RobopCop (2014)

Robocop_poster

You will believe a man can be less dull as a robot than as a human

Hello, Spongey here.

Remakes are …tricky, to say the least. It’s hard to make a film again in general. You have to be faithful to the original, while not just making the same movie again. The problem with remakes is that Hollywood makes too many, and usually it’s for the sake of.

Usually they promise to be different, or better, but usually they disappointment. Look at Total Recall, which sucks a lot of fun out of the original and has the other usual problems. Then with something like Poltergiest, it’s more or less the same movie, only not as good.

But then you have a remake like The Fly, which goes in a different enough direction to make it stand out on it’s own. I think the biggest problem with remakes is the animosity. You know what I mean, the CHILDHOOD IS RUINED crowd.

The people who forget that the original will always be there, and groan at the trailer and doesn’t even give it a single chance. I know we’ve been burned a lot, but come on, grow the hell up.

With that said, they are enough of a mixed bag to be worried about most of them. But people overreact to every single one, so anytime they complain, it’s just white noise. One such example is the one we’re looking at today.

A couple years ago, I reviewed the 80’s Classic Robocop, and thought it was worth the hype as it was smart while also being plenty of fun. After reviewing this, I saw why it would be hard to do a remake in 2014, but I figured it could be fine.

The reaction was …meh. The critics didn’t care for it, but moved on. No one know one remembers it ever existed, especially when compared to the original’s lackluster sequels and spin off shows.

Of course there was tons of whining before it came out, and people saying it was worse than it likely was. The big fuss is over the PG-13 rating. Because all that matters is gore right? Who cares about the story?

Jokes aside, I kind of get it given how violence the original was, but it can still be fun and full of satire even without a ton of blood or whatever. Besides, Die Hard 5 was R and it sucked.

As for the crew, the writer is some unknown and the director and a Brazilian filmmaker, so I don’t know of his work. But from what I can gather, he’s the real deal, and not a bad choice, actually.

Meaning if this sucks, we can blame the studio.

As much I like the 80’s one, I’m willingly to push it aside and judge it on it’s own. I will compare it, but only for fun, I’m a Nostalgia Fanboy after all. We’ll see for sure if this remake a faithful update, or another dull drop in the bucket.

Either way, it’ll be fun to piss people off.

This, is RoboCop (2014)

The movie opens with Samuel L Jackson asking is an important question.

‘What if I told you that evne the worst Neighborhood in America can be completely safe?”

All movies should open with Samuel Jackson asking us random questions.

Let’s back up a bit: This is the host of some news show that will give our exposition for the evening. Like in the original, things have gone to shit and an evil company is trying to make robots to maintain order in some way.

Okay, we’re doing okay so far. Nothing gripping, but they are telling us what we need to know pretty efficiently, and updating it by involving a Middle Eastern Country as their robots are being tested there first.

I’m not sure they didn’t test their own country before invading other people, but I guess that’s America for you. Actually, Sam asks a similar question, as they CAN’T use the machines at home. He says it in his Snakes on a Plane voice, naturally.

I’ve had it with these motherfucking machines NOT in this motherfucking country!

Why is America so RoboPhobic?”

…What?

That weird bit aside, drones are not allowed on US soil. But again, invading third world country with them is okay!

After the title pops up (with a nice rendition of the original Robocop theme) we cut to Detriot we meet our new Alex Murphy, played by some guy no one knows/cares about. He tells someone a story of how his partner got shot by some generic bad guys, and the partner is called…Lewis.

Yeah, I guess in this version Lewis is a man and dies before we even know what his character is like. I’m so torn up due to this amazing connection ,and how he died to generic bad guys instead of the really memorable baddies from the original.

Well, it took us a bit over 10 minutes to reach our first dumb change, that’s not too bad.

Meanwhile, the CEO of OmniCorp, played by Micheal Keaton, is trying to the government to allow their robots to be tested in America. Well, having Batman in this does give it major credibility.’

They still aren’t sure about having robots running around, and if Batman can’t convince them, nothing can, so let’s just pack it in. It thankfully does not take him to figure out a solution: Put a man inside a machine.

Keaton asks Gary Oldman for help. Whoa, Burton Batman meets Nolan Gordon, my mind is blown. So they look at possible candidates to become robotic policemen. Because Alex hasn’t been killed yet, they come up dry. Meaning nothing interesting happens in this except one lame joke.

Speaking of Alex, we cut to him coming home to wife and kid. They seem about as interesting as most movie families, which is why the kid is sent to bed so Alex can mope about his partner. Wish I cared as much as the script kind of does.

He shares with her possibly the most boring kiss in film history, and even when they start to have sex, they seem completely uninterested. Thankfully they are interrupted by the sound of his caring making a noise, which he investigates.

But it looks like The Horrors touched it, because it explodes. This is what will injury him enough to become RoboCop. Yeah, instead of being shot by some fun bad guys, his car explodes due to some generic dudes no one cares about.

Riveting, what a great update.

We briefly see the wife grieving as is she told about him and then we just cut to 3 months later because I doubt anything interesting happened during that time. And now we just see him as Cyborg, just not fully activated yet.

Glad we get to know really well before this happened. We didn’t even see them deciding on Murphy for this test. Why is he stronger than anyone else? I don’t know, but if it means getting to the action, I don’t care.

I’m glad to be at this part, because this actor is honestly do dull being a robot is an upgrade. Him being a robot explains why he’s weak even when he tries to be angry about what they did to him.

He’s so pissed he runs of ,and he can do so because no one thought to have security in case their new cyborg went rouge, for some reason. He goes a decent distance before they shut him down manually.

Why didn’t you do that before? He clearly wasn’t listening!

He is taken to Gary Oldman who explains everything to him, including showing us how his body is now just a head and some origins. A lovely and necessary image. Alex wants to die but Gary tells him to think of his family.

It seems like for this version, he’s more self aware as the Robo Police Man and his wife did not leave him, since he didn’t flat out die here. I don’t mind this, as it’s an okay change, as long as they do it well enough.

Now that he’s New!RoboCop it’s time to train him and give him some weapons. ‘At one point during their little inspection, someone says this:

I wouldn’t buy that for a dollar’

Hardy har har.

While Alex does well, Keaton doesn’t think that’s good enough, as the human element keeps him from being better, due to the his natural human flaws. To fix this, they mess with him a tad bit to make him a bit better, but slightly less human.

Now this is an interesting update, to further look at the whole humanity theme. Honestly, most of this works…except for Alex himself, oddly enough. With that, they give him a new Robo Suit. Yeah, before he looked like the 80’s one, but now he’s the one you see on the poster.

Honestly, it looks fine. It’s an upgrade that makes sense with how we view the future now, compared to the 80’s. Hopefully no one whined about that. After a neat bit of training, they take him to see his wife, after they took a bit of humanity out of him.

I’m sure this will go really well.

She has no reaction to her husband being all robotic and is just silent during this. Him being a robot excuses the non existent chemistry, at least. We have a very brief it with the son and next scene. Wow, that incredibly short scene where the wife didn’t even speak was so emotional and riveting.

We cut to later as he is ready to be shown to the world. They upload a bunch of info to his brain which causes him to have an emotional breakdown. I’m not quite sure what caused it, we saw a bunch of crime and stuff, so maybe the weight of what he has to do got him? It’s not made clear enough.

To fix this, they take away his emotions, further draining his humanity. He doesn’t even react when he walks by his family. Again, this is a pretty good idea, but so far I just don’t care about Alex Murphy, so at this point, it’s not as interesting as it could be.

He is unveiled and things go well, especially when he spots a wanted man in the crowd and takes care of him. Why would someone like that go to a place swarming with cops?!

This especially pleases Samuel L Jackson, who still exists in this movie.

‘How many like Thomas King was brought to justice, now that RoboCop is here?”

Roll credits!

We then get a couple scenes of him doing his job, showing that he’s not really good, but he’s pretty much no longer human. As a wise man said, he’s more machine now than man. Keaton goes on Sam Jackson’s show to discuss the Dreyfus Act which I guess connects to allow Robot Policemen to roam.

Sam pretty much shuts down the guy they have who is against, so clearly he’s a tiny bit biased. Motherfucker.

(My only complaint about the PG-13 is that he can’t do what he does best)

They start getting calls from Clara about her Robot Husband, which they don’t want. Then she approaches Alex on the street, which they really don’t want. She tries to get to him as his son is troubled and really needs his Robot Daddy.

But due to his lack of emotions, he just runs off. Now that is an scene that almost works. There’s been a lack of scenes where I actually care about something, so this was a nice step in the right direction.

However, she eventually gets to him as he starts doing researching on Clara his kid, and this manages to override his priorities and make him go home, to look at the scene of his death. Yeah, no one bothered to look into who murdered Alex for some reason. Well, if you can’t get something done right, you gotta do it yourself.

Speaking of doing things badly, they did a shit job of getting rid of emotions if this happens if someone just talks to him once.

Now his goal is to stop the boring gang of generic guys who killed him. He goes into this hideout and we get an action scene I can barely make out because it’s in a dark place. Good doing, director man.

And in a matter of seconds, he kills them all. I’m not sure if he killed the boss thanks to bad direction, but I hope not because that would just highlight how forgettable the bad guys are.

He goes back to the station to confront two corrupt cops who I guess were important. I don’t know, a lot of this just went over my head. Either way, he shoots them so casually it’s funny.

He figures out the Chief of Police is connected to this, but he is shut down before he can do anything. This comes so out of nowhere and is so unconnected to the story we’ve been mostly following, that it’s hard to really care.

Despite being shut down, Sam Jackson thanks for his finding the corruption, and uses as a way to show how this Act is a good thing. Clara is a bit smarter than this and lets slide to the world that OmniCorp won’t allow her to see her husband.

Also, I just realized on of the OmniCorp guys is played by Hiccup and now that I said that, I can’t get it out of my head.

With a bunch of crap going on, they figure they have to do something, so Keaton wants Alex Murphy to be killed. Which only cause more problems. Am I missing something? Thankfully, Gary Oldman isn’t up for this and saves him.

Then it cuts to Keaton tells Clara that Alex has a breakdown and shot some unarmed people. So was that his plan or is he just rolling with it? Either way, he’s almost smart but your RoboCop going through another breakdown does not look good on you.

Gary Oldman tells Alex the truth and he runs off on his own and eventually just comes back to storm the place. Guess he just needed a head start.

He makes it through a bunch of guards and heads to the roof for the climax. His family even happens to be there to add tension! Thanks to his programming, he can’t arrest Keaton for what he did. But he overcomes that and shoots him anyway, which causes him to drop down as well.

But we don’t have time to really, as we cut to later showing he’s okay, with Clara even ready to look at him. Glad you kept the suspense for so long. Also, was that our climax? Because…yeah, that was lame.

She walks in and…then it cuts to Sam Jackson. I never thought I would be pissed to see him instead of the dullest Robot ever. He tells us that OCP has been shut down and Alex Murphy might he okay.

Also, that Act was denied for obvious reasons.

I have no doubt he was manipulated by a biased media”

Yeah, and Disney paid off Critics too.

That fact that this MotherBLEEP-er-”

Whoa whoa whoa, wait what?! He does say Fuck…it’s just Bleeped?! That is…actually amazing, given how much sense makes in context.

Shit is also bleeped, which is part of the joke because they said Shit already. I’m not sure what the real is on that word in PG-13 films at the moment.

Stop Whining!”

I see he’s been on Youtube Comments lately.

I am Pat NoJack. Good Night”

Roll credits.

…Only 5 more weeks, then no more dumb abrupt endings except when I feel like it. Seriously, we barely see Alex’s reaction to this? Is he human again or what? You are going to skip the emotions to just tell us what happened?

I know the original had an abrupt ending too, but it was still resolved a lot better. There’s so many abrupt endings I can’t decided which one is worse, but this has to be up there, as it sums up one issues with the film.

Anyway, finally finished that.

(Putting the RoboCop theme at the end of the credits was nice, by the way)

Final Thoughts:

This was exactly as Average as I figured it would be. As far as remakes go, this one is in the middle, and has it’s highs and lows. Nothing is terrible, nothing is amazing. Before I go into as a remake, let’s look on it’s own.

I feel like it doesn’t fully commit to a lot of what it tries to do. There are some interesting ideas here, and I like getting a peak behind the scenes and seeing how some of this happens. However, I don’t think it adds anything too new compared to every movie taking place in the future that looks at relevant issues.

It also don’t quite say anything except that…turning people into Robots is bad, I guess. There’s a ton of wit to it either. A lot of it is interesting, but amazingly so. There’s also a bit too much talking and not enough action.

For a movie called RoboCop, it could stand to have more of him and not people in suits talking. The action itself is decent, but nothing special. The effects are pretty good though.

It takes it’s time on the Social stuff, which is fine but rushes through a lot of the emotion of what RoboCop is going through. Him solving his own murder happens too quickly, and the bad guys aren’t at all connected to the bigger story.

And did I mention they were so boring and generic?

The cast is mostly solid when they get something to do…except for Alex Murphy himself. His actor is so boring and just adds nothing, especially early on. He’s more more interesting as a Robot, oddly enough.

I blame lackluster direction on this though, or them casting some guy no one knows or cares about. The characters are mostly just there for exposition, and this affects Alex the most. He has interesting ideas for his issues, but the pacing makes it so they don’t explore it.

We get quick scenes, and that’s it. Thanks to the lackluster writing, I do not care at all if he lives or not. I only care due to the ideas, the exceuction is very much lacking. Which actually leads me to the biggest flaw with this film.

It has good ideas, and a lot of elements work…but it’s a film focused more on ideas than anything else. It barely focuses on the emotion, only having quick scenes before moving on. This is summed up with the final scene, as I mentioned.

It’s actually kind of like RoboCop himself in the middle of the film. There’s some emotion I guess, but it’s just a robot going through the motions.

Now for it as a remake. They update some things nicely enough, and adds some things I appreciated. It also still has commentary and isn’t just the exact of thing it’s mocking. However, it takes a lot of the heart of the original and makes dumb changes like making Lewis useless and a man.

They seemed to be trying hard enough, and I gotta give them credit for that. But it just didn’t quite cut it, and was a bit disappointing. The best pars in the middle with the training and them messing with his humanity, as that was a nice update and interesting on it’s own. The rest is…hit or miss.

Overall, it’s just okay. It has interesting ideas and tries to update it okay, but it mostly falls a bit flat due to pointless changes not having the heart it needs. A Good effort, but could have been better.

But hey, from what I hear, it’s better than the original sequels.

Grade: C+

Glad to have that done with. As for next time…well, we enter June, which will be the last month of scheduled reviews. I gotta make this big, as each review that month will be special and connected to my reviews in some way.

So, what’s up first?

215px-That's_My_Boy_poster

…Joy.

See ya.

Posted in Play by Play Reviews, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Top 11 Adventure Time Episodes

Hello, Spongey here.

It’s once list time, and it’s for a show that’s long overdue for one. So in other words, it’s Adventure Time!

Adventure Time is quite the beast indeed. Premiering in 2010, this is arguably the show that saved Cartoon Network. Regular Show helped too, but this was the big one. This show proved to them that letting creators and writers with their own styles helm a show would pay off.

