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Apr 262017
 

As great as Wolverine is, it’s actually nice to give someone else from the X-Men franchise a turn to have his own movie for a change. He’s a superhero mutant called Deadpool.

To be honest, I never heard of Deadpool before seeing this movie. It turns out that he’s a former Special Forces operative named Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds). Wade is indestructible and has a huge sense of humor. And I often thought Spiderman was the funniest superhero.

As it turns out, Deadpool was also featured on X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Ryan Reynolds played the role then as the sword-wielding soldier Wade Wilson. However, when he was featured as a mutant, Wade was a lot different. He didn’t have the red suit, or go by the name Deadpool. So there’s no way I would’ve recognized him then.

Back to this movie, Deadpool is a smooth fighter and likes to make jokes, mostly dirty ones. As disturbing as his origin story is, he still can’t help but make wisecracks toward his enemies, Ajax (Ed Skrein) and his superhuman associate Angel Dust (Gina Carano).

There are only two other X-Men featured. The first is Colossus (voice of Stefan Kapcic). He was a favorite of mine since he was a playable character on the X-Men Arcade Game. I can still remember how loud the laughter in the movie theater was when Deadpool tried to fight him.

The other X-Men member featured was Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). I never heard of this mutant before, but her power is amazing. She can actually blow things up, like a warhead.

And of course, let’s not forget the Stan Lee cameo. It’s nice to see him make these appearances in each Marvel movie.

Things get real exciting when Ajax captures Wade’s girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and Deadpool goes to save her with the aid of the two X-Men, respectively. If only Deadpool wouldn’t keep forgetting his ammo bag.

This was certainly an interesting superhero movie. However, it’s hard to tell if Deadpool is actually a superhero since he keeps claiming that he’s not. So does that make him an antihero, or what?

Apr 122017
 

If you thought Sailor Moon was a cool anime series, then I have no doubt that you’ll find Glitter Force (2015-2016) just as interesting. This Netflix original series is about five middle school girls who gain superpowers from Glitter Charms and protect the world from the evil Emperor Nogo and his forces.

The heroes are the optimistic but clumsy leader Emily as Glitter Lucky, the tough jokester Kelsey as Glitter Sunny, the shy artist Lily as Glitter Peace, the loyal athlete April as Glitter Spring, and the highly intelligent Chloe as Glitter Breeze. Together these five friends are the Glitter Force. The team members are introduced one at a time per episode but at least that’s not spread too far apart like some shows do, like Sailor Moon and Sgt. Frog for example.

Of course every superhero team should have a guide. The guide for the Glitter Force is Candy, a pixie from the magical kingdom of Jubiland. She’s cute and hyperactive, especially when it comes to her ears being styled like hair buns.

I met Debi Derryberry, the voice of Candy, at Anime Festival Orlando 2013.

There’s also Candy’s older brother Pop. He’s not featured as frequently, which is too bad since he’s more vigilant than Candy and can transform into different things.

I met Todd Haberkorn, the voice of Pop, at MegaCon 2012.

Now we get to the villains. Hailing from the Shadow Realm, four fairytale based creatures use their power to absorb negative energy from innocent bystanders in order to revive Emperor Nogo. The first is Ulric the wolf who is very cunning and based on the Big Bad Wolf.

Brute is a troll that prefers to use brute strength over intelligence. Of course trolls are very common in both fairytales and the fantasy genre.

Third is a wicked witch named Brooha that uses magical contraptions and can clone herself easily. She’s based on different fairytale witches.

Then we have Rascal the jester. Despite his annoying voice, he’s pretty creative. He fights with magical playing cards and has a playful, but sadistic persona. He wasn’t featured in the series very much but I like his style, for a villain.

When the villains decide to attack and gather negative energy, only one of them goes to Earth at a time. Then he/she creates a monster out of a random object called a Buffoon, which always has a giant body and a clown face. Whenever the Glitter Force defeats it, a Glitter Charm appears and gets added to their arsenal.

Image result for glitter force

This was an interesting series for its superhero action that’s on the level of Power Rangers. At the end of each episode, there’s a song and dance number by the Glitter Force. The songs are pretty good and they only change after four episodes. If you are a Sailor Moon fan, I would suggest giving this show a try.

Apr 052017
 

The LEGO features just keep on coming. In LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League, Superman meets up with Bizarro. Now I never really understood who Bizarro was before when I saw him on Superman the Animated Series. It turns out that he’s a clone that thinks backwards.

In this version he’s not such a bad guy. Since Bizarro is so backwards, he ends up harming the citizens of Metropolis when he means to help them. As a solution, Superman sends Bizarro to a backward planet that’s uninhabited. However, Superman was creative by naming the planet Bizarro World and using the many radioactive rocks to build citizens and left Bizarro to build homes for them.

Next we get to a more exciting scene. The Justice League battles Giganta, Gorilla Grodd, the Penguin, Deathstroke, and Captain Cold. As great as it is to see these characters, they don’t return once they’re caught and I find that a bit disappointing.

