Apr 24, 2014

[TV] Hornblower: The Even Chance (1998)

Any Star Trek fan knows that one of the inspirations the creator Gene Roddenberry tapped into while creating the show were the Horatio Hornblower books. Many point out that Captain Kirk himself shares a lot of qualities with the titular character and the Trek fan in me has been rather curious to see just how the connection works out.

Thankfully it turns out there was a series of TV movies under the umbrella title of Hornblower that were created to celebrate the books in their own way. A total of eight movies have been made at this point and The Even Chance represents the first one in the series.

I've had mixed history with historical fiction pieces. A lot of them tend to be heavily heavy dramas that really weigh you down. And while this series isn't exactly light, the core writing behind it certainly provides a lot of fun action and adventure that helps things along.

Apr 23, 2014

[Games] LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (PS3)

Looking over our collection of PS3 games, it's pretty obvious that there's a LEGO fan in the house. In terms of our home, Sietch Creare, that person would be me. Tobie had his LEGO period as well, of course, but I could refine the statement and say that there's a major fan of the LEGO-based video games.

LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures is an attempt to apply the LEGO formula to another George Lucas creation - the Indiana Jones movies. I suppose it was an easy enough transition given their success with the Star Wars games, but I wasn't totally sold on how popular this franchise would be among younger audiences. And these games typically go for that particular market.

But the game was still a decent amount of fun, although it did not make it to the mandatory achievement trophy requirement for the PlayStation Network. Still, I worked my way through the game and decided to formally review it today.

Apr 22, 2014

[Comics] Transformers Regeneration One

For a lot of Transformers Generation 1 enthusiasts out there (like myself), we know very well that the cartoon was great at establishing the characters of the series without actually telling truly significant stories. Most of the animated stories were one-offs that followed a highly episodic formula of Megatron coming up with some strange plan to gain more energy and the Autobots trying to stop him and his Decepticons. It was a decent enough formula for an children's cartoon, but that's about it.

But the real stories were told in the comic books that accompanied the launch of this franchise. There they really got to flesh out the mythos behind the Transformers and push the limits of what kind of stories could be told. And this went on from 1984 until 1991 with both the US and UK versions of the comic were finally shut down.

So when IDW Publishing announced that it was launching the Regeneration One series to sort of pick up where the old series has ended somewhat abruptly and tie up loose ends, I was pretty excited. And as was fitting, Simon Furman himself, the man behind much of the best Transformers comics stories, had agreed to write the story for this project and really give us an ending to what he had created those many years ago. And the end results were...well...it well and truly never ends, I guess.

Apr 21, 2014

[Movies] Snowpiercer (2013)

It took us a while to hunt down a copy of Snowpiercer, since we wanted to make sure that we had the right version. There has been a lot of discussion online about how the movie's American release was somehow different compared to its original version. And when you deal with the wonderful world of the internet, there will always be many shadows possibly obscuring the truth.

I haven't seen the original Oldboy yet, the other movie that really made director Bong Joon-ho rather famous within geek circles. And while I renew my commitment to get around to watching that particular work of art, in the meantime I found myself watching his more recent little masterpiece over the Holy Week. Probably not the best appropriate movie, but it's not like I'm all that religious either.

It's hard to immediately describe how watching this movie felt like. I mean sure, there are the knee-jerk reactions to things, but the full experience is not something one can immediately put into words. And again, that's not a bad thing at all. If anything, it truly says a lot about the impact of the movie as a whole.

Apr 20, 2014

[TV] Sean Saves The World: Season 1

Regardless of how you feel about Will & Grace, you have to admit that it represented a bit of a breakthrough in terms of LGBT-themed entertainment breaking into the mainstream market. And this is never easy, of course. TV shows are great for different reasons and there are just too many differing opinions about the LGBT segment to fully understand how folks will react to any show that features LGBT characters in any degree of prominence.

Sean Saves the World was clearly a major effort along these lines - as if the involvement of Sean Hayes (a Will & Grace alumni) wasn't a big enough clue about that. Someone decided that going down the family route was the best way to approach things (just compare things to Modern Family) and I don't necessarily disagree with this course of attack. But I can also see how some might argue that perhaps it was a tad too safe.

In the end, this show was cancelled despite the fact that folks like me actually enjoyed it some extent. And so this review is practically a memorial of another US network TV show with an LGBT focus that has gone the way of the dinosaurs.

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