Friday, May 22, 2015

Beware the Batman: Fall

Beware the Batman "Fall", Cartoon Network, 3 August 2014

And we're back.

We open with a black haired Alfred being captured by Ra's al Ghul (Lance Reddick). Alfred's not alone, as it seems his partner was the one who led him to being captured.

Yamishiro (the partner) isn't a hundred percent to blame though, as it was either Alfred or his family. Ra's isn't finished turning the screw however, as he gives him the Soultaker sword. "For your life to begin, his must end."

Alfred escapes in a sandstorm, which segues into a tea pot boiling. Nice effect.

Batman is trying to decipher the Soultaker's sword, but not having much luck. Although way he programed a computer to backtalk is another question.

Katana is a bit down, as today's the anniversary of her father's death, and yes, Alfred's old partner was her father. She's still going to see Dr. Burr's display of the Ion Cortex. "After what I've had to put up with that guy, I wouldn't miss this for the world"...which seems like a mixed message. So, she wants to see it succeed or not?

After Wayne builds it up to be the greatest thing ever, we of course open to a largely empty office space. It's not totally empty though, as Burr was kind enough to leave a recording explaining why gave the Cortex to the League of Assassins. He also left Wayne and co. a nice parting gift-several bombs.

Flashback time: Alfred is at Yamishiro's grave, promising his wife and daughter that they are now family to him.

Jumping ahead, we see that Katana's managed to suffer the only in injury in the explosion. We don't know what they would be, but it involves wrapping some gauze around her forearm.

Wayne's plan: let Burr deliver the Cortex to the League. His rationing make sense, as all Wayne Enterprise trucks have stealth GPS. His utterly writing off Burr, on the other hand, doesn't. Katana makes the case (several bombs and no serious injuries) but Wayne shoots her down as she's clearly 'too close to see' that Burr is obviously evil.

He's also pretty smart, as he discover's the GPS and jams the signal.

Flashback again: This time we see Alfred being led around the manor by Thomas Wayne. It doesn't play into the story that much. We see the first meeting of Alfred and Bruce, but we already know their relationship, so it seems pointless. It doesn't have a segue into the current events.

So, the League plans to use the Cortex to black out the city. Nice action sequence with the League using bazookas against the Batmobile.

Flashback again: We see a younger Alfred and Bruce being accosted by muggers. Bruce rushes into the fight. He won't have to respect his limits if doesn't have any.

Funny thing about the Batmobile, even after taking several direct hits from the rockets, all that managed to do was knock it upside down. "The Batman is dead and so are you!". Dude, all you managed to do was flip his car over. I wouldn't be celebrating just yet.

"Wrong on both counts". Ok, good line there

Action sequence out of the way, we have the confrontation between the three. Bur doesn't seem to know who Katana is, even though she has the same voice, clothes, and nickname as Tatsu. She tries the old 'kiss the possessed to snap them out of it', even though the two really haven't been romantic up until now. It somehow works and now Burr is back to normal.

Of course, now Batman is "Dr. Burr, we can help you/ Cypher must have been controlling you", when he was "Burr is obviously evil" not ten minutes ago. Didn't he notice Burr's eyes glowing green?

Not that anyone of this matters, as Lady Shiva and some ninjas somehow get the drop on all three. One quick use of the Soultaker and some tasers, and all three are down for the count. Burr permanently so.

So, despite have his enemies at his mercy, Ras's decides he is going to fight Batman one on one. We also get another flashback with Bruce sparring against Alfred.

The fight oddly enough ends the same way with Batman being laid out by Ra's. Alfred makes the save though, along with a handy rocket launcher. He only manages to save Katana though. Ra's from there activates the Cortex and blacks out Gotham City.

Fights scenes were nice as always, although the writing off of Burr seemed a bit rushed.

Next time we see the return of Silver Monkey.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Upcoming projects

Hi ho everybody

There will be some more Beware the Batman updates in the next week, plus June is going be a month long tribute to the works of Robert E. Howard and a celebration of H.P Lovecraft's 125th birthday. Shorter version: Expect some reviews on Conan and misc.

That's about it for the summer. We'll have to wait and see what the fall brings.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Pirates of Dark Water

Sometimes a show comes along and changes everything. A show that reaches millions of people and produces a fanbase that continues on well after the show is cancelled.

This isn't one of those shows.

The Pirates of Dark Water was a Hanna-Barbara show that barely ran two seasons. The first five episodes ran on FOX, the next eight on ABC, then the rest in syndication. The year wait between season also didn't help matters.

So, what was the show about? The planet Mer is suffering from Dark Water, a semi-sentient oily mass from the planet's core that corrupts and devours everything it touches. Only the thirteen Treasures of Rule can halt the blight, but all thirteen are scattered across the globe.

Ren (George Newburn), prince of the ruined Octopon, is tasked with gathering the treasures by his dying father. Along the way he recruits the pirate Ioz (Hector Elizondo), ecomancer Tula (Jodi Benson), and the monkey-bird Niddler (Roddy McDowell, later replaced by Frank Welker). Complicating the quest is the pirate lord Bloth (Brock Peters), who desires the treasures for himself.

The episodes were decently written. The animation, especially in the opening episodes, was breath taking at the time. There was a rather decent sense of continuity, with past exploits being mentioned, even in passing.  The characters remain fairly unchanging(Ren's often too trusting, Ioz's greed, etc.), but the writers build with the characteristics and let the adventure flow from that. Serious topics, such as death, weren't glossed over either. The problem (scheduling aside) with the series, was also the characters. You had the Chosen One, the rouge, the Quest, etc. All cliches by this point, although the performances manage to elevate the show past that. 

 The entire series was released onto a MOD-DVR, so you can enjoy the entire series.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Double Dragon: Or, Why I Probably Won't be Writing Screeplays for a Living

Had some fun doing the whole redoing something terrible, so I thought; as the pollen slowly clogs everything and drives me blind, why not do it again?

I'm sure most of you out there remember Double Dragon. Two guys beating up a city to rescue the girl, along with variations on that theme propelled that series to a movie in 1994. A movie that you might have missed if you were otherwise occupied for the week it was in theaters.

So, how then would I fix this? Read on and  remember the sign of the dragon.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, or Why I Probably Won't Design Video Games for a Living

So, had a series of thoughts. What with all the remakes and virtual arcade machines popping up, my thoughts drift back to the glory days of the NES. If I was given an unlimited budget and allowed to make one game, any subject, what would I make?

A remake of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.