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Monday
Jul022018

Thar B Spoilers TV Review: "Mesmer's Bauble" Friday The 13th The Series S. 2 Ep. 20

SCRIPT:

FRIDAY THE 13th The Series - Before I begin if you follow my YouTube channel then you’ve noticed inconsistancies with the uploads over the last couple of months.  This is due to personal and financial issues.  Hopefully they will be resolved in the near future.  If not I’ll probably release about 3-4 more videos by the end of the year.  Now on with the show!

 

Earlier this year I decided to do something different for Friday The 13th.  Other content creators would review one of the films I instead wanted review the tv series and for yucks the film “Saturday the 14th”.  Due to a time crunch I could only put one out and I went with Saturday the 14th.  How did that go?  (play sad saxophone music) Uh, yeah…that’s what I get for trying to be clever. 

 

The “Friday The 13th” tv series is very loosely based on the film of the same name and by that I mean not at all.  (The first film was originally going to be called “CAMP BLOOD” which is a more accurate name for the title but was change before release)  While the tv series didn’t have any canticle ties to the movies it did have a link to it behind the scenes with the film series producer Frank Mancuso Jr. also producing the tv series.  FYI one of the tv series main cast John D. LeMay did star in “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday”(Hmm is that the reason I saw that film in theaters?  Well N-E-Way…).

 

THE STORY

 

The tv series was originally going to be called “The 13th Hour” but it was changed to “Friday The 13th” in order to draw in a larger audience (even though it had nothing to do with the movies!).  The show was about deceased antique shop owner Lewis Vendredi(Friday in French and the 13th Hour?  GET IT?!) making a deal with the devil to sell cursed items.  In return Lewis get’s money, power, immortality, etc…  Of course he winds up breaking the deal and the Devil claims his soul.  Shortly after this his niece Micki Foster inherits the shop and with her cousin Ryan(Dallion) in tow sell off a good number of the cursed items.  Then one of uncle Lewis’s “old friends” Jack Marshak(Chris Wiggins) stops by and tells them these antiques are cursed and they have to get them back.  All 3 team up and wackiness ensues for 3 years and 72 episodes.

 

For years I had a vague memory of this series.  I remember watching this show sporadically over the years in syndication and various networks(for some reason I think I saw this on the SyFy Network).  There was one episode that I did remember though.  “Mesmers Bauble” S2. EP. 20.  It starred the 1980’s singer Vanity.  I was a fan of a couple of her songs and enjoyed two of the films she was in(“The Last Dragon” & “Action Jackson”) so I imagine that’s why I still remember this episode(kinda).  This episode hits on a subject that is pretty relevant today, toxic fandoms.  So was the show subtle on attacking this topic or ham fisted?   

 

Let’s find out!

 

The episode begins with Vanity as the singer Angelica performing a song in a video and we see around a room filled to the brim with memorabilia of her and a creepy guy in the dark dabbling himself.  He then proceeds to uh, get romantic with a poster of her and then cry in the corner.  Okay.  So it looks like this story is of a lonely fan going after his idea of his idol.  (Another way to look at this is this will be about “toxic fandom”.)  That lonely man is named Howard and we next see him working at a record store.  After his boss tells him one of Angelica’s reps will pop on by the store he tries to help out a couple of female record buyers who treat him like the plague.  This is an important scene because here he comes off as a good guy who’s competent at his job.  The audience watching this would’ve been put off from him after the opening scene but after this scene with these horrible customers we could empathize with him.  

 

Later on while walking home he see’s a robbery and stumbles onto a cursed antique.  After a brief case of mistaken identity he uses it for the first time and - (show clip).  Question?  We see the cops roll up on this and then he’s back at his apartment with the bauble, how is that possible?  Wouldn’t the cops have checked his person and taken it off of him?  Or maybe he used the bauble on the cops off screen?  Well we’ll never know I guess.  Anyway just like with Light Yagami with the “Death Note” the first time Howard takes the bauble for a test run.  The next scene shows our intrepid trio briefly discussing about Ryan’s tickets to see Angelica.  they then find out about the robbery and the bauble is in the “police stolen property report”.  So does this mean Howard really did use it on the cops or that they were just so incompetent they didn’t bother searching him?  This would’ve never had happen if “Officer Green”(the only good character in “New Years Evil”) was on the case! 