Since then, they’ve allowed plenty of creator driven shows, with other Networks following suit. While you can argue of exactly what sparked this new animation golden age, it’s clear AT had a big part.

It deserves a lot of credit for that along, as well as proving modern cartoons can be pretty amazing for a lot of reasons. If you’ve been living under a rock, Adventure Time takes place in the land of Ooo where Finn the Human and Jake the (magic) dog go on all sorts of crazy adventures with vampire queens, ice kings, and sometimes religious allegories.

Speaking of which, this isn’t my first take on the show as in 2014 I reviewed it’s worst episode. My opinion has not changed, but you’ll hear about that in the 2014 retrospective.

It’s hard to really explain at this point why the show is so good, as plenty of people have gushed over it plenty. It’s one of those shows that seems silly at first but gets a lot more serious with deep themes, character developments, and story arcs.

Through most of it, it has managed to balance all those elements to be quite the solid show. As of Season 7, there’s way too much to sum up here but trust me, it has a lot going on. Maybe too much.

A number of people have said it went downhill after Season 5, and is now getting better with the current Season. I can’t really despiute that as I will agree Season 6 was a bit weaker in some areas.

But I will say that it’s still not that bad, and the problems come from them clearly trying. Even with my personal least favorite episode, they were at least trying to tackle an issue and they did some things right.

So it’s a bit harsh to say it’s all trash now or whatever. I’d say it was closer to hit or miss. But yeah, it did take a hit then got way better again. But in general, the show is great with how it does so many things and is still quite enjoyable.

Why has it taken me so long to even consider a list? Well, for a while I didn’t have any favorites that were not the obvious choices and I didn’t quite feel confident enough to do a lisr. I even considered a Spongey’s Favorite Episodes back when I first got that idea.

Then PieGuyRulz did his list and the idea got pushed back even more since he did a fine job with his choices and whatnot. But eventually I cracked down and re-watch the series to see if I could make a good list.

And here we are. I have a solid enough list with decent variety and it actually doesn’t cross over with PieGuy’s too much. Infact, only about 4 or so from his list ended up on mine, and they were the more obvious ones.

Like any list, some will seem odd, but whatever. So it’s finally time to do this. Adventure Time has hit some great highs in it’s run, and can be hilarious, compelling, and even more than a little sad.

Let’s honor those gems with this little list. Which episodes stood out the most with the use of characters, emotional connection, and story? Today, we take a look to find out.

This, is Top 11 Adventure Time Episodes

  1. Return to the Nightosphere/Daddy’s Little Monster

Writers: Ako Castuera, Jesse Monyhihan, Cole Sanchez and Rebecca Sugar. (Story by Patrick McHale, Kent Osborne, and Pen Ward)

We start with a 2 part Marceline episode written by Rebecca Sugar. Well, I don’t think I need to explain it’s great, moving on!

…Okay, there’s more to say. Finn and Jake wake up in the Nightosphere and must figure out how they got there and also save Marceline.

This is a good one to start with, as it’s one that mixes Comedy with drama decently well, and it gives me the chance to explore Marceline a bit. Rewatching the show, I forgot she was a sort of villain at first, being a bit of troll because she cooled down a bit.

She was already cool because of her nature and Olivia Olson’s voice work but starting with It Came from the Nightosphere, she became more complex with a lot of issues going on. It got to the point where she’s one of the more tragic characters on the show, but we’ll get to THAT one later..

Which leads us to this one which is pretty much a sequel to It Came From the Nightosphere…as the title kind of implies. You can argue making a two parter is pointless, but the time is used well.

Return is a interesting mystery, as the characters wake up with no memory. It’s like The Hangover, but with more demons. Something that film was obviously lacking. Part is mostly just them trying to get to Hunson Abader to get out of here, and only at the very end does anything important happen.

But that’s why it’s so good. The whole thing is them facing the bureaucracy of this hell-ish landscape and it’s so funny with how mundane is. Speaking of funny, both parts have a lot of great jokes from how long they wait, to “Hunson” giving weird punishments.

It gets maybe too jokey for a special but it’s so funny that I don’t mind. And do I need to mention the Political Rap?

Then there’s the actual plot. Basically, Hunson wants Marcy to take part in the family business and uses this amulet thing to turn her into a monster that will rule the Nightosphere like he does.

It’s on the cliché side but like most Marceline stories, it’s pretty gripping. Mostly because she’s just a naturally likable character, and Hunson even works well. He’s funny in some parts, and he’s almost sympathetic even with the things he does.

Also, he is voiced by Olivia Olson’s real father, Martin Olson who also happens to be an establish cartoon writer person in his own right. That’s cool too.

‘All this stuff leads to another great Marceline song and some nice moments at the end. It’s not the deepest story on this show, but it’s nice and simple, even with all the extra time. Did it need to be 2 parts?

Maybe not, but it gave us a great set up with the first part, so I don’t mind. Another amazing thing about this episode is the Nightosphere episode. Adventure Time has truly fantastic art direction and designs for the worlds, and this some of their best work.

This world looks awesome and it’s not just a bland hellscape. There’s an amazing panning shot of the place when they get there and it’s awesome. The extra at least lets us more fun in here.

As a whole, this is a nice exploration of Marceline’s whole deal with her father. While it’s not exactly original, it is sweet and very funny with the entire set up of part 1. It’s not the most complex thing ever, but it is very well done and quite sweet in the end.

Speaking of the end, the little joke with Marcy saying she doesn’t want to be friends with Finn because Hunson likes him is amusing but an abrupt note to end on. Some people thought she was being serious, when she was clearly joking.

Maybe something extra would have been nice, but that’s a nitpick.

This is a fine way to start out list, as it has a story without being insanely dramatic, and is quite creative and funny. It’s a decent balance, but we’re only getting straight. In short, this is a great two parter that is fun and very interesting.

Insert clever transition to next one here.

  1. Memories of Boom Boom Mountain

Writers: Bert Youn, Sean Jimenez (Story by Tim McKeon and Merriweather Williams)

Yes, you read that right. Merriwether Williams worked on Adventure Time. Specifically she was a story editor on the first two Seasons. I think you can guess what she left to work on. Now you know why the only photo of her I’ve seen features her having a Finn hat on.

There’s not much to say about her involvement, it’s cool that was on the show, even if I’m not sure what impact she had. But if her helped on this episode, she did good.

I’ve talked about a shows first season many times and how it’s not usually the best, but there’s that one episode that first shows signs that show will become something special. And yeah, this Adventure Time’s, at least for Season 1.

Basically a Mountain is crying boulders because of some roughhousing gentlemen, and Finn has to make everyone happy. Typical story I know.

Most of is typical Season 1 silliness, but it shows hints of deeper stuff, mostly with Finn’s character. There’s plenty of amusing things, like the Mountain himself (voiced by Gunther from Kick Buttowski which is amazing) and the ending joke with the Dolphin.

It isn’t the funniest, but it is enjoyable with their attempts to fix things and how it all escalates. Oh, and the main Roughhousing guy is voiced by Thomas Wilson, who uses the same voices he did for all those tough guys on SpongeBob.

It’s as fun as most Season 1 episodes, but then there’s some added depth. We find out that as baby, Finn fell into his…boom boom and no one helped him except Jake’s Parents, which is how that strange adoption happened.

Leave it to this show to make a poop joke kind of dramatic. This is why Finn likes helping people, and it gives his character more weight than before. In general, he’s a very likable character and this explains why he’s like this, mostly.

It’s interesting and we get a few flashbacks like that. Thankfully, it never gets too dramatic and is mostly silly with just a few bits like that. But those bits help make the episode great, as Finn tries to help everyone.

The only possible problem is the ending. It seems to be working itself to a “You can’t help everyone” moral…but he ends up helping everyone, mostly by putting steam in front of Gunther here so he cant’ see the roughhousing and his weird girlfriend can still see his mountain butt or whatever.

It’s all a clear happy ending, even with a dolphin following Jake. The weird thing is, I didn’t see the negative aspects of this at all when I saw it, and didn’t realize it until someone pointed it out.

In a way it’s a bit cheap, this was early Adventure Time so I can let this kind of thing slide. Also, in a way this still works. It shows that you can make people happy if you are clever enough.

Sure, that steam will go away eventually…but meh, it’s not like we ever see him again or anything. I think this ending works because it’s so optimistic and fits with Finn’s character. I suppose it works more on a character level.

But the rest is still great. Not only is it fun but it gives us further insight on Finn and makes him a lot more three dimensinol. There’s some nice moments here and you feel bad for him even if the boom boom thing is king of played for laughs.

I also like that the Roughhousing guys are clearly just having fun so you root for them a bit more than you normally would. This show is weirdly Pro-Violence but in a good way which we’ll actually explore in the next entry.

But as for this one, it’s a great gem from the first Season. I’ll admit the stuff with Finn is why it made it on here above arguably better episodes, but it’s still great in it’s own right.

It’s an early example of how likable Finn and it has a mostly nice moral while still being quite a bit of fun. There are more complex episodes but this is a good example of simple one with some deeper things in there.

Don’t worry, they will get better soon, I’m warming up as usual. So yeah, very good early episode, thanks in part to my favorite person to defend!

  1. Crystals have Power

Writers: Cole Sanchez, Jesse Monyihan. (Story by Merriweather Williams Steve Little, Patrick McHale, Pen Ward, Thurop Van Orman)

This is an episode that isn’t talked about too often except for the plot significance but as you can tell ,i think there’s a bit more to it, even if again I will admit there are better episodes out there. About 8 of them, infact!

Basically, Finn is kidnapped by Crystal Guardian dudes who try to turn him into a frozen crystal guy. And since you already know it, it turns out Tree Trunk is behind all this.

I suppose I should get that part out of the way. In her debut episode, she hate a Crystal gem (No comment..) Apple which made her blow up. Of course we saw a tiny scene of her in some strange dimension, just to show they didn’t kill her off.

It was a hell of ending, and was just an example of …weird the show was. It was a very early episode. Naturally, we wanted some resolution which that and we got it. I should just say that I honestly love Tree Trunks.

She’s just so darn sweet, and she never got too dumb for me. Really, I think Apple Wedding is the only one where maybe she’s a bit dumb, but only cuz we knew too little about King Of Ooo to know if it’s fine for her to trust him at that point.

While she only appears in the 3rd act, she is solid her with she has gone crazy with power thanks to that Apple. Her wanting to be with Finn is…creepy, though. Glad they dropped that.

She’s certainty fun and the crystal dimension place looks really cool. However, the highlight is actually Jake. He accidents hurts Finn and he’s reminded of when he once hurt his brother and his Father said he has to get used to ,as he’s going to “hurt everyone”.

This causes Jake to become soft (literally) and not want to fight people. Besides the interesting insight into Jake we get, I actually really like the moral here. They kind of did it in His Hero but it was executed better here.

They pretty much say that violence is okay as long as the person is evil. I mean, most of the baddies in this show deserve to be hurt at least a beat, especially in this episode with the crystal dudes.

We’re so used to being taught that all violence is bad, but the truth is sometimes you have to get a little violent. It’s not exactly the answer, but sadly it has to happen at some point. There needs to be a balance between extreme violence and extreme pacifism,

While it is played for laughs here, we see how hurting his friends and family affects him, and he learns to pull it back on friends but not go too soft on bad guys. It managed to teach the lesson without coming across as hypocritical, at least to me.

That’s pretty much the main reason this gets on here. There’s some jokes, some great designs, and Tree Trunks is funs, but I like it mostly for Jake and how the moral is handled. It’s not even preachy about it, it just lets this stuff play out, and Jake’s little moments don’t drag it down.

It’s a pretty enjoyable episode with a bit of depth that is refreshing to see in a kids show. His Hero was written in a way where I can see people taking issue with the moral, as it’s played very much for laughs, but this wrote it so that it’s a better moral and not quite as comedic.

That’s really there is to it. It’s fairly simple even with these two main things going on. It does everything pretty well has a nice moral at the center of it, even if it is an odd one. This one won’t be on most people’s list, but it’s on mine because I like it.

Now like many lists, the first few entries are more of less warm ups. The first 3 were pretty much tied, along with some of the Runners Up we’ll get to. But the next 8 are all really great in their own way and truly stand as something special, while these 3 were just…really good.

So you know I mean it with the next ones. But hey, this one is still great with what it does. It not only addressed a cliffhanger, but it also gave us a refreshing moral and other fun stuff. It’s quite good.

  1. Holly Jolly Secrets

Writers: Kent Osborne, Somvilay Xayaphone (Story by Mark Banker, Patrick McHale, Kent Osborne, and Pen Ward)

Who is up for a little Christmas in May? Or whatever Generic Winter Holiday got started in this episode.

But yeah..oh boy, this is a big one. Most people may not have one on their lists, since most people just think it’s good for the reaval and that’s it. While that is the best part of the episode, I actually have it on here for the format of it all.

Finn and Jake find some tapes Ice King hid and watch them to find any evil secrets. That’s pretty much, it’s just them watching tapes. And it’s a 22 minute special, where nothing that important happens until the end.

But all counts, it should be a slog with only one good part. Heck, it was advertised as the big Christmas Special, but it has nothing with the holidays until part 2. But in a way, this all why it’s so great.

The entire thing is build up to this reveal, and the more you wind up like that, the bigger the payoff has to be. The payoff is so amazing that it’s like the episode is the best joke ever. Actually, it seems like it’s building to a joke, so what happens is even more shocking,.

They do make a joke about it with Ice King thinking his glasses are the deal, but even that’s tragic with how he doesn’t get it. And yeah, that twist is great.

We find out Ice King was once Simon and he was a normal guy from before the whole Mushroom War stuff. But one day he found a crown that pretty much drove him insane, gave him ice powers, and drove away his fiance, Betty.

The tape shows his transformation, and ends with him still having sanity, but still alone and crying out for Betty. This was…well ,a Drama Bomb, as Jake put it. It’s a ton of info to process at once, and I don’t think anyone saw it coming.

It adds a lot of tragedy to his character, and gives so much insight into the greater story going on. And man, Tom Kenny deserves all of the credit for his performance as The Ice King in general ,especially for this episode and one coming up later.

He does a great job as Simon making him sound normal to contrast to later when he just goes insane. He hits it all perfectly. The entire ending in general is just sad, then really heartwarming with how they all bond.

But while all this great, the other main reason this is on here is that it’s really funny. The whole thing is just them watching tapes, but they get a lot of great Comedy here on all fronts. There’s everything BMO does (“Finn, get Naked”), and all the stuff on the Ice King’s tapes.

We knew he was pathetic before, but they come up with some fun ways to show it here from him talking about his lame day to scolding Gunther in a weird news style thing. It’s all really funny and enjoyably.

It oddly enough doesn’t drag for me. It’s just kind of nice to watch these weird tapes, and see their reactions to them. It’s almost relaxing in a way especially with Christmas slowly starts to come up with the sweaters.

As small as the Christmas element is, it works too due to how they build it up. They intentionally make it just a normal episode with Christmas elements, in a way only this show could.

