Shazam! Movie Review

Good morning everybody! How are you all doing today? To be honest, I’m exhausted after yesterday’s activities. So, now that yesterday has happened, I can actually tell you what I did yesterday and why I couldn’t say what it was. I’ve talked about my friends, Brad and Jonathan a few times on the blog, so the names are familiar to you. Yesterday Brad and I took a trip down to Kingston to visit Jonathan and spend the day together, the three of us. However, Brad wanted it to be a surprise for Jonathan, and because he reads the blog, I didn’t want to spoil the surprise so I couldn’t say what I have planned for the blog for today as it’s related to what I did yesterday. So, this is going to be done in two posts, this one, and a separate one. The boys and I went to see the new DC Comics based movie, Shazam! yesterday afternoon and this post is going to be a review for the movie with some minor spoilers. After that I’ve got another comic book/DVD/VHS haul post as I got a lot of cool stuff while I was out with the boys yesterday. But first…SHAZAM!!

Shazam

Ever since the first teaser trailer came out I’d been dying to see Shazam!. And I was not disappointed. This movie is a rare example of a film that is exactly what the trailers said it was. It was smart, funny, action-packed, and dramatic without being overly dramatic. If you’ve seen my reviews of any of the CW superhero/comic book based shows you know that I don’t like it when a TV show or a movie is overly dramatic. I loved all the characters, except the villain of course, there were a few surprise cameos and cast members in the movie, and the story was pretty relatable. I would definitely recommend it. Now I’m going to go into some minor spoilers as there are things that are in this movie that I wasn’t expecting. So if you haven’t seen the movie yet, go do that and come back to read the next several paragraphs of this review.

Before I get to everything I loved about the movie I would like to talk about the only negative I have about this movie. And it’s not even a major thing for me either, it’s just something that confused me a little bit. So Doctor Sivana, played by Mark Strong (Green LanternKick-Ass, and Sherlock Holmes (2009)), is controlled by the Seven Deadly Sins for much of the movie. Which is fine, I have no problem with that at all. However, I was a little confused because it’s not made clear where his motivations end and the motivations of the Seven Deadly Sins take over. Because of that I wasn’t quite sure if his desire for Shazam’s powers were completely his and the Sins just magnified it to a ridiculous degree, or if the Sins’s desire for the power was dominant. So that was really the only thing that bugged me about this movie. As we were walking out of the theatre I was talking with the boys about the movie, as per tradition when I go see a movie with them, and Brad said he felt the movie was a bit slow to start. Which is kind of true, but it wasn’t as bad as Man of Steel is, and it didn’t bother me.

Asher Angel is amazing as Billy Batson and I love Zachary Levi as Shazam (Billy’s adult superhero persona). I actually related to Billy. If I’d gotten super powers when I was 14 years old, and they transformed me into an adult, I’d still have the mind of a child, and I’d be thinking of fame and fortune as well. So that was really relatable to me. My favourite character was Freddy Freeman (he was Captain Marvel Jr.). He’s basically me. A huge superhero dork, who was invisible to people at school, got picked on, and uses a crutch to walk around with. I geeked out when I saw Freddy and Billy’s room because while Freddy had a lot of DC Comics related merchandise (DC’s product placement was shameless in this movie) he also had a few books in the Animorphs series on his bookshelf. I geeked out hard, because even in the late ’90s and early 2000’s, when Animorphs was popular, you never saw those books on people’s shelves in movies or on TV shows. Even if they were the nerdiest kids in the movie or on the show. I loved the other characters too.

One of the things that surprised me was that during the final act, Billy shares his powers with his foster brothers and sister, transforming them into what was known as the Marvel Family back in the ’40s when Shazam was known as Captain Marvel (apparently DC let the copyright on the Captain Marvel name go and Marvel Comics snatched it up for the character who just got a movie of her own recently). I’d had a conversation with Jonathan on Facebook the other night and he predicted that the Marvel Family would be in this movie, and I said I wasn’t sure about that because that’s a lot of characters to introduce in a movie and I figured that would be something they’d save for a sequel. Kind of like how they introduced Rhodey in Iron Man but didn’t have him become the Iron Patriot/War Machine until Iron Man 2. Boy was I wrong, because they’re in the final battle and it was awesome. Adam Brody (The O.C.) played Freddy’s superhero persona, Captain Marvel Jr. (they don’t actually call him that in the movie, not even in the credits, but that’s who he is).

Overall this was a really fun superhero movie to spend an afternoon seeing with friends. And it’s such a departure from what DC was doing up until Aquaman because even Wonder Woman wasn’t fun like this movie is and I really love Wonder Woman. As I said at the beginning of this review, I definitely recommend you go see this movie. It’s awesome and such a fun watch.

That’s all I have to say for this review, but trust me I will be back in a little while with my media haul post. I’m going to go watch Geekvolution’s review of Shazam!, have lunch and then grab the images I need for the haul post and then I’ll be writing it, so look for the post sometime later this afternoon. See you later!

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Fandom: Then and Now

Hey guys! How’s it going? I’m doing okay. I’m super excited for tomorrow. I can’t say why right now, but I’m really excited for tomorrow. But that’s not what I came on here to talk about today. I’ve been thinking about Fandom a lot lately and how it’s changed from when I was a kid. And it really has changed. So that’s what I wanted to talk about here. What Fandom was like when I was a kid, growing up here in Canada in the ’90s and 2000’s and what Fandom is like now, not just for kids who are growing up in the 2010’s and soon to be the 2020’s, but for people like me who are adults now in 2019. And I’m going to go through each of the categories that I like to talk about here on the blog: video games, movies, TV shows, and comic books. So let’s get into it.

