Before and After – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

last-jedi-poster-tall.jpgI know I haven’t posted so much on my website, but I’ve been getting all of my finals done, and I’m officially done for the season. This means that I am able to continue where I left off, and present more reviews. I won’t be putting up my next Torchwood review any time soon, but I do have another review that is looooooong overdue. I will post it for Christmas! But now, Star Wars!

Before Viewing Star Wars: The Last Jedi, 12/14/2017

For those of you who are new to this segment, Before and After is where I talk about my preimpressions of the movie I’m about to see, as well as everything else that goes around it. It mostly has to do with my personal history on whether or not if the movie is part of a franchise or a fandom. If you want to see my example of this, here’s my bitter rage of the Death Note Netflix movie that came out a couple of months ago:

https://somereviewsite.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/before-and-after-netflixs-death-note/

I don’t think there is anything new I can add under the sun as to how much of an impact that Star Wars has laid upon pop culture for 40 years. 40 years?! HOT DANG!!! I’m not even 30 years old, and knowing that makes me feel old! Red Letter Media has torn the prequels to shreds countless times, there are numerous documentaries on the films, going from the making of Star Wars, to the fandom of Star Wars. Just about everything you can find about this perfect and imperfect franchise has been said.

Since I can’t find a new thing to talk about Star Wars (besides the left over original scripts, rough drafts, and testimonies of the people who worked on the movie that hasn’t been told yet), the only thing that I can talk about is my personal testimony. I started seeing Star Wars for the first time in pieces as a kid. I didn’t watch them all the threw until later on. My first viewing of Star Wars was on laserdisc! Yes, that is how cool my dad was growing up as a kid! When I turned, I believe 9 years old, I saw the movies all the way threw on the special editions as a kid, late at night at my grandma’s house, with the exception of Return of the Jedi the day later. Fun fact, I forgot that Darth Vader was Luke’s father the next day I saw Return of the Jedi. If you can’t tell, I love Star Wars. Enough said.

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That’s seven years worth of collecting, and I still don’t think that’s enough!

Then there were the prequels. Let me just clear this out of the way by saying that seeing a movie as a kid doesn’t mean quality. You probably ate dirt and grass as a 2 year old and thought it was good, but that doesn’t mean that disgusting grass and mud that has remnants of dog poo and pee was ever good. I can even say the same thing about The Phantom Menace being a bad film. I saw that movie as a kid in the theaters, and even I was let down by Darth Maul. The movie advertised him being the main antagonist and he does almost nothing, if not, nothing of value. Not even Darth Sidious does a thing. Even the Trade Federation’s existence was lame. I did, at the time, enjoyed everything else. No, I don’t remember why, nor do I think I had a reason for why, but I thought the movie was good as a kid. Nowadays, I can testify that Quigon Jin is a liar, a cheater, and a gambler, the CGI isn’t all that impressive, especially for it’s time when both Terminator 2 and The Fifth Element came out before this, the story is both boring and vague, especially for a film where it’s target audience was aimed at children.

Not only did I see Attack of the Clones in the theaters, but it was also the first movie I remember watching with just pure hatred for a movie. Not only was it boring, but it felt useless, stupid, and overall, pathetic. If you ever wondered where all of my rage and anger ever came from, it was on May 17th, 2002, over for a film that was nominated for an Oscar over it’s overabundance of CGI, which I like to call high film cholesterol. I remmeber liking Revenge of the Sith a lot when I was in high school, but after looking back at it 5 years later, it really wasn’t good at all. It still contradicted everything that was in the original trilogy, the use of CGI was just as bad as the other movies, the acting was terrible, the direction was terrible, and even the Wookies were in this movie just for fan service, as well as Chewbacca.

And before I say anything else, no. I don’t like the lightsaber battles either. the first one used the lightsaber battles where it went on forever, just seeing three guys banging on lightsabers just as some spectacle over characters we don’t care for. The second one had way too many lightsabers to where it was starting to get old. I didn’t even remember any of that in the bug coliseum all too well. And then you got the one on the volcano planet where it just felt tiring to the point where I stopped caring about lightsabers. I brought this up because I know a ton of people would bring this up as a defense for the prequels.

