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AQUAMAN Movie Review


Origin Story?  Yes…kinda.  It starts off giving us the early years of Arthur his dad and mom but then about after 10mins we’re into the modern day.  A few times through the film they do show flashbacks but that’s it.  So don’t worry about this entire film being an origin film.


Enjoyable?  Definitely.  


If you liked Jason Momoa’s character from Justice League but wondered if he could lead a film.  Yup.  His Arthur is a relatable character that understands his weakness and at times displays some great intelligence.  James Wan several times very creatively segued between scenes.  I hope more directors take note.  Everyone one acted well.  The cgi for the money scene is well worth going to see it in 3D(I didn’t see it in 3D but I can tell this film was made with 3D in mind).


Any Surprises?  A Couple.


1.  The villain isn’t killed by the end of the film and another might be redeemed in future films.  

2.  One of the villains(Black Manta) has a very valid reason for hating and wanting to kill Arthur.

3.  I was expecting another sacrifice to happen at the end of the film.

4.  I kept thinking “Okay when is Willem DeFoe going to backstab everyone.” Didn’t happen.

5.  I enjoyed Arthur’s and Mera’s relationship.  Especially considering after reading the comics and no what is in front of them.


Any annoyances?  A couple.  


1. A few jump scares(it makes since since director James Wan has a history in horror)  


2. While for the most part the cgi is great there are a few times it just failed.  But it’s when it fails that’s the most baffling.  It’s not during fight scenes or when we see Atlantis.  It’s when someone is standing on a cliff or people standing on a boat.  Those scenes look like really bad stage sets. 


3. During the getting to know you or falling in love scene the music playing sounded like the lovable whimsical theme that always plays in modern Hallmark romance movies.


4. I think the continuity is a bit messed up after seeing Justice League last year.  Based on this film this is Arthur and Mera’s first meeting but in Justice League they seem to know each other(They even reference Justice League with in their first meeting in this film).


Any easter eggs?  Yes!


I won’t go into spoilers but if you know your comic book covers then that VERY LAST SCENE(before the credits)has Jason Momoa do one of Aquaman’s iconic poses.


Any Negatives?  Not really.  


I’m sure people are going to say that this film follows a formula but so what.  All films follow a formula.  The key is did the filmmakers execute it well and I think Aquaman did.  After seeing “Man of Steel”, “Wonder Woman” and now “Aquaman” I believe Warner Bros(or Warner Media) biggest mistake was releasing Justice League last year.  They should have release all of single films of the Justice League members first and then the team film(hmm I need to write or make a video on that in the future…).  Because it’s evident in these 3 films that time and care was used in making them.  As well as trusting the vision of the director and working with them.  


Hopefully Warner Media has learned it’s lesson.  I can’t wait for the Billy Batson/Captain Marvel Movie now(and no, I’m NEVER CALLING HIM SHAZAM!  To me that will always be the wizards name!!!).


Thar B Spoilers Review: Nutcracker Fantasy (1979) Script

The Nutcracker Fantasy 1979


Last year for the holidays I ventured into the “Realm of the Forgotten” again and talked about the forgotten oscar winning tv animated short film version of “A Christmas Carol”.  How did that work out(shows pathetic view number,  play sad sax music)?  Uh yeah…well since I’m a Taurus and that makes me a bit of a knuckle head I’m going to try again.  This time with “The Nutcracker”!  Well, it makes a bit of sense.  A recent adaptation of the story just came and went in the theaters last month.  Plus when you think nutcracker you think of the holidays right?  This version however is a tad different.  In what way?  How about someone known as the Rag Man turning kids into mice if they don’t go to bed on time?




First some backstory.  Author E. T. A. Hoffman originally wrote a (short) story in 1816 called “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” which followed a young girl and her toy nutcracker battling a heinous Mouse King as well as said nutcracker whisking her to a enchanted land inhabited by dolls.  In 1882 composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky(along with Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov and Alexandre Dumas(he adapted the story)into a ballet only called “The Nutcracker”).  *In 1882 a ballet was made based off of the story.*


The story has been adapted who knows how many times since then.  The most well known versions done however are probably a segment from “Fantasia”, “Nutcracker The Motion Picture”(1986), Holiday performances held across the world to some of the most eyebrow raising ones were (ex.) “Care Bears Nutcracker Suite”(1988), “The Nutcracker in 3D”(2010), “Barbie in the Nutcracker”(2001) to this version “Nutcracker Fantasy”(1979) and that’s the one that I’m tackling today.


This is an odd take on the story.  It uses some to the framework of the initial tale and them makes a run for it.  Also this is a stop motion animated film.


The film opens with an adult Clara recounting the tale(play some narration).  Welp!  I guess I know that she’s going to make it to the end then!  We’re introduced immediately to “The Evil Ragman” and it looks like he graduated from “CREEPER SCHOOL” with honors!  He creeps around looking for any kids that stay up too late and turns them into mice and then tosses them into his sack.  A couple questions: 1. Why ONLY KIDS?  2.  What, are the parents just fine with this practice?  What happens when they come in the morning with their kids missing?  Are they just going to shrug their shoulders and say “That brat got just what he deserved!”?  Also where is the FBI, MIB or BPRD when you really need them?! 


(02:47) I find it interesting that they call this Nutcracker Fantasy.  Isn’t that redundant?   Of course it’s a fantasy.  Since when have living toys and magical creepers not been a fantasy(ohh…yeah…)?  Anna is told to go to bed by here aunt but she’s too excited because her childhood friend Fritz is coming to visit tomorrow.  (03:32)It’s around this time I’ve noticed a couple of things.  One, Anna’s image of Fritz looks like a bishonen character from Utena!  Two, the design of all of the characters is off putting.  I didn’t know why at first but now I do.  No one blinks their eye’s!  Every character has the same thousand mile stare.  There is also a lack of movement with the faces.  Because of this the characters have a disturbing feel to them.  I haven’t heard a lot about this film but what I have heard is that it’s crazy.  I’m thinking the appearance of the puppets has something to do with that.


Well after Clara claims there ain’t no Ragman and I’m adult she’ll stay up as long as she wants(play lonely island song)she then like a scaredy cat she hops in bed and closes her eyes(?)!(04:31)  Wait, why after almost 5 mins did the animators decide now was the time to show animation?  Sigh, you know if I keep asking questions this review will be one hour long.  Which isn’t good since the film is only 1 hour 13 mins long!


