Thursday, March 5, 2020

CastleVania season 3 review

Where do we go after the conclusion of season 2? Dracula is vanquished, Issac was thrown thru the distance mirror by Dracula sparing his life, Hector is Carmilla’s slave, Alucard now resides alone in his fathers Castle and is given the Belmont Estate to oversee as Trevor and Sypha travel the European countryside monster hunting.
I thought the third season might actually be a prequel, exploring an earlier time in the Belmont lineage.
That may very well still happen but not this season!
 This season begins roughly a month after the conclusion of season 2, Sypha and Trevor are traveling the country side and arrive at the strange town of  Lindenfeld, here we meet a mysterious man by the name Saint Germaine who's intentions are never clear, a creepy head of the towns priory, Prior Sala who exudes a sense of unease, and the Judge of Lindenfeld who seems to have the towns wellbeing at heart.
 Alucard is living a simple life away from all the horrors of man and beast when he is met by Sumi and Taka brother and sister from Japan seeking knowledge to fight the Vampire Cho.
Issac arrives at a Port town somewhere in the Middle East, he meets a mysterious merchant  who supposedly has a large Carpathian transmission mirror, the merchant advises him that it was sold years ago to a couple, but offers him a distance mirror instead which shows him the way to Styria where his former ally and fellow forgemaster Hector has been taken. Issac meets the Captain of a ship which he commissions to go to Genoa and discovers thru a philosophical conversation with the Captain not every human is evil and deserves to be wiped from existence.
And then there’s Hector the other Forgemaster captured and dragged hundreds of miles to Carmillas Castle in Styria. We are introduced to the ruling counsel of Styria, the quartet of Vampire sisters who rule this land, Carmilla, Striga, Morana, and Lenore.
So the 4 main protagonist are spread out across Europe and this season each will face their own nightmarish horrors.
I was absolutely astonished how engaging the third season of CastleVania was, I binged the entire season (10 episodes) in one sitting this morning! One of the first scenes in season three is a shot of the woods and there is a unique angle of a squirrel climbing a tree, this scene makes for a perfect analogy of the different angle the characters all experience in season 3. I particularly liked the development of Issac throughout this season as he seems to begin to question his own beliefs of humanity and his focus via his interactions with the Captain and the Merchant.
I also really appreciated the juxtaposition of Hector's life from a Forgemaster with a pet to a pet Forgemaster.


The whole season is a lesson for all these characters on betrayal, and none of them emerge from this better than they did at the onset of the season, the final scene with Alucard is rather ominous....
The level of subtlety and nuance is remarkable as is the style and quality of the animation! There are plenty of Easter eggs sprinkled throughout like the mask the merchant is polishing when Issac enters his shop might be the mask from Castlevania Lords of Shadow.
If you still aren't watching Castlevania on Netflix you're missing out on a masterfully planned story with superbly developed characters with phenomenal voice acting talents and a beautifully illustrated world these characters exist in!
I cannot wait to see where the story goes from here! There is so much to hypothesize about!
A+

Monday, February 24, 2020

Project Luminous/ High Republic

There was a time when I thought working at Lucasfilm was a dream job with the most talented people in the entertainment industry! But thanks to the below trailer I think I was mistaken.
This trailer for Project Luminous ripped my soul out of me!
Specifically this white board!



We have 3 columns created by a multitude of  writers, the Lucasfilm Story Group members and a bunch of suits and these bullet points are what they believe are the pillars of Star Wars are!?!

If the utter excrement that was the Sequel Trilogy killed Star Wars, this shit is robbing the grave for body parts to re create a monstrosity that only resembles it's former self on the surface!
For fucks sake Diversity...TWICE.
There is no other Fantasy/ sci fi universe that is more diverse than Star Wars! Humans, Twi lek, Ug Naught, Wookie, Ewok, Hutt, Mon Calamari, Gungan, Trandoshan, Rodian, Zabrak, Chiss, Neimoidian, Kaminoan, Devaronian, Geonosians, Bith....to name a few.

NOT PRO WAR???!!! Did these people even understand George Lucas's story???? Star Wars IS NOT PRO WAR!!!!! It's literally the opposite! Jesus Christmas Trees!!!!

Erase Actual Ending and replace with Actual Story with a beginning, Middle and Conclusion....ya know like Episodes IV, V and VI!

Dinosaurs...