Video Games: Then and Now

Super Mario Bros.Super Mario WorldSuper Mario 64Super Mario SunshineNew Super Mario Bros. WiiSuper Mario Odyssey

So as you know I was born in December of 1986 and my first memories were of my parents bringing my younger sister home from the hospital after she was born, and the same day, me getting Teddy Ruxpin in January 1990. So every game that I played, movie or TV show that I watched, and comic book that I read all happened in the ’90s. I don’t have any memories from December 1986 to January 1990, or if I do they’re very vague or of stuff that happened to me in the hospital. So even though my first real memory didn’t happen until 1990, video game playing was pretty much the same until the mid-2000’s for me and I played games from as early as Super Mario Bros. (1985).

Back then we didn’t have the internet. Especially my family. And in the early to mid ’90s I didn’t have friends that came over and played with me or that I’d go over to their place and play with them. I didn’t get my first issue of Nintendo Power magazine until like 1998 or 1999, around the time that Pokemon Yellow came out here in North America and The Legends of Zelda: Majora’s Mask was about to come out in Japan. So I played these games with my family. And the only way I found out about games was either in ads in comic books, or someone at school owned it and told me about it, or someone bought it for me, or I saw it being played in the play room at the hospital.

And back then you didn’t see advertisements for video games on TV very often. I vaguely remember seeing the occasional commercial for the Sega Genesis or for a particular Nintendo 64 game. But it wasn’t until the Playstation came out in the late ’90s that there were commercials on TV for video games and video game consoles. It’s not like today where you have events like E3, video game trailers, entire YouTube channels devoted to video games, or Facebook groups where you can talk to other gamers. And because of the widening of the video game community, the hobby has stopped being about just playing the games and become about competition, collecting, and competition between the video game developers. I think I’ll talk about comic books next.

Comic Books: Then and Now

Superman #75Astonishing X-Men #1Detective Comics #1,000

Comic books are another thing that has changed so much since I was a kid. Back in the ’90s when I was reading BatmanThe Batman AdventuresTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles AdventuresStar Trek, and Star Trek: The Next Generation there weren’t a lot of kids who had comic books at my school. In fact, it wasn’t until high school that I actually met people who were into comic books and didn’t just know the characters because of the movies and TV shows based on the comics. And because I got the few comics I had from a general hobby store or the hospital gift shop, rather than an actual comic book store, I was limited to what was available in those places, what my parents decided was safe for me to read (no excessive violence, no gore or nudity etc), and when they felt they could afford to buy me a comic or not. I also didn’t have access to the writers and artists who created the books that I loved (the five titles above) and as I mentioned, no knowledge of the comic book Fandom. I didn’t even know about Wizard magazine at the time.

And just like video games you didn’t have advertisements for comic books on TV. Comic book companies put print ads for their books in all of their comics. That’s how you knew if a landmark issue was coming out or a brand new series was starting. Being from Canada and living in Canada, when the Death of Superman issue, Superman (1987) #75, came out, I don’t remember hearing about it on TV or on the radio even though it hit the American media hard. I didn’t know Superman had died until the late 2000’s when I got on the internet, got on YouTube, and heard people talking about it. Or read about it on Wikipedia.

But now, if something big happens in the comic book realm, people know about it right away. When Stan Lee passed away back in November, it spread across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, and YouTube within minutes. I didn’t even know that Bob Kane, the co-creator of Batman, had died in 1998, even though I was reading comic books at the time, because I didn’t read Wizard magazine, wasn’t connected to the early internet, didn’t hear about it on the news, and didn’t have any friends who talked about it. I learned about it ten years after the fact. So let’s move on to movies.

Movies: Then and Now

Batman Returns Batman BeginsBatman v Superman

Most of what I knew about movies growing up came from the movies I watched on VHS, the previews that were on at the beginning of those tapes, the movies I remember seeing commercials for on TV (I don’t remember a lot of them), and whatever trailers I saw at the theatres the few times I got to go to the movies in the ’90s. I get that in the U.S. they had billboards with movie posters on them, buildings with posters plastered on them and other ways movie studios advertised their movies. Here in Canada though, you didn’t have that. If a movie was going to be on TV, the channel airing the movie would advertise it with a commercial/TV spot. If a movie was coming out in theatres the theatres would have a movie poster and a couple of trailers playing before other movies. If a movie was coming out on home video you might see a commercial for it on TV, but for the most part you saw the preview for it on other VHS tapes. Or they might talk about it on Entertainment Tonight. And even then it wasn’t a guarantee.

There were so many movies that I didn’t know existed because I never saw a commercial for them on TV, didn’t see an ad for them in my comic books, and didn’t see any previews for them on a VHS I owned.

Nowadays it’s almost overwhelming. You have TV spots, six or seven trailers on YouTube and in theatres, five or ten different movie posters, interviews with the cast, directors and writers, and a flash advertisement on IMDB. It’s absolutely insane. And of course you have the filmmakers and/or movie studios spoonfeeding you information about the movie starting when the movie is announced, until the movie comes out two or three years later.

I get comments from friends who can’t believe how many movies I never heard of that came out when I was growing up, even though they were super popular at the time. But, the thing is, I was isolated a lot when I was growing up because of how often I had to be hospitalized and so paying attention to popular movies wasn’t always a priority for me. And like I said, we didn’t always get the same marketing campaigns here in Canada that those people in the U.S. got, so a movie that might’ve been everywhere there, might not have been everywhere here. Plus I was a kid back then too, so I wasn’t necessarily paying attention to movies like Spawn or Demolition Man or whatever when movies like Batman ReturnsThe Flintstones, and Star Trek Generations had McDonald’s tie-ins, cereal box tie-ins, and action figures, comic books, and video games. Now before I close this lengthy article, I’m going to talk about TV shows a little bit. Though TV hasn’t changed that much in the last 28 years. The only real difference is the addition of Netflix, Hulu, DC Universe, and other streaming services doing their own shows.