Over the next few mins Uncle Drosselmeyer does his best ragman impersonation to creep out Clara, argues with his wife and just acts weird.  It’s here where Clara get’s the titular nutcracker(why was he shot creepily at a dutch angle at (07:00)?!)during which Uncle Drosselmeyer explains that while he is a clock maker his true love is doll making(he also states that something isn’t right about the doll he gave her).  Clara’s reaction to this is your 8th and 9th nightmare for tonight.  What’s worse about this horrifying image is they reuse this shot about 5 seconds later(08:09)!  After Uncle Drosselmeyer acts creepy one more time Clara falls asleep via a 1970’s rock ballad (09:30).  The song is pretty good(even though it explains everything that is happening on the screen at the time!) Unfortunately the song ends and Clara wakes up noticing that some rotten mice just kidnapped her doll.


She very stilted-ly chases after them.  She saves the doll but it looks like the mice got away and then this happens(12:10).  What the hell is going on?!  Who is this?(play We are siamese if you please)  Okay just how far are we into this film.  13:10(ding sound effects)  I’m not sure I’m going to make it the next hour.  I know there both different types of film but I’m starting to get “Abar The First Black Superman” flashbacks now.  Okay so I don’t know if I’m tripping or if the film is here.  This, these ladies(?) order the mice to get the doll and suddenly the nutcracker comes to life and this leads to the laziest most anticlimactic fight in history(13:35).  During this Clara falls asleep and wakes up with the nutcracker gone.  So we’re not going to see the conclusion to the fight then?  Sigh, fine!


(15:08)  Okay with the playing of the nutcracker and the aunt walking like this towards Clara I defy anyone to tell me this isn’t a horror film!  It seems Clara is sick now so the aunt goes to get a doctor and I really didn’t think I’d see the day were the Filmation and Hanna Barbera practice of limited animation would make it’s way to stop motion but, man(16:17)!  So anyway Clara falls asleep and she seems to be having visions from the previous night.  She climbs into the downstairs clock when she thinks she sees her uncle(18:00).  She continues to chase his image until she winds up in a castle I think and in a room with pictures of her.  A bunch of women and a king greet her and says that she’s his daughter named Mary(22:11).  The king doesn’t take her presence too well.  Okay the king gives Clara the lowdown about what’s happened.  That 2 headed rat witch thing from earlier is name Morphea and she went to war with the king.  He lost because he soldiers are wind up toys and they unwound themselves.  DESIGN FLAW!!!  How did he not see that happening from the beginning?!(24:30)  As part an agreement the Queen insisted on an arranged marriage with her son and his daughter.  He said NAH and she very sensibly turned his daughter into a mouse and put her to sleep to this day.  (25:43) Okay so after seeing Fritz as a soldier to the doll kingdom Clara is just not going to say or do anything?  Really?  Oh, brother.


Then for the next 2 mins what I can only describe as nonsensical nonsense occurs.  (27:58)After a bunch of random things happening finally the Russian stereotype states that he has a plan to wake the princess.  AH!  So that’s what’s supposed to be going on?  Then what was all of the dancing and a robot cat chasing a toy mouse for?!  Was there an actual script to this movie or was everything done in a stream of consciousness way?  Don’t believe me?  For the next several minutes we have characters wanting to chop off peoples heads, say sonnets, do explosive experiments and run around kissing everyone in order to wake up and change the princess back to normal(32:00)!  


This silliness goes own for about another 2 minutes and the kings response to these so called wise men plans?  “There is no hope.”(32:57)  That is probably the saneness thing said in this film so far!  Okay so we’re 35mins in I think we now finally have the plot for the film.  To return the princess back to normal.  One question though, where is the Ragman?  He’s been gone for over 30mins.  If he plays no part in the story they why introduce him as the main antagonist in the first place?!  Later on Clara is seen walking in the dark streets when she is acosted by a creepy man in black asking “What are you doing out here little girl?”(35:57)  When even a creeper is questioning your sanity then you really know you have problems!  Fortunately he doesn’t do anything to her but after she tells him the story of the princess he tells her to find the gypsy fortune teller and say “Queen of Time” to her(37:30)duh, Duh DUH!!! Uh, no I don’t know what that phrase is supposed to do.


Clara greets the Queen of Time as well as some choppy editing!  The Queen says that she might not be able to to help her and then shows Clara Morpheme and the mice.  Their having a ball and she promises her son(?) that he will marry the princes.  The boy then proceeds to french a picture of the princess!  Ewwwwwww…!(40:19)  Okay so we have about 33 mins left in the film and still haven’t seen the Ragman return.  What was the point of him then?!  Well anyway Clara finds out she has to break Morphea’s “shell of darkness” to break the curse.  Later on Clara tells Franz(who she seems to be not surprised that he’s here)the info so he’s off to war now(43:03).  I know the intent for the end of this scene is supposed to be an emotional goodbye the the acting is as wooden and choppy as the marionettes!  


(44:50)We then get a scene with the King’s army getting wound up to go into battle.  I think the king is off his rocker.  He admitted earlier that his troops lost before because they became unwound.  Now he’s doing the same thing again?  Plus it looks like their made of wood, KINDLING!  How successful of an army can you have if an entire regiment can be taken out by the “little match girl”?  Elsewhere Queen Morphea and the rat pack are having a grand ole time.  The party is intercut awkwardly with the nutcrackers marching.  I believe someone forgot to point in their marching theme at the 45:25 mark.  That’s a weird way to drink alcohol but hey whatever works right?


The Nutcrackers finally arrive and begin their assault(46:15).  Their trying to blow up the shadow shell.  Okay I know it’s supposed to be industructible but is it wise for the queen just to have it out in the open like that?  The mice make a successful counter attack by using recycled animation to knock the nutcrackers down.  So let me get this straight.  The kings army prior to this film was beaten by coming unwound, is losing here because someone can tap them and make them fall over and a lit match could take them all out?  Why is the king still in power?  IMPEACH HIM PLEASE!  The only way he could come up with a more pathetic plan is with all of his soldiers were made of cheese!   Look at this nonsense!  Now a human just got defeated by getting tripped.  It’s as if he doesn’t have any object permanence(48:05).  So what is Franz big comeback plan?  To rewind the nutcrackers.  Is everyone in the Kings army this stupid(yep!)?


