Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Recap: Avengers: United They Stand "Avengers Assemble, Part One"

You know, it's easy to get burned out when you deal with the same stuff day after day. It can happen regardless of how much you love working with the material. I mean, I love watching stuff I enjoy (obviously), and I get a bit of pleasure dissecting the things I didn't enjoy in what I hope is an entertaining manner. But I recently became a smidgen weary.

A bit of a break reviewing Iron Man 2 and Thor was just what the doctor ordered. To see the good instead of the bad. But a small part of me wondered whether or not I would be able to return to reviewing crappy animation with my usual vigor. I mean, "The Ambassador" was easy enough to find energy for. But I was still worried. Worried that when I returned to recapping crappy episodes, I wouldn't have the vigor I once did.

But after realizing that the release of Age of Ultron was coming quite soon, I realized that I should take advantage of people's Google searches delve into a time when Ultron was the big bad for the Avengers cartoon. And what I found there....

Ye gods, what I found.

I just... Words can't explain. Let me put it like this.

First...

I saw such beautiful horrors.
Then I cracked my knuckles...

And I got to work.
But before I tell you about this... thing, I need to say something important.

The show I'm looking at today comes from what you kids call "The Before-Time." But people my age call it "The 90's." As with any decade, the 90's has its ups and downs. While many fine, timeless cartoons like Batman: The Animated Series came out of this decade, let's just say that this one... isn't timeless. At all. We're talking "Nineties" spelled with a capital "X-TREEM."
There are those that say this show is the worst thing that Marvel Comics has ever put their name on. I would like to direct those people toward Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. 

Still, that claim has left me morbidly curious. And a little scared. And even somewhat excited. How bad could it be?

If you only knew....

Monday, April 27, 2015

Review: Avengers Assemble "The Ambassador"

Well, the vast majority of the Avengers as well as the entire Cabal are pretty much only in the background of the episode. As such, I'll just ignore my usual breakdown of Plot, Theme, etc. and focus instead on what this episode was really about: Doctor Doom.

Recap: Avengers Assemble "The Ambassador"

Before I close out Avengers April with a super-secret Recap/Review, I'll take another look at Avengers Assemble.

When we last left our heroes.... they were diddly-bopping around for two episodes, apparently unconcerned by the fact that an alien with nigh-godlike powers had just been unleashed.

Let's continue that theme as we put the "ass" in ambassador.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Review: "Thor"

Do I even need to do the full Review?

First it's like this....

The before pic.
But then it's like this.

The after pic.
But I guess I can elaborate.

Friday, April 24, 2015

"Thor" Review Postponed to Sunday

Sorry, everybody. A combination of work and other things has left me exhausted. I'd rather put my name on a quality late Review than a half-hearted punctual one.

Expect it Sunday.

- Newt

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Recap: "Thor" Part 3: The Green-Eyed Monster

How best to sum up the events so far? Well...

The cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon...

Little boy blue...
And the man on the moon.
When you coming home, Thor?

"Don't know when. But we'll get together then. You know we'll have a good time then."
Because sometimes, you gotta go for the unexpected reference.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Recap: "Thor" Part 2: Cold Comfort

When we last left our hero, his dad had just kicked him out of the house for being an angry little punk in the hopes that he’ll learn some manners in the real world. Only with Gods. Which makes it awesome.

Does this make Mjolnir... a ban hammer?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Recap: "Thor" Part 1: Sharper Than the Serpent's Tooth

Were I a more learned guy, I would write a little something here parodying the Prose Edda, or the Voluspa, or some other ancient text you've never heard of. But take a look at this malarkey.

Hearing I ask
From the holy races
From Heimdallr's sons
both high and low;
Thou wilt, Valfather
that well I relate
Old tales I remember
of men long ago.

Near as I can tell, it's a fancy way of saying "Hey, lemme tell you a story."

You know what? Good enough. Lemme tell you a story....

Sorry, people. Shakespeare? No problem. Chaucer? No sweat. Norse poetry? Slightly out of my comfort zone.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Recap: "Thor" Intro

Moving steadily along in my ongoing coverage of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we come to one of the biggest hurdles in making The Avengers happen.

Making Thor happen.

Logistically speaking, this would be even trickier than making "fetch" happen. Not only did they have to integrate a world of magic into a world of science, but they had to delve into the fantasy genre. A tall order, now that every single fantasy book/film/TV show will always end up being compared to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Plus, the last two films in the MCU weren’t too warmly received, compared to the smash hit of Iron Man.

But like Iron Man, the Thor film would be the first theatrical outing for the title character. Would this allow them to weave a tapestry of cinematic awesome, unencumbered by previous film outings? Or would they fall into the same problems as the last two films?

We’ll find out. But before we take a look at the result, let’s examine exactly what went into getting this film around in the first place.