After George Lucas sold Lucas Films to Disney, and then announcing that they’re going to make more Star Wars movies, I said to myself “good.” I believed that anyone can do a much better job than George, and after watching The Force Awakens, I was right. Even though I like The Force Awakens, and saw that it had it’s share of problems, it was still a good enough movie to keep in my collection. Yes, I do have a collection, and it’s not going anywhere without me. Anything prequel related is not allowed. Except for Rogue One, which is the only good Star Wars prequel, was better than the Force Awakens (to my opinion), even though I agree that it didn’t need to be made. So far, there hasn’t been a bad Star Wars movie from Disney yet, but after seeing an onslaught of new Star Wars movies planned out, I don’t feel like I’m going to get tired of it as some people do. It’s just something that I would think that I will get over with, but I just don’t. I don’t even know if I’m able to explain why if I tried.

I can’t bring myself to say that I want to side myself with the majority of the fandom, because I think that most of them are either fun or just poison to me, thanks to them coming up with massively ridiculous fan theories, such as the ring theory, Jar Jar Binks secretly being a sith lord, the force being a living entity that caused everything you saw in the prequels to the Last Jedi as planned (no, I did not make any of that up), and then there are MattPat’s film theory videos that all have failed right in front of his face. I love the guy, but he’s not making the fandom any better. Not gonna stop him from making any more film theory Star Wars videos, but I won’t acknowledge them either.

As for The Last Jedi, I only saw the first trailer once, and that’s about it. Not that I’m not looking forward to this movie, but I want to go into this movie cold, not seeing as much about the film before going in. With that being said, I’m off to see my movie!

After viewing Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a movie that I went in, thinking that it was just going to be another good Star Wars movie within the franchise. I never thought that there was ever going to be another Star Wars movie that could ever top off, or even measure up to Empire, for a few reasons. For starters, The Empire Strikes Back was such a fantastic film that it reached the point where it was going to be difficult for another movie in it’s franchise to be as good. The second reason is because whenever we see another Star Wars film after it, not one was ever able to reach it’s level of goodness. The Force Awakens  was still good and brought Star Wars back to where it needed to be, but it still wasn’t earth shattering good. Rogue One I thought was better than The Force Awakens, but I still felt like it wasn’t necessary of a movie to be made, and some of it’s characters were kind of there for the most part. Return of the Jedi was still good, but as a movie, there were some moments in the script that felt obvious that it was rewritten a lot before filming that made it feel like as if something was missing. I already explained my beef against the prequels, so let’s move on.

Where does The Last Jedi stand? Right up there with The Empire Strikes Back! Yeah, I’m dead serious with that statement. This movie managed to surprise me the most. This movie, that I can best describe it, was like a roller coaster. It starts off really well in the first half, and then it gets really exciting at the second half of the movie! I don’t feel like there was a dull moment to be found, especially the scenes where there was no action to be found. Most of the characters (from what I can remember), did an excellent job, keeping me invested with the whole movie. The action scenes are well done, and I couldn’t have done better. This is a movie that I KNOW that you will enjoy from beginning to end if you haven’t seen it yet. If you went into this movie with low expectations like I did, prepare yourself to be very wrong with those low expectations. I do go as far as saying that this is the best movie of the year so far, and I say that because I have yet to see The Disaster Artist.

I’m glad that this was a spoiler free review, and believe me, I almost did that. Yeah, as much as I made the Death Note review a spoiler filled rant, I don’t think it deserved to roam around free with any dignity from anyone. However, this movie was so good, that it deserved my respect, as well as those who have not seen the movie yet.

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Darkplace – The Apes of Wrath

Halloween is nothing without Garth Marenghi, and I won’t let it go to waste! The beauty behind reviewing each and every episode of Darkplace isn’t just because the show is amazing to watch, or that it comes out every year, or that there are only six episodes of the show, but the fact that it’s incredibly easy to review. Just the fact that you can write up a review of something that is both great and short and something that you love is what makes it so much easier for me to do for you people. I can’t think of a better show to write about for my audience than Darkplace!

We start off our episode with Rick waking up Sanchez to help him out with a kid with leukemia,  but Sanchez takes a sip of some dirty ecto cooler that turns him into an ape.

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Still better looking than ABC’s Cavemen! (possible future review)

Todd Rivers still thinks that the ape makeup in this show looks amazing, and after watching the gorillas in the 90s Tarzan movie, he’s right.

Rick helps a child out by giving him the medicine, and then Dr. Reed punches him in the face. Yeah, child abuse may not be funny, but there are times when it can be great to watch!

Rick almost drank the pre-solidified green jello, but didn’t because Reed needed him. However, both Sanchez and Liz did get a taste of that filthy Surge, which resulted in Liz turning into a monkey.

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The only thing that’s keeping both Rick and Reed from drinking the green kool-aid is their love of coffee, which uusually people would drink with water from how hot the drink is. Wait a sec, I’m trying to put logic in a show that was meant to be dumb. Scrap what I just said.