 

We learn that the bauble originally allowed the user to hypnotize people but once it got powered up, well, we’ll see in a moment what it can really do!  Or not.  He told the bauble to make him look beautiful and all it did was clear up some pimples?  After missing a chance to meet her later on he has a contentious talk with one of Angelica’s label reps.  When he doesn’t get the information from her in order to get Angelica to fall in love with him he takes matters into his own hands(15:22).  Later on once again he asks the bauble to make him pretty.  After it gives him a headache it perms his hair?!(Maybe he’s just born with it(maybe it Maybaline!))The security guy who looks like a bootleg uncle Paulie from the “Soprano’s” doesn’t look that impressed.  I know he has a visitors pass but c’mon how did no one see him there(19:50)?  He wasn’t more than 10 feet from them!

 

Sometime later when Angelica and her boyfriend/agent come back to her room Howard does his best creeper impersenation.  I’m disturbed by a couple things in this scene.  1. How Howard is creepily looking at Angelica strip and then make out with her agent and 2. That her agent looks like a low rent Matt Houston!  (They should’ve just gotten Lee Horsley, “MATT HOUSTON” had ended it’s run several years prior!  So he was available!  Actually he was on the CBS series “PARADISE” so no he probably wasn’t available.)  Meanwhile Ryan and Mickie make their first appearance in about the last 15 mins and then their off again.  Howard tracks down Angelica again and it doesn’t go well (24:30).  Mickie & Ryan continue to try to track down Howard and find out that he’s quit his job at the record story and now he’s held up in his apartment indulging in his obsessions.  So he’s a NEET now?

 

Okay, Mickie and Ryan know that the bauble wasn’t recovered and hasn’t been fenced and the only guy that witnessed the robbery wherever he goes someone dies.  They also just saw that he’s obsessed with Angelica and think he’s going to go after her.  So why don’t they stake out his apartment or just tail him?  Howard doesn’t seem to be a criminal mastermind I doubt they’d have to wait that long.  Howard proves my point when he visits Angelica’s agent Roger and uses the bauble on him and forces him to to the world’s worst shave.  Howard then uses the bauble on himself to become her lover.  Uh, oh.  Mickie and Ryan arrive to late at find out that Howard taken over Roger’s role.  Back at the shop the trio discover something interesting about the bauble “It fulfills all of your deepest desires, as long as it’s in your possession.  In order to do that you have to kill someone”.

 

Meanwhile Howard has completely made his way into Angelica’s life and decides to show her his collection.  She responds by getting naked.  He doesn’t take that well.  See he doesn’t want to make love to her.  He wants TO BE HER!(This isn’t what I want.  Don’t you want me?  No.  I want be you!(36:47)).  Okay let’s stop right there.  For YEARS this episode was in my head but I didn’t remember most of it.  The only thing I vaguely remembered was two people making love and playdough.  As you can see I sort of misremembered it.  Howard absorbs Angelica into himself and becomes her.  I don’t think this is what people mean when they say 2 become one in a holy union.  Mickie & Ryan once again arrive to late at Howards apartment and you really shouldn’t touch that.  You don’t know where it’s been!  From there they go to the concert which is where they should’ve gone in the first place. 

 

Anyway the performance starts and Mickie is able to get the bauble back.  Then this happens.(the transformation)For a moment Howard resembled that guy from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”.  The show climaxes with a shocking finale. BOOOO!  Oh please, as if I wasn’t going to make that joke!  

 

 

 

 

PRO: The transforming effects at the climax.  The music.

 

CON:  The sometimes ham handed portrayals of characters.  Ex. the 2 b’s at the store at the start of the episode and Anita at the 14:00.  I know the point of the scene but still.  Why focus on Howard’s level of attractiveness?  Focus on his controlling and obsessiveness.  It’s as if the show was say women would like these negative characteristics if Howard were good looking.  Another problem I have is that Vanity’s character has very little agency in this episode.  I not sure why the show runners didn’t give her more to do.  In the films “Action Jackson” and “The Last Dragon” she played an ACTUAL character.  If I had to guess(and this is pure conjecture) her appearance here might’ve been at the same time she was having drug problems.  If that’s the case giving her less to do probably was the only option(well that or just getting another actress!).

 

MISC.

The tv series is available on dvd and online(aka youtube).  What is interesting however is the cover of the dvd set is a picture from the movies and not the tv series.  What the heck?

Friday
Jun082018

Otaky 101 Anime, Manga and Dere Oh My!!!

(Originaly uploaded from April 2, 2014)

If you’re new to Japanese Anime & Manga your going to hear a ton of weird terms.  That’s why I started the OTAKU 101 series.  This’ll be a quick informational guide to some basic in’s and out’s to specific art form.

 

Manga doesn’t mean Japanese Comic and Anime doesn’t mean Japanese animation.  Anime is just the Japanese word for animation so shows like the 1990’s Spider-Man animated show and Attack on Titan are anime.  Just as Dragonball and Detective Comics are Manga.

