Thursday, October 31, 2019



Pretty self-explanatory, this 1980s film being about a fledgling wizard tasked with slaying a dragon. It had some good effects for its time, but is a bit of an Unintentional Period Piece, with its soundtrack in particular grounding it to the early part of the decade.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Young Sherlock Holmes

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I first heard about this film when I was in intermediate school (specifically, sixth grade, and I had only seen a snippet of it then), about a young Sherlock Holmes and Watson as they attend a boarding school in London and attempt to solve the mystery of an Egyptian cult specializing in hallucinogenic blowdarts responsible for driving their victims to suicide. Fairly enjoyable, and one of the earliest films to include a post-credits scene.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Seis Manos

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An American Netflix series influenced by Japanese anime about three Mexican orphans trained in Chinese martial arts who seek to avenge their fallen mentor, with help from an American drug-enforcement officer. Fairly enjoyable, with some good action and acting.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Last Hero


This Discworld novella, much like its longer brethren, opens with mention of the disposition of the series’ world, suspended by four giant elephants standing on the back of a turtle. Flight has long been a dream of the world’s inhabitants, and sure enough, Lord Vetinari of Ankh-Morpork commissions the artist Leonard of Quirm for a flying machine. Meanwhile, Cohen, the barbarian leader of the Silver Horde, kidnaps a minstrel in want of a saga about him and his fellow warriors, and wants to meet the gods on the world of Cori Celesti.

Pratchett occasionally mentions backstory to the Discworld, such as Emperor Carelinus having an empire that encompassed the world, and a construction known as the Circumference spanning a third of the way around the land. The mentioned flying machine, christened the Kite, sets off, with its controllers, among them being the wizard Rincewind, struggling initially, but getting off-world, fearing things such as space monsters. The Silver Horde ultimately ventures past the gates of Dunmanifestin, meeting a few of the gods and even gambling with Fate. The Ankh-Morpork City Watch, led by Captain Carrot, eventually comes to arrest Cohen, fearing the destruction of the world.

The novella ends on a humorous note, and is generally on par with its predecessors in the Discworld series, being a good spiritual successor to the works of authors such as Lewis Carroll, given its propensity for literary nonsense and lightheartedness compared to other stories within the fantasy genre. The backstory Pratchett provides occasionally is a good addition to the story, and tends to be just as humorous as the “present” events. Granted, it does do many things in an unorthodox manner, such as not sporting clear divisions into chapters, but fans of the franchise will likely appreciate this entry.

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu

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One of the first live-action videogame adaptations to be more than passable, the film stars Justice Smith as a young man seeking his missing father, allegedly killed in an auto accident, and meets the eponymous Pokémon, voiced by Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds, who helps him solve the mystery whilst dealing with the somewhat-trite themes of corporate and scientific excess, with a chemical expediting evolution playing part, similar to that in comics such as Spider-Man. Definitely a visually-stunning film, though mostly only Pokémon fans will get the most out of the movie.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

The Time of the Transference

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The sixth Spellsinger story by Alan Dean Foster opens with thieves invading the turtle wizard Clothahump’s tree, with these bandits dealt with, albeit at the expense of Jon-Tom’s duar, key to his spellsinging abilities, being broken. Thus, Jon-Tom fetches the otter Mudge for another quest to Strelakat Mews, in the jungle south of the city of Chejiji, well across the ocean. Whilst on the journey, Clothahump suggests Jon-Tom stop by the shop of Izfan ab-Akmanjiandor, nicknamed Dizzy Izzy, in Yarrowl, where Jon-Tom finds a less powerful instrument aiding his spellsinging, a suar.

On the sea, pirates attack the ship Jon-Tom and Mudge take, with the latter meeting a female otter named Weegee who is rescued. A parrot captain named Captain Kamaulk leads the pirates, with Jon-Tom and his companions ultimately deciding to hike to Chejiji by foot, and taking refuge in a cave where they find signs of Jon-Tom’s home world of Earth. The comrades eventually find themselves in Earth, namely Las Vegas, where they hope to rescue Kamaulk from becoming a meal. A pegasus named Teyva, who is ironically afraid of flight, plays a minor role in the story.

The novel concludes with a meeting with the repairman who can fix Jon-Tom’s duar, Couvier Coulb, an epilogue occurring a few years afterward. Overall, this is another good entry of the Spellsinger series, sure to appeal to audiences such as the furry fandom given its endearing animal characters, along with its occasional sense of humor and continuity nods to prior entries. Not all contemporary audiences, however, will get the references to classic rock music, but regardless, those who enjoyed the book’s predecessors will most likely enjoy the sixth entry, which stands out even today.