Okay just what the hell is going on here?  I think Morphea just unleashed a cat and is surprised when it attacked her and the mice.  Clara sneaks into the palace and Franz takes out the shell but Morphea transforms him into a nutcracker for the rest of his life(the transformation takes about a minute for some reason) and the princess is turned back to normal(49:48).  Whew, that’s a lot how long did that scene take?  What under a minute?  This movie isn’t playing around.  


Sometime later at the kings palace the princess is dancing with herself in front of a mirror(51:00).  Everyone seems to be happy but uh, Franz is an unmoving nutcracker and didn’t you earlier Mr. King say that if he defeated Morphea and turned Princess Mary back that he would marry her? (51:50) Okay now the king mentions him but wonders where he is.  So basically once Mary turned back the king had a party before the general of his army returned and give them any news of what happened? (face palm) The film has 22mins left so I’m going to assume that the 2ndary or 3rdary plot is Clara trying to get Franz turned back to normal.  Clara returns and gives everyone the sad new about Franz.  Princess Mary doesn’t take it well and refuses to marry a doll(wait aren’t there real people that have married dolls?).  Clara tries to convince Mary by saying “don’t knock it until you try it”.  Mary counters with “Well why don’t you marry it?”  (52:59)Huh, so did this film inspire millions of kids and Pee Wee Herman with that phrase?  


The princess then proceeds to go I’m to pretty for all of this now everybody let’s go back to the party!  So Clara and and inanimate Franz are on their own.  Just how is Clara supposed to get back to the real world?  By WAKING UP! (Shhh you!)(54:24)  Clara makes her way back to the “Queen of Time” to help Franz but she just tells Clara to look into yourself and then disappears.  Ugh…thanks for nothing lady!  Then for about 4 seconds we get a doo-wop chorus?!(56:00)  For the next 2 mins Clara wonders in the dark why some I think 1970’s folk music plays.  Also one of the injured mice is stalking her?  After getting minimal help from a puppeteer (who refers her to see the time keeper)she meets the time keeper who tells her love will save Franz.  She doesn’t get it(01:01:30).  In order for him to be transformed back a sacrifice must be made.  “Equivalent Exchange”(Did Hiromu Arakawa get inspiration from this film?!)?


After learning that only true loves sacrifice can transform Franz back this happens(01:03:00).  Okay I’m not sure what’s going on here but I will admit the non stop motion animation looks impressive.  It’s the most creative use of animation I’ve seen in this film.  It also reminds me of the experimental use in the animation medium in the 1970’s.  This scene would mean more to me if I believed in Clara’s love for Franz or in their relationship in general.  Clara is then transported to the land of the happy times and for the first time since the opening of the film music from the ballet is played(or rather a variation of it)(01:05:00).  Are they about to get married.  This was all a dream because Clara wakes up with that gimpy mouse trying to snatch the nutcracker away from her(01:06:30).  That mouse is Morphea’s son and he wants to kill Franz.  So is Morphea dead then?  After a brief wrestling match Clara sacrifices herself to save Franz but she has that glow and this happens(01:08:00 - 01:08:31).  She then proceeds to wake up.  This was all a fever dream.  Fritz arrives and Uncle quotes Walt Disney “Dreams can come true”(or paraphrase).  After a couple of birds make out the film ends with Fritz and Clara staring awkwardly into each others creepily dead eyes and they lived happily ever after.


Wait! Franz looks to be a teenager(about 16-17) and Clara is probably about 8-10.  Quick somebody call the cops!  Also Where was the Ragman?!  You could have cut him out and nothing would’ve been lost.






The film tries to do something different with the Nutcracker story.

The film has good to great actors involved.

Some of the songs were pretty good.  Especially when their sung by Christopher Lee which reminds me - 

Christopher Lee is the “real” MVP of this film.  Between singing and doing voices for multiple characters this made the film bearable to sit thru.  That said he wasn’t perfect.  He didn’t differentiate his voices enough between each role.  He sounded like Christopher Lee in every one.  

Some of the effects and action scenes are good.



Bad acting.  Stiff and wooden(NATCH!) many characters lack any personality or feeling.


Choppy editing.  OY! Repeating footage as well as awkward cuts in scenes were head scratching.  Did the filmmakers run out of money or time for this film?

Doesn’t follow the original story or ballet.  Which wouldn’t be a problem except it’s obvious they then didn’t have enough story to make for an entire film


Bad writing & storytelling. Padding out a barely more than an hour long film.  It looks like they only wanted to use the nutcracker as a framework and nothing else but then realized that they didn’t have any idea to make up the rest of the film’s running time.


Bad character models, design and animation.  There is a creepy feeling to the film some of which I’m sure is intended but also unintended.  The blank thousand mile stare.  The overly stiff movements.  The fact that nearly everyone has the same face/expression ALL THE TIME!  I asked myself why did this fail but the Rankin Bass shows/films succeed?  For one the Rankin Bass have a sense of fun and wonder.  Their stories are paced out well.  Also the design of their puppets are more expressive.  The characters are still stiff(they are wood after all) but with there overly exuberant movements and felt or cotton or cloth that makes up their mustaches and eyebrows they move around giving them a feeling of humanity.  That’s it!  This film lacks humanity.  Also there are times when characters are supposed to be talking out loud but their mouths never move.


Recommend:  Oddly, Yes.


This is a terrible film however I do recommend it for only 1 type of person.  The person that that claims that there isn’t any truly strange, weird or bad holiday films then they need to see this.  I think it really says something that the studio that made this since then hasn’t made another stop motion film.  Oh yeah that reminds me do you know what studio made this film?  SANRIO.  If that sounds vaguely familiar that maybe because their the company that puts out “HELLO KITTY”.  The mind boggles that a company that has that as their mascot made this.  But maybe it shouldn’t.  I did some checking and have found out that some of their other films around this time(their 2D animated) are a bit weird but in a way completely different from this film.


Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse Is It The Best Film This Year?

About a month ago after seeing the final trailer for “Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse” I stated how the animation style could be a game changer for theatrical cgi animation.  After seeing the film I still feel that way but was the movie any good though?


STORY: This story was “inspired” by the Spider-Verse storyline from a few years ago.  After an event with this worlds spider-man Miles get’s bitten by a radioactive spider and gains spider-mans powers(as well as a bit of something extra).  Various spider people start dropping be because of an incident with the Kingpin and the super collider.  All of the Spider-People have to stop Kingpins mysterious plan for the super collider before they as well as their individual universe is wiped out FOREVER!!!!