 

What’s A Shounen manga/anime?  Shounen means “boys” or “young man”.  It’s not a genre it’s an age demographic(11-17yrs old).  Example of some series aimed for that demographic: One Piece, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Haiyku!! and Deadman Wonderland.  

 

What is Shoujo?  It’s the same as shonen it means girls or young ladies also between the same age of 11-17.  Examples of this is Sailor Moon and Makoka Magica.

 

What is Josei?  Comics and animation that are aimed at adult women. Typically it’s for college age women up to their forties. (Examples: Tramps Like Us, Paradise Kiss and Honey & Clover)

 

What is Seinen?  It’s the male equivalent for the same age group.  Here are some examples: Monster, Gantz, Vagabond, Genshiken, Kagi(and Akagi).

 

Here’s one last one for now: Kodomo.  This age group is roughly under 10 years old.  Hear are a few samples: Hamtaro, Hello Kitty, etc.

 

Now let’s look at some of the sub genres(Yaoi, Shounen-Ai, Yuri and dere types).  First the Dere’s.  

 

Yandere:  Yan means mental or emotional illness.  Dere: To show affection.

So it’s basically someone who appears sweet but underneath it all is violent, spiteful and brutal.  Some examples would be: Ryoko Asakura - The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya,  Ayase Aragaki - Oreimo and Yuno Gasi - Mirai Mikki

 

TSUNDERE: Tsun - “turning your face away in disgust”.  Dere - “to become lovey dovey”.  

So it’s someone who appears cold, harsh or uncaring but over time becomes lovey dovey for their love ones.  Here are some examples:  Kaname - Full Metal Panic, Kirno - Oreimo, Taiga - Toradora, Chitoge - Nisekoi and Naru Narusegawa - Love Hina

 

KUUDERE: KUU - Characters that first appear cold, uncaring and blunt to everyone they care about(on the outside).  Dere - Warm and loving.

Kuudere’s shouldn’t be confused with Tsundere’s.  They tend to be less violent than tsundere’s.  As time goes by they start to warm up to you.  Kuudere’s typically take the roll of the emotionless doll character in stories. 

Examples:  Rei - Evangelion

 

DANDERE: Dan - silent or taciturn.  Dere - Lovey Dovey.

So it’s someone who’s silent for the sake of being silent and not just to look cool(it’s mildly different from Kuudere.  

Example: Nagato - Melancholy of Haruhu Suzimiya 

 

Over the last several years more dere's have been added like: Hajidere(ha-gee-der-aa) - get’s embarrassed easily(Hinata - Naruto).  Kamedere(ka-may-der-aa) Want’s to be treated as a god(Mio-MM!!).  Himedere(hi-may-der-aa)acts like and wants to be treated as a princess.  Think Kamedere but at a lower level.  

 

Now let’s look at KAWAII(K-WA-EEE).  It…just means cute.  Usually you’ll hear it when young Japanese girls say it…REPEATEDLY!

 

MOE(M-OO-AA): It means “to bud” or “budding beauty”(adolescence).  Show’s, movies, comics that focus on Moe have either a theme or characters with adorable, naive, innocent characteristics.  MOE characters appeal to the sensitivity of the viewer or reader.  Because of this the viewer(or reader) feels protective(in a familial way)for the character.  Usually “MOE” characters are female.  However over the last few years there has been an increase of male MOE characters.

 

I was going to include “Ecchi” and “Hentai” but due to time I’ll discuss them in an upcoming article because there is a lot to say about them.  Believe me there is more to “hentai” than thinking it just means porn because it doesn’t…kind of.

 

NEXT TIME:

What is Echhi and Hentai and what’s the deal with those tentacles?!

Also 

A brief dip in the pool on what Fujoshi and Light Novels are and just what is this “Bechdel Test” everyone is going on about?! 

Saturday
May192018

DEADPOOL 2 Fim Review & Thoughts (Spoilers)

Baby legs…just baby legs.

 

Deadpool’s relationship with Vanessa is the catalyst for this film.  After suffering a tragedy Wade goes thru all of the stages of grief and has to figure out what is family….ugh, sorry that was a bad description.

 

Positive

 

The selection of music is as good here as the first film(so it trumps GOTG Vol. 2 there at least).  I really liked the action scenes and callbacks from the comics.  I believe I missed a couple and that alone is maybe a good reason enough to see the film again.

 

I really liked the action montage at the start of the film.  Really all of the action was pretty good.  It makes sense seeing that David Leitch also co-directed the 1st John Wick film and Atomic Blonde.