TV Shows: Then and Now

Star Trek - The Next Generation Smallville The Orville Season 1

I said that TV shows haven’t changed that much in 28 years, but it actually has if you really think about it. With movies a movie comes and goes in the theatres and people can forget about it, even if it’s really popular when it comes out, wins tons of awards, and is talked about a lot. But depending on how many people are watching it according to the all powerful (now completely pointless) Nielsen ratings, a show can be on TV for years. Star Trek: The Next Generation was on for seven years, Smallville was on for ten years, and Supernatural will have been on for fifteen years by the time it’s over at the end of this season. Fifteen years! That’s a long time for a show to be on the air, still not as long as Doctor Who when you combine the original run from 1963 to 1989 and the current run that started in 2005 (56 years is a long time), but still a long time in comparison to other shows that have only been on the air for a fraction of that time. A TV show can build up a reputation with the audience because it can be around for a very long time, while movies come and go and can be forgotten even if they’re put out on home media platforms, because movies live and die in the theatres.

So TV for me, and for a lot of people, in the ’90s was limited to whether or not we had cable at home, what channels we could get in on the rabbit ear antenna when we didn’t have cable, what channels I could get on the tiny TV in my hospital rooms, what was on in reruns, and what my parents would allow me to watch. If you had cable or a satellite dish (those came about in the late ’90s as an alternate to cable) you were able to watch a lot more shows than you could if you just had the antenna like I did for a few years in the mid-’90s (around the time that Mighty Morphin Power Rangers first aired). I also had certain episodes of TV shows on VHS. Mostly Star Trek: The Next Generation but I also owned or rented episode VHS tapes of other shows like The Adventures of Teddy RuxpinThomas the Tank Engine & FriendsThe Care BearsRainbow BriteThe New Adventures of Winnie the PoohBarney & Friends/Barney & the Backyard Gang, Zoobilee ZooAnimorphsStar Wars: Ewoks, and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Not all of the tapes available, but some.

Now we’ve got TV shows on DVD, on Blu-ray, and on streaming services in addition to the regular network shows or cable shows. Older shows, newer shows, and everything in between. It’s crazy how much TV we actually have in 2019. Also it seems like TV networks advertise their shows a lot better these days too. At least they do here in Canada. I couldn’t tell you what it’s like in the U.S. since I’ve never lived there and the one time I visited we weren’t there to watch TV. I remember commercials for Star Trek: The Next GenerationLois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, most of the cartoons that I watched, Who’s the Boss?, and Growing Pains, and then commercials for TGIF on ABC. I may have seen commercials for other shows that I watched, but those are the ones I remember. In fact the only commercials I ever remember seeing for Smallville were when the pilot was going to air, and when the show went into syndication and was going to start airing reruns on YTV.

Because of the introduction of the internet, specifically social media and YouTube, Fandom has become a global thing for all of the hobbies I talked about today, not just something personal. In a way I miss that because so many of the movies and TV shows I watched, the comic books I read, and the video games that I played were things that I experienced by myself because I didn’t necessarily have friends to share them with because I was in the hospital a lot or was too sick to have people over, or whatever the case was at the time. It changed a little bit at the end of elementary school because I met my friend Garrett at the time and he was always biking over so we could play GoldenEye 007 or Perfect Dark or Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64. That was in 1998. In fact I have lots of stories of playing Nintendo 64 with people other than my brother and my sister. I might have to tell those stories some time. I don’t know if any of you would be interested, but that gives me a chance to talk more about video games on the blog. Even if I don’t end up reviewing the games, I can talk about my memories of the ones I played, and things like that.

Anyways I think I’ve rambled on enough for today. I just wanted to share my thoughts on Fandom and what it was like for me growing up in the ’90s versus what it’s like for me now. Especially with how much bigger Fandom is now that we’re connected by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Like I said I might share some video game memories with you because I have a lot more of those with other people than I do of watching TV shows or movies or reading comic books. Which is weird because I’m not much of a gamer now that I’m an adult. I’m rambling again, so I will go for now, but I will be back very very soon with more posts. Until next time have a great evening and I will talk to you later. Bye for now!

Doom Patrol Episode 1, “Pilot” and Episode 2 “Donkey Patrol” Review

Hey guys! How’s it going? I’m pretty great today. I mentioned in my review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) that the DC Universe Original series Doom Patrol was premiering here in Canada last night and that I was planning on watching the first two episodes (both aired last night) and then reviewing them here on the blog. That’s what I’m here to do right now. Before we dive into the show and my thoughts on it, I would like to talk about my history with the series and when I first heard about it. So let’s dive in!

Doom Patrol v1 #86 (first issue)Doom Patrol v2 #1Doom Patrol v3 #1Doom Patrol v4 #1Doom Patrol v5 #1Doom Patrol v6 #1

I don’t have much of a history with the Doom Patrol. I’ve never read an issue from any of the six series they’ve had over the past fifty-six years and I don’t know much about them. However I have encountered two different versions of them, both times was sometime in the 2000’s.