Sanchez tells Rick that he’s losing his mind lately of being an ape, and clubs him on the head, thus bringing him into a dream so crazy, you have to see it for yourself.

No, you didn’t image any of that. You did in fact see all of those apes in nurses outfits. Oh,  and you also heard Reed’s words that the hospital is taken over by apes in Rick’s month long nap. But he won’t do a thing about it because he thinks that the hospital is running better with the apes around. And then Rick finally turned his brain on, figuring out that the problem is coming from the water being tampered by an ape peeing in the water. Maybe this is what REALLY caused the water to be tampered in Squidbillies.

Rick chases this ape that he calls an apealoid in probably the best chase scene in existence!

After the apealoid was caught, everything went back to normal in a high speed explanation.

This episode, just like the rest of the show, is great to watch. Even though this show is self aware of it’s makeup and effects are massively cheap, the passion of using them is what overshadows the poor look of them. This episode does showcase their passion of using their makeup and special effects, unlike most movies and tv shows that just relies on CGI to do the job. The writing in their humor is still spot on, and the action sequences are also great to watch, which also shows that even though Garth Marenghi is well known for horror and comedy, he also does well with action, making a great balance in less than 25 minutes. So, 4 down, 2 to go for this show. Don’t worry, I will find another show to replace Darkplace when I’m done in 2 years.

First Thoughts – The Tick (Amazon)

One of my favorite shows as a kid that I can barely remember, but had a tone of fun watching, was The Tick. For those of you who don’t know, The Tick was one of Fox Kids’ best animated cartoon shows in the 90s that was also one of the first superhero comedies ever made. Possibly the first of it’s kind. It was the best kind of quirky comedy that you couldn’t find anywhere else at the time, and it’s style has inspired many good comedy shows after it.

The Tick himself is just a massive dumb superhero who tries to fight crime without knowing what he is doing, or even knows how to fight crime for that matter. He is also teamed up with Arthur, who is supposed to be a moth, but looks more like a bunny. But what makes the Tick great are two things. The first thing that you can tell is that he is very likable in every way imaginable, and is what you get if Darkwing Duck was fighting crime with a writer who happened to be funnier than those who wrote Darkwing Duck. I know what I just said might sound like heresy to some people, but the more you watch this guy, you more you can agree with me. The other thing that makes him great is that, even though he isn’t a smart guy, he still fights crime because he wants to fight evil and do good. That’s what made The Tick a very fun show to watch.

I’m not sure if it was successful or not, because I don’t know, so I won’t get into whether or not if it was cancelled. However, I won’t and CAN’T deny that The Tick has a massive cult following, especially when MTV aired its reruns in the early 2000s. There was even a live action version of The Tick that I remember watching on Fox back in 2001 with Patrick Warburton as the Tick. I thought that show was okay, but it wasn’t good enough to keep itself from being cancelled. And now we got the newest version of The Tick, and it’s so far a good watch.

The Tick stars Peter Serafinowicz as the Tick. In case if you’re wondering, Peter Serafinowicz was in both Guardians of the Galaxy, and did the voice of Fisher King in the Doctor Who episode, Before the Flood. I would have prefer Will Arnett for the role, but this guy is good enough to where I never thought that he would have taken the role. As a matter of fact, he’s not even known for taking big roles like this. And yet, he’s very funny! This show is, so far, very fun to watch. I’m not going to spoil anything, but Arthur’s back story is, not only tragic, but funny at the same time. I really like how they were able to balance both the humor and serious moments very well without making it either boring or forceful. It’s just right. From the first episode, it shows you how this world manages to work with both heroes and villains, and how both Arthur and the Tick meets each other. They got both the characters just right, and even the Tick’s written dialog is pitch perfect. If there’s anything that I would of like to have seen is the Tick having a pathetic fight scene where he still manages to win through wacky hijinks, but I think I will get that later on.

Yes, I do think you should watch The Tick, whether or not if you’re a fan. It’s both a good and fun watch, and you won’t be disappointed. And yes, I do recommend you to watch the animated series! If you excuse me, I’m going to make myself a BLT sandwich.

Before and After – Netflix’s Death Note

Welcome to my new segment called “Before and After,” where I talk about my pre-impressions of a movie before I watch it, and then discuss my thoughts on what I saw. Sure, this may sound like what Tony Goldmark does with “One Movie Later,” but I also want to do the same thing anyway and steal his shtick. And by the way, go check Tony Goldmark’s Youtube channel if you haven’t already. I highly recommend it.