The ending makes it more than Christmas-y enough for me to watch it every year. But the rest is what it makes it special enough for this list. Yes, it has that crazy twist but the build up is really well done with how funny it is, and exactly how they build it up.

Most people would think it’s just notable for the twist, but I think it needs more credit. It builds up to the twist brilliantly, and is incredibly funny and makes for a very different Holiday Special at the same time. While I also really liked their recent Holiday Special, it honestly can’t top this one.

It may be a bit strange with it’s pacing, but it pays off with good comedy and an amazing twist that changed the show forever. It’s a holiday classic in it;s own right.

  1. Princess Cookie

Writers: Tom Herpich. Skyler Page. (Story by Patrick McHale, Kent Osborne, and Pen Ward)

One of the best things about Adventure Time is that it’s multi layered. By that I mean, it does go into deeper stuff but it’s usually under the surface. If you want just to see a simple story, you can but if you want to go deeper, that stuff is usually there.

This is part of why Season 6 got so much flack, since it didn’t remember it quite as much. But they mostly get it right, and this episode is a perfect example of that.

A cookie holds up a Candy Kingdom store, and Jake sent in to take care of him only for him to eventually find out what his deal is and side with him.

There’s quite a bit to discuss with this one, but let’s stick to the simple parts first. For one, I like that that it focuses more on Jake. For a main character, he doesn’t get as much to do as you might think.

He has to get an episode clearly about him to be really important. But for this episode, they gave him the spotlight when it really didn’t matter who bonded with Princess Cookie. I think with Finn it just wouldn’t feel as special, since he’s less likely to disobey Bubblegum for obvious reasons.

With Jake, it makes more sense and there’s a better connection. I think more episodes like this would make Jake just a bit better, even though he is already pretty great. And that’s part of why the episode works.

Princess Cookie himself is likable, mostly due to Donald Fasion’s voice work. This show has pitch perfect casting, even with it’s one shot characters. He’s not only amusing, but his backstory immediately makes you like him, which is good given what he goes through in the end.

While it’s not quite as big Comedy episode, it has it’s moments such as Alvin’s Hot Juice Box. But in general, this is a more serious one so let’s so the…interesting parts. It turns out that he was an Orphan and his Orphanage was pretty crappy, until Bubblegum showed up and made it all better.

He liked her so much afrer that he wanted to be a Princess like her. He tells her that and she just chuckles, which he thinks is her mocking him. From that day onward, he starts to hate her and that’s why he’s here.

There’s..plenty to gleam from that, but as I said, you can view it both ways with no problem. On a general way, this works really work. His backstory gives him a perfect reason to want to be like her, because this bit made him see her this amazing angel and he wants to be like that.

It makes total sense in the story and makes him more understandable. As for Bubblegum’s role, she thinks it’s a silly thing he said, she isn’t really laughing at him or anything. So she’s fine too…even if she never learns his reasoning for doing this stuff now, until perhaps the very very end.

Yeah, that’s my only problem. Getting her POV would have made the story more complete, instead of mostly making her a villain especially given the deeper meaning you can find in here. Still, that’s not too big a deal.

As story, it’s very strong making you like the character and giving things a very nice ending. However, it’s time to go a bit deeper, this should be fun. I think it’s clear what you can gleam from him wanting to be a Princess.

But like I said, if you just want to see him wanting the crown because of the good qualities he associates with Princesses, then you can, as it’s mostly about that. Meaning you don’t have to look deep to like it.

And you can look deep and find some good stuff here. The stuff hinted here tends to be frowned upon in general, so it’s no wonder he thought she was mocking him. That’s sadly the world we live in, so this has some real world context.

Now, there are arguably more issues with Bubblegum’s side if you look deeper, but it mostly works due to the heart. For the most part, it is just a story of him wanting to be princess, with nothing too crazy about the implications.

Here that side is just a nice bonus, which works better than if you smacked you over the head with the point. But then we get to the uh…most interesting part of the episode. It’s the thing people remember the most, yet don’t quite discuss as much, oddly enough.

In short, he pretty much attempts suicide. There’s..really no other way to put. He gets to a big trench thing with everyone chasing him, and after thanking Jake, he falls backwards into it. …Yeah, this happens.

First off, this aired on the same night as the Regular Show episode Out of Commission, where at one point the cart that is alive (Don’t ask) …does something similar in attempting suicide of some kind.

Yes, both of these scenes happened the same day. I have no idea how that happened but it’s incredibly creepy and a very….odd unintentional theme. People seem to have forgotten about this, but I thought I had to bring up.

But…yeah, people seem to be fine with this since no one complains about it. And in general, its’ respectful enough but here’s the thing…it becomes a joke. Yeah, as a Cookie he just breaks into a few pieces, and still lives.

Yes, they make a suicide joke, pretty much. No one, that I know of, has commented on this, much like whined about it. I get in general, since there’s no malice here. And…to be honest, it is kind of funny, due to the timing of it all, and how cartoon-y it is in general.

However, with how much people love to whine and nitpick shit like this to find offensive materiel that isn’t actually there, it’s strange how no one brings this up. Maybe it’s because back in 2012 this stuff just wasn’t as big of a deal and it would be get more whining now?

Because while it is handled fine, it is a suicide joke in a story that can be linked to transgender issues, and unfortunately suicide can sometimes be involved in that in some very bad cases. I’m not quite calling them out, I just find it odd that this didn’t get nitpick-y assholes while other pieces like this do get those people.

Now, another reason is that there is a happy ending. He is somehow put back together and put in what seems like a loony bin, where he does get a princess crown and is worshiped by the other people there, getting what he wanted.

It’s an incredibly satisfying ending. There’s a nice little Adventure Time twist to with the location to make it fit while still being incredibly sweet. PB is even seen here being happy, so clearly she learned her lesson in some way.

Speaking of sweet, there;s more bits like that. The bit at the trench is so great, with how we see his plight and how Jake has bonded with him. The big moment is done really well and makes the very ending even better.

As a whole, this is a well told story with a very likable character in the lead, with a great connection to Jake. And there’s even a deeper meaning to give it more weight, but if you don’t wanna see it, you don’t have to!

There is one kind of awkward bit, even with it being mostly done well. And honestly, that does keep it from being a bit higher on here, as I can see it bugging people. But in general, this is a great episode that is a interesting story with a lot of deep stuff to chew on.

While there are maybe better episodes that fit the structure I discussed, this is the biggest example of it, with everything it does. It’s great.

  1. What Was Missing

Writers: Adam Muto, Rebecca Sugar. (Story by Mark Banker, Patrick McHale, Kent Osborne, and Pen Ward)

Oh boy, this one. It’s first real obligatory choice, and it’s very much deserving as being a beloved episode.

Through means I don’t want to get into, Finn, Jake, Bubblegum and Marceline must use music to open a magic door.

The set up to this one is just great. It’s so simple when you get down to it, but brings up development in a brilliant way. The music stirs up some emotions in them and causes tension in the group. This allows the drama to happen naturally, and really uses music in a way it should be used

Kind of what Penn Zero, but to a deeper extent, even if it’s not quite a musical episode like that one was. This one is a lot simpler than the other episodes on the list, but what is what makes it so good.

The plot is nothing complicated in general, yet has a lot going on. For one, it’s a lot of fun. The music is great, and there’s good jokes, especially Jake as a rocker. Gets me every time. There’s a sense of fun to the whole thing, as the drama doesn’t take over too much.

It even ends on a joke, which works due to how the characters usually are. But it is the deep stuff that everyone remember. Including the…elephant in the room.

Yes, we find out that Bubblegum and Marceline have a history together, and it’s strongly hinted that they dated in some ways. First off, I think it’s smart that they don’t quite say it, so it can work no matter what you think.’

No matter if you think they hated or not, their relationship is still great. Seriously, any episode about them is automatically great. So while they sadly can’t drop the bomb, I think it works in their favor.

Plus, it layed the groundwork that Steven Universe eventually took advantage of. And yes, some crap happened because of this but I don’t wanna get into it again because it doesn’t really matter.

It just matters that they did it well here. We don’t know what happened in their past, we just know Marcy resents PB and it’s shown very well with her song. Granted, it comes a bit out of nowhere but the rest is so well done, I don’t care.

Things get more dramatic as more emotions pour out, especially as Finn just gets lost in all of this. You really sympathize with him here, with all of his friends arguing and getting in the way of their goal.

The songs carry a lot of the weight here, and while it’s not a musical, they are used in the same way they would be used there, and since there’s only a few, it works really well! Both major songs are great with the emotion and just how well the voice actors perform them.

It’s certainly a “Slice” Episode, with it just being small and having one big emotional bit, but the way it’s done makes it one of the best of that kind. It’s kind of like Princess Cookie in how you can view it two ways and still like it.

Honestly this one is only higher due to that one’s small issues, as I do prefer more action packed stories. But this one is still awesome for all the reasons I went into.

The final song really sums it all up and makes for an incredibly sweet finale. That bit with Marcy’s shirt is great too. This is just a nice little episode, that happens to do it a lot right.

It’s fun ton makes it very re-watchable, while also having big emotional weight to make it more interesting, with some fascinating character insights. This is another early example of the show showing it’s deeper side, and it’s mixed really well with the jokes.

There isn’t too much more to say, it’s pretty simple when you get down it. The interactions are great, the songs are awesome, a new dynamic is explored, and it’s just a blast with some real emotion to it.

Needless to say, nothing was missing from this episode, which is rare for something of this type.

  1. Susan Strong

Writers: Adam Muto, Rebecca Sugar (Story by Mark Banker, Patrick McHale, Kent Osborne, and Pen Ward)

In this apocalyptic landscape Finn being the only human is bound to be interesting, as we still don’t quite know he came to be the only one. Now we know it’s maybe connected to Martin somehow, and his family must have somehow been able to survive even with everything else with going to shit.

Natrually, they’ve gone into this in a few episodes, including teasing other humans, even before Martin showed up. This was our first hint, and it’s known just for that, but I think there’s more to it.

Finn and Jake discover some Human looking people underground and take one girl, named Susan, up to the surface. The main thing that makes this episode work so well is the pacing. Qutie a bit goes on, but everything is paced perfectly.

We get enough of each section for it ot hit like it needs. From the opening where they bump into this place to begin with, to showing Susan around, to the ending, everything is as long as it needs to ,and they fit in plenty of comedy ,action, and heart.

With some episodes, you feel like it needs to be longer since they can’t contain so much story in only 11 minutes, but this handles it perfectly. It doesn’t need to really reveal, or even do all that much.

It just needs to reveal these people, and go through these events, and make you wonder if Susan is human or not. Since it won’t answer the big question, it’s free to handle that later while still being it’s own thing.

They did go back to her later, and had Finn find out what she is, but we’re not sure. …Maybe. In Dark Purple I think we saw her as normal with her hat off, but I’m still not sure if I even saw it right.

I don’t think we need to know, like a lot of things, it’s best left to our imagination so everyone will be happy. The story itself is pretty interesting, as hits some typical notes well. It’s interesting to see Finn possibly meet a Human, and there’s a nice ending with ambugiot done right.

Susan herself is very likable with how she is scared of the world and doesn’t know that eating candy people is kind of wrong. She just doesn’t know any better, and she’s even better in her other episodes. And she’s voiced by Pacfica Northwest!

There’s also some amusing moments mixed in like Jake wanting to rule them like “Angry Gods” and the marshmallow kids. This episodes mixes in a lot of things really well, and is just a complete experience.

Granted, maybe some parts are too rushed in some way, but the pacing is so good otherwise that it doesn’t matter. Like Holly Jolly Secrets, people might think it’s only notable for one thing, but honestly I care about how well written it is above the silly mystery going on.

It’s just a nice bonus. As a whole, this episode is just really done. It mixes a lot of elements, and still comes off like a great complete story. It’s funny and sweet, and knows exactly how much to show, for the most part.

Add in a great ambiguous ending, and you have a very special episode that does almost everything right. Susan made have appeared again but she wasn’t quite as…strong as she was here.

I’m not sorry.

  1. Mortal Folly/Mortal Recoil

Writers: Adam Muto, Rebecca Sugar, Cole Sanchez, Jesse Monyhan (Story by Mark Banker, Patrick McHale, Kent Osborne, and Pen Ward)

Adventure Time has done a number of epic two parters over the seasons. With most shows, the first of it’s kind of would be fine but upstaged but the rest but oddly enough, it’s the opposite.

This Season finale was so good that no other special has been able top it, honestly. The others are still decent, and a couple come close, but they all feel like they are missing something, or have one issue.

This has mostly no problems and is awesome all the way through. In short, The Lich makes his epic debuet and our heroes have to stop him. There’s more to it but that’s mostly the plot right there.

There isn’t a ton to say here. It works due to the simplicity. It’s epic but doesn’t have too much going on. It’s mostly them chasing The Lich, with an added sort of subplot of The Ice King wanting to marry Bubblegum.

A lot of finales in general while try too hard to be big with too many subplots, but this stays simple and just makes the simple plot as epic as possible. And it still functions as a normal episode, mostly with Ice King’s antics.

He is particularity pathetic here, but it’s kept funny, and he does help a couple times. Even if he leaves at the very end because PB is young. (We’ll get to that..). While it’s not the funniest, it has some moments, even with all this epic stuff going on.

Mortal Recoil gets pretty creepy with The Lich possessing Bubblegum which no one knows but The Ice King. They get some disturbing visuals out of this and there’s a sense of dread where you know something is off.

The whole thing has this great feel to it, with part having a sense of emergency with them chasing the Lich. It makes the whole thing really engaging with everything that happens. It also helps that The Lich is awesome.

His design is awesome and Ron Pearlman helps make him really creepy whenever he speaks. He’s a great threat and they always handle him well, even when he’s in a little boy. …Don’t ask, it’s a long story.

Speaking of transformations, there’s the ending. Long story short, Bubblegum is hurt and while they fix her, gthey don’t have enough gum and they are forced to make her 13. Which happens to Finn’s age.

This was an odd risk, but certainly interesting. I had problems, but had potential. I was excited to see what they did with it, and they reversed it after only a few episodes in Season 3.

This show tends to hate change for some reason. But at least we got Lemongrab out of it. And it’s still a cool risk in the context of this episode. It does add to how big this one is.

There’s nothing really that complex about the story of this one compared to other specials, but it manages to be better with what it does. There’s even a neat fake out with the sweater of l..liking someone a lot.

It is interesting how they have yet to top this one in terms of their specials, unless you wanna count Stakes even though it’s way longer and has an unfair advantage. The problem with the other specials is that they do a bit too much or have a minor issue, like Jake the Dog’s Cop out ending.

This one has a mostly simple plot and just sticks to that, giving us a lot of great little things. Through this, it does everything right from the humor to the suspense. It does one main thing and sticks with it, and does a really good job with it.

There are more complex episodes, but this one is just plain engaging. It’s fun, it’s creepy, and very suspenseful with some nice shocking moments. It’s been forgotten among the bigger specials, but I think this one needs more credit for what it gets right.