It all begins with Odin and his brothers carving the world from the flesh of a fallen giant. Norse mythology is awesome.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Review: Iron Man 2

Is Iron Man 2 the sophomore slump? Is it a masterpiece? Or is it simply okay? Does it hold up today? In what ways? Why am I rhyming?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Recap: "Iron Man 2" Part 3: Ironclad

Who lives? Who dies? ...Like you all don't know the formula already. Save the day, get the girl, etc.

Actually, funny story, when I was showing Iron Man to my sister for the first time, after Iron Monger aimed his weapons at Pepper, she asked "Does Pepper die," to which her boyfriend and I both replied "Yes." And she believed us, because why would we both lie to her?

I love you, sis, but that payback was a long time coming after you tricked me into eating red pepper flakes as a kid.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Recap: "Iron Man 2" Part 2: Blood and Iron

So. Tony Stark is dying, but he still had to dodge an assassination attempt. Talk about adding insult to injury. Why can't the world just let him die in a drunken stupor like he wants?

Leave Tony alone!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Recap: "Iron Man 2" Part 1: Iron Curtain

When we last left our hero, he had informed the entire world that he was been flying around as a superhero. I'm sure no harm will come of that.

I'd joke, "Why don't you just give your home address to the villains, Tony?" but he does just that in Iron Man 3.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Recap: "Iron Man 2" Intro

Today, it's time to look at the first sequel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Unless you count The Incredible Hulk, but that's kind of a resebootquelseboot. ...quel.) And this sequel had quite a legacy to live up to. Iron Man was one of the most popular movies of 2008. And considering that Iron Man had to duel with the nigh-cultural movement that was The Dark Knight, that's pretty darn impressive.

To make a long story short (because I already told the long version of the story), the first Iron Man movie did so well at the box-office that Marvel chose to keep pressing forward with their cinematic universe despite The Incredible Hulk's lukewarm reception that same year. Iron Man 2 is the most important movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for that reason.

I mean, Iron Man was a really good movie. In a normal superhero movie franchise, the plot threads would be picked up for the sequel, and everybody would hope the second outing didn't completely suck. But Iron Man 2 not only had to stand up to comparison with Iron Man, it was the prototype for every subsequent movie in the MCU. It had to follow up on previous plot points, introduce new ones, build up elements for later events, and tell a satisfactory story on top of all that.

Let's face it, that's a tall order. Keep in mind, the very idea of a "cinematic universe" didn't really exist in popular culture until the end of The Incredible Hulk. There are one or two exceptions to this (like Kevin Smith's View Askew-niverse), but you were mostly limited to movies with buttloads of sequels or spin-offs, one-film crossovers like Freddy vs. Jason, and the classic Universal Monsters universe. The idea of having one big movie universe films wasn't cemented in popular culture (by which I mean "copied all the freakin' time") until after the MCU gave us Iron Man 2, like how the adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is responsible for that annoying trend of splitting film adaptations of books into multiple parts.

But I'm getting off topic.

And add to all that the fact that a lot of people saw Iron Man but missed The Incredible Hulk (partially because they simply didn't realize they took place in the same universe), then this little film was under pressure that burns a building down. Splits a family in two. Puts people on streets. But people gave their love for Iron Man that one more chance. Let’s see how that turned out.

"Iron Man 2"? This must have been before they decided upon subtitles for MCU sequels.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Review: Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel

Was it the crossover we demanded? Or will we be yelling "Curse you, Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel"?

And when will that floating baby head stop haunting my nightmares?

Recap: Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel

100,000 views.

On the whole, I’d say that these view count milestones mean a bit more to me than the anniversary ones. I mean, the anniversary milestones are just me celebrating the fact that I haven’t given up on the blog yet, when you really think about it. But all these views are from you guys, and I just want to take this moment to thank you all for reading, new readers and old ones alike.

Man. Just browsing my past milestone celebrations, I think it’s pretty obvious how far I’ve come as a blogger.

For my first milestone celebration, I did a continuity-heavy episode of I show I wasn’t covering at the time. Apologies to the readers who had no idea what was going on.

For my second one, I still had that dang habit of putting images on the sides of the text, like I was a magazine or something. (Apologies to everyone trying to read posts like that on their mobile devices.)

For my third one, I started covering yet another show. Over a year later, and I’m only four episodes into recapping it. Apologies to all Young Justice fans.

The fourth one was late, thanks to the untimely death of my last computer.

And the fifth one covered something so mediocre and relatively obscure that even fewer people than usual even bothered to read it.

And now, this one’s a week late, too. And I’m sure that I’ll be able to find something else to criticize in this post when the NewtCave reaches 150,000 views and I cover B… I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ve criticized my own work enough for now.

It's time to look at something I’ve meant to cover for a while. Something both famous and infamous. Both loved and hated. Something meant to merge fandoms in shared understanding, but ended up leaving a lot of people confused. Ladies and gentlemen… actually, the suspense is kind of pointless, isn’t it? You’ve already read the title of the post. It’s Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel.