Before

So, we have finally reached to the fourth attempt at a Death Note adaptation. And you know what? I understand why there’s another. Death Note was, is, and forever will be one of the biggest and greatest anime ever made that broke new grounds that came out before Attack on Titan and after Dragon Ball Z. The odd thing about it, Death Note was the very first manga to ever break new grounds in, and it wasn’t inspired by anything. At all. Tsugumi Ohba said in an interview that all of this came from his own mind as a concept, and later on developed everything else, from the rules of the Death Note to the story. He kept on piling so much that he eventually got started writing Death Note. Think about it: Dragon Ball was inspired by Toriyama from watching Kung Fu movies, Samurai Champloo was inspired by old Samurai films, and Death Note was from Ohba’s head. You got to have some crazy mind to think this stuff up.

Death Note is an excellent manga series, from beginning to end, and I do recommend it to everyone who has never seen the show either. I’m even showing it to my friends right now as I’m writing this article. One of which didn’t grow watching anime, and I got him to watch Fullmetal Alchemist, Attack on Titan, and now Death Note. He now thinks that Death Note is the best anime he has seen so far.

I do call this show to be very revolutionary for anime, for a few reasons. Before Death Note came out, most anime were dominated by both action and dumb girly dramas in the mid 2000s, from what I can remember at the time when I was in high school. But when Death Note was first introduced to me, my mind and concept of anime was redefined when I saw how great of a story you can make, from the characters, the atmosphere, the tone, and all the way down to how you can make something so intense without the use of fighting or beating people up. The plot itself was incredibly original, and even today I have yet so see an anime that can top it’s creativity. Not to say that this is my favorite anime of all time, because it isn’t. But it is in my top 5!

And I did see the three movies. What were my thoughts? How about “what was my reaction?”

That image alone sums up what I thought about those movies. I already talked about the live drama from 2015 on my first thoughts, and my mind still hasn’t changed. Just go look up my article on that for more information. As for the Netflix movie, I saw the first trailer, and was kind of skeptical. But after watching the second trailer, I was starting to feel pretty nervous about how it was going to turn out. As the reviews started to come in, my expectations are not getting better so far. I haven’t read any of them yet, because I’m trying to go into this movie with an open mind, and I try to do that with every movie that I go out to see. I have no idea what I will think about it, but there’s only one way to find out.

After

I just finished watching Death Note by the time of writing this article. Now, there are two ways how you can watch this movie. The first way is by going into this movie, without ever seeing or read Death Note. However, if you do that, you will find yourself both baffled and bewildered by how stupid and outrageously unsubtle this movie is. The other way is by going into this movie as a fan, and try to not shut this movie off out of pure rage and disrespect that this movie puts on the original source material and the fandom. And no, I never said there’s a good way to watch this movie. Netflix’s Death Note I believe is worse than the other live adaptations in the past. It makes the three other movies look more competent, and it makes the tone of the live drama, as well as the atmosphere, look more accurate in comparison, and to top it off, it makes those previous live adaptations look both smarter and good. Yeah, that’s where we’re at with this abomination.

The very first problem that I spotted in this movie is Light. I have no idea who the actor is, nor have I ever heard of him before, and I can see why. The very first thing you hear from him is his whining, as well as his foul mouth that shows us what you get if you take the Tarantino style of writing and remove all of it’s charm. This movie doesn’t make Light look like a genius either. Sure, he does other people’s homework for money, but this movie couldn’t do better than that? He’s pretty ignorant for the most part. He hates his dad (Shea Whigham), or at least I think he does, because about 90% of the dialog that he shares with him is just whining, complaining, and arguing with him. As for his dad, James Turner, he’s pretty forgettable, and the movie can do without him.

Ryuk is, not only forgettable, but his motives are kind of hard to read. I know that he finds how interesting humans can get and finds himself entertained by what they do, but you don’t get to know why. As a matter in fact, you don’t get to know anything about Ryuk. You don’t know why he has an obsession for apples, you don’t know why he finds humans to be interesting, or where  he came from. Not only that, but you can barely see his face. It’s always revealed in the dark, and I don’t get it. The special effects, when not seeing his face (usually showing his back on the camera) looks good. As a matter in fact, it looks better than the previous live action Ryuks that I have seen before. It’s just a shame that its ruined for giving us no reason to show his face completely.

I am not kidding on how I described his presence. These images show us just how we are able to see him in this film.