Stan Lee - I didn't cry during his passing because he lived a long fulfilling life but I have to admit I did get misty with his cameo in this film.  Small nit pick they should've just ended that scene after he said his line and not then pan over to the sign. 


Miles Morales - I believe this is the best iteration of Miles I've seen yet.  Even better that his early years written by Brian Michael Bendis.  A couple things that the film did was differntiate him from Peter Parkers character.  He isn't as socially awkward(we see he has friends from his previous school)but he still has insecruities kids(heck adults)have.  Also while it's brief they do play up the fact that he is part Puerto Rican. He always has been in the comics but it always seemed to be lip service.  So I'm glad we got what we got.  


Visuals - Character models, Character Designs & animation.  Pop Art stylings. I went more into this last month so I'll be brief here.  This is the most creative use of cgi I've seen in years.  While it maybe asking too much I just hope that animation studios will stretch their muscles and try to be more creative instead of all the cgi films that come out yearly looking the same.  Also I like how pop art was mixed into the textures of the film.  I don't think I've ever seen that before.


Miles Purpose - The filmmakers set up a valid believable reason why an inexperienced Miles has to be the one to save the day versus the more experienced heroes.  Hopefully more filmmakers will take note of this.


Story - Not bad.  Like previous in the series this was a coming of age story.  


Opening Credits - That has to be the most inventive and colorful opening credits I've seen in awhile.


Music - Most of the soundtrack and score isn’t generic and very distinct.  The music worked in the film.


Voice - It’s good.


The Year of Spider-Man - A relaunch of his comic series(ugh hopefully it'll get better).  A PS4 well received game and now this movie.  It's really nice that after many years we are FINALLY getting an ADULT Peter Parker in mass popular culture.  Despite what people think Peter's been out of high school sine the 1960's!




Visuals - There is a constant blurriness in the backgrounds and sides of the film.  There is an critic that pointed this out recently and while I think he may have gone a little bit over board I do mostly agree with him that there are times that the film came across as unfinished.  It didn't drag me out too much and I still was able to enjoy the film.


Characters - While the acting and writing is good some of the characters don’t get enough time for us to care about them(ex. Uncle Arron and SPYDR).


Music - While it works some of the songs may be too specific for it's time for rewatchability in coming years.  However just for now it works in context of the film.


Kingpin - I understand the Kingpin's motivation but I don't think enough time was focused on it.


Recognition - One thing that disappointed me was during the end credits I didn't see(unless I missed it)the list of the prominent creators over the years for these characters.  The previous superhero films did that(I think even VENOM did that but I can't remember much about that film).  If their not in the film then that's just wrong.  It's a slap in the face to all the hard work these men and women did and it should be recognized.


Randomness - Just some thoughts that went thru my mind while watching the film.


Aunt May - There was an assumption by fans that Aunt May would be the Madame Web character.  She is in a way but not really.  Her character and home was used a hub for all of the characters


Voice Acting - All of the actors were fine.  Nick Cage between Mandy, Teen Titans must be having the time of his life this year.  That said some characters can be seen as glorified cameos due to the lack of dialog.  Was it really smart to hire a celebrity voice for a couple of minutes screen time when you could hire a professional voice actor who could at least do as well and do multiple characters as well?  After all 2 days from now who will remember what celebrity was in this film?


The Character of Dr. Liz reminds me of celebrity chef Carla Hall.  Was she the inspiration for the design of the character?


I didn't know the Scorpion was Hispanic.


If you look at the names on the phone list their comic book creators related to these characters.  Ex. Dan Slott, Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli.


While the after credits scene seems pointless but funny it may have a greater importance for the future(see what I did there?).  That scene can set up a film for that character also imagine if in their film they meet previous animated Spider-Men like the 1990's version, Spider-Man and His Amazing friends, Spectacular Spider-Man and so on.


Jack Johns plays a Peter Parker in the film but not the only one.  Chris Pine plays one briefly(per the credits).


At the end of the film does Miles still have that comedy mallet?


In the future Miles be thinking in comic book thought boxes?


Will Miles also continue seeing visions of what the spider was doing before it bit him?


Recommend:  Yes.  


Despite some small blemishes this is a really good movie that introduces the general audience to a more recent character or a few(Peter Porker has been around since the 1980’s).  Hopefully people will be drawn to him and them and want to see more of them and pick up the source material containing them.  Okay, okay that’s asking too much.  How about this, maybe this will get people interested enough in the character that this film is profitable and to have another film where he solo’s without the help of the other Spider/People?  


So is this the best Spider-Man film ever?  Well that’s tough to say.  Usually nostalgia googles play a part a lot of times and other times the newest is seen as an improvement over what’s come before(See Spider-Man 2, The Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man Homecoming).  With some distance we’ll probably know more.  Okay but is this the best animated and/or film this year?  Well I haven’t seen as many films this year than last year but I would say that this is my favorite film of the year…if I hadn’t seen another film about 2 days before this.  That film is called Maquia When The Promise Flower Blooms and it was released earlier this year.


When The Promise Flower Blooms is a fantasy film that follows Maquia who hales from a race of immortals who stop aging once they become teenagers.  One day their attacked and she's separate from her people she finds a baby that is being clutched by his dead mother and the rest of the film follows their relationship as he grows older but she stays the same age.  We also see how they react to the world happening around them.


Both Spider-Verse and Flowers have great lead characters in Miles(Spider-Man) and Maquia And Ariel(Flowers).  The best parts of both films are the relationships between parent and child.  I'll admit some of my most emotional experiences in film this year was Miles interacting with his dad during the 3rd act and Maquia And Ariel in the climax of "Flowers".


Each film also are amazing to look at.  I would give "Flowers" an edge here because while some of the cgi was noticeable it was as bad as the blurriness in "Spider-Verse".


I think overall all Flowers is a better overall film but Spider-Verse is still very good.  I can't believe that my 2 favorite films so far this year just as last year are such different animated film.  Last year it was "Your Name." and "A Silent Voice".  I'm just so happy that there animated films of such high quality that are also so varied.  I just wish the general public would be more open and try more than just the average Hollywood animated film.


Oh, well...