JLA #94Showcase Presents - Teen Titans Volume 1Teen Titans #6

So, the very first time I ever encountered the Doom Patrol was in JLA #94. When I was in high school my friends and I would go walk about the small town where our high school was located (it’s still located there, but you know what I mean). Anyway one of the stops we’d make was to this small convenience store called the Trading Post, run by a woman my mom went to school with (ironically at the same high school I went to), and they had a rack of comic books and magazines. I got Superman (1987) #200, The Flash (1987) #204, and JLA #93, #94 (pictured above), #96, and #98 as well as a few issues of MAD Magazine there. JLA #94-99 was a storyline that carried over into the fourth volume of Doom Patrol and so the Doom Patrol characters appeared with the Justice League in that six issue story arc done in JLA. This was in 2004 or 2005.

However a year or two later, in 2006, the year I graduated from high school I ended up buying Showcase Presents: Teen Titans Volume 1, which was this really thick trade paperback that collected the first eighteen issues of the original Teen Titans comic book series from 1964 as well as the first two appearances of the Teen Titans in The Brave and the Bold and their appearance in Showcase, the series that relaunched the Flash, Green Lantern and tons of other popular DC Comics characters in the ’50s. The comics were reprinted in black and white so that the trade wouldn’t be as expensive as the old DC Archive Edition hardcover collections, especially since you were getting 21 comic books from the Silver Age of Comics in a single trade paperback collection and those issues are pretty expensive on their own. Anyway in Teen Titans #6 (also pictured above) the team encounters Beast Boy (Gar Logan) and the Doom Patrol.

Now you have to understand that I was just getting back into comics in 2004 to 2006 after having been away from the hobby for about eight to ten years, ever since the license for Star Trek comics had shifted from DC, back to Marvel, ending both Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation, which my dad had been buying for me regularly until the series ended. I still got comics from time to time until 1999, but I wasn’t buying them regularly and I hadn’t yet discovered the hobby of finding older issues, or back issues as they are called, and buying them, building a collection of them. So that black and white collection of Silver Age Teen Titans comics was my first introduction to the original Doom Patrol. I had actually forgotten about seeing the 2000’s version of the team in those three issues of JLA I got at the Trading Post until I was doing research for this post. So that’s my history with the Doom Patrol and how I first encountered them, so let’s talk about the show and apologies for the rambling. I just needed to establish that I’d only encountered these characters a couple of times prior to watching these first two episodes.

Doom Patrol

To be honest I didn’t know if I was going to watch the show right up until about a day before while I was watching this week’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. I’d heard that the Doom Patrol was a pretty weird comic book series and that it’s weirder than anything I’ve seen on Legends of Tomorrow so far (bloodthirsty Unicorns and evil Fairy Godmothers anyone?) and I wasn’t sure if it was my thing because I don’t handle weird very well when it comes to things in movies and TV shows (all of my friends and family are weird, so I can handle it in real life). So I just wasn’t sure if I was going to watch it. I’m glad I did because it was pretty good. I don’t actually know how I feel about it though just because it is such a weird show and it took two and half seasons for me to fully get onboard with Legends because it’s so weird too. Though Doom Patrol makes Legends seem tame in comparison.

The first episode is called “Pilot”. Of course it is, because it doesn’t seem like you can call the first episode of a series anything else anymore! Anyway the first episode is called “Pilot” and it did a really good job setting up all of the main characters. Except for Timothy Dalton’s character, Doctor Niles Caulder, a.k.a. the Chief. He’s such a mysterious character and is really only there to bring the other characters together. Obviously I haven’t seen the following however many episodes there are in this season, so I don’t know if the Chief will play a larger role further down the line or not, but I really enjoyed Timothy Dalton’s performance as the character (I haven’t seen any of his appearances as James Bond as of yet but have seen him in other movies like Looney Tunes: Back in Action) and I hope I see more of him in future episodes.

My two favourite characters so far are Cliff Steele, a.k.a. Robotman and Kay Challis, a.k.a. Crazy Jane (the characters just call her Jane). Both Rita Farr, a.k.a. Elasti-Woman, and Larry Trainor, a.k.a. Negative Man, are cool, but I wasn’t able to connect to them as much as I was Cliff and Jane. Plus, Brendan Fraser does a phenomenal job as Robotman. I guess I can relate to Cliff more than the others because there were things that I had learn/relearn how to do when I was older, and there are things that I still can’t do and I could relate to the frustration he felt when he was learning how to walk in his new robot body. Jane is just interesting with her 64 personalities that she switches between, each one with a different super power. Rita reminds me way too much of a few girls I knew in high school who knew they were beautiful and wanted to be recognized as a star, even if they had no acting talent or had arrogant attitudes which turned me right off. Larry is also a bit of an enigma though and I found it difficult to connect to him even though I understand his feeling of loneliness and isolation.

One thing I found really annoying and is the only thing that I really do not like about this show is the use of the narrator. So the Doom Patrol are up against Mr. Nobody, a criminal experimented on by the Nazis, played by Alan Tudyk. Now, I usually enjoy every role that Alan Tudyk plays going back to when he played Wash on Firefly and in the 2005 movie, Serenity. I found his character on Doom Patrol to be annoying, especially since he narrated both episodes and wouldn’t stop talking. I don’t know if that was supposed to parody the narrator used in the old movie serials, the 1966 Batman TV series, the Superman and Batman cartoons of the ’60s, or the way a narrator is used on shows like The Goldbergs and Schooled, but it was annoying because it seemed like Tudyk was doing an impression of Mark Hamill’s Joker from Batman: The Animated Series for his voice as Mr. Nobody and it just grated on me any time I heard it.