Happy 100,000 views. Gonna be a long one today.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Review: Avengers: EMH "Everything is Wonderful"

You know, this really was a great show. When I think about the current state of Marvel's shows, I wish I could count to ten. Make everything be wonderful again.

Recap: Avengers: EMH "Everything is Wonderful"

You know what? Everything is wonderful. Spring is in the air, and I get the joy of recapping Avengers: EMH for you. Today is a good day.Why, I'm in such a good mood that I would buy you a small jar of Nutella. But I won't. Because I don't have the money. And I don't know you. Stranger danger.

...

Anyway, let's get to recappin'.


With a title like "Everything is Wonderful," I expect nothing but good things for all the characters.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Review: Avengers: EMH "Living Legend"

What better way to describe this episode other than legen...

Wait for it...

....

Recap: Avengers: EMH "Living Legend"

When we last left our Avengers, they were one man short. Not only that, but Tony Stark wasn't shaping up to be the most inspirational leader. Hmm, if only there were a way to kill two bird with one stone....

Not that I'm hinting, or anything.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

April 2015 Announcements

Happy April, everybody!

We're nearing summer blockbuster season, and I for one can't wait for this year's haul of superhero movies. Yes, even Fant4stic.

In the spirit of the film kicking off Marvel's latest year of movies, I hereby dub the month...

April assemble!
That's right, I'll be looking at Avengers: EMH, Thor, Iron Man 2, and I'll even have a couple surprises thrown in.

There, I think that's all the stuff I had to say. See you....

"Ahem."
Oh. Hi. Can I help you?

"Aren't you forgetting something?"
Not that I know of.

"Do you know what day it is?"
...The day the Marvel cartoons air on Disney XD?

"Well, yes, but... a certain special day?
...Is it your birthday?
"Kind of the opposite, actually."
My birthday?

"A certain special day involving a certain special son of God?"
Um, no? The Thor Recap won't be until later in the month.

"...I don't have time for this. I've got food to make my face appear in. I'm out."
Not sure what all that was about.

See you all back here tomorrow for an Avengers: EMH Recap!

...

Just kidding. Happy Easter, everybody.

"Wait, so you're actually not recapping Thor today?"

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Recap/Review: Gotham Girls "Lady-X"

Finally, the season finale of Gotham Girls. Most shows try to end their seasons with a bang. Gotham Girls isn't "most shows."
Thank goodness.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Review: Doctor Who: Broadchurch "Episode 1"

Doctor Who: Broadchurch was a ratings darling for the most part. Reviews were mostly positive and the award-winning miniseries was described as "a national obsession." A national obsession it may be... but is it any good?

Good enough to get the inevitable American remake where they took all the Doctor Who stuff out called Gracepoint. Seriously, look it up.

Well, most of the Doctor Who stuff.

Recap: Doctor Who: Broadchurch "Episode 1"

As I've looked at my incoming traffic, I've noticed a lot of people reading my Doctor Who Character Studies. So, because there seems to be a lot of interest in the topic among my readers, I think it’s finally time to pander to my audience look at an episode of Doctor Who. I mulled over whether I should cover New Who or the classic series before I eventually decided to recap something I had neglected to mention when I wrote my Character Study of the Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who: Broadchurch.

While Torchwood had gotten two miniseries in the forms of Torchwood: Children of Earth and Torchwood: Miracle Day, respectively, this is the first time that the modern Doctor Who series has gotten such a treatment. There's no doubt in my mind that this was just one of the ways the BBC was celebrating the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. But what's rather odd is that this miniseries premiered on ITV, a rival channel. But non-BBC Doctor Who-related material is nothing new. A British/Australian collaboration led to a non-canon K-9 spin-off show, to quote a more recent example.

Bill & Ben Video was probably the most prolific company when it come to official and unofficial Doctor Who spinoffs. BBV produced dozens of "almost official" spin-offs during the prolonged Doctor Who hiatus, many of which were actually written by current staff for the show, including Nicholas Briggs (voice of the Daleks/Cybermen/others) as well as Steven Moffat's writing partner Mark Gatiss. As an extra little fun fact, Kate Stewart, the new head of UNIT in the Steven Moffat series, actually debuted in a semi-official UNIT spinoff video called "Downtime."

But all these productions had one thing in common. No Doctor, no TARDIS. While these stories took place in the Doctor Who universe, the Doctor never appeared and wasn't even allowed to be mentioned for the most part. This miniseries marks the first time that a non-BBC production had ever helmed real Doctor Who before.

Neither Steven Moffat nor even Russell T. Davies agreed to work on it. Moffat was busy with Doctor Who proper, and Russell T. Davies has been rather reluctant to return to Doctor Who in recent years, even declining multiple requests from Steven Moffat to write a new episode. Instead, the miniseries was helmed by Chris Chibnall, writer of many Torchwood and Doctor Who episodes, including "End of Days," "42," and "The Power of Three."

And so, now that I've rambled on about how and why this miniseries exists, let's take a look at it.

Allons-y!