Superhero 101 Profile Miles Morales



Hi, welcome to “Superhero 101(Profiles)” a series where I give you the most basic info on a (character) superhero that you need to know before diving into their film, tv series, movie(or comic books even!) and etc.  So this time let’s look at Miles Morales.


Miles Morales

Created by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli.  (He first appeared in)1st Appearance Ultimate Fallout #4 August 2011


Ethnicity: African American/Puerto Rican


Parents: POST SECRET WARS(2015) Father is a former SHIELD agent.  Mother is an administrator at a local hospital.


Originally premiered after the death of peter parker in the ultimates.  Was brought into the main 616 Marvel Universe because of the Secret Wars event(2015 version).  Not to be confused with the 1980’s Secret Wars series(which at the time were created to sell toys.).  Anyway the event saw the destruction of the Ultimate Universe.  But something interesting happened.  The Ultimate and 616 universes merged to form one universe. Think of it like the Convergence event in DC comics from 2016 (except that event also brought back the pre New 52 continuity but kept the New 52 continuity.  If that sounds confusing it’s because it is and after all this time their still trying to fix it(see The Doomsday Clock series)).  Except it seems in this case the only hold over from the previous universe is Miles and his immediate circle.


Powers: Basic Spider-Man Powers: Superhuman Strength(10 tons), Wall Crawling, Spider Sense.

His own specific powers:  Camouflage/Invisibility, Venom Bite, Strike, Blast.  The bite is he can paralyze people by touching them.  It is conductive.  Ex. if Miles and say the Scorpion were holding oh I don’t know a 6 foot hoagie, Miles can send the blast thru it to the Scorpion.  The Venom Blast or Mega Venom Blast is the same except he fires it out of his whole body.  It’ll take out just about everyone in the room.  the negative is it leaves him vulnerable to attack as he is weak and dizzy right afterwards. 


Web Shooters:  Shield issued.  Ghanke (his best friend) has created the web fluid for him in the past.


Love Life:  His first girlfriend Kate Bishop betrayed him to villains(her father was part of Hydra).  In an alternate universe he hooked up and got married to Gwen Stacy/Spider-Gwen/Ghost-Spider and yet for some reason at their wedding they continued to wear their masks(?).  At the end of his most recent series he is kinda sorta with Laura Baumgardner/Bombshell a former villain now hero.


Original Spider-Verse?  In the first Spider-Men mini-series Peter falls into the Ultimate universe.  Also with teaming up with Miles he meets younger versions of Mary Jane and a still alive Gwen Stacy.  At the end of the series once Peter returns to the 616 universe he finds out that there is a Miles Morales existing on our earth.  The series ended with a shocked expression on his face.  This plot point isn’t picked up until…the 2nd Spider-Men mini-series(it took 5 years for it to happen, yeeesh!).  Miles and Peter team up again and the face off against MILES MORALES!  It seems this worlds Miles is a criminal.  The story ends in SPOiLER! THE ULTIMATE UNIVERSE STILL EXISTS!…sigh…fine whatever!


Original Response To Miles:  Not good.  Sure there were some vaguely (and not some vague)racist comments about it.  But one of the reasons(or excuses)people had for hating him(even before his series began)was that this was: 

1.  Forced diversity  

2.  Yet another (younger)character taking over for a more established character WAH!  


As far as forced diversity.  Maybe maybe not.  Stats show that more than white men and white teenagers read comics.  The groups that read it weren’t being represented and should.  Is this also just a way to more people to buy more comics too.  Sure just as it is to have several monthly Batman and Spider-Man titles.  But diversity should take time and shouldn’t be rushed.  What if “people” aren’t ready?  Well that sounds all nice and all but if you wait until people are ready then positive changes will never happen.


As far as replacing an establish character with a younger one or one of a different gender or ethnic group well…everyone knows that it’s temporary.  Then why do it?  Why not just create the character but give them a entirely different identity? 

Oh well that’s simple, because no one will buy the issues.  Fans of various media would like to think that their are more open minded and risk taking than they are but in reality they enjoy the same old same old just with some minor tweaks.  Ex.  Remember how people keep talking about having Idris Elba as James Bond and how it would be a good change  and such and such?  Well a couple years ago he played a government agent and globed hopped a bit and no one saw the film. 

It’s the same in comic books.  When a new character is introduced that doesn’t have any relationship with any major character that book FAILS.  At least when a new character takes over for an existing one for awhile the readership will notice them and when they do finally become their own thing then there is a greater chance at them being successful.


What makes Miles different from Peter and or better?  In some ways Miles is a more grounded character than Peter.  While he is smart(he did make it into that fancy school and all)he’s not a genius like Peter is…yet.


THAR B Spoilers Movie Review: He-Man & She-Ra Secret of the Sword V1


A theatrical movie made to keep the He-Man cash cow going that also retcons the series somewhat?  


THE STORY:  Per IMDB: “Prince Adam is sent to the world of Etheria to find his long abducted sister Adora, and awaken her to her own destiny.”


The movie begins with a jazzy musical opening(play a bit) it kinda reminds me of the “Never-ending Story” theme.  Anyway we then we skip to the sorceress dreaming about being a model(maybe she’s born with, maybe it’s mabelline!).  Actually she’s having a a dream of some guy stealing a baby.  She’s awaken by a sword hovering over her.  Hmm…Sigmund Freud would have a field day with this scene!  This leads to her telepathically contacting Prince Adam to tell him to come to Castle Greyskull and not a moment too soon!  With that terrible bowl stirring discipline he’ll suffer from sever carpal tunnel syndrome in the next 5 mins!!! 


Okay I find this next scene questionable.  The sorceress tells Adam to take this sword go thru a magical door that just appeared out of nowhere and find who this sword belongs too.  When he tries to get more info from her she basically says shut up and do it and the fate to the world is at stake.  BALDERDASH!  This is a silly way to start a mission!  That’s like saying hey here’s an atom bomb and I want you to go into United Nations to see who it belongs too!  What you want more info?  Well kick bricks son!  It’s pretty obvious that she knows more than what’s going on and I don’t see how just giving Adam more info will hinder the mission.  Another B.S. statement (was this “I have no power outside of Castle Greyskull.”)she made was that she would do it herself but she doesn’t have any power outside of the castle.  Except I remember an episode where she did just that.  Hmm…then again that may have just been from the 2000’s remake.  Okay, fine film until I can prove otherwise “I’ll allow it!”(Mills Lane)


Anyway once Cringer and Adam arrive to this new land instead of starting their search they decide to grab some chow from a very questionable restaurant. (05:45)(play SW cantina theme and or Obi-Wan’s scum and villainy quote)  (05:56) Okay I know this guy couldn’t possibly be a villain based off of that absurd mustache!  Question: Just how is Adam going to pay for his and Cringer’s dinner?  Will they dine and dash?  Will they use some weird universal currency that I don’t know about?  I NEED ANSWERS MOVIE!!!