I also kind of thought that some of the humour was a little too easy. There’s a scene (spoilers for any of my Canadian friends who haven’t seen it yet) at the beginning of the second episode where Robotman is chasing this donkey, because the donkey is apparently the gateway to another dimension, and he was calling the donkey all these names. Anyway the whole time I was waiting for him to call it a jackass, and then sure enough at the end of that part of the scene he calls it a jackass and I was like, “There we go! You guys met my expectations!” in a very sarcastic voice in my head (I had headphones on and my parents had gone to bed so I wasn’t going to say it outloud).

I didn’t talk about Cyborg in the second episode. I generally don’t like the character in anything outside of the comics just because I’ve read some of Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s run on The New Teen Titans and I feel like the shows and movies never quite get him right. They either make him too jokey or too serious depending on which version you’re talking about and the character in the comics isn’t one or the other. He’s a balance of both. The actor who plays him in this show is great at playing the character though. I also enjoyed seeing Phil Morris as Vic’s father, Silas Stone. I actually haven’t seen Phil Morris in a TV show since he played Martian Manhunter on Smallville. So it was cool to see him in another DC Comics based TV series.

I talked to my buddy Aaron online after watching these episodes and we talked about it for a while because he absolutely loves this show and has been encouraging me to give it a chance if I got access to it. Guess what? I’ve got access to it so I’ll be watching more of it. I don’t know how many episodes I’ll get through before it gets too weird for me (a donkey being the gateway to another dimension is pushing it) but I am going to watch it next week because overall I was pretty impressed with this show.

Alright guys that is it for me for today. I will be back very very soon with more reviews and maybe another comic book/shopping haul. So until next time have a great rest of the week and a great weekend and I will talk to you soon. Bye guys!

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) Movie Review

Hey guys! How’s it going? I’m doing pretty great actually. They announced more celebrity guests for Ottawa Comiccon next month, and oh boy did they ever hit the jackpot with these announcements. That’s not why I’m here though. Today I’m here to talk about the 1990 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. A couple of weeks ago I did a review of the comic book adaptation of this movie as an introduction because the original Turtles movies were huge and I want to explore them. Also ReploidBill of Fandom Knight has been trying to convince me to watch and review the TV show, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation because it’s somewhat related to this movie series, but I’m not sure if I’m going to do so or not. I know I’ll be taking a look at the 2007 animated movie, TMNT as it’s somewhat of a follow up to this series, and it’s packaged with the other three movies, but I am seriously considering at least reviewing the five part pilot of The Next Mutation because of it being considered to be part of the movie continuity. I know it’s on Netflix in the U.S., but I don’t know if it is in Canada, so if it is I have easy access to it. In the meantime though let’s talk about the original movie.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is probably one of my favourite superhero/comic book based movies of all time. It’s kind of like they combined the original Eastman and Laird comic with the 1987 cartoon to get this ultimate version of the Turtles universe, which we hadn’t seen at the time as we were still 21 years away from the IDW comics and 22 years away from the Nickelodeon CGI animated series, both of which blended elements from every version of the Turtles into one story. This movie was made at a time where there wasn’t that much Turtles out there yet. All we had at this point were the original comics, a cartoon series, and the toys.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The MovieTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - 4 Film FavouritesTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Original Movie

My first experience with this movie is a little bit different than the way other people my age or a bit older experienced it. I don’t remember if I ever saw it on VHS when I was a kid, but I had a Viewmaster, which was this toy where you put these small reels into the top of it and with a push of a switch you could view 3-D still images from movies or TV shows. I had the Viewmaster reels for this movie and for it’s sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, which I’ll be talking about at a later time. Until I got the four film DVD set, 4-Film Favourites: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Collection, which includes this movie, both of it’s live-action sequels, and the animated movie, I think the viewmaster is the only way I experienced this movie.

I never owned the VHS of this movie. Ninja Turtles is a weird thing because I had some of the toys and was allowed to watch the cartoon, but we never rented the movies or any of the VHS releases of the cartoon, so my earliest memories of this movie, and it’s first sequel, come from the viewmaster, but I might’ve seen the actual movies on VHS during one of my many hospital stays. I don’t remember. I do know that watching them in the four film set was the first time I actually remember watching all of the movies. In fact I think I marathoned them in a single day. Which isn’t hard to do as there’s only four movies and none of them are more than two hours in length. I also own this movie on DVD in a singular release that came out in 2009 for the 25th anniversary of the franchise.

This movie has some of the most memorable lines in all of Turtles. If you read my review of the comic book adaptation you’ll remember that I mentioned the whole Bossa Nova/Chevy Nova part as that wasn’t as funny in the comic as it is in the actual movie (the delivery from the voice actors really make a difference) but there’s also “Cricket? Nobody understands Cricket. You have to know what a crumpet is to understand Cricket!”, and of course Shredder’s ominous speech which goes like this.

“Money cannot buy the honor, which you have earned tonight. You make us all proud. Only effort, discipline, loyalty, earn the right to wear the dragon dochi. You are here because the outside world rejects you. This is your family. I am your father. I want you all to become full members of the Foot. There is a new enemy: freaks of nature who interfere with our business. You are my eyes and ears; FIND THEM! Together we will punish these creatures. These… TURTLES!!

Notice how he said, “I am your father”. I know this movie came out ten years after Darth Vader said it to Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back, but seven months later Worf also said it to his son Alexander at the end of the Star Trek: The Next Generation season 4 episode, “Reunion”. Was there not any other way to write that sentence or did Star Wars set the precedent so everything after that had to copy it? Either way I found it really interesting that Shredder, who looks like Darth Vader, said that line, in that way.