It’s not the most emotional episode ever, but it makes up for it by being dramatic, epic, and just plain awesome. It was an amazing way to end Season 2, and this is where the series really got started.

Some may prefer other specials, but this one is my favorite, at least for now.

  1. I Remember You/Simon & Marcy

Writers: Cole Sanchez, Rebecca Sugar (Story by Patrick McHale, Kent Osborne, Pen Ward)

Oh yeah, we’ve reach that point. The two most obvious episodes I could have picked for the list. I think most people are okay with me tying them since I can’t decide which one is more amazing.

And they are only number three. Honestly my top 3 are pretty much tied in a way, I just put them in order in terms of how well rounded they were are episode,s not letting feels and such get in the way, for the most part.

But yeah, let’s talk about these episodes. The original one is first for obvious reasons. Ice King asks for Marceline’s help with a song and it turns out they have a bit of a history, to say the least.

This is another “Slice” episode, and it’s the best one ever. Not much really happens when you get down to it, but what happens carries just so much weight. The episode masterfully goes from silly antics to total heartbreak in 11 minutes, without being too whiplash-y.

The only break once it gets dramatic is a quick gag with Finn and Jake’s reactions, which is just great.

Despite the drama, there are jokes in the 1st arc, and they are pretty funny from Ice King singing one of Marcy’s songs, to the The Past Room. Because the gags focus on Ice King it works and even adds to the drama in a way.

Things properly escalate with Marceline seeing just has bad his memory is, as we find out more about their past. It feels like quite a bit happens as we see the characters go through these phases, even though not much really happens.

But of course, the big ending is the highlight. We find out that Simon was kind of surgotage father to Young Marcy after the Apocalypse hit. And apparently some bad stuff happened due the crown but he doesn’t remember.

We get to see the more tragic side of his memory loss, while Holly Jolly Secrets kept it funny from his side. The whole thing is just so tragic, especially since Ice King doesn’t even get it. To him, he’s just singing a silly song.

Which makes the song itself even more powerful, especially when we see that flashback and find out that Simon is the one who got her Hambo in the first place. No, it’s not a pig Rambo or that Action 52 game.

This ending is just a giant tearjerker with the music and the pure weight behind all of this. And yeah, I did kind of shed a tear or two when I first saw it. Shut up,. And maybe I did when I watched it again for the list, what of it?

This is a great example of how to do a Slice episode. Not too much happens but a lot of emotions of conveyed and things happen throughout, and not the ending. They write in a way that makes it feel more is happening is great writing. The whole is just emotional and awesome most of the way through, with quite the tearjkering ending.

Not onto Simon & Marcy, where we just get a slice of what their life was just back in that post apocalyptic world. This has the exact same writing team as I Remember You, which is good because they fit perfectly.

The writing in this one is even better. It’s technically a Slice one as well, but it’s a bigger slice. I remember being slightly underwhelmed when I first saw it…but mostly because I wanted more, in a good way!

They could have made it a special, but I think it fits into 11 minutes. Mostly because it’s just a small slice of what their life was like. I think it tells us more than some big epic story. It’s them hanging around and trying to get chicken soup while facing some monsters.

It’s small but gives us a big picture in a lot of ways. Before I go further, I have to say this has what may be the best performance in Tom Kenny’s career, which is saying a lot. When he’s Simon, he’s really nice and really seems like a great “father” to Marceline.

He can be silly perfectly, and serious perfectly. And we already know he can play Ice King perfectly without going overboard. He does it all so well and he’s especially when good when he needs to sound emotional.

He tends to be good at all this stuff, but this is just amazing. Speaking of voice acting, Ava Acres is really good as Young Marcy. She’s beliavle as the young girl, while also being able to be taken seriously when she has to be. She seems fairly young, which makes this even more impressive

She’s actually the younger sister of the gfirl who voices Young Bubblegum, which is fitting when you think about it.

Anyway, This one packs in so much into just a little slice of life, that it’s awesome. Basically, we see how Simon and Marcy bonded and how the crown affected him. The main story is cool, but there’s a ton of little details that might take you a few viewings to catch.

Like how a form of Princess Bubblegum gets in here, which I didn’t’ notice even then it technically plays a notable part.

But yeah, the main story is pretty great. Simon is really likable, which makes what happens to him even more tragic. With him, we get quite a few jokes in their bonding scenes, which work to show how Simon usually is.

Heck, one joke comes back in a dramatic well. Let’s just say you’ll never hear the Cheers theme the same way again.

A lot of this episode is kind of fun due to how likable these two are. Their bond is done really well, and you can actually feel it. This is important as before we were just told about it, so they had to prove to us that their bond was strong enough for us to cry about what happened to Simon.

They pulled it off. The pacing is surprisingly good, considering there is a brief wraparound with Marceline telling this story to Finn and Jake. It’s kept short and is there for contrast, and to inform us this show takes place roughly 996 years in the future.

It works since we get just a slice of their life. It doesn’t bite off too much so the pacing doesn’t feel too rushed. Naturally, there are some emotional moments as Simon feels he needs the crown to protect Marcy but she’s more than a little worried about him due to what it does to him.

It manages to be pretty heavy without going full tear jerker. It’s a somewhat happy ending and mostly interesting and sweet rather than tearjerking. That works very well and still manages to be emotion.

Overall, both episodes are amazing. Simon & Marcy is more well rounded, but I Remember You is more memorable due to how epic that reveal was. I can see why some would call these the two best, as these carry the most emotion.

There are plenty of emotional episodes, even before IRY (including our next pick…) but these just carry a ton of weight their stories, especially due to the real world subtext, with an old man losing his memory.

These might objectively be the best in terms of emotional, but I decided to rank these in terms of how they are as Adventure Time episodes, and personally I think there are more well rounded ones out there.

But still, these episodes are beyond amazing. I Remember You fully changed the show and gave it even more weight than it already had, and Simon & Marcy gives us an amazing slice of life. Not bad for a Season 5 episode, if you ask me.

So yeah…they may be as good as everyone says.

  1. Princess Monster Wife

Writers: Somvilay Xayaphone, Bert Youn (Story by Patrick McHale, Kent Osborne, Pen Ward)

This is an episode that tends to be forgotten, and while I kind of see why, I think it’s pretty fantastic.

Ice King makes himself a wife out of his favorites part of his favorite princesses, and while she looks a bit ugly, he actually loves her.

I think the main reason people seem to forget about this one, is that it’s just a weird stand alone story, and it didn’t really lead to anything. And it’s technically a story we’ve seen before. But despite that, this one is amazing.

All the odd things that may take away from it actually add it. We’ve seen stories where someone loves an ugly monster, but this puts it’s own Adventure Time-y spin on it. I mean we have a creature made out of other characters, like Frankenstein but with more unique parts. The design of the Princess Monster Wife herself is really cool, and I love how she the voice of three princesses at once.

Not only is it funny to hear Steve Little, Hyden Walch, and Pen Ward’s voices all at once attached to this unique character, it actually plays into the themes. Even though Ice King tries to treat her like she is her own person, she’s clearly just a bunch of parts.

I’ll get to more of that in a bit but let’s focus on Ice King. Despite his weird actions, he genuinely seems to love his wife. Yes, it’s clear he made her at first just so he can have his own princess wife but he seems really caring here.

He’s still funny two with some little cracks he makes, and he just still acts odd, so it’s certainly in character. And really, maybe the best woman for him is someone he made himself, he just went about it the wrong way.

Their relationship is well handled, as it’s not all just cheesy lovey stuff. We get some sweet moments, along with small gags. Nothing hilarious but enough to make it nice. There’s also Ice King’s song, which one of the more underrated AT songs. It’s very much like A Whole New world, in a good way.

Every scene with them just works, especially with him trying to make this whole thing look normal but she keeps being reminded of how …different she is. It just feels so natural, and the whole is nice, but you keep being reminded that this is just…off, like it’s not natural, even they are trying to make it work.

There’s a sense of tragedy throughout most of it, which works really well. Then there’s Finn and Jake’s role. They are they to be the people horrified by the monster wife. While they maybe overreact a little bit (I don’t think she’s faint worthy, honestly) this does work in the context of the story.

Then there’s the ending. I have to spoil as it’s another amazing thing about this episode to skip the bold text if you haven’t seen this episode or just don’t recall it.’

In the end, she finds out how she was made and Ice King tells her about how he loves her even without her parts. So she takes her parts and gives them all back to the princesses, just leaving her clock thing behind.

If you ask me, this is just the perfect ending. Usually in these kind of stores, the people horrified by the creature end up killing it or something, and it’s all very tragic. Here, she pretty much offs herself, although we do see part of her is still out there.

BMO would later know a similar feeling but that’s another story.

This is honestly even more tragic. She knows she is just not right in her current state, and things would be better like this. It’s incredibly tragic, tearjerking, while also being really heartwarming.

It’s just perfect on so many levels. There’s actually a joke right after it that’s so funny I won’t spoil it, hence the bold being done.

It’s a joke that doesn’t ruin anything because the timing is great, and it makes sense with the character. Which brings us back to Ice King. What he did here was kind of bad, taking parts of other Princesses, yet you sometimes forget that because he’s so nice.

He’s just honest and nice with this girl he just made himself, and it shows how nice of a guy he can be. (Of course, now we have a better idea why he can be so nice sometimes). So when some things happen, you remember this is still Ice King despite how nice he is here.

The whole thing is just tragic because you know it can’t work out due to her very nature and what Ice King did. And the payoff is perfect.

If I have all these nice things to say, why isn’t it number one? Well, it’s the nature of it. Because it’s a stand alone not meant to be remembered, it does prevent it from beating more impactful episodes.

Plus, some reactions are a bit over the top and I can see the ending bugging people, while I have no issues with the Number one spot at all. I have other reasons but I’ll discuss them there.

But yeah, this episode is amazing. It’s a typical story but done in such a wonderful way, being charming, creative, funny and tragic in all the best possible ways. This is how you do a story like this.

By the way, can you tell I like Ice King a lot yet?

I think I said everything I need to, Princess Monster Wife is just…great.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Before I get into these, let me tell you how I made the list. After I watched each Season ,i made a top 5 for each for reference, and after season 2, I put those two lists together to make a full list, and I kept doing that until after Season 6, to get my top 11.

Meaning, I compared stuff to each other and felt add having some episodes top others, which is how you get the odd first 3 choices. I should have done it like I normally do, but ah well, I’m happy with my choices, especially my Top 8. The Top 3 was incrdibly hard to pin down, by the way.

Anyway, for these, I picked one from each Season to make it easy:

The Enciridion: The first great episode, with the cool adventure with some nice trails. This is actually the first episode in production order. Now that’s an awesome introduction.

Videomakers: I love making a movie episodes, and this one is very funny with a sweet ending.

Thank You: A very unique little story that’s cool and sweet. A nice little break from the usual stuff, I think.

King Worm: One of the best Dream episodes I’ve seen ,taking full advantage of the dream concept and being just a ton of fun.

Dungeon Train: This was the closest to being on the list, consider it Number 12. It’s an interesting look at escapism that actually doesn’t fully bash it, as we need a little escape sometimes. It’s also really sweet and just fascinating to watch.

Little Brother: While the side character episodes can be a bit dull sometimes, this is one of the best. It’s a cool story about Shelby’s butt, which is not as dumb as it sounds.

And my favorite Adventure Time Episode is…

  1. Dad’s Dungeon

Writers: Pen Ward, Adam Muto, Natasha Allegeri (Story by Mark Banker, Patrick McHale, Kent Osborne, and Pen Ward)

Before I explain my special reason why this one is Number one, let me explain why it’s awesome on it’s own.

Finn and Jake explore a dungeon by Jake’s father which turns out to be a test for Finn. Adventure Time is known for it’s dungeon episodes, which are always great. Seriously, from Season 1’s Dungeon to Vault of Bones, they are always called Great.

They tend to be creative and each does something different. This one isn’t quite as much of a shake up, as it has the coolest dungeon and easily the best story. It’s somewhat basic in how it’s executed, but that makes it better in some ways.

First, the Dungeon has cool stuff like that ugly guy and those chicks with the fruit. They are way funnier and more creative than they sound. There’s also the big boss who has an awesome design and makes for a fun final fight.

As usual there are good jokes all throughout, from the start with Jake changing shapes on request, and the end with the remix of Joshua’s tapes. Remember, the family sword is made of babies.

It’s a fun ride, even with the deeper stuff. Speaking of, Joshua recorded these messages and set this up when Finn was a baby and wanted to toughen him up. So he tells Present Jake to insult Finn and stuff like that to test him and such.

Yeah, Joshua comes across as dick-ish here. In general, he has a tough side but here we see he has his reasons. Hey, better than Finn’s actual Father who is a dick because…uh..um…reasons.

His methods are a bit off, but we see that he does just want to toughen him up and wasn’t sure if he could have faith in him, since he was a baby at the time. Remember, this was the kid who was found sitting in his Boom Boom.

By the way, Joshua is voiced by writer Kent Osborne, I find that cool. He was previously a writer on SpongeBob, which is even cooler.

They do a good job of showing Finn and Jake’s reactions to this. Jake doesn’t want to put Finn through this but his Dad said so, so he has to. You see his thought process, so it’s not like he’s blindly doing this.

There’s some nice small moments where Finn thinks about this upon finding this out, which really adds some depth to this. They take a moment, even if it’s small. It also doesn’t get too cheesy so it’s still fun.

It’s just a really interesting story with some nice Daddy issues. This show can mostly due that well, it seems. It manages to have some depth with Joshua and is rather sweet, and quite enjoyable.

It does every element right, and has stuff to think about. But….so does everything else on this list and frankly some are better, so why is it number one?

Well, that’s true but here’s the thing; The others have only ALMOST everything. Most of them are funny, have great character insight and depth. But of them only Mortal Folly/Recoil has the extra element this one does, and that’s,…the adventure!

It’s not much of one, but it is from the ground up a fun dungeon adventure that happens to have all this extra awesome stuff to it. Some of them have it, like Crystals have powers, but don’t have the other elements work nearly as well.

This has every element work perfectly. The drama is perfect. The comedy is perfect, the dungeon is awesome and so on. As much as I love the deep stuff, the show is meant to be fun on top of that. As much as I love the past few episodes, I wouldn’t call them “Fun” per say.

This one is, alogn with having great writing. Sometimes the show will forget the fun factor. Serious episodes are fine but they should be saved up, not abused. Having too many fun episodes would be just as bad, by the way.

In other words, this episode is well rounded. The rest mostly just aren’t., Objectively you can call a few better, but my standards, this one is perfect.

Any possible problems have positive aspects to them like Joshua’s actions are justified. You can like any of these better, if they fit your preferences. My preference is for something that sums up everything I love about the show.

And this has that. It’s a really fun adventure that happens to be deep and very interesting. Everything just works perfectly. Like I said, the Top 3 were about tied but I put them in order of my preferences.

So while the others are great, this one has everything. It’s a lot of fun with a cool dungeon and has great depth with more of that awesome insight we tend to get on this show. It’s interesting how Pen Ward personally wrote it instead of just being on the story. It’s clear they wanted this one to be special, and it really was.