I had heard about Project Luminous a few weeks ago and it sounded promising but after seeing this video with the VP of franchise content and strategy, the Sr Creative Executive for franchise story & content and the Director of Creative publishing it feels more like this project is more about selling Star Wars Stories from the Old High Republic Era like DLC and waiting to see what grabs the hearts and minds of masses.




Saturday, February 22, 2020

Netflix War for Cybertron : Seige Trailer

I was starting to wonder if this series was cancelled....
Thankfully not, the trailer just dropped from the NY Toy Fair and it looks very similar to the Machinima series from a few years back.
The trailer looks to explore the time just prior to the Autobots exodus from Cybertron. It also gave me hope that Seige will delve into the polical climate of Cybertron where Megatron makes his bid to become a Prime! I'm also hopeful we get to see Orion Pax and Alpha Trion in this series.
 

Friday, February 14, 2020

Castlevania Season 3 trailer

I've been anxiously waiting for this trailer!
20 days till season 3!

Happy Valentine's Day from SquareEnix! Final Fantasy VII remake Opening Cinematic

I remember waiting in line out side the Software Ect. in Cross County Shopping Center to buy Final Fantasy VII 23 years ago. I used to go there to read the articles in EGM about FFVII leading up to the release. This was the first game I waited on line to buy and the first time I got game swag.
Here we are almost a quarter century later and once again I'm ready to wait on line for this game!
This trailer is the actual opening movie and is absolutely stunning, I'm sure nostalgia is adding to my hype but regardless I guarantee this game will break sales records. I'm not sold on the episodic content approach though. And I'm not sure whether to buy it day one for PS4 or hold off to get it later this year for PS5.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

This is the way....to make an awesome Mandalorian Helmet

To celebrate the awesome first season of The Mandalorian I found this video from Punished Props Academy on You Tube.

My son loves building props from movies and this looks like a fun project I might endeavor to do with him!
Just remember once you put it on....

Friday, December 27, 2019

The Mandalorian Episode 8: Redemption

The final episode of The Mandalorian absolutely stuck the landing! I was a bit nervous with the way the episode began with the two storm troopers, that felt very fan filmy in my opinion.
Redemption picks up immediately where the previous episode concluded, the crew are pinned down in the Clients building by Moff Gideon and dozens of Storm Troopers and Death Troopers with a E pod repeating gun pod aimed at them.
IG-11 races to them with baby Yoda in tow, in the chaos the Mando takes a grievous head wound and tells the others to escape via the sewage system tunnels. They refuse to leave the Mando to die but he refuses to remove his helmet and break the rule. But finally concedes to allow IG-11 (the one team member he's had the biggest issue with) to remove his helmet since IG-11 isn't "alive".
The group fumble thru the sewers to where the Mandolorian hideout is only to discover they Mando's are either dead or escaped. The Mando recieves guidance from the Armorer on what to do with the Child...the Foundling is now tasked with his own foundling....the circle is now complete.
The armorer fashions the Mando his signet and gives him his jet pack.
The group make their escape via an underground lava river but a company of troopers are waiting to ambush them at the mouth of the river. As the group slowly drifts closer to the end of the tunnel they scramble to fight the ambush. IG-11 offers to save them by activating self destruct protocols which the Mando refuses to accept as a solution, not because the Mando needs him help fight the Storm Troopers but because he's finally over come his prejudice for the droid.
Thanks to IG-11's sacrifice the group escape but find themselves pinned down by Moff Gideon in his TIE fighter. In one of the coolest action sequences of the season The Mando shoots a grapple line at the TIE as it flys overhead and gets wisked off behind Gideon, the Mand plants some charges and releases from the TIE as the wing get blown off and Gideon crashes off in the distance. The Season concludes with Greef Karga and Kara Dune staying behind as the Mando flys off with the child.
Then we get the best surprise cliff hanger since Episode IV, The camera scrolls to where Gideons TIE wreckage sits and suddenly something begins to cut thru the fuselage and Gideon emerges holding the Darksabre!
 