 

Once again Ryan Reynolds does well in the dramatic scenes of film.  When he had to turn on a dime from funny to serious he did great.  He joked a few times that this is for oscar consideration but I can see him winning one in the future.  If you care about that stuff anyway.

 

I really the soundtrack and the Deadpool theme X-Force remix.   

 

There is a joke that happens right before the 3rd act that is easily the funniest moment in the film.  As the scene continued it kept getting funnier.  All I’ll say is…baby legs…just baby legs.

 

Negative

 

The comedy isn’t as great as the first film.  I think part of this may have to be because of the director from the first film didn’t come back for…reasons.

 

Supporting characters like Domino get the occasional moment to shine but it just felt like there wasn’t much to them.  The X-Force movie is supposed to be going into production this fall so hopefully they will play a more major role there.

 

James Brolin was okay as Cable but not spectacular.  He actually got better later in the film.  When he had another person in the scene that he could bounce off of it was great.

 

RECOMMEND:  Yes.

 

Overall I’d give this film a B.  It’s not as strong as the first film.  The first half seemed to be edited a bit haphazardly however the 2nd half of the film is tighter and more cohesive.  The film just seemed to get stronger as it went on.  The opening tragedy did shock me and I thought it was going to be mostly forgotten later on but thankfully it played a big part in the films narrative.  I also liked how Wade had a believable character arc in the film.

 

THOUGHTS

 

Seriously is Zazzie Beats her real name?  Also am I the only one whenever I hear her name the first thing that comes to mind is the Japanese Anime “TRIGUN”?  

 

It looks like Juggernaut has received an upgrade from the X-3 film.  Also while the cgi was a bit wonky on him at times I did like the design and accent of Juggs.  The Juggernaut theme was hilarious as well.

 

I’ve only seen one trailer of the film and none of the movie reviews so I wasn’t spoiled for film(will except for Brad Pitts appearance, gee thanks internet!)so the fact that the Juggernaut is in the film was a welcome surprise.  However, isn’t everyone in the “ICE-BOX” suppose to be a mutant?  Juggs, isn’t a mutant.  Also how is it possible to keep him in storage?

 

It’s been a moment since I’ve seen the first film but is Wade a mutant?  Did those experiments that Killebrew and Ajax did in the first film jumpstart his powers?  Because that’s the only thing I can think of considering those inhibitor leashes cancel out only mutant abilities.

 

How does Deadpool’s powers work in this universe?  Sometimes he can heal instantly and other it takes awhile.  I know sometimes it’s done as a way to make a joke(see baby legs)but it does come off as inconsistent.  Example: The Juggernaut rips Wade in half he doesn’t die of course but the top part of his body regrows the bottom part.  Wouldn’t it be possible that the bottom part of him could regrow the top part?  also why did Domino only take his top part?  She could’ve just put both part of him together and he would’ve healed in minutes instead of I don’t know hours?  Days?  But I guess we wouldn’t have the funniest joke in the film then.

 

“Dear film-makers”: ahem…STOP TRYING TO BRING DUB STEP BACK!

 

Time Travel:  How does it even work?  It looks like that works under Back to the Future logic.  But if Cable wife and daughter(Hope I see what you did there movie!)are alive at the end wouldn’t that affect him being there?  Also the mid credits scene while very funny wouldn’t mean that 90% of this film didn’t happen then?  I know when it comes to the FOX X-Men universe they don’t care about continuity but this is important.  Also if most of this film didn’t happen does that mean that in the X-Force movie it will be everyone’s first time meeting up with each other again?

Friday
May182018

Star Wars Films That Should Be Made: Doctor Aphra

STAR WARS - DOCTOR APHRA

 

She’s Indiana Jones meets Han Solo, Star Wars style!  With “SOLO a Star Wars Story” film coming out I wanted to put something out in conjunction for it.  The thing is however when I first heard that this film was announced I wasn’t excited.  Part of the reason is because I feel that I don’t need to know anything about young Han Solo.  Another part is at the same time Lucasfilm announced the film they also threw out Yoda, Obi-Wan or a Bobba Fett as possible films(prequels).  It just seemed Lucasfilm was just being lazy by retreading on past established characters instead of creating new ones and expanding the Star Wars universe.  By only focusing on these well known characters of the past your actually making your universe smaller.

 

Now if there were going to make a movie based on a new character then the best one to use would be Doctor Aphra.  Currently appearing in her own series put out by MARVEL Comics,  Dr. Aphra was a child protege in archeology.  After the rise of the Galactic Empire and the death of her mother she joined the empire but after falling out of favor with them(primarily Darth Vader)she struck out on her own searching of lost relics and profiting off of them and scamming people along the way.

