May 29, 2015

[Movies] Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde (2003)

So after finally reviewing the first Legally Blonde movie, one cannot just sit idly by and not get around to reviewing the second movie as well. Or maybe that's just how I feel being a bit of a completest when I'm not too careful about things. That sentence may not make much sense, but it sort of does?

Back on point, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde was a weird follow-up to the hit first movie. Perhaps we shouldn't have been all that surprised that they had decided to create a sequel given the success the first movie had managed to attain for itself.

But what was disappointing is the fact that as fun as the first movie was, this one rather paled in comparison given the decision to follow the overly tired Hollywood sequel formula of quickly rehashing plot elements from the first movie and figuring out a way to include them in the sequel. Thus you have a movie full of seemingly random gags here and there only loosely held together by a weak narrative. And it's such a shame since Reese remained pretty brilliant in this movie in terms of her performance but had little substantial things to really accomplish here.

May 28, 2015

[TV] Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 2

The first season of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was initially received with very mixed reviews and it was only after the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier that the show really surged forward and established itself as a key part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And so a lot of folks, myself included, we looking forward to this second season and how it would integrate with the Phase 2 movies.

And it does seem like the writers responded to feedback going into this season and did their best to keep the main story interesting without giving the impression of waiting too long before something actually interesting happens as it waits for other movies to be released.

To be fair, the revelations at the end of the last season did a lot to help provide a lot more different avenues to explore this time around. And I felt the show has a pretty good start this time around, but still the weight of movie-related obligations certainly exerted some pressure on the direction of the writing, especially towards the end.

May 27, 2015

[Games] Shadowrun: Crossfire

Shadowrun, as a game franchise, has been around for quite some time. Originally a tabletop RPG, we've seen different iterations of the franchise across different media including a few video games released as part of the brand.

Shadowrun: Crossfire is a deck-building game set in the same fantasy cyberpunk universe as the original RPG. Deciding to go with the deck-building route was an interesting choice since it's the sort of card game that's easy to get into without the usual sort of investment we see in collectible card games.

Now I happen to like deck-building games and this one's a little tricky versus others. I guess the main challenge is how the ability to purchase new cards is tied strongly to defeating adversaries and challenges placed in your way, which can be pretty annoying in the early stages.

May 26, 2015

[Comics] Star Trek: Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever

So I had been pretty keen on getting a copy of this comic ever since it was announced. But given how much of a miser I've become with comics, I ended up waiting for a relevant comiXology sale in order to pick up the title at a good rate. I love my digitial comics, but I still don't feel 100% comfortable paying full retail rates for them.

But getting back on point, I was really curious as to how this comic adaptation of the original Harlan Ellison teleplay for The City on the Edge of Forever would turn out. As it stands, this Star Trek: TOS episode remains to be one of if not the most popular Star Trek stories out there. And if the final output was already enough to create a place in the minds and hearts of Star Trek fans over the years, what could have the original story been like?

Over the years I've read a few comments and insights on what the original script was like and even a few lengthier discussions of some of the deviations from the original plan versus the final episode. But getting the story in comic book form is a nicely unique way of experiencing things in a visual manner, even without a full episode being produced again. And the end result was pretty interesting indeed.

May 25, 2015

[Movies] Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

What crazy world is this that we're all talking about the latest installment in the Mad Max franchise, a series of movie that has mostly been a strange cult classic over the years. No one expecting to hear more from Max given 30 years have passed since the last movie, but here we are. And we're in a world where this movie is one of the most talked-about and widely praised movies that we've encountered quite a while.

Mad Max: Fury Road is more than just a movie - it's pretty much an experience. It's a larger than life adventure in storytelling in a manner that is uniquely within the distinct flavor of this series. It's a movie that fits in perfect with the overall story of things but also stands apart as an entirely different creature of its own design.

I think we're all going to continue talking about this movie for some time. It's a wild ride and yet a brilliant expression of art at the same time. It's a story that we'll continue to enjoy and dissect and just ramble and rave about over and over again. It's one of those movies that you want to watch over and over again like taking repeat rides on a rollercoaster. The rush is almost the same every time.

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