Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bleach Recaps: Ep. 215, Orihime Cures Insomnia

Oh look, I'm actually on time for once!

Well, tonight you'd think the war would start, right?  Well, you'd be wrong!  Because "Bleach" don't roll like that!  Instead we first gotta have the two sides standing around for an episode while Orihime makes a horrifically boring speech to eat up time so that Ichigo can save her.  Oh, then Ulquiorra makes bad touch on Orihime.  All around fun, I guess.  The best way is get through "Bleach" without losing your mind is to forget how much it sucks for a few minutes.  Simply let go of your mind.  Put it in a cabinet someplace.  Though you'll probably want to find it again before "DURRR" starts, because that's a show you'll need your brain for.  Make sure it becomes scarce again for "Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood", that's important.  Adult Swim Saturday nights are murder on your skull.

Oh, but the biggest new thing about "Bleach" this week is not that we've finally returned to the main plotline.  I guess that's interesting to some, but I have something far more monumental in mind.  NEW OPENING SONG!  Yes, from now on I never have to hear goddamn "Velonica" ever again.  The new song is called "Shoujo S", and its miles away the best opening to this show since the first one.  Not to mention that this opening animation is friggin' hot.  Orihime and Rukia are cutting it up on the dance floor in what ironically enough is the most fluid motions "Bleach" has ever created.  This is fitting because the original Japanese music video is SMOKIN' HOT.  Japanese girls, rain, school girl uniforms, electric guitars, ohhhhhhhhh...

Excuse me for a sec, I need to change my pants...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Winnie the Pooh

If you're desperate to justify buying a ticket for "Winnie the Pooh", know this:  Zooey Deschanel sings the music.  That's enough for the ticket price right there.  Remind me to ask Zooey to marry me one of these days.

"Cars 2" sucked, lest we forget.  This meant that 2011 has a huge searing hole in the place where Pixar's great animated kids movie of the year should have been.  As we noticed in "Kung Fu Panda 2", DreamWorks sure as heck wasn't stepping up to the plate.  Ghibli's film, "From up on Poppy Hill" won't be out in America for years at least, and the premise is so horrifically boring that I think I'd rather watch "Smurfs".  So I guess that leaves Disney alone to save 2011.  They've been on something of roll lately with the decent "Princess and the Frog" and the super decent "Rapunzangled", one of my favorite movies from last year.  And with "Winnie the Pooh 5" here, they've managed to bowl a turkey.  2011 doesn't completely suck for kids movies.

"Winnie the Pooh" is probably the single most sincere film I've ever seen.  Its designed to appeal to innocent children with a world of silly talking animals each with classic well-defined characters.  Eeyore is a depressive, Owl is an arrogant know-it-all, Piglet is a wuss, ect.  The movie follows the exactly same emotional styles and pacing of the Winnie the Pooh movies from the 70s.  Nobody is trying to adapt the franchise for the next generation, or satire the weaknesses or the original source material in desperate attempts at cheap comedy.  Its simply a sequel to Disney's old Winnie the Pooh work.  The creators loved those cartoons, so they made more of them exactly like it.  You got to respect that kind of innocence.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Battleship: The Trailer

I think my question for this new trailer is roughly the same as everybody else's:  "why?"  Actually, "why" isn't quite strong enough, it needs to be in all caps, bold, and filled with exclamation marks.  Like so:  "WHYYYYYYYYY??!!!!!!!!!"

I've decided to start a brand-new feature here at Planet Blue, trailer deconstruction.  This is when I post a link to a trailer, you watch it, then I either complain about it, or tell you how much its going to be awesome.  "Battleship", being one of my favorite board games as a kid, is a trailer that hurts with particular feeling because its really the worst idea for a movie ever.

What happens in a game of Battleship?  Two players trade shots until one guy loses all of his ships.  It isn't as deep as, say Chess*.  Battleship is a game of hide and seek really, competitive guessing.  The only tension comes from where the enemy is hiding (which leads to believe that the game should be called "Submarine").  Battleship is so simple that basically every game is exactly the same, thus showing why nobody over the age of seven ever plays this game.  So I guess the best way to make a Battleship movie is to have two admirals fight each other while trying to find where the other guy is hiding.  Kind of a double thriller where two masters continuously outsmart their rival.