Wu Assassins

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A fairly-enjoyable action series with some good fight scenes and occasional supernatural elements.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Banjo the Woodpile Cat


Early short film by Don Bluth about a rebellious kitten named Banjo who runs away to Salt Lake City, gets homesick, and consequentially wants to return home with the help of adult cats such as Crazy Legs and a sexy trio of singing cat ladies. Has some good jazz music, including a central theme, and I definitely enjoyed it, particularly with its message that sometimes we need time away from our families.

Sunday, October 20, 2019



I remember seeing bits of this Don Bluth film when I was still a child, but haven't until now seen it in full. It combines live-action with animation, although the animated portions dominate the movie. Regardless, it's somewhat off-putting, and definitely not a bucket-list movie.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Last Continent


The sixth Rincewind novel of the late Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series opens with the statement that all tribal myths have a semblance of truth. Discussion arises about a supposed Lost Reading Room at Unseen University, with Old “Bogeyboy” Swallett having led an expedition to find it. Conversation also comes about the continent of EcksEcksEcksEcks, with the university professors making it a point to study the land, and ultimately finding themselves marooned on a deserted island. Rincewind also finds himself on the eponymous last continent, where he befriends a kangaroo named Scrappy, who tells him he is fated to bring “the Wet,” in other words, a massive rainstorm.

On the mentioned island, the Faculty attempts various means by which to escape, such as building a boat out of vegetation, during their solitude meeting a god who has created various things such as a cigarette tree, which he regrets. Rincewind’s Luggage in the meanwhile has its own adventures, with mention of Petunia, the Desert Princess. The Faculty eventually sets sail from the island, whilst Rincewind finds himself incarcerated, and scheduled for execution, when mistaken for stealing sheep instead of rescuing it like he insists. With the help of a message from the past criminal Tinhead Ned, the bumbling wizard plots his escape.

A temporal anomaly causes chaos among the Faculty, Rincewind visits a city on the continent, and a woman named Neilette takes him to a fledgling university. The novel ends on a humorous note, and is overall a good parody of Australian culture, although mostly Australians will understand the various references, and the book in general has limited appeal. Regardless, it has a decent sense of humor, and one could consider Pratchett’s work to be spiritual successors as literary nonsense to Lewis Carroll’s Alice books. Those interested in a more lighthearted take on the fantasy genre will certainly get the most enjoyment out of this story.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

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The inaugural Indiana Jones film opens with a scene somewhat irrelevant towards the overall narrative, similar to most of its sequels, where Indy steals an idol from a shrine in South America, triggering a bunch of traps he ultimately outruns. One involving a giant boulder somewhat seemed avoidable, since it’s shown rolling down a ramp suspended above Indy as he’s escaping, and instead of waiting for it to go past, he just continues running. When he gets back home to his position as a college professor, he’s informed that the Nazis are seeking the fabled Ark of the Covenant, since through some backwards logic, they think summoning the God of the Jews will aid against their genocide targets.

Sure enough, Indy agrees to get ahold of the titular MacGuffin before the Nazis, and spends time seeking the top of the Staff of Ra from his old flame Marion Ravenwood in Nepal, and in Egypt where the Nazis waste their budget digging in the wrong location, Dr. Jones along with his sidekick Sallah find the Ark in its resting place. The resultant struggle between Indy and the Nazis over the Ark seems somewhat unnecessary, given the conclusion, with Raiders, much like future sequel Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, essentially being an archetypal “Shaggy Dog” Story that would have had an equal or better outcome if Indy either did absolutely nothing or just let the Nazis have the Ark and take it to Berlin.

On the other hand, the film is good for Indy’s social life, as he hooks up with Marion, and it does have plenty of positive qualities such as the music, effects, and John Williams’ iconic “Raiders March” and its various remixes. The first film, though, showed issues with America’s film rating system, as would Temple of Doom, given its somewhat-violent content for a PG movie, with the country’s censors somehow thinking that blood and death are “family friendly,” and that things such as saying the F-word are worse than violent murder; I’m sure it would’ve been rated R had it not been a Spielberg movie. It’s definitely an important and influential film, but I think movies should be judged on their actual content and cohesion instead.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Spider-Man: Far From Home

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The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe film featuring Peter Parker / Spider-Man as he goes to Europe and is recruited by Nick Fury and Mysterio to face the Elementals. Like its precursors finds a good balance in action and humor, and the mid-credits scenes marks the return of one of my favorite Spider-Man characters, a certain yellow journalist.