I hope we see what fate befell Bo Katan, since it appears Moff Gideon knows alot about the night of a thousand tears on Mandalore.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Kenobi Fan Film by Jamie Costa

Christmas arrived a few hours early for Star Wars fans this year as Jamie Costa released his Kenobi Fan Film.
Jamie Costa impressed me with his 2016 fan film Han Solo a Smuggler's Trade, and this time he took it to the next level. I think Rian Johnson could learn a thing or two about respecting the source material and understanding Star Wars legacy characters.
Between Jamie Costa and Star Wars Theory we know that George Lucas's Galaxy is still alive with the fandom!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Mandalorian Episode 7: The Reckoning

The Mando receives a transmission from Greef Karga offering a proposition to return to Navarro to kill the Client in exchange for clearing his name with the bounty hunter's guild. The Mando returns to Sorgen to recruit Cara Dune to help with Karga's plan. The duo then travel to Kuiil's planet to recruit him only to discover he found and rebuilt IG-11 as well as re purposed him to help Kuiil around the farm. After a lengthy exposition the Razorcrest takes off with the Mando and his party of a Rebel "dropper", an Ugnaught mechanic, a re purposed IG assassin droid, the Child and 3 Blurgs.
We get a glimpse at the dynamic of this rag tag group and unlike the ST these characters don't mesh together as well as Rey, Fin and Poe, they're pride and prejudice create a believable dynamic.
We also are treated to a scene that caught me completely by surprise when Cara and the Mando are arm wrestling.
This is a fantastic scene because it shows how the force has slipped away into mysticism that few even know about.
fast forward to Navarro, the party meet up with Greef Karga and his 3 guild members.
Now this is where something fascinating hppens that was hinted about in episode 2, the group gets attacked by a group of Mynocks and Greef suffers a nasty wound that is poisonous. It's here we see the Child use Force Healing to save Karga's life. This is something that we might have witnessed in the PT in AotC and RotS when Sidious places his hand on Crispy Anakin! Now this technique seems contradictory to the advice Yoda gave Anakin in episode III about learning to let go of the things we love....because I bet if they taught him that technique he might've saved Shmii and his destiny would've been completly altered!
There was one other great moment in this episode when Mando, Cara and Greef are sitting with the Client, we get a great bit of dialog that further develops the state of the galaxy when The Client asks the Mando if he thinks things are better since the revolution,....it's clearly not. And questions why Mandalore refused the aide of the Empire. He also mentions the great Purge which explains all the moments throughout the season where people seemed shocked to meet a Mandalorian. It seems as if the Empire executed a scorched Earth operation on Mandalore towards the end of the Empire's rule.
Episode 7 leaves off with a cliff hanger that had my whole family yelling at the TV.
Excellent Excellent episode! I cannot wait for next fridays season finale!

Friday, December 13, 2019

The Mandalorian Episode 6: The Prisoner

The Mando visits an old acquaintance, Ran, who requests help on a job. Ran explains it's a 5 man job and they need the Razorcrest.
This episode felt very different than any of the previous episodes, it reminded me of the Suicide Squad in a galaxy far far away. Xi'an especially came across as a Harley Quinn wanna be, I was glad to see a Twi'lek as more than just a sexualized manner and it was nice to see a male Twi'lek in live action. The mission was to breach a New Republic prison ship and break Qin, Xi'an's brother, out.
There's an atmosphere of un ease from the moment the Mando arrives on Ran's space station, and the episode does a great job of keeping the suspense through till the very end!
There's a good deal of action in this episode, Mando takes down about eight New Republic Security Droids that are definitely not to be taken lightly, they're no rodger rodger's! And later we see Mando get into a very tough one on one against the Devaronian. Burg, who takes a flame thrower to the face and keeps on coming! This fight does show how to avert our expectations correctly when Mando seeming end the fight with a similar tactic we saw in the first episode.
I enjoyed Bill Bur's character, Mayfield, an ex Imperial sharpshooter, there's a funny interaction when we're first introduced to him where the Mando throws shade at him and Mayfield retorts "I wasn't a Storm Trooper wise ass!". I also thought it was hilarious when Mayfield was egging the Mando on while they were heading to the mark saying maybe the Mando was a Gungan and talked like Jar Jar!
There wasn't much of Baby Yoda in this episode but what we got was enough, seeing him hiding from Q9-0 on the Razorcrest had my wife and son on edge, I can't wait to see the new meme's of Baby Yoda trying to use the force and then looking at his hand wondering how he blew away the droid only to see it was the Mando.
My favorite scene in the episode was when Mayfield was alone in the corridor of the prison ship with the red emergency light and flashing lights, very reminiscent of Aliens and every other flash you saw the Mando sneaking up behind Mayfield. That was great cinematography!
Congrats to Dave Filoni for becoming an X Wing pilot!
And now my theory about who that was at the end of episode 5 is wrong....I don't think it's Moff Gideon, so I'm gonna jump on the Boba band wagon. It was Tatooine, and perhaps she was meeting Boba at Mos Espa...