Okay, the hordesmen enter the restaurant and act like they own the place and want some food and drink.  Uh, how we never see a hordes-mans face in this movie.  Which makes fluffy(or whatever his name is is)statement earlier a bit weird(“The only time I’ve seen a hordes-man smile is when he’s doing something awful to someone.)06:00.  Once the owner of the finds out that Cringer can talk he gives a very creepy look….ewww…  Well, after mustache lad and Adam literally pull the rug from under these dum dums Mr. Stache takes Adam to the “Whispering Woods”(10:38)Meanwhile Hordak is getting an update on what’s going on.  (Before I go on I gotta admit the backgrounds and of Hordak's headquarters looks good.  The design reminds me of something Jack Kirby would come up with the “New Gods”(Apocalypse).)   He’s alerted of Adam’s presence.  Hmmm…with the design of Katra were the creators going for the Batman’s 66 Ertha Kitt Catwoman?  Heck she even sounds like her!  (Play 11:22) So he sets up a trap and ends his speech by showcasing his toys laser blast feature(11:55).


At the same time Adam, Cringer and what’s his name make it to the rebellion headquarters and are treated by a blueberry!  After getting oggeled by Glimmer their leader(who show’s more emotion here than she(and most of the characters for that matter)show’s for the rest of the film!) we meet the Orko of this world Madam Razz.(13:33) play Jetson’s Jane stop this crazy thing clip).  (13:55)You can tell this is supposed to be a comedy relief character when you see a couple of characters taking a bit on her crashing into a tree!  Well per Madam Razz because of the incident stache and Adam started the horde took a town as slaves.  Okay before going on I don’t want this to become a thing but…where the animators overworked?  Or did they just not care(?) because at (14:25 - 14:30) I think Glimmer is supposed to be upset but she has the same blank expression nearly every character has exhibited so far in the film.  Heck, the only time she showed any emotion was when she got a boner looking at Adam the first time!


The resistance go and stake out Beast Island and spring their attack.  It doesn’t go well.  (17:17)Okay who is this guy and how is this scene not a meme?!  17:49 wait his name is sucker face and he’s stealing energy from her?  How would the audience know?  It just looks like Glimmer is participating in some new age-y massage therapy.  Well all looks lost until Adam does this. (18:05) okay I know it’s a joke by now but really no one see’s him turn into He-Man?  (Grumble wah wah speaking: “Maybe once he pulls out the sword he’s transported to an alternate dimension and then transforms but once he’s he-man he comes back out of it?)Uh….sure let’s go with that.  (18:30)Oh now we see physical evidence of sucker face sucking energy.  He-Man does his thing during which he  delivers a particular bad burn(19:05 - 19:18).  During this Battle Cat chases some pussy(Play booing).  Okay He-Man takes on Force Captain Adora and all goes well until that other sword starts glowing showing her in it’s reflection.  He get’s distracted and taken out.  (20:55- 20:57)Okay this moment doesn’t make any sense!  The hordes-man shadow cool but the shadow doesn’t show the fire stick(or whatever it is)that he uses to take out He-Man.  This movies continuity is ridiculous and I get a feeling it’s going to get worse isn’t it.


Despite all that I think the resistance was successful.  We don’t see anyone that they saved so I can’t be sure.  So after a commercial break(I am not kidding)the gang are back in Whispering Woods trying to find he-man.  Wait weren’t they just near him during the fight.  Couldn’t they have had someone follow him?  Or maybe he’s still in the location you just left?  Sigh…


Well after an unfunny joke Madam Razz conjures up a ship for them to save He-Man who’s in prison on Beast Island.  Meanwhile on Beast Island He-Mans chained up in what I assume kryptonite(based on the weird green glow) and chats with Adora(23:00 - 24:31).  Long story short she believes the horde is good and he challenges her beliefs(play some dialogue).  It’s actually a good scene.  I just can imagine with that smirk on his face he’s thinking “GOT’EM!”


(24:34)Well the resistance makes their way to Beast Island but run into Hordak’s ship and he shoots them down but for reasons only know to him he doesn’t bother checking to see if their actually DEAD!(25:25)(play what a maroon(or moron)clip) (26:03) See I told you!  (26:50)It’s not really gone into but I find the relationship between Horde-ak and Adora interesting.  I get a bit of a parental vibe from him.  I’m surprised that this wasn’t played up more in the tv series.  We then find the gang just strolling in the forest when they get attacked by a rock monster(?).  Of course Madam Razz being the orko of this film makes things worst and battle cat has to clean up her mess(29:00).  After Adora leaves Beast Island to call He-Man’s bluff.  While that’s happening the gang find Horde-ak’s base(but wait isn’t the entire island his base)and they can’t believe what they see((30:07 - 30:20)play where there’s a whip there’s a way while they are leading the slaves away.)and a sheltered Adora finally see’s the horde for what it is.  Not that it’ll matter as we’ll see in a few minutes.  While that’s happening the gang walks into a trap but thanks to Battle Cat being a boss he get’s them out(hell he takes a couple a lasers for them AND busts a hole for them to escape(31:38).  Adora continues her world tour seeing the atrocities that the horde commit looks angry about it but then does nothing(32:20).  What?  


So the gang finally find He-Man only to get captured.  Fortunately he’s saved by Cowl.  He saves the gang and they escape but not before he destroys the prison(37:39).  Later on Adora confronts Shadow Weaver and Hordak about the evil that the Horde do they respond by knocking her out and putting another spell on her for her to forget everything(39:00).  Hmm…my plot hole sense is tingling!  When the series begins couldn’t this be the same answer that Hordak could do in every episode to be her?  Later on Hordak show’s off his new toy, “The Magnum Beam Transporter”(a teleporter)(40:30)It transports things to “The Valley of Lost”.  He plans on using it on the Whispering Woods and the Rebellion.  Uh, why did the film-makers have to zoom in on Hordak's crotch(42:04)?   Per Hordak the beam needs to be fully charged first and it’s power source is will power.  WAITAMINUTE!  He’s weaponized willpower(42:24)?  Some lawyers at DC Comics would like to have a word with film-makers(Green Lantern)!