While it was hard to pick a favorite, this one made it there for it’s combination of everything wonderful about this. Overall, Dad’s Dungeon gets it all right, and THAT is why it’s my favorite Adventure Time Episode.

And that’s another list done. This one was a bit weird, but I think at least I had the Top 8 Down perfectly. That was a hard one but I think it’s good. Through it’s ups and downs, I still quite love this show.

I’m so glad the current Season is doing better, and it’s mostly fun. I will hopefully do a list for Season 7 when it’s down as it deserves it so far. And honestly, it as never too bad, it always had something interesting and they clearly try.

I’m so glad to have this show done with for a list. Expect more lists on the way. Infact, I got yet another CN one coming up. Or maybe it’s a Spongey’s Favorite Episodes, we’ll see. All I can say is that’s on a show I’ve talked before, and how it needs a bit more credit.

That should be….eventually. In the meantime, there’s plenty of other stuff to look forward to, but don’t expect too many blog projects outside of the current big things like the MLP Comic Stuff. I’m busy working on other stuff, and getting ready for finale month.

Well, that’s all I got, hope you enjoy my opinions once again.

See ya.

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General Review: The Angry Birds Movie

Hello, Spongey here.

Well, 2016 animated continues. We have a mixed road ahead of us, and our last one was underwhelming and from the reaction to this one, I’m not sure if this will fix that. But hey, you never know.

We have the 2nd of our four Video Game films of the year. (Forgot about Assassin’s Creed last time, I really want that one to be good). Only this one is based on an App. Yeah.

Like all App Games, it’s just a fun way to pass the time, and has a simple premise: Pigs show up, birds get pissed and attack them. Not exactly a lot to it, but as a game it works fine. I never got why it became so huge but ah well.

Now there is some potential to expand that further, I actually have my own idea I might share if this doesn’t line up with it. I honestly wasn’t that shocked when they announced a film version. One thing I did find odd was who was making it.

Sony…but not. Instead of Sony Pictures Animation, it’s Sony Pictures Imagworks, along with Rovio Entertainment. I’m not sure why Sony pretty much took this to some weird sub section, but I guess even normal Sony was above doing a movie based off an app.

Can’t wait for Rise of Flappy Bird, by the way.

If you are wondering, SPI just goes effects work for Sony films and such. Rovio is mostly known for video games with this being their first film. This should be…interesting.

The creative team includes two director, both of which were mostly just animators with this being their first helming a film. They seem to do fine work so maybe giving this to newcomers isn’t too bad, as this as a safe film to start with.

The credited writer is…John Vitti? Huh? For those of you who don’t know, he is best known for his work on Simpsons and King of the Hill, doing some classics such as Lisa’s Substitute. Granted, he also has Hank;s Choice so…we know he’s not perfect.

He has other film credits like…Alvin and The Chipmunks 2. Okay, he’s REALLY not perfect, I get it.

I was pretty mixed on this idea. It has some promise, and the trailers had some okay moments, but there were some dumb moments too. The reaction has been mixed, but mostly negative.

Yet oddly less negative than Rachet and Clank. Weird.

I think this could be fun, so let’s see if this will make me as angry as those birds.

This, is The Angry Birds Movie

WRITING:

Flightless birds lead a mostly happy existence, except for Red, who just can’t get past the daily annoyances of life. His temperament leads him to anger management class, where he meets fellow misfits Chuck and Bomb. Red becomes even more agitated when his feathered brethren welcome green pigs to their island paradise.

As the swine begin to get under his skin, Red joins forces with Chuck and Bomb to investigate the real reason behind their mysterious arrival.

The most important thing about the writing is that this is mostly a Comedy. Meaning it mostly focuses on the gags and and stuff like that rather than trying to tell any complex story, because with the game’s set up, you can’t exactly do a lot.

Which is fine, and will make me forgive some elements vs other films. With that said, yeah, there’s not a lot to actual story here. From that summary, you know exactly what is going to happen.

In general, that;s fine. Does anyone expect a shocking or deep story from Angry Birds? But there’s still problems. But since it is a Comedy, we’ll talk about that first. Honestly, some of it worked.

Actually, quite a bit of it worked well. Most of the first quarter has funny moments and I laughed out a few times in this. See, this thing throws a lot of jokes at you from all angles, and there’s all kinds.

This comes with an issue, but I respect them for at least trying to have variety. With that said, there was a lull in the Comedy sometimes. You’d have a section that mostly has okay jokes, then a section with not much humor at all.

And it can be way too hit or miss, as there’s also a fair amount of bad jokes, or jokes going on way too long. Most of the bad jokes are…the not so kid friendly ones. That piss joke in the trailer? It goes on FOREVER.

At one point Red says “Pluck My Life”. YOU KNOW-FOR KIDS!

And then there’s some twerking, and a referencing to 50 Shades of Grey. Seriously. The humor is too hit or miss and sometimes just runs dry. As a Comedy, it’s just hit or miss, but has too many bad jokes to be seen as “Good”, sadly.

Back to the story, the predictably gives us a problem. We know that the pigs are evil, so we see the townsfolk as dumb for not believing Red even then in context, they really shouldn’t belelive him.

In the end, they are evil, meaning they should have listened to the angry guy who causes trouble. This plot tends to cause these kind of problems, but this one almost calls attention to it.

There’s an attempt at a moral, that it’s okay to angry sometimes, but you also need to know how to keep it in. That was part of my idea I mentioned, that this could be a chance to do that, since they needed to be angry to stop the pigs.

And they do that, but it feels a bit on the rushed side, so it’s doesn’t have the impact. Speaking of rushed, the pacing is weird. Some sections are rushed in general, and yet it often drags due to the jokes.

And the climax feels it takes up half the movie. It’s pretty cool carnage at first, but drags on so much it just becomes a bunch of noise. And of course the ending is rushed, and the credits are padded with extra gags.

It’s just a bit uneven when it comes to the pacing. It goes by pretty quickly, even with the padding, so I wasn’t quite bored I suppose. In general, they tried a lot harder than they needed to, but it just falls short.

Also, there’s a few lame cliches like The Mighty Eagle actually being a jerk-y loses. Didn’t we just see this kind of thing in the last animated feature? And his redemption is even weaker than that one, as he just changes to good for pretty much no reason.

The writing isn’t really awful, but it is problematic. The story itself is predictable, the pacing is odd, and the humor is hit or miss. But it at least knows what it is, and it has some funny moments. So I’d say the writing is a mixed bag.

But it mostly just falls short in the end. It’s better than I thought it would, but weak pacing and jokes make it fall flat or the most. But at least they tried to an extent.

ANIMATION:

Being a somewhat major release, it’s not too surprising that the animation is pretty good. The Island is well designed, with it having some clever sight gags. The locations look pretty solid, even if we only see three.

The characters look appealing with a lot of creativity in their designs. Their movements are also solid, and they get some funny slapstick out of them. In the trailers, they just didn’t quite look perfect, like there wasn’t enough detail.

But in the movie, they look fine. They don’t do anything too fancy, but everything does look very appealing and the characters are nicely detailed. They also cleverly work in the designs from the game, and even a small bit of 2D animation.

While it looks a bit different from the game but it captures the spirit fairly well. They strike a nice balance here, and it’s clear the animators put plenty of effort into this. I don’t have too many complaints, except maybe more variety in the backgrounds later on would have been nice.

But for the most part, the animation is good. Nothing crazy, but the environments look good, the designs are creative enough, and the character animation is nicely cartoon without going too overrboard, for the most part.

Most of the film is hit or miss, and I can mostly say the animation is a hit.

CHARACTERS:

With uneven pacing and humor, comes equally uneven characters. Like so many films, like a few are important, and the rest are just there.

There’s our main character, Red, voiced by Jason Sudekis. He’s a cynical little man who lets the little things in life bother him, and honestly he’s my favorite character. He’s instantly likable and incredibly releatable.

When you’re supposed to sorry for him, you mostly do. He does explode too easily, but don’t we all? His snark provides the best jokes, and I was willingly to be with him. With that side, his snark gets old in the 2nd half and the transition to him controlling his anger is barely there.

But hey, he’s easily the funniest and most likable thing in this, so I can’t be too mad. Then there’s Chuck and Bomb, voiced by Josh Gad and Danny McBride. They are mostly just defined by their one joke.

Chuck is hyper, and Bomb is awkward can litterly explodes sometimes. They don’t get much deeper than that, and they don’t learn much. They provide some decent comedy, but mostly they are just his pals. And I think I’m getting a bit sick of his Olaf shitck.

There’s also the head pig, Lenonard, voiced by Bill Hader. It’s worth nothing at one point he says he wants to be called Chuckles. So he’s…Chuckles the Silly piggy. Shut up, I had to make that joke.

He’s not the worst villain ,but he’s not all that threatening or funny. Honestly, the pigs give us a lot of bad jokes, and a random Blake Shelton cameo. At least those jokes made me root for the birds when they basically trash their land.

Also ,the villains plan to eat the birdies’ eggs. Which have babies in them. The villain wants to eat Babies.

PERFECT FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT.

Then we have Mighty Eagle, voiced by Peter Dinklage, who is wasted. He’s your typical hero who is actually a joke. He’s only sometimes funny and like I said, his turn at the end is really rushed. Despite…that joke, I was looking forward to him, but he was disappointing.

And the rest are just there. Terrance, while pretty funny, just grunts, and somehow they got Sean Penn just so do that stuff. People like a judge, and the Anger Management teacher play a part, but not too big and they get a couple okay gags, I guess.

And Smosh has a role for some reason. Just so I can say it’s better than their own movie?

Some fill their roles fin enough, but really only Red goes through any changes, and he’s also the only one I really liked. However, no one is really hateable. At worst they are dumb or useless.

Olaf sometimes got a chuckle out of me, and same with Bomb and the main pig. These characters are far from the worst, but they are mostly just…there. They are one note and not developed too much.

Red is a solid lead, and others have their moments, but it’s mostly a cast of “Meh” characters. But hey, as I said, no one is horrible.

There really isn’t too much to say. Not the worst cast ever, but most are them are just kind of useless or weak.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Overall, The Angry Birds Movie isn’t really bad, with good animation, a likable lead, and some good gags but it mostly a lackluster effort due to uneven pacing, some terrible jokes, and mostly weak characters.

Like Rachet and Clank, it’s far from awful and has it’s moments, and captures the game fine, but falls short in the end. This was better than I thought would be, as I got some hearty laughs from it, but in the end it was just a bit too much.

Like Rachet, it’s a step in the right direction for Video Game Movies, but it’s still no cigar. For my recommendation, kids will possibly like it so if you drop them off and go do something important, go ahead.

But in general, I’d wait to rent it. It’s worth a look for curiosity, but it’s not worth spending a lot of money for. It has plenty of moments, but nothing too special. Despite certain jokes, I’m glad it’s not too awful compared to what I expected.

I will say they clearly tried to make something out of this, with the nice animation and all the gags put in. They just half assed certain parts, or their efforts just weren’t enough. So when it comes to animation, I think we’ll have to wait for Finding Dory to get something half decent.

In short, this was better than expected, but still a bit weak.

WRITING: C+

ANIMATION: B

CHARACTERS: C+

OVERALL: C+

Honestly, that’s a higher grade than I expected. Hopefully I will see you next work for the apocalypse.

See ya.

Posted in General Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Cheetah Girls 2

TheCheetahGirls2DVD

Imagine if they meet the Cheetahmen. Best Crossover ever?!

Hello, Spongey here.

I think it’s time to go back to Disney Channel again. So far I think we’ve only done Descendants and only because I kind of had to. I have to do this one too but it’s older and I’m picking over it over other options so…there you go.

Time to do a sequel it’s taken me over a year to get it. Yep, we’re going back to The Cheetah Girls. I reviewed it from DCOM Month 2 last year and it was something. I don’t remember what I thought of it, that’s how amazing it was.

Jokes aside, it was alright. Roughly what I expected given it’s technically an older one. Falls into Guilty Pleasure but did have some actual flaws. Because of that, I was excited to get to the sequels.

Granted, I was also for Zenon 2 and it turned out to be the same as the first.

But yeah, maybe this can be like like HSM 2 where it at least me giving to get angry over. That’s likely because the director for this one is now Kenny Ortega himself. Yes, he cut his chops here before moving on to bigger Disney things.

Wait, this was August of 2006, so this would have been after the first one. Whatever, this should have energy in the least. As far as success goes, it’s the 7th highest rated DCOM of all time, and the reviews Wikipedia cites as better than those of the first film.

Otherwise, I know little about this one or the general reaction. My brother watched it along with the third one, but I don’t recall what he thought of them so he’s of no help here. Our writer is the same from the first one, whose credits are mostly on various sitcom episodes…and a Barbie movie, for some reason.

Not too sure what to expect, but I’m looking forward to it. Anything is an improvement from the crap from the last two weeks. So let’s so Kenny improves this franchise.

This, is The Cheetah Girls 2

The movie opens with the Cheetah Girls performing at a place. Well, that was fast and now we gotta wait like 2 minutes to find out the context of this. The song is called “The Party’s Just Begun” which is a very subtle way of saying the film has started.

After the song, we find out this is for some graduation party as they have vanished Junior Year. Pretty sure graduation stuff like this is for when you graduate an important grade. After that, Chanel tells Raven that her mother is planning a trip to Spain to meet her boyfriend which isn’t good news for her.

She fears that if they get married, she’ll have to move to spain and it’s first “dramatic moment”. Well, it does make sense and she doesn’t hate the boyfriend for no real reasons, at least.

After thinking, she tells Mom she’s down for Spain. Well, conflict resolved, the end!

Okay, there’s a bit more plot. She suggests letting her other friends come, a request that is denied. If they don’t go, we no plot, so can we just skip to that point?

That night, the girls…wish on a shooting stat, and at that moment a imagine opens to an ad for the Barcelona Music Festival, which has a competition for undsicveroed talent. …The deadline was last week.

Good, so this didn’t become incredibly stupid after all. But they won’t accept that, so they call them up (once it’s not 4 am in Span) and although they are told about the deadline, once they sing for the person, they get through.

Because they can just bend the rules if you happen to be good, I guess. But yeah ,that was an incredibly stupid chain of events. But nothing too shocking, really.

But it’s not all clear yet, as we must go through every single detail of this or the plot simply isn’t believable! They run it by the parents and after through so much talking, they are off. For a plot that starts right away ,sure took a bit to…start.

Thankfully, we don’t extended airplane scenes or whatever, as we just cut to Span, ready for whatever stereotypes await us.

What are we gonna do first?”

Shopping!”

Different stereotypes then what I was expecting, but okay.

After a travel montage, they are hanging out when they see a dude singing. Well, we have our love interest. Trust me, it does not take long to figure that out. Then we get a song…started by the girls…out of nowhere.

Yeah, they went the Camp Rock 2 route. That’s fine, as it worked for that one and the song has some actual energy which is nice. It’s basically about them strutting or whatever, not too plot relevant but whatever.

It even just kind of moves on after the song, like nothing happened. They arrive at Luc’s place and get a look at where they are staying for the next 90 or so minutes.