Of course the real focus is on Bizarro when he returns to Metropolis and creates clones from Justice League members Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Cyborg. They are just as backwards as Bizarro and go by the names Batzarro, Bizarra, Greenzarro, and Cyzarro.

It turns out that there’s trouble in Bizarro World, so the Justice League and their clones go there and discover that Darkseid is stealing the radioactive rocks to power a weapon to take over the galaxy.

I met Tony Todd, the voice of Darkseid, at Vulcan Events 2010.

When the Justice League arrives, their powers are affected. Wonder Woman is clumsy, Cyborg falls apart, Batman’s gadgets don’t work, and Green Lantern can only make chickens. At least it’s better than Greenzarro’s teddy bears.

Oddly, Superman isn’t affected and frankly neither is Darkseid. Could it be because they’re not Earthlings?
Darkseid’s first stop is Earth. Luckily, it’s protected by other Justice League members like Hawkman, the Flash, Green Arrow, and Plastic Man. It’s nice to see these characters also.

This was an interesting LEGO feature, but like in the previous one (Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Super heroes Unite) Batman doesn’t trust Superman. It’s so annoying how the issue just drags on while hearing Batman’s thoughts throughout.

Mar 152017
 

Next to Anime, Sentai shows are often interesting. One title that always seems to pop up is Ultraman: The Complete Series (1966-1967). Until fairly recently, I had no idea what it was about since the commercials and merchandise don’t tell much.

The series takes place in the future and various aliens from outer space, mainly giant monsters, come to Earth and try to threaten civilization. It’s always up to an organization called the Science Patrol to protect the planet from these monstrous threats.

The Science Patrol consists of Captain Mura (Akiji Kobayashi), tough guy Daisuke Arashi (Sandayu Dokumamushi), the funny inventor Mitsuhiro Ide (Masanari Nihei), the pretty radio/communications operator Akiko Fuji (Horoko Sakurai), and her younger brother Hoshin Fuji (Akihide Tsuzawa).

Also helping out is Deputy Captain Shin Hayata (Susumu Korobe), who unknown to everyone is Ultraman, a giant intergalactic hero.

Unlike other superheroes, Shin never transforms right away when faced with the monstrous danger. He always waits to do so as a last resort because Ultraman has a color timer, limiting his powers. In a way, it’s a total rip off.

I know that it’s a 60s series and I don’t expect much action, but the Ultraman battles are only featured in the climax of each episode. That’s best part of the show, seeing Ultraman kick monster butt.

Overall, this was a good show for its time. Though not as exciting as the Super Sentai franchise, it certainly is interesting like in the way of the classic Godzilla movies.

Dec 282016
 

Many of us remember the classic Batman TV show from the 60s. But with all those darker edgier versions of Batman over the years, I never thought I’d see the day when the campy style of the franchise would make a comeback, like in the straight to DVD animated release, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders.

Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar reprise their roles as Batman, Robin, and Catwoman. Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Alfred, and Commissioner Gordon are also featured. It’s so amazing that even though the original actors from the TV series have all passed on; the voice talents in this movie sound a lot like them from the Joker’s laugh to the Riddler’s maniacal giggle.

I met Adam West at FX Convention in 2008.

What’s also amazing is that characters like Chief O’Hara, Warden Crichton, and Dick Grayson’s aunt Harriet Cooper also appear, since they were never featured in any other version of Batman.

Even the fight scenes contain the same level of excitement as the TV series, words and all. Not to mention, the perils the caped crusaders end up in have the same thrills. The only difference is that there is no narrator. In a way, that’s a good thing.

Here’s another cool tidbit. During a fight scene, Batman gets hit in the head and temporarily sees three cat women, each one different. Now that’s funny, since three different actresses played Catwoman over the series run.

As for the story line, Catwoman uses a potion to turn Batman evil. During the process, Batman acts more brutal and edgier, which is a shock to everyone, including the villains. In any other version of Batman, that’s normal. Heck, in Superman vs. Batman, he goes as far as using a bat shaped branding iron to leave his mark on the criminals he defeats. It certainly makes you think.

In addition, Batman uses a replica ray to clone himself many times as a means to take over Gotham City. Robin comes up with an idea to stop Batman by sending other villains after him by breaking them out of jail. (Remember that there was no Arkham Asylum in the old version of Batman.) They include Mad Hatter, Mr. Freeze, Egg Head, King Tut, Bookworm, Louie the Lilac, the Siren, the Minstrel, the Archer, the Clock King, Shame, Black Widow, Sandman, and False Face. Even though these are only cameo appearances, it’s nice to see these retro villains make a comeback.

This was an excellent movie containing all the charm of the classic Batman series, as well as the authentic animation. If you’re highly familiar with the old version, it’s very easy to catch on to the nostalgia it contains, including how female villains like Catwoman never get punched out like the other criminals.