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Apr 152014

I was glad to have met Phil LaMarr at MegaCon 2014. He’s had some interesting characters as well. Here are the ones I remember best.

Hermes Conrad from Futurama: He’s the accountant of Planet Express and a dedicated bureaucrat. Hermes never goes on delivery missions with Leela and the crew, but can be a real stickler for rules and regulations. I’ve never seen anyone so devoted to paperwork.

Baxter Stockman from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012 version): This brilliant electronics expert became a criminal after getting fired from his job and eventually the Shredder employed him. He created the mousers and has a grudge with the turtles. Stockman isn’t much of a fighter, but don’t underestimate him, especially when he’s wearing battle armor. I have to ask though. What is with that pink sweater?

Woody Daniels from Mr. T: He’s a gymnast, who aspires to be a lawyer. Woody is smart and a great team player when it comes to solving mysteries, but he had to earn the respect of the other gymnasts first just for being the new guy.

Teen Afro from Afro Samurai: Since Afro was a child, he wanted revenge for his father’s death. As a teenager, he had friends while training to be a samurai warrior and they tried to talk him out of it and move on, but he wouldn’t listen. Can you believe it?

Any favorites you’d like to add?

Jan 202012

Even though Futurama ended in 2003, there have been several straight-to-DVD releases before the series returned in 2010. My most favorite is Futurama: Bender’s Game.

It starts with Leela losing her temper after rednecks insult her. That drives Leela to enter a demolition derby, which featured some creative ships. They include a LEGO ship, an Erector Set ship, and two mini Enterprise ships. One had George Takei’s head (voice of George Takei) and the other had Scott Bakula’s head. This combination was such an interesting parody to classic pop culture.

Meanwhile, Bender manages to develop an imagination while playing the Dungeons & Dragons board game as Titanius Englesmith of Cornwood. Unfortunately, it goes too far. Bender becomes insane and sent to the robot asylum, where we get to see the classic inmates again.

Fans might remember Roberto, the Mad Hatter bot, and the defective vending machine. There was also a bot, which looked like Rosie from The Jetsons. I couldn’t help but notice that her crazy behavior was a lot like from the Jetsons episode when Rosie ate the defective lug nut.

With fuel prices too high, the Planet Express group infiltrates a dark matter mine owned by MOM. It’s real exciting when they fly past the robot guards that blast at the ship. They also end up blasting each other because it’s hard to hear. After that, Fry, Leela, and Professor Farnsworth get inside past some more robot guards and to the heart of the mine.

Okay. The story is interesting so far, but I was expecting more of a fantasy adventure quest like it shows on the cover. Soon, it finally happens. After falling through the Earth, Fry, Leela, and Farnsworth end up in an enchanted world based on Bender’s imagination called Cornwood as different types of epic fantasy characters.

There’s also a dice of power, which is used like on the Dungeons & Dragons game. It’s definitely not a power source you would see in any other Dungeons & Dragons film.

This adventure soon becomes more like a Lord of the Rings quest, only with the dice of power that must be destroyed at the Geysers of Gygax from whence it came.

During the quest, Fry becomes obsessed with the dice of power and acts like Gullom. “Hands off the dodecahelicous,” he says. As Fry talks to his reflection, it becomes like a QVC ad. I found it funny at first, but the gag ran a bit long.

The others gather allies at Wipe Castle, which is appropriate for what it’s based on. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out. So now it’s just Bender and his team against the army of orcs. That becomes a real exciting battle, but it’s not over yet.

This was a well-made film. If there’s one thing Fururama is known for, it’s adventurous parodies that I find creative.

Apr 082011

The subject of aliens from outer space usually raises the question, “Is there intelligent life on other planets?” In reality that’s still unknown, but when it comes to the sci-fi genre, there are many types of alien species and planets outside the solar system. Basically, they are just like anyone else. Some are good and some aren’t. Here are a few examples of cosplay alien characters from MegaCon 2011. They include Jedi knights from Star Wars, a killer martian from Mars Attacks, and Supergirl.

That’s just the beginning. These are my top ten favorite aliens in pop culture.