Sunday, October 13, 2019


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Pretty much what a Batman film should be, dark and disturbing. As my mother said, it would be hard for Phoenix *not* to walk away without any recognition of sorts for his role. I'll admit I have...issues, but as far as I'm concerned, a person's neurological condition does not make them easier to deal with or better-behaved than if they were of a different neurology.

Time Trap

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An archaeology professor is searching for missing hippies from the 1960s, and stumbles upon a cave where temporal distortions occur. Didn't exactly grab my attention, and was more human interest than anything else.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

High Noon

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Because I thought it would resound with me, given its themes, I decided to give this classic monochrome western a look, and definitely don’t regret it. It follows a marshal portrayed by Gary Cooper, Will Kane, who marries and is on the brink of retiring until he hears of an old nemesis, Frank Miller, coming to terrorize the town he’s about to leave, and he wants to deal with him. However, the townspeople are reluctant to help him, even though the town would have gone without a marshal for a few days, with Kane feeling that the town wouldn’t be safe during that time.

I can definitely relate to Cooper’s character, since there have been many times, particularly when I was in grade school and over the worldwide web, where I feel no one would stand with me in times of crisis, and I was basically on my own in those cases. The film in its time was analogous to the McCarthy hearings, and rightfully evoked controversy, given that few would stand with the blacklisted actors, writers, and filmmakers. I certainly don’t think of the Cold War as entirely black and white, and neither side in the struggle was infallible, a view I again think is responsible for all evil and conflict in the world.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Good Star Wars Quote

"An object cannot make you good or evil. The temptation of power, forbidden knowledge, even the desire to do good can lead some down that path. But only you can change yourself."
-Bendu, Star Wars Rebels

I think this could apply to many things, like videogames.


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Simpsons creator Matt Groening's take on the fantasy genre, similar to how Futurama was his take on science-fiction, and luckily, it doesn't have the negative elements of those shows, such as child abuse or offensive political references that tend to date television shows like them. I definitely like it best of Groening's creations, although there are a few distracting elements, such as characters constantly tilting their heads up and down when talking, and that when characters open their mouths, their teeth are all round, but when they close their teeth, they magically straighten out (the bucktoothed Princess Bean largely being the exception to this). Regardless, I would definitely continue to watch this show as new episodes come out.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

The Paths of the Perambulator


The fifth installment of Alan Dean Foster’s Spellsinger series, which he dedicates to printers Alex Berman and Sid, opens with spellsinging protagonist Jon-Tom sensing something amiss, specifically that he has transformed into a giant blue crab. The reason is the eponymous perambulator, a part-organic, part-inorganic, part-orgasmic creature neither here nor there, only it’s both here and there. Clothahump the turtle wizard is just as scared as Jon-Tom, with he and his owl apprentice Sorbl encountering their own transformations as well. Thus, they begin the search for the perambulator, beginning with the cellar of Clothahump’s home.

For means of faster conveyance across the land, Jon-Tom summons a jeep and gasoline through spellsong, after which they reach the formerly-beautiful, now-downtrodden community of Ospenspri, where, unsurprisingly, the otter Mudge is drinking his worries away. Alcoholic precipitation is summoned to rectify the town’s problems, with Dormas the hinny joining the party. They soon rescue the rune-casting koala Colin from primitive cannibals, with occasional perambulations affecting the party, in one instance turning the animal characters briefly human. Eventually, they come to the fortress where their adversary is, with clones of Jon-Tom’s love Talea attacking.

A confrontation with the wolverine wizard Braglob ends the fifth novel, which is pretty much on par with its predecessors, by no means a bad thing, and, given its comical situations, is a good spiritual successor to classic works such as Lewis Carroll’s stories about Alice. Older audiences, moreover, will definitely appreciate the mature themes and occasional references to musicians, although these might fly over the heads of younger readers. Given my involvement in the furry fandom, moreover, I definitely have a place in my heart for this franchise, and would easily recommend it to those of equal persuasion.


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A retelling of the story of the eponymous Ferdinand the bull, a pacifistic bovine who wishes to avoid the fate of other bulls that square off against matadors, and makes some friends along the way. Definitely has its moments, with occasional Parental Bonus, and is a good film for younger and older audiences alike.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Carnival Row

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An alternate-universe fantasy series in a Victorian-esque era where humans and creatures such as fairies coexist. Definitely a visually-stunning series, and the world itself is very convincing.