Well, "Battleship:  The Movie" didn't even try that hard.  Instead its simply the US Navy fighting aliens.  Which leads me to this question:  why?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Konso Cop Karakurizer Recaps: Ep. 2, Rape is OK When Its Girl on Girl

Seriously.  Do we really need to watch this show, or can I simply skip to 12:30 and watch "Durarara!!", or as I like to call it "DURRR!!"?

Well, as it turns out, we can't.  Because much to my shock, this episode didn't suck half as much as I thought.  Even in the midsts of a bizarre Super Sentai parody show, "Bleach" actually managed to create a storyline that was semi-coherent that had a whole two funny moments, which is better than last week.  I still do not think that this duology of randomness was entirely necessary, but I can respect an attempt to write something that at least makes sense and barely links up with the larger plotline.  I still think Katakurizer is a complete non-sequitur that cannot possibly be canon with the rest of the "Bleach" universe, but this was okay enough.  The characters might be dressed as the Prince of Space, but this show tried its best.

Last week Kon was, for reasons still unclear to me, made into a cheesy Japanese superhero named "Karakurizer".  I don't entirely know what that means, or that significance the term "Konso Cop" adds to the title of these weird episodes.  Is Kon somehow a member of the Ethiopian Konso tribe?  Nobody ever asks these questions, I don't know why I have to be the one.  Anyway, Kon fought a 2D monster for some reason, then fought a bunch of dinosaurs.  Then a bunch of other characters turned out be superheros, and floating Doom Fortress beat up Nabashin from "Excel Saga".  At this point I finally went insane, turned into a poptart-cat and farted out a rainbow as I flew through the cosmos singing a catchy song.  Later I returned to human form, and started this recap.  (Also at some point I returned to the United States, in case you're keeping score on that one.)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

100,000 Hits

That's a lot.  But we did it!  I think we hit it two days ago, I really didn't notice until somebody pointed it out to me in the comments.  100,000 is only a tenth of the way to a million, a number so large that I'm almost guaranteed to become more interested in another hobby before we reach it.  Then again, I've been at this for two years, maybe I'll never lose interest.  I dedicate this milestone to Stephenie Meyers and Tite Kubo, who both are so insane as to be the best muses I'll ever need.  I also dedicate this milestone to my first pet, Orea, a turtle so full of curiosity and wonder that she hid under a tower made of Disney VHS boxes and then died of dehydration.  I'll miss you, Orea.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Konso Cop Karakurizer Recaps: Ep. 1, What Is This? I Don't Even...

Did I actually watch an episode of "Bleach" or did I eat a bad falafel and hallucinate the entire thing?  Obviously whatever it was, it couldn't have been "Bleach", right?  Adult Swim must have suddenly canceled the show and replaced it with some other inferior show.  Maybe this is an elaborate prank created by the Internet to fool me, since I can't actually watch "Bleach" when it airs.  Either I have finally lose my mind, or the universe fundamentally is a place without logic or reason.  Ultimately, I don't think there can be an explanation for what I witnessed.  Its a bizarre literary mystery that will be studied forever by endless scholars in desperate attempts to construct an explanation for its existence.  Did James Joyce write this episode?  I bet he hopes he did, because "Finnegans Wake" has got nothing on the Karakurizer.  Heck, a collection of Jackson Pollock paintings bound together in a flip book would make a more coherent episode of television.

In order to unravel a great mystery, one must begin by stating the facts that we know.  This can create a rational basis by which we can stand while dealing with the horribly horribly irrational.  Obviously this is a filler episode.  It stars Kon, and shows what happened to him while Ichigo was away fighting in Hueco Mundo.  At some point Kon is given a ridiculous Japanese suit and has to fight monsters... I think.  This might be a tongue in cheek reference to crappy Japanese superhero shows like... um... that show "Power Rangers" is based off.  Don't ask me to actually remember its name.  I would like to extrapolate a bit further by saying that this episode is possibly a parody and sucked on purpose but I feel that might be falling right into Studio Perriot's trap here.  Unless Studio Perriot hates shows like "G-Force" as much as I do, I really don't think I'll be in on the joke this time.

Well anyway... somehow or another, I'll recap "Konso Cop Karakurizer".  ...You have no idea how much it hurts to type that stupidity.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Way of Kings

I left for Israel just a week too soon.  Right now, someplace, thousands of people are reading "A Dance With Dragons", the fifth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series.  They're finally finding out what happened to Dany, Jon, Bran, and Tyrion.  Maybe they'll know who Jon Snow's real mother is*, maybe they'll see Queen Cersei's death, maybe they'll see the Dragon finally return to Westeros.  I am so jealous right now.  As a matter of fact, if you already have a copy of "Dance With Dragons", I will find you and murder you in your sleep.  That's a promise.  Nobody, not even George R. R. Martin's editor, should read that book before me.  Well, since I'm vacation for roughly three weeks, I did wisely bring along a fantasy book of equally insane size and mass:  "The Way of Kings" by Brandon Sanderson.