It’s Cheetah-licious”

That will never catch on.

Chanel has an issue with Luc which means he will be a jerk, or she will have to learn some cheesy lesson. Both cliches are very likely.

Later, the girls head for their audition thingy. Which they were not ready for because they somehow didn’t think they had to properly audition for this. They are called out on that by the director, don’t worry.

They are still able to perform with their default song.

Enough!”

Yeesh, they aren’t THAT bad!

Welcome to the new Voices competition”

Oh, it’s a fake out. Why did he get all angry then? You gotta love how little work they had to do get what they want so far.

Luc’s Summer Intern pops up and says everyone in the competition tries out their materiel at some club. Luc then appears to give us Joaquin’s freaking life story, and lay out his cliches, including following his fathers footsteps and yada yada.

Since he’s a guy some girl has to fawn over her, and it is Sabrina Bryan’s character, as he is shown to kind of like her. Well, she is the hottest one after all.

Because we can’t quite have a plot yet, they meet a friend of Mom’s than dilly dally with him for a bit. During this, Raven is whining at them to rehearse which really isn’t too unreasonable.

Then we cut to Sabrina Bryan as she does some dancing with Joaquin to give us another song, which is in the background this time. I get that plenty of travel plots do this thing with having little things happen ,but there’s a barely conflict outside of Raven wanting them to get off their ass and rehearse.

I’m sure a conflict will begin soon, but it shouldn’t take over half an hour to get to it. Anyway, that night, they go to that club.

This place is off the chain”

Did anyone say that in 2006?

We are treated to a sung in person song now, by some chick who is said to be Barcelona’s best chance at winning. I smell an Alpha Bitch! I can tell because she wears pink and is more thsn attractive most of the main characters.

And we go from one song from another, as right after that, guitar playing pretty boy from earlier goes up. Well, he just plays a melody and Chanel and the possible Alpha sing to it. It’s all an excuse to pad things further, so I don’t care.

After chatting it up, we have a scene with Marisol and her Mom where we find out here Mom is the bitchy-y one, upset she has lost this contest twice already. Well, she was still be a slight hindrance due to her mom so…she still counts!

Mother says she wishes to help the Cheetah’s, and only Raven is suspicious at all. I can smell forced conflict later on!

Sabrina Bryan has a scene with that guy from the dancing bit which attempts to develop her kind of subplot. It amounts to them talking for like a minute and it cutting before they get anywhere. Riveting.

We continue Raven’s plot, with everyone going off to do their own thing right in the middle of rehearsal. Honestly, both parties are being unreasonable to an extent, but Raven is just enough in the right for me to to hate on the others.

We then get a montage of everyone dealing with little plot which is useful to me since I honestly don’t care about most of that stuff. Sometime later, some of the girls once again flake on rehearsal just in case you didn’t get the point in the last scene.

This time they go further by having Raven finally call out Chanel for this and she has to be a bitch about it.

You always try to control everything”

How dare she want you to what you’re supposed to do!

She then leaves before we can address this further. We join Sabrina as I get confused as to why she’s upset with Jaquin. She sees he has a life outside of her and dancing and that’s somehow an issue even then he’s nice about it.

Can we talk about this?”

‘No, it’s just too complicated for me”

By that I mean the writers were to lazy to justify this.

Raven tells Mom that she’s going home because of all this crap going on with her friends. I don’t need to explain why this is dumb, do I? Besides I’m getting tired at this point. Mom is okay with this because reasons.

Now that we’re an hour in and have an incredibly contrived reason for something sad happening, I guess it’s time for a sad song. It’s a nice song, at least. Despite the song having her indicate that she wants her friends, they still find her missing the next morning.

But she hasn’t quite left yet, so there’s still time for a dramatic train station scene, for when you can’t afford an air port!

And by dramatic, I mean they show up, say they are sorry, and all is forgiven. Could they at least have them work for her forgiveness? I’m really sick of contrived end of Act Conflicts that almost feel pointless in the end.

With that, they are back together and finally ready to seriously rehearse. For one plot resolved, let’s move on to another as Chanel talks to Luc. Oh yeah, she didn’t’ care for him. I forgot because they have brought it up in like…forever.

She apologies to him and he says he’ll take care of her mother and yada yada yada. This was so underdeveloped that I don’t really care. Then he asks said mother to marry him. Oh yeah that was a conflict I skipped over since it wasn’t too big of a deal until now. At least we didn’t go the route of him being a jerk.

While we’re resolving underwritten plot holes, Sabrina makes up with that dance guy (Do you expect to keep up with all the damn people in this thing?) and I don’t care enough to analyze any possible problems here.

At least we can focus on the actual main story, and see what comes of Marisol’s Mom or whatever. To celebrate the plot coming together, they rehearse to give us another song. At the end of the song, they are that club having performed it through use of progression via song.

They are a big hit and are ready for the festival. Ah, the wonders of a musical montage. Sadly, their dreams are dashed when some guy tells them that they are apparently professionals due to some technicality, and can’t enter this amateurs only contest. Because we need another conflict for Act 3.

Marisol’s Mother finds a way around this by suggesting the girls sing with Marisol so that in this case, they aren’t actually “The Cheetah Girls”. Of course this means only Chanel (the only to know any of Marisol’s Spanish songs) can be up on that stage, leaving the other girls out of this.

Evil plan by the Mom, calling it now.

In the next scene…Raven’s Mom suspects Mom as well. Wow, that was quick. It even turns out to be true, as she arranged for the girls to be payed by the club, which made them “professionals”.

Some dude shows up to confirm that and put The Cheetah Girls back in. Well, that was conflict was kept for a whole 5 minutes.

The girls don’t bother calling her out, as they are busy running out to do their big performance. Marisol even gets to join in on it after calling out her Mother. And once the song ends…ROLL CREDITS!

  1. know you are sicking of hearing Cloud 9 mentioned when it comes to abrupt endings…but don’t worry, because this movie will replace it. I mean, I guess they resolved most stuff….but it in such as rushed way!

And the crap with the mom amounted to…Marisol talking to her once and her frowning a bit during the song. What an amazing villain she was. There’s no wrap up after the big song, it just…ends there!

This is just…yikes. All the wrap up stuff we do get is beyond rushed and once again, the ending really hurts it…The song was nice, though. You would think a 90 minute film would have better pacing than this.

Final Thoughts:

Well, I was disappointed..sort of. I mean, should I have expected good writing in a movie like this? But come on, Camp Rock 2 managed to be an improvement while still having weak writing for the most part. I don’t remember enough about that first one to compare it, so I’ll just say this has better songs, in the least.

I can’t put my finger on it, but I don’t quite enjoy these Cheetah Girls movies as much as I should. They just feel kind of …dull compared to other DCOM’s. Even with the girls chatting it up all the time.

Of course, there’s still enjoyment to be found, but this one has it’s share of problems. I do see where they are going with a lot of this but in the end, the script ends up being jumbled. There’s too much going on, yet also not enough.

Most of the subplots add up to nothing, and the main conflicts feel underdeveloped as a result. The girls never even suspect Marisol as a bad guy and they never conflict the real villain, with her getting no real defeat at all.

Raven’s deal is resolved pretty quickly and she’s mostly right. And of course, the ending makes it all worse. Oh, and the other black one gets nothing to do compared to the others, who at least get something important.

It falls into the trap plenty of these kind of movies do, and the main conflict boils down to a group arguing, which I’m sure the first film had plenty of. As a sequel, it’s pretty typical and I don’t think it adds too much, honestly.

As entertainment, it has some fine parts, but aside from some catchy songs, nothing too amazing here. I find it odd that I’m being so negative, when plenty of films I’m more positive on can be seen as worse.

Technically, it’s no better or worse than any other below average DCOM, this is all my taste. It has enough heart to be acceptable compared to some other stuff, but this writing is still pretty weak.

Still, like all DCOM’s, it’s mostly harmless and not really bad. It’s just a bit disappointing compared to what I was expecting. If Camp Rock 2 can be better, there’s no excuse to try harder, really.

But whatever, in general it’s another average one, with inexcusable flaws here and there. Hopefully the 3rd one will be better.

Grade: C

We’ll be back to Disney Channel next month but for now, next time we’re doing a remake no one really cared about.

See ya.

Posted in Disney Channel Crap, Play by Play Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blubberella

Hello, Spongey here.

I’m a bad person. Why? Because once again I failed to give you the review I kind of promised. First I couldn’t do Swan Princess due to ASCII, and now I can’t do…my annual Friday the 13th review.

I know, that’s even worse and my excuse is only really half good. Of the films left, I have 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7. I…could not find any of them. You think a franchise as popular as this would be easy to find, without having too pay too much at least.

Btu nope, and the only TV airings were on the 14th, after my review would go up. I couldn’t find those no matter where I looked, at least without getting into torrent territory, which I don’t do.

So it looks you’ll have to wait til January of 2017 for another Friday review, as I do hope to find one by then. Hopefully. It especially sucks because my backup makes me wish Jason would knock on my door.

While my schedule for the rest of my months on here covered most of what I felt I HAD to review, there was one I had to leave out to make room for the Friday review. And since that’s gone, I get to it. Yay?

Now onto that film. By now I’ve talked about most of the big infamous directors, like M Night and Micheal Bay. Haven’t’ done a ton of their work but I’ve done them nonetheless. But there’s one I haven’t done, that seems to be a right passage for anyone who reviews bad movies at all.

That director…is Uwe Boll. Yep, we’re going there. Uwe is a German filmmaker best known for making terrible video game movies and just being an asshole in general. Yeah, some directors are seen as jerks just for making bad films, but this guy is actually an asshole for real.

You all know why he sucks, so there’s no need to go into it. I have yet to see any of his work beyond some reviews. What film of his could I do? The ones that are the most interesting like Alone in the Dark and Postal have been done , and the ones people barely touch look more boring than anything.

Then I found….something interesting. Look at that cover. That’s what we’re in for. Uwe tends to make video game films of just darker stuff like Tunnel Rats or the like. But this one looks like a Comedy and after Postal, I’m sure it will be very tasteful.

The most interesting part is that according to what I can find, this is a parody of Bloodrayne 3. Not his original film, one of the sequels no one asked for. I have no idea why he did this, and I doubt even he knows or cares.

I will not both to watch the original because it should stand on it’s own and there’s no indication that this would be the case anyway. If I get lost, it’s not my fault. Predictably, people hated this and it landed on the So Bad It’s horrible Page, along with Boll’s other amazing masterpieces.

The lead actress kind of defended this by saying it was made with “The best intentions” and “”I truly wanted to make a movie about a fat girl who could kick ass.’.

I’m sure you meant well, not so much Boll. The cover itself tells me this will be as tasteful as anything he makes. Heck, even she hates the title and some of the fat jokes. Even the person defended it hates some parts.

This doesn’t bond well. Should be interesting either way. So will my first face off with Uwe Boll go well, or we are in for some real pain? Time to finally found out.

This, is Blubberella

The movie opens with a bunch of random clips of the titular overweight hero swinging swords and stuff, then it just cuts to her waking up. The heck was up with that? Then text informs us that this is Blubberella, half human, half Vampire.

Mostly dough”

…I’ve made a big mistake.

It also tells us she is in 1940 Germany…A Jew-y part of town. I shouldn’t swear yet, it’s bound to get worse.

Blubberella then gives us narration, telling us that she’s been a vampire for the last 800 years and her weight is a result of nervous eating. At least there’s some kind of logical explanation for the fat jokes?

He says I replace sex with foods, but then he raped me so it kind of shot that theory”

.We’re not even 5 minutes in, and we have a rape joke. Lovely. Also, she uses a computer, implying maybe this had time travel somewhere, but she says she likes killing nazis, meaning she does it often.

So we have anachronisms for the sake of dumb jokes. Joy. We are then treated to an action scene with her a bunch of random Nazi dudes. She kills a guy by shoving him in her breasts. Because Comedy.

Speaking of bad comedy, the text tells us that the next character Vadge is “However you say Fag in German”. I see no type of offensive comedy will be left unused. And yes, he is a flaming gay stereotype,

This guy is part of some Resistance team and eventually they decided to let her help them with something. That being take care of some runaways they found in a Boxcar. They are dicks to the people before deciding to do this because we can’t let a chance of lame Comedy pass.

…Then I guess they chance their minds, because then they lock the people in there and leave. I really hope they turn on Blubberella so they aren’t in any way our heroes, ladies and gentlemen.

…Then it cuts to them walking with those people. Okay, will we be dicks to homeless runaways or not?!

We join them later at their hideout for more lukewarm comedy.

Haha, you’re lonely”

Thanks for hammering in the point, Vadge.

Here’s a sentence I thought I would never say: Thankfully, we cut to the Nazis. This groups boss visits their doctor who’s patient list apparently included “M Jackson” and “L. Lohan”.

You’re so topical. This came out in 2011, by the way. He’s doing stuff to a body which he says was a movie critic at some point.

They don’t get out much”

Hardy har har.

After that lame bit, we cut to Blubberella having a dream where she is insulted by a Sassy black woman. Because….Comedy? Seriously, this is turning into a Seltzerberg movie!

It doesn’t help that it drags on forever, and just gets more annoying and pointless. She eventually wakes up and I continue to question my life choices. I’ve never been so glad to see Nazis.

He’s a vampire,”

So in other words…

Been waiting to pull that out.

After some aimless scenes were nothing happens besides more lame jokes, this chick name Slutlana tells the Nazi leader guy about Blubberella’s whereabouts. Seriously, I skipped close to 5 or so minutes and you are not missing anything important/interesting/funny.

So some of the Nazi goons go to her and kick their asses handed to them. It happens so quickly it’s almost kind of pointless. This does tell her that she has to worry about taking down the Nazis now that can track her down more easily.

Despite my inabtilty to carry a scene..we need to work together”

Great, Uwe has reached the stage where he thinks pointing out his problems is the same as fixing them.

The following scene is really boring, this is the reason we present to you Jessica lastnameunspellable’s music from Uwe Boll’s movies”

If you are going to trim the boring parts, why not just save us time and skip to the credits?

The scene seems to play as is just with weird music and it’s dull but no less dull than the rest of the film. It has less jokes but it’s better what this movie considers to be humor. The Nazis have this chick (might be Slutlana, idk) who has a new vampire that they are doing tests on.

You managed to somehow evolve and regress at the same time”

#Humanity

She tries to bite the doctor but he gets her before she can do so. That ends a pretty dull segment without many jokes, but refer to my previous statement about that. Then we have a scene where Blubberella randomly has Hitler in her room and there’s a gag about a black guy saying motherfucker a lot.

Pretty sure this is a dream and like the last one it’s incredibly tedious, pointless, and unfunny. Also, I can’t 100 percent tell with my mediocre eyesight, but Wikipedia says Hitler is played by Uwe Boll himself.

No comment, he did on purpose.

But seriously, that scenes goes on FOREVER, and is not funny once. She and Hitler do mundane shit and it just drags on and on. When she wakes up, it’s like I woke up from my own nightmare!

After …that, we cut to the “real” Hitler as he visit by a Vampire Nazi Dude. Vampire Nazi is amazing, too bad it’s in this movie. He bites Hitler to turn him into a Vampire. Vampire Hitler. Why isn’t’ this movie better?!

