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Posts Tagged ‘Review

May the force Fourth be with you! Happy Star Wars Day!


So for this force fourth, I thought that I would share the original Clone wars animated series in celebration.

Before the animated movie Star Wars: The Clone Wars and long before the television series of the same name, Cartoon Network produced 25 “micro” episodes to fill in the three-year gap between the prequel films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

star.wars.clone.wars.2003.season.01.episode.01.screenshot.06Star Wars: Clone Wars aired from 2003 to 2005, following the actions of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, Yoda, and other Jedi knights during the conflict.

The series begins a few months after the events of Attack of the Clones, which means the war has only begun.

Back when it originally aired, Star Wars: Clone Wars introduced more Jedi masters and knights, who were previously only glimpsed in the prequel films. It also introduced more antagonists to me – Asajj Ventress and General Grievous.

star.wars.clone.wars.2003.season.01.episode.07.screenshot.06Ventress and Greivous both would later appear in the animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Ventress also appeared in the introductory film of the same name. Greivous also appeared as a major antagonist in the prequel film Revenge of the Sith.

Star Wars: Clone Wars was the first animated series to introduce the events of the Clone wars, but it is rarely mentioned since the popular and more in-depth Star Wars: The Clone Wars aired years later.


I’m a fan of both Clone wars animated series – being a pretty big Star Wars nerd myself! But I will admit that Star Wars: Clone Wars holds a special place in my heart – it actually aired its episodes between the release dates of the prequel films.

star.wars.clone.wars.2003.season.02.episode.09.screenshot.05It was limited by its time format: the first two seasons with two- to three-minute length episodes and fifteen-minute episodes airing during the third season.

But the animation style really worked for me – even though I love the look of the 3D animation of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

star.wars.clone.wars.2003.season.02.episode.10.screenshot.15It just saddens me a little when this animated series is overlooked so often.

I really enjoyed it because it was such an event when it actually aired on Cartoon Network – big monthly gaps between the seasons to stretch the very short miniseries to make it last til the release date of Revenge of the Sith.

I loved Star Wars: Clone Wars even though portions of the storyline were not as interesting as its same time period successor’s episodes. Regardless, I am still going to fangirl all over this post with some more screenshots from the first animated series about the Clone wars.

VMars Cover The Thousand Dollar Tan LineHello, fellow marshmallows! Let’s talk about the first novel in what shall hopefully be a long-running book series.

Set a couple of months after the movie, Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line begins with the mysterious disappearance of young spring breaker Hayley Dewalt. Veronica is hired to find the missing girl, but the mystery in Neptune has only just begun, and Veronica will be facing another more personal demon before she solves this one.

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line reads like a centralized extended episode, much like the style of the movie, which isn’t a bad thing. We see Veronica butt heads with Keith, super sleuth with Wallace, miss Logan while connecting over the airwaves, and trade witty comebacks with Mac.

Readers are treated with another reintroduction to a character that was heavily featured in “Weapons of Class Destruction” (Season 1, Episode 18). Norris Clayton, ladies and gents, is a Sheriff’s deputy, and he seems to be another honest employee of the Department. Here’s hoping that we see him again in the next novel!

Not only does The Thousand Dollar Tan Line read like a tried and true Veronica Mars mystery with twists and turns, double crosses and misdirects, but we get to delve deeper into the psyche of an older but not always wiser Veronica.

She’s still a marshmallow. She’s still a fiery defender of justice. She’s still the Veronica Mars who we’ve been missing.

The second novel, Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell, will be released on October 28, 2014.

The best thing about any new incarnation of Scooby-Doo is that the formula is more or less the same as the original. There’s some supernatural beastie that happens to be a man or woman in a suit and a group of meddling teenagers and their talking dog save the day.

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated gives a bit more background to the group of mystery-solving teen sleuths. Viewers old and new remember the originals, four teenagers and their talking Great Dane, but we never saw their parents and we certainly never saw them attending classes at high school.

All we wanna do is solve mysteries... Jinkies!

All we wanna do is solve mysteries… Jinkies!

What were they doing? Were the mysteries something that only happened on the weekends? Or were the members of Mystery Inc. just out of high school rather than attending? Those questions are answered in this latest incarnation of our beloved Scooby gang.

“Beware the Beast from Below” introduces us to the redrawn and reimagined members of Mystery Inc. newly imprisoned for once again interfering with police business by solving a mystery for them (So, ungrateful!).

I'm sensing a color scheme here.

I’m sensing a color scheme here.

Viewers are introduced to the doting and exasperated parents of each member.

And really how many different shades of one color can truly exist?

I’m looking at you, Blakes!

Not only are families color coordinated, but some of the houses are even matchy matchy with their owners.

Give me some smoochies!

Give me some smoochies!

Group dynamics in Mystery Inc. are a bit off-kilter in comparison with previous incarnations of the gang.

Numero uno is that Shaggy and Velma are in a hush-hush secret romantic relationship, living and loving under the others’ noses.

Even his beloved Scooby-Doo has no clue that his old buddy, old pal is lip locking with Miss Dinkley on a regular basis.

On the flip side, Daphne is completely enamored with Fred, who is more obtuse than I could have ever believed. Fred is trap obsessed and focused entirely on solving mysteries, and he is completely oblivious to Daphne’s serious love for him (Pull your head out of your ass, Fred! But whatever, you’ll get there.).

Why is it always me?

Why is it always me?