Is there anything I don’t like about this movie? Not really. I found it a bit slow in parts, but not slow enough to drag the entire movie down for me. And like with any movie, there were plot holes and as ReploidBill and the rest of the Fandom Knight crew keep saying on their podcast, The Sentai Review, “Stop! Don’t view that plot hole!”. And because this is Ninja Turtles we’re talking about here, there are some plot holes even though there aren’t as many as there are in Power Rangers or Super Sentai. Honestly though I don’t have anything to complain about with this movie.

Before I go I would like to talk about the four Turtles for a minute. I’ve never been a huge Raphael fan, though Leonardo is my favourite in the 1987 cartoon, but I actually quite liked Raph in this movie. There seemed to be much more going on with him in the movie than there were with any of the other Turtles. Donatello and Michaelangelo were pretty funny and Michaelangelo is my favourite Turtle in the later animated series. And oddly enough Donatello wasn’t as scientifically minded in this movie as he was in the ’80s cartoon and is in other movies, TV shows, and comics. I just found Raphael to be more compelling in this movie than he is in any other version of the Turtles that I’ve seen. They tone that down in the next two movies though and only bring it back in the 2007 animated movie, TMNT. I’ll be getting to that soon.

Okay guys I think that’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with my review of the first two episodes of Doom Patrol which is finished it’s first season on the DC Universe streaming service in the U.S., but is airing for the first time tonight on Space Channel here in Canada. I’ve never really heard about the Doom Patrol other than the Teen Titans character, Beast Boy, being a former member of the team in an early Teen Titans comic from the ’60s which I read in black and white in the trade paperback Showcase Presents: The Teen Titans Volume 1. So I’m not sure I’m going to like this show or not. I’ve been told it’s really good, but, given my tastes are quite different from a lot of other people’s, being told it’s good and seeing for myself if I like it or not are two completely separate things. You’ll find out tomorrow how I feel about the show. In the meantime have a great evening and I will catch you later.

Young Justice Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2 “Independence Day” and “Fireworks”

Hey everyone! Happy Friday! How’s everyone doing today? I’m not doing that well, but I’m hanging in there. Originally I was going to review something a little more current today and review the pilot episode of Titans, which is on Netflix here in Canada now that the first season is complete, but I decided I wanted to watch something a little bit lighter in tone, so instead I watched the first two episodes of Young Justice, an animated series based on two teenage superhero teams from DC Comics, the Teen Titans and a team that existed from 1998 until 2003 called Young Justice. So let’s get into it.

Young Justice

Young Justice is probably one of the most popular animated shows based on a DC Comics property. In fact, I’d say most people rank it up there with Batman: The Animated SeriesBatman Beyond, and Justice League/Justice League Unlimited. It’s also a series I’ve never watched all the way through before. I’ve seen a few episodes here and there from the first two seasons, but, I’ve never watched a full season before and it’s been eight years since I saw any episodes from the show, so I don’t remember most of what happens in it. It got cancelled after the second season, but, was revived recently as Young Justice: Outsiders on DC’s streaming service, DC Universe. Whether we’ll get it on Netflix here with the rest of the series is unknown, but it would make sense if we did.

Part of the reason I didn’t watch the show regularly when it originally aired in 2010 is because I just didn’t have regular access to the show. The best I could do was watch episodes in parts on YouTube as my parents had limited bandwidth and I couldn’t watch them all the time. The other part of the reason I didn’t watch it regularly is because it was too popular.

Let me back up for a moment and say that I’m not against shows and movies that are popular. But with Young Justice I didn’t watch it from day one, and so it had had time to become popular enough that I wasn’t hearing anything negative about the show. In fact, everything I heard about the show was slanted towards the positive without people saying there were things they had problems with. I dunno, I guess I prefer more balanced reviews of things so I can get a better sense of what it was. And because I wasn’t hearing anything negative about Young Justice, and this goes for a lot of other TV shows and movies, I feared it wouldn’t be as good as everyone was saying it was, and being that I’m more of a fan of specific comic book characters before I’m a fan of any particular comic book universe, there was just a lot about the show that I just didn’t understand or didn’t care about. Especially at the time.

Young Justice came out in 2010, at a time where the only live-action DC Comics based show that was on was SmallvilleArrow wouldn’t come into existence for another two years and it’s spin-offs and contemporaries The FlashSupergirlDC’s Legends of TomorrowBlack LightningiZombieConstantineTitansDoom Patrol, and Gotham wouldn’t start coming out until 2013, leading up to now in 2019. The only other animated series based on a DC Comics property that was airing at the time was Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and that was all we had. So it wasn’t like it is today where we have so many TV shows and movies based on DC Comics properties to choose from. So what do I think about this first episode and the show overall?

Well, I quite enjoyed myself watching these first two episodes for the first time in eight or nine years. I don’t think the show is as good as everybody else thinks it is, and there are some problems that I have with these episodes, particularly the first one, but I enjoyed it. What I like most about the show is that the main characters are all DC Comics characters that I’m familiar with. Not just the teen characters, Robin, Kid Flash, Miss Martian, Superboy, and Aqualad, but the members of the Justice League that are shown here too. In 2010 I wasn’t as familiar with them, beyond Superman, Batman, and Robin. Thanks to the Arrowverse shows, reading more DC Comics from the ’90s, and watching movies like Batman v Superman and the animated direct-to-video movies, I was more familiar with all of the characters in this episode, heroes and villains.

The biggest problem I had with the first episode was Speedy’s reaction to the League not showing them the JLA Watchtower. As if he was expecting to get to see the whole thing, not just the Hall of Justice building that the League uses as a cover for the media. I get being a bit ticked off that the League decided not to show the teen heroes everything, but, honestly, I preferred Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad’s response. Instead of acting like spoiled, entitled, children, they decided to show the League that they were ready to take on big missions and not just sit at home while the adults handled things.