Back with Blubberella, one of her new pals comes over and brings the gay guy with him because ugh. She brought them here to talk about her dream. Holy crap, there was a reason for it?!

Or not, as the dream just taught her that he needs to be taken care of. So it going on for 5 years and being weird was pointless.

How are we gonna kill Hitler?”

That’s the next scene’

I’m a fan of 4th Wall humor. Movies like this ruin those jokes for me. Also, like every single scene, it drags without much of a purpose until that line.

Which isn’t even true because we the next scene…has them still in the room, not going out or anything. They lied! The Lt guy (can never spell the full version of Lt so bleh) randomly shows up for…an intervention? Huh? It seems to be a comedic way to facing him and how he kind of kills people on Hitler’s request, so it’s not…too out of nowhere, but its’ also just….random. There’s an idea here but it does not pan out.

They get him to say where the Commandant is and then it moves after more drawn out awkward-ness. Seriously, this whole movie is drawn out with no direction whatsoever, with the flimsiest excuse for a story ever.

They gather the Resistance fighters to partake in more scenes that just drag on. I got nothing at this point, nothing ever happens in this damn thing! If anything was funny, I could forgive overlong gags but it’s just so boring!

She takes care of two Nazis guarding a place and they head in. Then the Gay randomly dresses like a little girl because Tumblr hasn’t gotten pissed in a little while. Also a chick shows up because one guy asked for a drink so they got a white Russian.

Even Patrick has no reaction to that.

It turns out they walked into a trap, but they managed to kill all the attacking Nazis so quickly that it makes this close to pointless. The higher up guys show up and throw them in their little prison place while they do experiments on Blubberella in the lab to make Hitler stronger, or whatever.

Why so serious?!”

Random reference for the sake of it? Did Seltzerberg take over again?

We cut to the resistance people who suddenly free for some reason. Seriously, did I miss something?

Who wants to free our friend from the Nazis? The script saves we save them”

The script is also terrible, so don’t obey it.

Blubberella is taken via vehicle to Hitler, and on the way she “bonds’ with one random guy. They have terrible chemistry, which isn’t as funny as they think it is. Them trying to have sex is not funny either because it drags on and on.

Thankfully, she is saved by her pals with a quick little action scene. Te bad guys just kind of walk away instead of trying to stop her or anything like that. One guy even takes a hit of her blood that they had because….reasons.

At least she bumps into Hitler and farts on him. I’m more shocked that it took this long to do a fart joke, unless I skipped one earlier.

He’s knocked and they move on…is that it? Ar they done for? We’re not quite so I hope it’s a fake out because even a comedy can’t cop out this badly on the “climax”. She and that guy ramdomly try to fuck again but he cums early. I don’t care.

‘The end”

.What.

‘But here’s a sneak peek of our sequel, A Very Blubberella Christmas

No, fuck you. Even a Comedy from Uwe Boll needs an actual fucking ending instead of that lame shit. The “Sneak peek” amounts to a small bit that has nothing to comment, or anything Christmas-y for that matter!

It just goes into blooper filled credits, because this whole movie wasn’t a blooper somehow!

This has been a showing of Crapterpeice theaters”

I think that sums it up.

Final Thoughts:

I thought I knew what I was getting into but somehow this was…so much worse in some ways. I mean, the fat jokes aren’t bad as I thought they might be, and it’s not exactly offensive in the traditional sense….but my god, was this a tough sit.

I’m not even sure how mad I should be. It’s clearly not meant to be taken seriously, it’s just a dumb movie with a dumb idea. And to be fair, the lead actress brings more charm to this film then it really deserves.

But on a person level, ugh this was bad. For one main reason: IT’S. SO. FUCKING. BORING. Every single joke and scene drags on FOREVER. Even if it’s pretty simple, they go that extra mile by having them drone on for too long.

There are various bits with not much going on at all, or something dumb will happen to throw things off. It’s hard to describe, but the movie itself just drags. And I know the plot doesn’t matter in a Comedy but that sucks too.

Nothing is ever explain about the basic premise of her being half vampire, and nothing actually happens. We have basic Nazi stuff, that’s really it. Any extra plot points become useless thanks to one of the worst abrupt endings ever.

The entire thing just feels like barely any effort was put into it. The humor isn’t really the worst and some of it kind of works but they barely even use the premise. Aside from a few bits, there’s not much of her kicking ass or even some dumb slapstick or something.

The premise sounds better for a sketch than a full film, but at least TRY to do something with it. As it is, this movie drags on and is just a slog. It tries too hard to be funny, nothing makes any sense, and every joke drags on forever with no real direction for the story when you get down to it.

Maybe you could get cheap laughs at out, but you’re better off watching the trailer or something. You’ll get everything without needing to suffer through so much nothing. Even without seeing another Uwe Boll film, I can tell you that most of movies are…actual movies! Hell, even Disaster Movie had more of a real story than this one!

That’s it, I’m done here.

Grade: D

Ugh that’s it, next time is Cheetah Girls 2. At least that should be fun!

See ya.

Posted in Play by Play Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Top 8 Steven Universe Season 2 Episodes

Hello, Spongey here.

Last year I counted down my Top Steven Universe Season 1 Episodes, where I said I’d do a list for Season 2 when it’s done. I figured that would be down the line and I’d have 52 more episodes to choose from.

Things changed. Yep, as of now, Season 2 has wrapped up and Season 3 is coming soon. What happened? Well, Cartoon Network decided to split up the seasons so that it has more Seasons than it really does.

It didnt’ change how they made the show at all, and honestly I don’t mind this too much. It does mean the finale didn’t exactly feel big, but I like having decent sized seasons. I have no idea why but starting with Adventure Time Season 5, CN gave their shows extra long Seasons.

Which meant the seasons took too long to air. AT took a bit of hit due to having too many episodes, but that’s a story for another time. So that means I had to cook up a list from these 26 episodes.

I thought I had time when they said it would come back in June, but then they said it would now start back up in May. Thankfully, I was already re-watching the Season for the sake of the list, so I could be able to do this in time.

With that said, how was Season 2? Well, what we have is just as great as before. Now that things got more serious, Season 2 was more story driven with episodes building up to an arc a bit more often.

Season 1 was pretty episodic for most of it but this ditched that, for the most part, especially after the whole Sardonyx thing. It wasn’t all perfect, but things got a lot better in terms of storytelling.

And of course, it got more serious and went into deeper themes. In general, it was as better as you would expect. I will admit I have a soft spot for the nature of the first Season, since we have variety in how good the eps can get, while Season 2’s gems are mostly similarly great.

Which is fine, it just makes harder to do. I did it anyway since my top 2 are flat out amazing enough to get into it. With all of that said, it’s time to dig in and see what episodes from the short 2nd Season stood out the most.

Which did the best job of keeping the series humor, charm and heart? Let’s took a look!

This, is the Top 8 Steven Universe Season 2 Episodes

Yeah, with 26 eps, 11 would seem too much and there’s only so many ones I can talk about anyway.

  1. Full Disclosure

Writers: Raven M. Molisee and Paul Villeco

We’re starting from…well ,the start of the Season. I didn’t plan for it to be fitting, it just kind of happened. Anyway, this starts right where “Jailbreak” left off, with the bad guys defeated and Connie calling to find out what the hell happened.

Steven has a hard time telling her, to say the least.

This episode is quite notable on it’s own but the reason I like it is exactly how it uses the 11 minute format. Sometimes people say that with the story stuff, Steven Universe shouldn’t be an 11 minute show since it seems more fitting for 22, like Gravity Falls.

And sometimes I get it as the story can be slowly than it should on a longer. But honestly, it mostly uses it right even as the story gets deeper. I’ll go deeper on another episode, but let’s focus on this one.

After that big finale, most shows would use 22 minutes to explore pretty much everything that happens afterwards and make it pretty big. That or they just move on. Here, due to the format, they have to keep it small.

So they just focus on one big element, and subtly address other things in the process. This episode is all about how it affects Steven but we see other minor things, like how the City is still in shambles and is trying to fix things, and Greg’s reaction to Steven going through all this crap.

Instead of feeling like a big payoff to a big event, it’s a slightly more down to earth look at how things turned out after something big. It’s kind of small in that way despite having big emotions.

The big stuff works but the use of the format makes this one stand out and adds to why I think this show uses it better than not. The bomb format also helps some arcs go by faster, which is one good thing about it.

As for the emotion, yeah that’s great too. I will admit that to some Steven may be over dramatic. Connie has already been through some stuff, she’ll be fine with all this as long as you’re okay. To be fair, he is a kid and this is all new to him.

For all he knows, she can’t handle this danger and may leave him. I’m sure if I went through at 13, I wouldn’t think straight either. That is why I’ll let it slide. That and it works emotionally. You really feel what he’s going through and they use those great small moments this show is known for.

Especially with the song. It’s emotional with how Steven is mulling everything over, but is also catchy because of Steven’s ringtone being used in it. It’s a great balance and an awesome moment for the episode.

Even Ronoldo is good here, as he gives Steven advice about being a lone wolf. It’s not very helpful but it gives him a nice moment that is interesting and later funny. I like him in general but I think this one of his better cameos.

Despite how dramatic this one is, it still fits in comedy that works. Greg’s reactions are amusing, sometimes Steven’s attitude is played up, and of course there’s my favorite Pearl line ever:

‘You always say you’re going to be the crocodile but you never commit!”

It’s another example of how the show can do a lot at once while still being pretty simple. I will admit the story isn’t my favorite, as it is a bit smaller in scale than others. As a story, not a ton happens and I can see why some just see it more of a footnote than anything.

There are episodes like that, but usually they work due to packing in a lot of emotion. The emotion is just so good here and it’s not hard to be on Steven’s side here. Connie is awesome of course with how she handles it, but more on her later. Season 2 was good for her.

Overall, this episode showcases a lot of things that make the show work more than it should. It’s a simple story that serves as just a footnote and arguably could have been a bigger deal. But it works due to packing in tons of emotion, a solid mix of comedy and drama, and of course an amazing song.

It’s at the bottom for reasons I explained but it deserves a spot on here as a great way to start Season 2. It’s only better from here.

  1. The Answer

Writers: Lamar Abrams and Katie Mitroff

Oh boy, we’ll already getting to the fun ones. This is an episode plenty of fans were interested in, for obvious reasons. It has Garnet telling Steven the story of how Ruby and Sapphire met.

Yeah. Those two are interesting for a variety of reasons so of course an episode like this would have a lot to think about. And like a lot of episodes, it’s kind of simple but has plenty going on.

Basically, fusion used to just be with gems of the same type but during a battle with the Crystal Gems (then just being Rose and Pearl), a Ruby and a Sapphire accidentally fused and caused a whole bunch of fuss.

We figure some of this before but a ton was revealed here about the specifics, but does leave room for plenty of headcanons and fanfics. For example, we kind of see Blue Diamond, but not her face and Garnet narrates her parts so we still know little about her in general.

Meanwhile, we know that Yellow Diamond has a very meme able face.

Natrually, the highlight of all of this is the 2nd half after they finally fuse and start to become Garnet. Like Alone Together, it’s just fascinating to see this happen. This is new to them and they aren’t sure how to handle this new form but they learn that this feels right. It’s especially interesting on Sapphire’s side, as she has future vision and could see her whole life and just went with it.

But now something has thrown everything off course and now it all looks new and scary. But of course she grows to prefer this. Things like this make this one just so interesting to watch and think about.

This show is great with making you think while still giving you something to enjoy on it’s own. The animation is especially good here, mostly during the song when they explore Earth a bit after having to kind of leave their former pals.

The song itself is a nice debut exploring their new discovery, although it’s not my favorite or anything. Good but not one I listen to a ton on it’s own like some other SU songs. Still, it works very well in the episode itself.

At it’s core, it’s on the basic side. Forbidden love? Seen it. Forbidden Love with gay subtext and aliens? …Not so much. Again, it’s that Steven spin that makes it fascinating to watch and think about.

It’s like something you’d see in a storybook which is why it’s charming. And also why there is a children’s storybook of it coming out. Fitting. It helps improve what could have been a weak story.

And I will admit it’s not the best story ever. Really, we don’t see much of the two actually falling in love and finding that strong bond that Garnet would be made from. But I think that is the point.

It sets the ground work with them first finding each other. The song alone really makes me like them because of how they interact. There’s way to this story, we’re just seeing how it begin. And plus, you can argue they aren’t even sure if it’s love yet, since Homeworld doesn’t seem to have a lot of it to begin with.

Hell, the titular answer is love, apparently. That’s so cheesy it’s ….well, it still is but I like cheesy sometimes.

Anyway, this lands low because as you know, I prefer more involved stories. This is nice but a bit too simple in places and not exactly the most complex episode, as something Alone Together had a bit more to it arguably.

It’s my own preference, so that’s why I didn’t leave it off, as there’s nothing too wrong with it. Above all else, it’s just a lovely episode. The new information is great, the animation is beautiful, the music is just as good, and the main relationship is very nice while not giving away too much at once.

It’s an episode we all wanted to see and did disappoint to due to just being so…nice. Whiel I’m sure it lands higher with others, for me it’s just number 7. But hey, it’s still pretty great. Also, it gives me little to discuss compared to others so it’s not like I was passionate enough to put ith igher.

I’m not sure what the question was, but The Answer was mostly satisfying. I promise the next sections will have me say more.

  1. Nightmare Hospital

Writers: Raven M. Molisee and Paul Villeco

This is a show that can manage to do many impressive things at once, and I think this episode serves as a good example. It’s cute, intense, dramatic, heartwarming and…kind of creepy. Let me explain.

Connie’s Mom discovers a sword that Steven gave Connie, and takes it away and goes off to her Hospital Job. Steven and Connie follow her there to both get the sword and investigate something creepy that seems to be going on there.

I suppose I’d address the creepy element first. It takes place at a Hospital at night. That’s just a creepy concept right there but they take it further. Some of those weird fusion gem experiments from a previous episode ended up there after being found on the side of the road and cause a bit of havoc.

No, I don’t know how they got mistaken for human patients at all. Just roll with it.

We got a taste of how creepy these things are before, and while that was even more intense, it’s still really creepy to see them in a normal Hospital like this. The designs are interesting and just their presence combined with the location makes this one creepy.

Perhaps it’s not quite as freaky as Keeping it Together or Frybo but the location gives it can edge over those, and it has a slightly better to back it up. Which of course leads to the more important aspect of a SU episode.

The basic story comes down to the typical “over protective parent” thing, which I guess had to happen with how Connie is doing this sword stuff behind their back. And it’s done pretty well. Honestly, the use of is is my only problem with this episode.

It’s safe to say most people would find swordplay to be a bit dangerous for a young girl but they don’t quite make her a villain or anything. She realizes that being so strict on the rules isn’t very good, and they make sure she defends herself fine.

Connie has to prove herself capable for a reason. By the way. Connie is awesome here but my analysis on her is for later.