How do you drain willpower?  Can’t willpower be replenished?  Also he say’s he needs more rebels to power the beam up but after which they will use them as slaves(43:29), so if that’s the case what’s the point of then powering up the beam if you have a machine that can make you enemies your slaves?  I don’t think he’s thought this plan through.  Adora finds this disturbing even though you wouldn’t know that with her expression here(43:37).  Back at the rebellion headquarters(which look completely different now) plans to look for Adora again(in the “Fright Zone”).  Did Cringer just break the 4th wall(44:03)?  What’s with these dutch angle shots(44:24)?  After Adam turns into He-Man he pulls a Star Wars and disguises as a horde storm trooper uh, I mean trooper?  This doesn’t work because Hordak & Shadow Weaver aren’t idiots(47:18). (47:57)I don’t think that it was the film makers intention but this scene with He-Man and Adora has a very “Stranger Danger” vibe to it.  Hordak and ambushes them and Adora takes He-man out easily.  Now are the hordes-man armor like the stormtroopers in that their weak against laser blasts but strong against things like punches and clubs?  Hordak plans to suck up He-Mans willpower to power the beam.  Adora objects but has another spell put on her(isn’t this like the 3rd time in this film?)(49:35).  


The Sorceress finally does something and summons Adora to He-Man and the swords location(52:00).  She also reveals that He-Man is her “TWIN BROTHER!” Duh, DUH DUHHHH!  Is this really a spoiler to anyone now after 33 years?  Well she transforms into She-Ra and saves him but not before the beam is fully powered up.  She tosses him his sword and he receives a quick 1-up(power up).  Hordak arrives and really isn’t that interested in them now since the beam is powered up.  But you know you should still try to kill them yourself right now and not leave it to your guards that were defeated by having the literal rug pulled from under them earlier!


(55:53)By landing on Spirit as She-Ra he becomes Swift Wind and can talk.  Man!  Imagine what would happen if She-Ra sat on a toilet.  Would it become a porcelain throne?  Meanwhile He-Man decides to take the direct approach  against Hoard-ak unfortunately Hord-ak pulls the level and it looks like Whispering Woods is done for but luckily She-Ra counters the blast with a huge rock!  Before Hoard-ak can fire off another shot He-Man does his thing and this leads to possibly the best line in the film(57:40 - 57:48).  For some reason that just kills me. Anyhoo by doing that all of the slaves and hostages have their willpower returned to them.  Before a surrounded He-Man can be blasted to hell She-Ra saves him and tells him something shocking(58:30)(not that you could tell by the limited animation on his face!)  I wonder what when thru Adam’s mind here(“What, we’re related?  Crap!  Well I guess Teela is my only option now!”).


Once they get situated the Sorcercess delivers a face-time message telling them their back stories.  So basically the queen had twins and Hoard-ak leading the Horde tried to take over the kingdom during which he tried to steal both babies but only getting one.  Hey look it seems Skelator was a minion of Hord-ak too and when the kidnap plan was botched with only getting Adora Skelator gave up the goods on the horde.  So basically he’s always been like this.  After tracking Hord-ak down they still couldn’t get Adora back.  He escaped.  The Sorceress then proceeded to erase the memory of everything the Horde did and of Adora.  WHAT?!  Okay now I’m going to assume that the story for this film and She-Ra happened WAYYYY after the He-Man series was on the air and I’ll give it some credit for trying to fix some plot holes but C’MON!  (01:01:00)


1.  I assume some death and destruction was caused by the horde.  So what did the sorceress undo all of that?  Unlikely.  Etheria is a big world I’m sure other lands would still know about the Horde and how the king and queen had twins.  I doubt the sorceress power is so powerful that the entire world would forget.  


2.  Why have everyone but the king and queen(and man at arms and the sorceress) forget about Adora?  I don’t see the benefit to that.  Did they think people would risk their lives trying to find her(especially Adam)?  How per the sorceress hord-ak escaped to another dimension.  While magic exists in this world most can’t use it and wouldn’t be able to use it.  This seems as silly as in “FROZEN” wiping Anna’s memory of Elsa’s power(instead of doing something else like oh gee I don’t know teaching her how to control it!!!).


Sometime later Adam and Adora return to Whispering Woods and tells everyone the good news “We’re getting Marrie-up no uh actually we’re siblings(yeah, yeah that’s the ticket!).  After that Adora announces she will join the rebellion.  Immediately after that we find out that Glimmer wants to save her mom(the queen)Angela from a bunch of harpies.  It’s been years since I’ve watched the original He-Man & She-Ra series so I don’t know but I’m going to assume that the Harpies are the secondary villains of the show.  They take care of the minions by using some looney toons physics which leads He-Man to utter this terrible line(01:05:59)ugh…  Well after some shenanigans with the sharpie queen they cross the streams and beat her.  So they save Queen An-gela and reunite her with Glimmer.  Now the rebellion has it’s leader back and should be stronger than ever(01:09:24).


It’s right here that I run into a problem with the movie.  


It should over.  Yes we should get the scene with Adora’s reunion with her parents but how long should that take, 4 -6 mins?  Or just show it over the credits.  Nope we still have almost half an hour left in the film(27 mins).  So that means this last 3rd of the film is going to be of trying to find a reason to keep Adora in Ether.  My padding sense is tingling again!


Right as Adam, Cringer, Adora and Swift Wind go thru the dimensional gate Hordak throws a tantrum and sneaks into it as well(01:11:11).  Why after they arrive is the Sorceress looking like that?  Well once they leave Hordak comes in.  Shouldnt’ve she shut off the door before she left?  Then again if she did the movies would be over within the next 3 minutes!  Adam show everyone his surprise and somehow Man-At-Arms, the king and queen recognize her.  How? she was days old when they last saw her!


(01:13:18) The King says “and nothing will separate again!”(play ha-ha clip).  Meanwhile Hordak makes way to his old neighborhood and see’s that Skelator has taken residence in it.  After exchanging some…pleasantries Hord-ak offers a proposition.  He’ll leave the planet if Skelator helps him capture the princess.  And just what is his response to that?  “WHAT?!”(01:15:22)  Ah, so that’s where that meme came from!  


