained, and how they’ve taken this mechanical environmental reforming and made a fun, annual game out of it."

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[Midnight Movie Exchange] Episode 9: The Gods Must Be Crazy 2 (1989)

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October 1, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Sleepwalkers

"And yet, that doesn't bother me all that much, as it's a simple story that, once it tips the hand of what's really going on, doesn't dance around issues any more and just runs with them, going from a son trying to feed his mom to a mom trying to keep her son alive, while everyone else lives long enough to wonder just what in the fuck it is that's suddenly exploded on their lives. Moments are drawn out, but don't feel padded. Characters have distinction, but don't have it spelled out in detail. It all comes in at a lean 91 minutes, and while there isn't a huge amount of depth to the writing, I'll gladly take this over what I usually get from King."

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September 28, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 6 "The Mirror in Darkness"

"At the Showcase, we haven't seen a hero go this dark since that episode of Street Hawk where Jesse Mach howled in fury as he opened his machine guns on a dock full of goons, and while this moment doesn't go quite so far, it still goes to lengths rarely seen in children's entertainment pre-Batman: The Animated Series."

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[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 12 "Call of the Cutie"

"And I like how they get deeper into it, presenting a 'blank flank' as a crisis of identity, as Applebloom is continuously reminded that she doesn't know where to fit in or what her future is going to be going forward. In a society so clearly defined by a person's literally marked role, that can be a tough obstacle to face, and I love that it's not resolved by the end, that Applebloom is taught to embrace her present lack of definition as it just means she has what the others don't: potential. It's a comforting lesson to learn, and one that I think further appeals to the older fans of the show."

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September 24, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Golden Years: episode 7, the DVD cut, and final thoughts

"Ultimately, I don't mind the note we go out on. Was it worth the build? Not really, but at least it gives me some closure, completes character arcs that I enjoyed watching amidst this morass, and ends with a quote from David Bowie. It's really the best I could have hoped for at this point."

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Castle Rock series index.