“Beware the Beast from Below” is about a slime mutant that seems to be living beneath the streets of Crystal Cove (the most hauntedest place on earth), who is cocooning anyone who gets in its way.

The gang is told in no uncertain terms by their parents and other authority figures of the town to back off and leave the investigation alone.

A slime mutant means one more attraction for the most hauntedest place on earth, but the gang throws that advice out the window and attempts to solve the mystery.

Does this outfit make me look fat?

Does this outfit make me look fat?

After solving the mystery with as much humor, classy disguises, and less finesse than imaginable, the gang comes into contact with a mysterious man who refers to himself simply as “Mr. E” (Oh, the puns!).

He reveals that there is a far deeper mystery buried underneath Crystal Cove and that the real mystery has only just begun for the Scooby gang.

What really makes me smile about this incarnation is that it nods respectively back to its origins. Some baddies from the original Scooby-Doo! Where Are You! series make cameo appearances in the Haunted Museum as statutes, including Space Kook, Creeper, and Captain Cutler just to name a few.

Come on! Give it up, it's Space Kook!

Come on! Give it up, it’s Space Kook!

It’s a new beginning for the gang, bringing something new and old to another generation. I’m ready for the next mystery, are you?

Supernatural Nevermore CoverSupernatural Nevermore is another hunt for the Winchester brothers. Unlike the previously reviewed TV tie-in novel, only knowledgeable fans of the television series Supernatural will get the full effect of this original Supernatural novel.

Dean and Sam Winchester are asked to check out a haunted house in New York City, not far from the scene of two university students’ deaths.

The students’ murders are strange by any standards, and the brothers learn that it is the latest in a series of killings that are based on the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe.

Not only dealing with a lovesick spirit haunting the house of a local rocker, Sam and Dean investigate the Poe killings while dodging the authorities and finding themselves facing a human monster. A human serial killer certainly isn’t in their father’s journal.

Supernatural Nevermore combined some of my favored fandoms: Supernatural and Edgar Allan Poe. It was interesting when reading the sections depicting the serial killer’s thoughts and behaviors during the ritualistic murders, obsessing over the legendary writer.

It would have been quite difficult to follow without previous knowledge from the television series, referencing past characters and cases. It did not overly describe the characteristics and history of the Winchesters, reiterating the fact that this TV tie-in novel was geared toward fans of Supernatural rather than unfamiliar readers not from the fandom.

Supernatural Nevermore is set during the second season of the television series, specifically between the second-season episodes “Crossroad Blues” and “Croatoan.”

It depicted the camaraderie and mood between the Winchester brothers beautifully, especially during the tentative time after their father’s death.  Dean’s uncertainty about who his father was and what his father did or did not do for both him and his brother Sam is palpable. Sam’s grief and anxiety when stepping onto a college campus after everything that has happened in the past.

Delving into the minds of the Winchester brothers, Supernatural Nevermore showed more of the inner workings of Sam and Dean. Though with the acting chops of Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, Supernatural has always shown the Winchesters as multilayered characters with an unbreakable bond between brothers.

Looking forward to the next original Supernatural novel, I will be reading and reviewing Supernatural Witch’s Canyon in the near future.

Gangster Squad Film Poster

From the director of Zombieland, this past weekend was spent in the movie theater or rather in a supersaturated 1949 Los Angeles as I viewed Gangster Squad.

The story centers around a secret crew of police officers off the books and under the radar working together to take down the ruthless mob boss Mickey Cohen who runs the city.

Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, and Sean Penn round out the cast as the battle between good, honorable cops and ruthless gangsters rages on the streets of Los Angeles.

It was very obvious that director Ruben Fleischer also directed the critically acclaimed Zombieland, his first feature film. Splashy stylistic violence and boundless entertainment – it was much more humorous than originally thought when entering the theater – Gangster Squad paid homage to the gangster films of the past while bringing a freshness to the subject manner.

It was a violent, dramatic ride that kept me glued to the screen through its running time. Gangster Squad was fun and stylish, though if you are looking for deeper storytelling  look elsewhere.

Leverage The Con Job CoverWith the end of TNT’s Leverage illustrated by its December 25th series finale, it seemed like the end of an era.

And after five years of watching the crew provide leverage for those less fortunate, I was unsure if we had any more cons to see.

Without rehashing the same ole con, it seemed like the time to end the series (though I have yet to watch the last aired episodes of the fifth season).

But Leverage is not over, not by a long shot. The Con Job (A Leverage Novel) is the first of three novels slated for release in the coming months, released a single week after the series finale.

Nate and his team run a con at Comic-Con International after they receive a job from the daughter of an ailing comic book artist who was swindled by a comic book dealer.

The Con Job brings all the elements of the television series, except the anticipated cry of “Damn it, Hardison!” from Eliot, with the intricate twists of the cons expected from Leverage. It begins like any con seen on the television series, keeping me reading throughout the night.

Being familiar with the television series, I know the team as intimately as any other fan of the TNT original series. The Con Job is an upstanding stand-alone book that can be read by anyone from a novice to the series to a longtime fan of Leverage.

Hardison is in his geek element, Eliot reveals some of his past, and Parker is the best Black Widow that some of the convention goers have ever seen. And Nate shows another facet of his relationship with his deceased son Sam.

Bringing the show from the screen to the page, The Con Job is another con, another chance to see the leverage team in action. And it won’t be the last TV tie-in novel: The Zoo Job (A Leverage Novel) will be released on March 5, 2013.

August 2020

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