Now before we get to talk about L, I think I should just get rid of the casting of this movie, because, even though the racial choices that this movie made isn’t as big of a topic as Ghost in the Shell was, it’s still making some headlines with a few websites. I am going to say right here and now that there was nothing wrong with Death Note taking place in America with American actors. I complained about the racial casting in Ghost in the Shell because, one, the movie wants us to think that Japan is a multiracial county, even though it’s population 98.5% Japanese, and two, Motoko’s Japanese brain was put inside of a white woman’s body. In other words, the movie’s script white washed the character, which makes it worse. In this version of Death Note, I find the casting to be fine, because they managed to write a story in an American setting where anyone can be whoever they want, with the exception of Watari, even though his name can be whatever they choose. I’ll get to him later on. Now that I discussed my point of view on that issue, I can finally talk about L.

L’s acting started off fine for me, making me think that probably, just probably that this movie would get him right. I was right. For the first quarter of the movie. Whenever he starts to have serious problems, like losing his reach for Watari, he starts freak out. Yes, this is an adaptation, where there are going to be changes, but make good changes, as well as keeping the story consistent with the original source material, which this movie clearly doesn’t understand. L turns out to be a badly written character, whose motives are confusing and horrible that you can’t really see him as either L or as great of a detective that this movie wants you to believe. He already had tons of people working for him, either defending him, or guarding him. Hmmmmm…….        working with Watari, avoiding yourself from anyone else by isolating yourself so you can be protected from anyone confiscate any evidence and not getting yourself killed, or just make a public announcement out in the blue and having a team with you that can get yourself killed?

Watari is played by Paul Nakauchi, who is also known for voicing Hanzo in Overwatch, is probably the closest to being a good character in this movie, but I would be lying if the script is what ruined him too. He does have some moments where he shows his compassion for L and how he communicates with others, but the things he does later on in the movie kills it for me. Which this does make me discuss the rules of Death Note.

For those of you who memorized, some, more than half, or all of the rules in the Death Note, don’t worry. This movie just uses some of the rules, but makes up their own, like the only way how you can cancel out someone’s death is by burning the page it was written on within 48 hours. Oh, you thought that you can just write down someone’s name and wait for 40 seconds? Of course not, stupid! That rule is disposed of and you do need to write the cause of death and wait for it to happen. But in some parts of the movie, it does show that you can just write their names without writing the cause of death. Other people can touch the Death Note, but only the owner can see, hear, talk, and touch the death god, and no one else. Not only that, but Ryuk was the one who wrote the rules, meaning that he can write down whatever he wants, so anything goes. But I do like the look of the Death Note. I thought they did a good job on the design.

Mia, whose suppose to be this movie’s version of Misa, is not very good. She may not be as bland as Sofia Coppola in The Godfather Part III, but she is as stupid as Bella Swan in Twilight, and can be pretty insufferable too. Yeah, I don’t have a lot to say about her. She sucks.

The rest of this movie is horrible. The anime sure might have when over the top for most of the show, but that’s only because you’re watching an anime about a man who’s trying to become the god of the new world. Only Tetsuro Araki is able to do that right with an anime like Death Note and Attack on Titan. His style is almost cinematic. This movie’s tone isn’t that bad, as well as the direction of it, but the music sounds like something that you would hear from a show, video, or movie that is based in the 80s. Come on, this is a movie where a guy wants to become a god, you got to make it look and feel like it. Subtlety has no room in this movie either. Half of this movie has people overreacting, and because Light writes down people’s causes of death, it only gives the movie’s excuse of showing off the gore effects, which do look good, but not even that works for the reasons behind what Light wants. Most of these criminals are killed along with people who have nothing to do with the people Light kills. There was one where he kills a criminal by derailing a train with people, right next to another train! In the anime, Light was smart enough to kill only the people he wanted dead without putting the innocent in harm’s way. This Light’s interpretation of justice just doesn’t seem to matter how he does it, as long as he does it. And don’t get me started with the ending. It’s as bad as the rest of the movie. L finds a page in Light’s bedroom, only showing that he was ready to write down his name, but hesitates, and this movie thinks it’s cleaver enough to make us wonder if he does it. This movie isn’t even cleaver enough to make us care!

No, I obviously don’t recommend this movie. It’s void of joy, has no charm, it has no ambition, and it is definitely nowhere close to being as smart and competent as the original source material. The acting is terrible, the script is terrible, and the director obviously had no idea as to what made Death Note great at all. As for the negativity that this movie has already gotten from the critics, they’re not wrong. As a fan, you will only be angry, and as a non-fan, you will not like this movie at all.

I hope that this segment worked like a charm, and I’m off to go watch The Tick!