 

 

MISC

 

Chelli Lona Aphra:  skilled in “galactic history and ancient civilizations” since she was a child.  Here first appearance was in the series “STAR WARS: Darth Vader” #3.  Her series spun off from this(0-0-0 and BT-8 premiere in this issue as well)(Actually it spun off after #25).  After reading her series I was thinking that her intelligence, skill and ambition are her greatest strengths and weaknesses.  These both get her into trouble but also saves her by the nape of her neck.  A great moment that shows this is in “Darth Vader” #25.  She had to be crazy to take that risk and there isn’t anyway she could’ve known 100% it would turn out that way.   Then again maybe she would.  After all of her adventures she seems to have a fundamental understanding of everyone she runs into.  But not always as was seen recently with her current alliance with possibly the best characters in the series the murderous and possibly insane droids “0-0-0” and  B-T-1.

 

Best characters:  The murderous droids:  “Triple-Zero” & “Beetee One”.  I knew I was going to like them when Triple-Zero introduced himself like this:  “I’m 0-0-0 or Triple-Zero, if you prefer.  I’m a protocol droid, specialized in etiquette, customs, translation and torture, ma’am.” ….okay…  BT-1 is an assassin droid.  Two great tastes that go great together!  I find it interesting and a bit disturbing that when Dr. Aphra and Darth Vader became their new masters that 0-0-0 didn’t shake their hands because he thought he might accidentally electrocute and kill them!  The droids are untrustworthy (unless there’s something in it for them, which usually is extreme torture) and will try to find a loophole out of whatever their current situation is.  Hmm…just like Dr. Aphra. 

 

There also other good characters.  The resident wookie() who is basically a one eyed “likes to fight guy” but when you learn his background you realize he has a very valid reason to be as angry as he is.

 

SJW or not SJW:  Not.  In my “Isle of Dogs” review I talked about that term.  I’ve seen articles and videos throw her into that but it doesn’t make sense.  There doesn’t seem to be any political agenda in her creation or how she acts.  If I were to describe her character it would be a mix of Indiana Jones/ Han Solo with a dash of Catwoman(Selina Kyle) tossed in.

 

Positives:  Since she’s an archeologist the type of locations she visits and can visit in the future are almost limitless.  The series takes place during the original series so we get to see her interact with the that cast.  It’s fun to see it.  During this everyone has their own moment so while Aphra the main character she doesn’t dominate them.  She’s not overpowered.  Her only special ability is reading the situation and people and being greedy.  So when she’s facing off against a more skilled fighter she can’t just pull some special skill out of her butt to win the day.  She has to be clever.

 

 

Potential Problems:  The only issue I have is that this is yet another story that takes place during the 1st trilogy.  Even though all the comics prior to 2015 aren’t canon anymore this still feel like a retread.  It also doesn’t help that a number of the new series still take place during this timeframe.  If Doctor Aphra were adapted into a film then her best chance at success would be in a different time period.  If it was decided to keep during the 1st trilogy then Dr. Aphra’s adventures would have to be animated since the original cast has either aged out of their roles or passed away.  I say set her story during the current trilogy(Yeah I know the current comics are cannon but hey, I’m sure Lucasfilm can make an exception here right?).  It would be interesting to see her interactions with various people of the 1st Order and the new generation of heroes.  This would give certain characters a good kick in the pants.  Also if you want to keep here current series canon for the film just have her go on an adventure where she is forced into the future.  

 

Problem solved.

 

Final Thoughts

 

So a fun smart, resourceful character that is the cause of all of her troubles and successes.  Plus she has a difficult relationship with her serving parent and makes bad choices when it comes to love.  What’s not to like.  Dr. Aphra is a well rounded character that would fit in the movie universe.  Plus she’s a woman and this good more opportunities to female actors(she’s also asian or what passes as asian in the Star Wars Universe so more diversity is always a plus.  Also because of this a film about her would do well box office wise in asian countries especially in China(which film studios want a piece of even though the studios only get a 25/75 split)).  Dr. Aphra also solves the problem the current trilogy of films has with the new female characters.  She actually lives up to her billing(unlike Captain Phasma)and she isn’t a character where everything seems to come too easily.  Why she can do what she does(and knows what she knows)is shown and better explained(unlike with Rey).  She’s a likable but extremely flawed character. 

 

What more could a fan ask for?

Monday
May072018

MOVIE LIST 2018 ONGOING

1.  Proud Mary

2.  Black Panther

3.  Early Man

4. Isle Of Dogs

5.  Avengers Infinity War

6.  Deadpool 2

7. Solo A Star Wars Story