#10) Alf from Alf: His real name is Gordon Shumway from the planet Melmac. After Melmac exploded, lone survivor Gordon goes to Earth and was adopted by the Tanner family. There he was renamed Alf, which stands for “Alien Life Form”. His presence is kept a secret from most people, but Alf’s comedic antics always get him into trouble. Just make sure he doesn’t eat the cat.

#9) Frank the pug from Men in Black 2: He’s a talking dog, who is actually an alien in disguise. Frank is knowledgeable and witty, but annoying toward Agent Jay. Isn’t he just cute in that suit, especially when he wears sunglasses?

#8) Dr. Zoidberg from Futurama: This lobsterman is part of the Planet Express crew as a doctor, but isn’t very bright. Zoidberg is comedic and will eat anything no matter how disgusting it is.

#7) Kang and Kodos from The Simpsons: These brother/sister aliens are space travelers, who visit Earth on every Tree House of Horror episode. Whether it’s for a cameo or as part of one of the three tales, these two comedic creatures always look for a way to conquer the Earth. They like to laugh, but do they have to constantly drool? It’s disgusting.

#6) Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (80s version): He’s the top warlord of Dimension X, but was zapped from his body when he was given the boot. Now Krang is an alien brain with an android body. He’s also a brilliant mad scientist, who works with the Shredder to try and conquer Earth and get revenge on the turtles. Krang hardly leaves the technodrome, but he’s a much tougher opponent than he appears to be.

#5) Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) from The Fifth Element: She’s a modelesque alien, who struggles to adjust with the customs and language of Earthlings. However, Leeloo is intelligent and strong, which is important for she is the Supreme Being.

#4) Sil (Natasha Henstridge) from Species: Earth scientists engineered this modelesque alien with DNA from another planet. Sil is intelligent and strong, but also a predator who only wants to procreate. As a human she may be beautiful, but as an alien she’s as creepy as she is dangerous.

#3) Shep Ramsey (Hulk Hogan) from Suburban Commando: He’s an intergalactic warrior, who ends up stranded on Earth. As much as he hates Earthlings, Shep tries to adjust. When faced with a problem, how he solves it always ends up with hilarious results, even when he does something heroic.

#2) Goldar from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Now here’s an evil alien, who is hard to beat, but exciting in battle. Goldar is the strongest warrior to serve Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd. He’s fierce with a sword and likes to talk, but once Goldar feels that he’s losing the fight, big or small, he always retreats before the rangers get the chance to finish him off.

#1) Gonzo from The Muppet Show: For years he was only labeled as a “Whatever” or a “Weirdo”. Then in Muppets from Space, Gonzo was finally revealed as an alien. That might explain his unusual tolerance for pain and strange taste in women, but there’s more to Gonzo than what species he is. Gonzo is also a daredevil artist. As creative as his acts are, most of them backfire. However, it doesn’t stop him from coming up with something dangerously new.

Jan 052011

With Matt Groening’s success with The Simpsons, he was able to create Futurama (1999-2003), then brought back in 2010-present), which is about a cryogenically frozen delivery boy named Fry, who wakes up in the year 3000 and living his dream. Traveling through space… as a delivery boy working for his elderly nephew Professor Farnsworth. Leela the mutant captain, Bender the comedic robot, Doctor Zoidberg the lobsterman, Amy the attractive intern from Mars, and others accompany Fry on these adventures.

Some of my favorite episodes are the ones when the Planet Express crew finds adventure on other planets. Sometimes it’s a spoof on something else like the Slurm Factory and the planet Nintendu 64. Other times it’s something generic like the planet Amazonia. Those giant women are hilarious. “Me want snoo-snoo!”

Other than Bender, there are plenty of creative robot characters. Some of my favorites include the defective vending machine, the Femputer, and the Mad Hatter bot. “Change places!”

There are also different types of mutants that live in the sewers. Most of which have different body parts in the wrong places. It’s so artistic that each mutant is completely different. This show also features various celebrities’ heads in jars of water. I don’t see how that keeps them alive.

I’d have to say that Futurama is a good creative series of comedy and space travel. One thing I still don’t understand. Why doesn’t reoccurring character Zapp Brannigan ever wear any pants?