"The Way of Kings" is Book One of what Sanderson thinks will be a ten-part epic fantasy series called "The Stormlight Archive".   For those of the fantasy community (I guess that's what you'd call them) you'll know Brandon Sanderson's name as one of the new stars of the genre.  He wrote the well-received "Mystborn" series, and is currently finishing "The Wheel of Time" because its original author is too busy being dead to pick up a pen.  I have read none of this, only a little novel called "Warbreaker" that I only got because there was a hot chick eating a rainbow on the cover.  It was decent enough, had a lovely color-based magic system, but sadly the story was overly focused on a mystery plot that really was never all that interesting to begin with.  "The Way of Kings" promises something far grander, something on the R. R. Martin scale.  With ten whole books, Sanderson has basically proclaimed his magnum opus, a story that will take at least decades to complete.

And really, if you're going to do something that big, you might want to try for a better first installment than this one.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bleach Recaps: Ep. 212, Star Chamber

...And we're back online.  More "Bleach".  This is by far the latest I've done a recap, something I'll have to apologize for.  I was a bit busy having fun in Jerusalem's downtown, taking breathtaking hikes through some of the most beautiful places on Earth, sending a letter to my little cousin at the Western Wall, and totally striking out a few times with chicks (those bitches).  All together, best goddamn vacation of my life, I'll say.  Now I've entered what is phase 2 of my Israeli adventure, which I suspect will be a Hell of a lot more relaxed than the crazy high-paced speed of the last ten days.  That means I can finally catch up on all the anime I've missed.  I want to hear some applause right now from you folks.  You're all the best.

This is the last episode of the Turn Back the Pendulum Arc, what has to be by far the shortest season of "Bleach" ever.  Of course, nobody actually knows how "Bleach" decides its in a new season - the last seven years of "Bleach" somehow add up to fifteen seasons.  Being a really really short season, I can't help but feel that the conclusion was rushed and rather weak.  We build up to a big action climax... which lasts thirty seconds.  Aizen just kinda goes home after ravaging the ranks of the Soul Society, and that's it.  Tomorrow its business as usual.  Ultimately the thing they were showing us in this flashback just was not worth eight episodes.  Maybe two.  The only surprise is that Tosen used to be an alien, that's it.

Well on that rather negative note, let's move on:

Monday, July 4, 2011

Gone Finishin' -Updated-

Here's an official site notice:

I'm going on vacation to Israel today, so this will definitely be the last post for the next ten days.  For the first part of my vacation I'll be traveling with a Jewish youth group who very generously paid for my trip as long as I learned about my heritage and whatnot.  Well, in between doing that I'll also be geeking at Masada and the Wailing Wall.  Anyway, the point is, I'm officially on Internet break by the time I finish this post.  I love the Internet, it makes me happy in ways that no human lover can ever do, but I need a break, as we all do from time to time.  Eventually I'll split off from the group and stay long in Israel, at which point I can continue posting, but definitely in a limited scope.  I'll be back in full force once I return to my continent on the 26th.  Until then, I got miles and miles of archives here for you to enjoy.  This is the 250th post, by the way, so you won't lack in Blue Highwind entertainment.

So to sum up:
  • No "Bleach" recap next week.  Unclear schedule as of now.
  • Review for "Harry Potter 7.5", "Winnie the Pooh 5", and "Captain America 1" will all be very late, though I never am very punctual with film reviews anyway.
  • Daily Thought will be all over the place.
  • I won't be monitoring comments at all, so vandals can go crazy.
Also if by chance I'm killed during my travels, its been nice.  I love you all.

Update:  I'm no longer traveling with the Birthright youth group, but am still in Israel.  I'll try to get a post or two in the next ten days while I'm still here.  But I'm alive and here and ready to work again in some ways.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cars 2

So let's begin with my usual fashion with brutal honesty:  "Cars 2" sucks.  I knew I would never like this movie, but I had no idea that Lil' Bro wouldn't like it either.  I never was going to see this movie until Lil' Bro saw a trailer for the film and looks up at me with the sweet innocent that only a three-year-old can conjure and says "I want to see 'Cars 2'...".  Then I was stuck, I had to see this goddamn movie.  Friggin' Lil' Bro.  Its not going to be long before he realizes that I can never say no to him.