Meanwhile at the castle Adora tells everyone a story about Madam Razz that she couldnt’ve possibly have known considering she just met her about 12 hours ago(I could be mistaken though).  The Gruesome twosome crash the party and kidnap Adora(01:18:24).   Just as Hord-ak is about to take Adora back Skelator betray’s him.  Gee, no one saw that coming right(01:20:23)?(play the drug PSA I learned it from watching you!)  Skelator plans to hold her hostage.  Wait in the flashback from earlier Hordak went thru a portal to get to Etheria right?  So what did he plan on where to go or did he just pick some random world on a whim.  If so he could’ve fell into a sun for all he knew!   Anyway Skelator throws Adora into the clink but not before he says this line “Just like a woman” (01:20:46)uh…no wonder Evil Lynn always gives him a sour look!  After Adora feigns fainting she tricks Beast-Man escape retrieves her sword and becomes She-Ra.  She faces off against Skelator and his men and well if you’ve seen the show you know what happens.  It’s at this time He-Man and crew arrive and are rendered pointless.  I do find Teela’s resting bitch face funny though.  It’s better than Linda Hamilton’s from “King Kong Lives” but not as great as Mama Kincaid from “Abar The First Black Superman”!


So back at the palace Adora tells the king and queen of her plans to go back to Etheria and battle the horde.  Because that’s been her home for years and the horde needs to be defeated before she can come back to Eternia(01:25:13).  Okay, that makes sense in a chosen one kind of way but shouldn’t the film end right about now?  We still have over 11 mins left in the film.  What more needs to happen here?  At Castler Greyskull Adora says her goodbyes to the Sorceress, Cringer and Adam but Adam showing some Sis-Con tendencies arrives at the last minute to help her get the rebellion off on a good foot(01:26:26).  Sure, Adam.  


They make it back to Whispering Woods only to get attacked(?)by some animals.  She-Ra displays one of her powers and pulls a Wonder Woman and the animals are willing to help out.  Over the next 5 minutes we have the rebellion battle the horde.  All goes well until Swift Wind bites it.  It’s okay though because She-Ra has the power of healing except she doesn’t seem to know she’s doing at first(01:32:00).  The fight climaxes or anti-climaxes with He-Man & She-Ra confronting Shadow Weaver and Hordak and instead of a action pack finale between these heavy hitters the villains just fly away.  There’s 3 mins left to the film if you didn’t want to have the 4 fight then don’t have this scene.


So with Bright Moon’s status quo restored Adam and Adora say there goodbyes (01:35:15)and that’s that.



RANDOM:  Why does cringer sometimes talk normally and other times only talks out of the side of his mouth? Did he have a stroke off screen? (06:10) why is the barkeep looking at cringer like that?  The way Glimmer looks at Adam when she firsts see’s him.  When He-Man had his willpower sucked out he seemed to get it all back when he got the sword of power back.  So is it like a charger?






The Story: is okay-ish…The whole finding a sibling/relative storyline is rote by now(and this film actually does it twice!)but it’s not bad here.  The acting is on par for the show.  It’s not horrendous or great it’s just acceptable.


Story wise: unlike with gobots battle of the rock lords this actual comes off as a movie and not 3 to 3 1/2 episodes slapped together.  I wasn’t bored watching the film. 


The Art:  The design of some of the creatures were okay.  Etheria didn’t really differentiate from the world of Eternia but I guess that’s what the toy company(MATTEL) wanted. The real standout however are the vechile and aground designs.  The main reason I could stomach the limited animation was how fanatically and atmospheric the surroundings where.  They looked like something from a 1970s - 80s concept album or fantasy comic.


The Characters:  They were okay.  Most of them are archetypes which is to be expected.  The stand out however is Adora/She-Ra.  As Force Captain she was serious a bit twisted(I mean look at some of the faces she gave in the film) and capable.  When the spell was broken she came off as more fun loving and caring.  As She-Ra she was a mixture of both.


The Soundtrack, Score and BGM:  None of it is that interesting.  That being said the the opening theme(the closing theme is just the opening played again)is a stand out.  I joked earlier that it sounded like a rehash of the Never-ending Story theme but I mean that in a good way.



Animation:  Just as with Go Bots Battle of the Rock Lords the animation is mostly terrible.  I have the same issues as well.  The quality is equal to the tv series.  Some story points don’t make sense.  Some examples would be: The sorceress not giving the full low down with his mission.  Adam suddenly having a sister out of nowhere(I don’t recall him having a missing sister in the 80’s tv show).


Character Design:  This film(and most likely the series too) has an extreme case of same face, same body different hairstyle syndrome.  All of the females looks would run together if not for their hair and color scheme of their clothes.


There are fades to black which are conveniently timed for commercial breaks for when it appears on tv.  Wow it’s as if this wasn’t made for the theaters initially but for television.  So what did Filmation slap some episodes together and push this out?  Probably.


Voice Acting:  While most of the voice acting is fine some of it is horrible. Ex. Queen An-gela.  Erika Scheimer gave such a stilted and wooden performance that I don’t feel that bad about my voice work now!  I’m not even sure why she’s that bad considering she was doing voice work as early as 1973(with the Brady Kids).  Then again her last listed voice role was in 1987-1988 with She-Ra: “Princess of Power” and “BraveStarr”.   


Villains:  The Hordesman are sorry.  Yes, yes I know just like all stooges(see the storm troopers) they have to be a bit incompetent but this bad?  They literally saw someone count down to pull the rug from under them.  Also anyone could defeat them.  All you have to do is just step out to the way.  Their look while is toyetic isn’t practical.  Their big and imposing but pretty mobile.


Some of the names are too spot on like Sucker Face or Bo.  At least the naming scheme isn’t as bad as with the series “GOBLIN SLAYER”.  Where everyone’s name is their job(ex. High Elf Archer, Elder dwarf, Sword Maiden, Priestess and of course the titular Goblin Slayer yoinks!).


RECOMMENDNot really.  Unless your a fan of the original series.


I can see people enjoying this film for nostalgic reasons but because of the padding and limited animation I don't see this film garnering any new fans.


This came off as a several tv episodes stitched together.


*play Where There’s a Whip there’s a Way” from animated lord of the rings*

*Play Naruto sexiness theme*

*(01:21:30) after Beast-man wants to get beastly with here play the police breaking down the door.*