Having the episode set at Project CADMUS is actually a little bit weird for me. Primarily because I’m familiar with the group from The Death of Superman storyline AND because CADMUS has been featured heavily on Supergirl from season 2 onward. Also, because I’ve actually read issues of the ’90s Superboy comic book series, I’m way more familiar with the character of Dubbilex now than I was when this show first started. Also, that’s like a fairly deep pull that Greg Weisman took for the pilot episode of an animated series based on the DC Comics universe. Especially in 2010, though it had been referenced on Smallville at various points. I thought it was cool that they started with it even though the DC Animated Universe didn’t showcase it until the first season of Justice League Unlimited.

Other things that I thought were cool about these two episodes is how Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad immediately worked well together as a team. Having not seen the vast majority of this series I don’t know if it was revealed at any point that the three of them had worked together before the show started. It just felt like that to me while watching these two episodes even though they didn’t say anything about that during the episodes. I also liked that they used the older version of Oliver Queen/Green Arrow from the comics, rather than the younger version that’s been used on TV shows like Smallville and Arrow and the New 52 continuity in the comics, which actually started a year after these episodes premiered.

Now, as much as I thought the Cadmus showing up in the first episode was cool, I also found it a little bit annoying and a bit easy. I realize they wanted to show Superboy’s origins because this show was aimed at kids and the kids watching it wouldn’t’ve been old enough or even born yet when Conner Kent was created back in 1993, so they wanted to show the origin. However, they didn’t need to show it as they could’ve just had it so that Superboy had been around for a while before the teen superheroes became a team, like it was in the Young Justice comic. The way they did it was pretty cool though.

Oh and thanks to the Arrowverse shows and my long history as a fan of Batman, I recognized three of the four cold themed supervillains the heroes fought at the beginning of Episode 1. Mr. Freeze, Killer Frost (not Caitlin Snow), and Captain Cold. The fourth one, Icicle Jr., I didn’t recognize as the version of Icicle that was on The Flash earlier this season was completely separate from either version in the comics.

Overall this was a pretty good start to this well loved series. It’s got me interested in at least finishing the first season. Back when I was watching the episodes in parts on YouTube I didn’t like season two as much as I enjoyed the first, primarily because the show was going darker, and there were just too many characters for me to keep track of, with more of them being ones I was completely unfamiliar with due to me only being interested in specific comic book characters rather than entire comic book universes. And from the trailer I saw of the current season, Young Justice: Outsiders, I don’t think I’ll be watching it when it goes on Netflix once the season is finished. But I would like to at least finish the first season.

Alrighty folks, that’s it for today. I’m not going to review the season or series as a whole just so I can take my time with watching the first season and enjoy it without having to remember everything that happens in the season/series just so I can talk about it all. We’ll see though, I might give a general overview once I’ve finished season 1. Anyways I’m off but I will be back soon with my review of the 1990 Ninja Turtles movie. Until then have a great evening and I’ll talk to you later. Bye for now.

Ottawa Geek Market Haul

Hey guys! How’s it going? I’m doing quite well. I’ve got a busy weekend this weekend, so this is sort of my only chance to get this post done. This morning I went to the Ottawa Geek Market, which happens like twice a year, and it’s basically Ottawa Comiccon, but without the celebrity guests and comic book artists. Anyway, I went with Brad and we ran into some other friends while we were there so it was a fun day. We also made a quick stop at the Comic Book Shoppe on our way back. I got a really cool haul today and I wanted to share it with you. So let’s dive into it. I’m going to separate this stuff out into comics and media (DVDs, VHS, CDs etc) and also separate it out into Ottawa Geek Market and the Comic Book Shoppe.

Star Trek Generations - The Official Comics AdaptationThe Batman Adventures #10The Batman Adventures #33

So I only got three comic books this time around, but they’re pretty cool ones. The first is the comic book adaptation of the 1994 movie, Star Trek Generations, the final movie to star William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk and the first movie to star the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which had just ended it’s seven season run when the movie came out. I remember my dad owning this comic when I was a kid, but I have no idea what happened to it as it didn’t end up in my collection, but since I do enjoy comic book adaptations of movies, this one is a pretty neat one to own. The other two comics I got are just two more issues of The Batman Adventures. I think issue #10 is the only issue that had the Riddler as the villain. I think he also only had two episodes of Batman: The Animated Series as well, both when it was known as The Adventures of Batman & Robin. The other is just one that I read a lot as a kid and really enjoyed it, so I decided to re-acquire it.

Batman Forever - Music From the Motion Picture

Next up, I picked up the soundtrack for the 1995 movie, Batman Forever on CD. I haven’t really talked about this on the blog, but I recently bought a boombox that has a radio, a CD player, and a tape deck, and I have a pretty big CD collection. The soundtrack for Batman Forever isn’t one I’ve ever listened to, but being that the movie is one I owned on VHS as a kid, and the one Batman movie I watched most often, aside from the 1966 movie, Batman: The Movie, I decided to pick up the soundtrack. Especially because it was under $5. The guy I bought this from also had the soundtrack for the 1997 sequel to this movie, Batman & Robin, but I decided to go with this one, because it’s my favourite of the four Batman movies that came out between 1989 and 1997. Another vendor also had the soundtrack by Prince for the 1989 Batman movie directed by Tim Burton, but I passed on it because it wasn’t the Danny Elfman score.