Well, in the end, Lil' Bro hated this movie more than I did.  Like every kid ever, he likes "Cars 1".  However, during the entirety of "Cars 2" he didn't giggle once.  He was rolling in his seat when Kung Fu Panda was getting hit in the face with shop signs, but in this movie he found the chair to be more interesting than the movie.  Oh and "Kung Fu Panda 2" is the better movie.  By the end he started crying a bit and wanted to be gone.  He was bored the whole movie.  Lil' Bro wanted to see Lightning McQueen being cool... he didn't get it.  Instead Larry the Cable Guy is the star.  By tonight, he'll have completely forgotten about this film.

The Internet hates "Cars", and I guess for good reason.  I never bothered to see the whole thing because it was just plain boring, I made it like ten minutes before wishing I could give the bootleg disc back to the elderly Chinese lady who sold it to me in Chinatown.  But "Cars 2" is even worse than that, because its stars Larry the Cable Guy.  Yeah, "Cars 2" is actually "Larry the Cable Guy:  Dumb-Wheel Drive".

Bleach Recaps: Ep. 211, Aizen's First Inaugural Address

Wow this season went fast.  Did you know that next week is the last episode of this Turn Back the Pendulum Arc?  Right now we got Aizen giving his entire crazy explanation for everything that has happened so far.  Meaning that, yes, as I feared, this entire season only really tells us how the Visoreds were created, and it was Aizen.  Unless next week can somehow manage a good twist at the end, like Urahara suddenly making out with Aizen after the fighting is over, I really doubt this entire season will have been worth seeing at all.  Its just storyline fluff:  the whole flashback tale could have been told in two episodes if so needed.  Whatever, filler is filler, I guess.

Last week Captain 69 and Mashiro turned into Visoreds and went totally berserk and crazy.  Mashiro especially got down on a new level of break-dancing spinning-kick funk so out of this world that it cracked Rose's head right open.  The Soul Reapers were unable to stand their ground against a blazin' sweet funk so far out.  But now the weird pink-haired fat man has a plan:  use the poorly-defined magic spells of the "Bleach" universe to win!  He's only second in command of whatever the "Kido Corps" is, so he should be a master Black Mage.  And that's where the fight stands now.  For some reason the three Captains here are not using their Bankais... and nobody is bothering to explain why.  This always bugs me - its not like Goku ever held back his Super Saiyan against a tough opponent.

At the start of episode 211, Captain Shunsui is walking around for an ill-defined reason.  He spots Aizen walking around on his balcony, seemingly doing paperwork.  And... um... that's it.  I don't know why he's up or what this scene is supposed to accomplish.  Will Shunsui even effect the events to come?  Of course not.  So why are we wasting time with him!?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Transformers 3

I'm not watching this fucking movie.  Its the same as the other two, therefore it sucks.  Some people say that the franchise might be decent if Michael Bay hadn't created a world populated entirely with annoying comic reliefs and stupid gags.  In something like four hours of cinema, the first two movies combined managed to make me laugh once at a single joke:  the wheel one.  That's it.  But would the movies be watchable if the jokes were gone and they took themselves seriously?  WRONG.  Everything about these movies are bad - not just the jokes.  Not just the kid from "Even Stevens".  Everything.  "Transformers" is just fucking stupid, I'm sorry.  The robots are ugly masses of metal, utterly artless and incomprehensible masses of horrible design.  They are indistinguishable blobs of moving parts, writhing in twisted contortions so full of meaningless detail as to become unwatchable.  The camera work is jittery and furious, going out of its way to destroy comprehension.  And then the movies are too damn long!  Even if you liked the robots, the humans steal the show because they are the centerpieces of the plot.  These movies are the very bottom of the bottom, the worst of the worst.  Even "Green Lantern" got laughs out of me for being so incompetent, "Transformers" can't do that.  Its bad, but that's how its made, every second is constructed exactly as Michael Bay envisioned:  a stupid stupid movie without a tone filled with enough ugly action scene and bad jokes to barely entertain the masses.  These aren't movies, these are fucking wrestling shows.  People like it for the exact reason I hate it.  Nothing can redeem them, nobody can save them, and I will not watch another for any reason!

Review over.