Star Wars (1995 VHS)The Jungle Book (Masterpiece Collection VHS)kinopoisk.ru

The last few things I picked up at the Ottawa Geek Market are three movies. I bought Star Wars on VHS. Now this is an interesting one because it’s the 1990 VHS release, so it’s before the box set that my dad had, that I watched all the time. AND it’s from before George Lucas made the Special Edition versions that came out in 1997. So I thought that was a great find. I also got the 1997 30th Anniversary edition VHS of The Jungle Book from the Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection, which, if you’ve read my blog before, you know that it is my favourite movie of all time. It’s factory sealed, never been opened, and I got it for a pretty good price considering it’s Disney clamshell case, which are rare to come by. And then finally I got the Platinum Edition, 2-Disc DVD of The Lion King from 2003. I haven’t owned The Lion King on any formats since my siblings and I got the first VHS release of the movie back in 1994 or 1995, and this one has tons of bonus features that were carried over to the 2012 or 2013 (I think it was 2012) DVD and Blu-ray releases, but I don’t know if they were kept for the most recent Blu-ray and 4K releases.

So that’s it for the Ottawa Geek Market purchases. As I mentioned, Brad and I went to the Comic Book Shoppe after lunch and I only bought one thing. So I’m going to show that off now.

Disney Adventures Volume 1, Number 9

Two years ago I stumbled across a large selection of old issues of Disney Adventures magazine that Disney put out from the early ’90s to the mid 2000’s. They were $1.50 each, so I picked up a few. Anyway when Brad and I were there today I picked up another issue. This time I got Volume 1, Number 9, so basically the ninth issue of the magazine. It’s from July 1991 so it’s the oldest issue of the magazine that I own. Which is pretty neat. It’s always fun to go back to read these old magazines to see what Disney and pop culture at large was up to in the early ’90s.

That’s all for today folks. I am so excited that I found the two VHS tapes, the DVD, and the CD. I collect media so these were awesome finds for me today. As were the comic books and the magazine. I think you can expect reviews of at least some of these things in the very near future. For sure the DVD and the comics, but maybe the VHS tapes as well, depending on how things go. Anyways guys that’s it for me for today but I will be back very very soon. So until next time have an awesome rest of your weekend and I will talk to you all later. Bye!

 

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie Comic Adaptation (1990)

Hey guys! I’m back. I know it’s been a little bit, but, I had a few things to sort out concerning this blog. I’m back though and ready to talk about stuff again. So let’s get on with it. Today I’m going to talk about the comic book adaptation of the 1990 movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a prelude to talking about the Ninja Turtles movies. Unfortunately it’s the only Ninja Turtles movie comic book adaptation that I own, but I thought it’d be a good way start talking about the movies.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Movie

Growing up I mostly knew the Ninja Turtles from the original 1987 cartoon, the first live-action movie and the action figures that I had. As with Batman, I didn’t read a Ninja Turtles comic until after I’d seen the show. Even then I only read the Archie Comics series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures which was a more kid friendly comic starring the Turtles, based on the cartoon. I didn’t read an actual Ninja Turtles comic until I was an adult and started finding them at Comiccon, in the back issue bins of comic book stores, or at comic book sales. And while I’d seen other movie comic book adaptations, like Batman Forever and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (I wouldn’t read any of the Star Trek ones until much later) I didn’t know this one existed until Captain Logan reviewed it on Geekvolution’s comic book review series, The Comic Vault. As I mentioned last month, I found this issue at the Comic and Card Show that happens monthly for a pretty decent price, so I snatched it up figuring that if I didn’t that day, I might not be able to get it for that price again.

The issue does a pretty decent job at adapting the movie. To be fair I don’t know this movie as well as a lot of other people do as I was too young to have seen it when it came out in theatres. Though I might’ve seen it at some point on VHS when I was a kid. I’ll get into that when I talk about the movie. In any case, as a result I don’t know the movie well enough to know or remember what changes they made to the story in adapting it into a comic book, if any were made. I think some scenes were shortened in the comic, but otherwise the comic version plays out much as the movie did. Though the ending does contain a deleted scene so that’s the only major difference.

The artwork is pretty cool. Because the adaptation was published by Archie Comics, with a black and white version published by Mirage Studios, the issue was written and drawn by the original creators of the Ninja Turtles, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird instead of the regular writer and artists who were doing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures for Archie Comics at the time. As a result this comic feels like it could be an alternate version of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book series from the ’80s. But that’s how the movie feels like too. Which is pretty cool.

There are certain things that work better in the movie than they do here. Specifically the scene from the beginning of the movie, where the Turtles are revealed for the first time. In the movie we see their shadows until the title card for the movie comes up. Here you still see their shadows, but the lighting is lighter than in the movie, so we already saw them, except their faces at the start of the issue, ruining the reveal. Plus we don’t get Leonardo and Michaelangelo’s reaction to when Donatello says, “Bossa Nova!” before he replies with “Chevy Nova?” Also, Tatsu isn’t as enjoyable in the comic as he is in the movie.

Overall this is a pretty solid comic book adaptation of a movie. Kevin Eastman’s artwork works really well with the story, and Peter Laird’s script is a wonderful adaptation of the film’s script. I love comic book adaptations of movies in general, but, some work better as multi-issue stories, and others work better as a single one-shot issue. Also, not all of them are great in comic book form. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie just happens to be one of the more solid ones. Particularly of the ones that were published in the ’80s and ’90s. I might do an entire post on comic book adaptations of movies because I find them fascinating. We’ll see though.

Anyways guys that is it for me for today. I’ll be back soon though with my review of the first Ninja Turtles movie. Of course thanks to the crew at Fandom Knight there are certain things that I’ll be thinking about while I watch it, but that’s okay. I don’t know when I’ll be doing the review, but it’ll be very soon. So until then have a great day and I will talk to you again in the near future. Later!