As cliché as this ordeal is, it makes sense for the characters and is done well. It’s important for her to learn to not be so overprotective and see that Connie can handle herself now. This naturally leads to some great moments between the two.

And yes, it’s all as heartwarming as you would expect. This turns this from an interesting episode to a really great one. The execution and the dialogue makes this story engaging to watch instead of just bland like it could have been.

It’s another episode that starts off as just kind of amusing with Connie and Steven goofing off, and hell the creepy element could have been where it ended. But the story itself made it well rounded, like the best of this show tends to be,

Each element does well enough for pretty much anyone to like it. I know I love all these elements, so this one was especially enjoyable. Again, the only thing holding it back is that I have seen this conflict before, so I kind of knew where it was going.

But man, was it still great. Overall, it’s heartwarming, interesting, fun creepy and somehow manages to be all at once while still being a complete package without any element being done poorly.

It’s the kind of episode that makes the show what it is. It’s a ton of creepy and sweet fun.

  1. Chile Tid

Writers: Joe Johnston and Jeff Liu

In this episode, Steven and the Gems have a sleepover, and the plot is only moved by an intch. And it’s a ton of fun and really re-watchable.

That statement being possible is the mark of a great show. Granted, I do have a soft spot for Bottle Episodes of this nature since they tend to lead to some creativty, but whatever.

The reason they are having this slumber party, is that Steven got tired while they were searching for Malachite and Garnet decided to do it on her own since she wasn’t as tired as the others. Don’t worry, she gets great moments to make up for being left out of the party.

This episode is totally useless like it could have been, as Malachite is addressed again and we find out that Lapis has some level of control but things are obviously not doing too well. The way they do it is good enough to give us more fanfic fodder, at least.

But in general, it is pretty laid back and only reveals a tiny bit, as it’s anything smaller one in scale. But that’s kind of what makes it so good. It’s so relaxing with it’s tone and pacing that it’s kind of interesting to watch it.

The dramatic moments add to it as well with the whole scene with Lapis, as it makes you worried about her and it’s very well executed. But the real reason to watch the episode is for the humor.

Right from the opening bit on the boat we have amusing quips, then go into the sleepover proper with how they sleep, and some crazy dream sequences. Especially Steven’s weird sitcom complete with laugh track and Garnet declaring the title.

I have no idea what Chile Tid means, or if t even means anything. Still funny though.

This episode is just plain. It’s a great set up and allows for some interactions and even some insights, like how Pearl dreams about being with Rose, which of course becomes hilarious. They use this concept to do a lot of fun and interesting things, and the story bits fit it. It seems like they can contact Lapis through Steven’s dreams, so it fits with the story they had set up up so far. Granted, they could have done a bigger dream episode from that, but we have is good.

Usually it would be lower due to not having the greatest plot, but it’s so too much fun to be lower. My own tastes make my enjoy this one a bit more than a few others. I like the little reveal here, I like the set up and I love the relaxing nature combined with the great funny moments.

This thing is just fun even with the plot stuff. It’s a nice middle ground, as it goes from plot, to filler, to plot again, all fitting very well even if it shouldn’t. Even if it was more flawed, it would still be enjoyable for the jokes were as strong as they currently are.

I guess I like episodes like this, which is odd given how much I also really big stories. I seem to like anything if it’s done right, and this was done right.

It’s not exactly the best written episode or anything like that, but it’s just a ton of fun from start to finish with a little bit of everything sprinkled in there. It’s certainly a slumber party worth hanging at.

  1. Friend Ship

Writers: Joe Johnston and Jeff Liu

Yeah, time for an obligatory story one to have on the list. This one wrapped up an arc that did it well enough to get in the top 5. I’m not true how much I will say on the details, as I do have any episode from this arc later in the list. Yeah spoilers, but I have to be truthful on why this may be emptier than you may want.

Anyway, they go on another little adventure to capture Peridot but end up getting trapped and Pearl and Garnet must face a little problem. Now to explain that problem. In short, Pearl tricked Garnet into fusing with her many times.

This…was bad, to say the least. Garnet is a fusion and thus is a bit pissed when Pearl does something that heinous just for a sick thrill. It was so bad it was not resolved there and it lingered over the next few episodes, even the filler one.

And just when it starts to get a bit dull, they resolve it. Now that’s good writing. Also, it was all put in a Steven Bomb, so that you don’t have to be depressed for a whole month.

This whole arc really tested the characters, and showed that not all problems can be solved in 11 minutes. Nah, sometimes they have just 5 days. Jokes aside, I really liked how they handled it. Pearl screwed up and really faces the consequences.

And in a way, you get it. This episode explains that she felt strong while being Sardonyx and pretty much became addicted to that feeling. This one goes even deeper, as Pearl explains her feelings. Like usual, the wording is so perfect I can’t capture it by just summing it up.’

It’s another of those great moments where the two share their feelings and opening up some complex stuff and make their characters even stronger. This is exactly what we needed to wrap this up, as we already have been told how bad Pearl acted and now we see her side of things and perfectly showing everyones feelings.

On top of that, this episode also happens to be a fun adventure. The way they do the Peridiot stuff is great because of how much fun it is. There’s real energy here and Peridot is just an awesome and memorable character in general.

This element is actually why it ended up here. Having emotion is fine but if it was only that, it would just exist to wrap up the arc and that’s it. But this makes it a more complete story, and make it almost more fun in a weird way.

All of the elements make it such a complete fun package instead of just one thing. Now with that comes some flaws. At the time, it was tiring to see Perdiot escape yet again, even if they got her foot. They didn’t quite…defeat her.

I am not sorry.

But this became a non issue since Catch and Release happened not too long after. Again, that’s good writing. As for the other problems, I can see some feeling that the big scene is slightly rushed.

It happens as the two are trapped and may be crushed by the walls closing walls, meaning it has to cut to Steven and Amethyst’s reactions and stuff like that. It can happen slightly too quickly for some and maybe not be htre hugest moment ever.

It can also be slightly weak with how the episode functions, feeling ever so slightly formulaic in cartoon terms. But honestly, that’s not too big of an issue as the dialogue itself makes this scene emotional and great.

The bits I praised explain why I think this mostly works, and the episodes structure just make it a more fun package. But I will admit it’s not the most perfect story ever. Also, how did they fuse so dang quickly without much room to dance?

But aside those minor things, this one is great. It ends an arc very well with tons of emotion and great character insight, while also being a really fun adventure, making it well rounded. You can tell I like episodes that are well rounded instead of just one thing well.

While it’s not perfect, it’s still great and did a lot very well. Also, the way Steven says Good Morning confirms that Say Uncle is canon so it’s 10/10 by default.

  1. Log Date 7 15 2

Writers: Hilary Florido and Lauren Zuke

This seems like an odd one to have this high, but I genuinely really like it enough to think it deserves this spot. And it’s good time to talk about Peridot. In short, she became a good guy in this Season.

Now, redemption’s can turn out kind of badly for various reasons to the point where I’m a little bit sick of them. But leave it to Steven Universe to pull off really well. For one, Peridot was already great because she was such a memorable character who you wanted to follow.

So her becoming good isn’t the worst idea since you actually care about her and she’s not just a dull villain. Btu the most thing is how they handled it. It was gradual with her being food. She did basically starting with them right away but mostly cuz she had to.

She had plenty of chances to just leave or even betray them but she new being with them was the best option. And they took a few episodes to fully develop everything, including how she gets over various predjucies and stuff like that.

She’s also still not perfect, she has some lapses and even with this episode, she does stuff like pushing Greg off a roof because she doesn’t know humans can’t exactly survive that. She isn’t just a perfect angel off the bat for no reason, and she’s still an interesting character.

Hell, this made her better instead of worse. Which leads to this episode. She’s been with the gems for a month now, and she records an Audio Log of her experience which Steven listens to to see why she seems to be getting along with Garnet.

That’s the whole thing, just a log of what Peridiot has been done. No big plot, or even much of a conflict outside of her wanting to understanding Garnet. And in a way, that’s actually better. We learn more about Peridot from this one small plot then we would in a bigger one.

It’s a Slice of Slice Comedy episode with her goofing and being silly, but the small details really add up. We see that she’s not sure of what is socially acceptable like how she pushes Greg, and we see just how reacts to various things like clothes and television.

This is all played for laughs, but it’s also interesting to see her interact with the world and get used to it. We also have her bonding with people like Amethyst and small bits that add a lot. We get episodes about her and Pearl, then Amethyst so it’s nice to see them just hanging about after all the drama in those.

Perdiot really shines here. The previous episode had her yelling at her boss, and pretty much joining the Gems. Right off the bat, she’s going crazy before she isn’t sure how to feel about doing that. Of course it goes it something simpler but this is one huge showcase for Peridot.

It honestly does a better job with her then any other episode, because it’s only that, not much else. It’s mostly from her perspective, which gives us a better idea of how she thinks. Naturally there is heart with how she bonds with Garnet, and how she comes to understand why she is a permanent fusion.

They address her…fusphobia for lack of a better term, quite nicely. They show that sometimes people who have those prejudices are just misinformed and can learn why people are like that. The fusion being a fairly badass person who is easy to piss off (as we saw in the last one) doesn’t hurt either.

Above all else, this episode is funny. There are so many good jokes in each scene with how Peridiot reacts to things, like her pushing Greg and her various interacts. Yes, the highlight is when she gets into a show and becomes a shipper…based on only episode, and on a pairing that is not the one they push, because she think it objectively works better.

You’ve all made the jokes and parallels, I don’t think I need to say anything. Except that the pair she likes better is Pierre and Percy. Both are very male names. Yep, that means she ships someone Pinhead Pierre!

.What?

This even plays a part in the plot as Garnet pretty much explains her fusion by saying she is Pieree and Percy. Yep, she used something she understands to explain what is more or less a gay relationship.

That’s a perfect metaphor for this show in a way,

This episode might be just a silly little story to most, but I really really liked it more than I thought I would. It sums up Peridiot better than any other episode, while also being hilarious and having a light enough plot so anyone to get into.

In a way it’s filler, but the way it’s done makes it one of the best filler episodes ever. Is it the best way to end the Season? Maybe not but that’s CN’s fault and it does nicely end part of the bigger plot with the Cluster.

Overall, that quaint but awesome episode ended the season on a very strong note.

  1. Sworn to the Sword

Writers: Joe Johnston and Jeff Liu

Yay, time to be predictable again. This one is …popular, and will likely rank high on other lists. It deserves it to say the least. Although I will admit I didn’t sucked into the hype at first, but I grew to love it to the point where it’s on here.

Now I can discuss Connie full on, as here she learns to Swordfight with Pearl which of course goes a bit too far. Connie is pretty awesome. She is Steven’s little friend and she could have been just a dull human friend that Steven needs to save or something like that.

But instead, she’s an adorable badass. Early on she was mostly a friend but their bond was enjoyable and she served well in episodes like her debut. In Season 2, she got even better as we went into a bit already.

This one starts off with them jamming out which really establishes their bond very well, with a fun song that kind of reminds me of the Little Butler song. …What, is it just me?

We get to see her dedication to Steven how far it can go thanks to Pearl. Pearl’s teachings tell her that her master is nothing and she is nothing, which how thinks worked when she served for Rose.

This ..is not for the best. Before I dive deeper into writing, I must say that the main song in this, Do it for Her, has to be my favorite song in the show. It has all the things I loved about previous songs like Strong in the Real Way but is made better by how it progresses and goes deeper and the darker undertones it has, when it starts out as normal and sweet.

I love it, as it compliments the story perfectly, like any good song should do. And it really furthers the themes I will now discuss. We have more insight on the whole Rose thing here, and all the issues Pearl is dealing with.

There’s some unresolved issues there, as Pearl was pretty devoted to her but clearly there were problems here and there as they explore a bit here. This is used to go deeper into a seemingly basic teamwork moral.

It does have the typical stuff with Connie working better with Steven than blindly protecting him, but they do deeper on the meantilty of standing up for someone a bit too much. Connie is told that she is nothing compared to her master or whatever, which gets a bit out of my mind.

With all my praise, I should stop to make one complaint: It’s a bit predicable. When Connie starts doing this, Steven is a bit worried. Gee, I wonder if this will go too far. You know, like in that other episode where someone teaches people to be stronger in some way.

Yeah, that was more or less my reaction which took away from the story slightly, as I do perfer episodes where I don’t really know where it’s going. But it’s a minor complaint and it goes away on re-watch.

This episode is another one of those great heavy ones. It has some interesting themes and great character insight, as well plenty of other great things like Connie in general. It’s one that’s simple and pretty complex at the same time, getting a nice balance down.

Of course, the big moment with Pearl I won’t spoil is damn heavy stuff, and another awesome moment. The words carries so much weight and end up saying a lot about Pearl and her attitude in this.

/This Season wasn’t too kind to pearl, between this and the Cry for Help stuff. But it helped make her a more complex character, and showed why she’s pretty great. This episode happens to get extra points for the cool fights and Connie being amazing.

I can see why it got so much praise, even if it took a bit for me to fully appreciate it. The themes are really interesting, it’s fun in the right places, and carries a lot of emotional weight as well as an amazing song.

It’s another complete package that is just awesome all around. That’s pretty all I have to say about that.

And once again, we need to go through Honorable Mentions before hitting our top spot. Not as many as before but still a few.

Story For Steven/We Need To Talk: Two very solid stories about how Greg meet Rose and discovered fusion. I like the 2nd one a bit more though.

Keeping it Together: Very creepy and interesting with the revelations.

Back at the Barn/Message Received: Great episodes that helped make the whole Peridot thing work as well as it id. I liked the Peri one I picked more though.

And my number one Steven Universe Season 2 Episode is…

  1. Keystone Motel

Writers: Raven M. Molisee, Paul Villeco, and Rebecca Sugar

When making any list, I try to at least be a bit surprising with my top pick. Or just be slightly different. It’s always true to my opinion, I rarely force it, I just happen to have odd tastes. But sometimes, you have to give in to the hype and pick an obvious choice that you love for the same reasons as everyone else.

And that is what happened here. Also, there was really was no other option as this stuck out the most of any episode, at least when it comes to the key elements of a Steven episode. When people pick a favorite, they tend to go with whatever story stuck out the most.

Whereas others, like me ,really think about the best of the best, and think about many factors. But in this case, I’m going with the former line of thinking. This episode is just plain interesting and incredibly emotional.

And it aired on my Birthday. A nice bonus, I think.

After Cry for Help, Garnet tags along with Greg and Steven on a road trip to a motel. This is okay until she gets so angry about Pearl that she splits up into Ruby and Saphpire.

Okay, we can’t move on without addressing the…elephant in the room. Yes, as some of you recall, there is a real motel called KeyStone that people sent fake reviews to referencing this episode.

If it was a photshop thing, it would be funny but people actually put in these reviews which is…yeah, not good. It’s not the worst thing the fandom has done (cough cough…) but it’s a bit off.

I have nothing else to add to it onto the actual episode.

This episode is a perfect continuation of Cry for Help. That one did explore how everyone felt but this is shows the aftermath. It begins with showing how Pearl is sorry but Garnet is more than a little upset, hammering the point in, in a good way.

Then the rest really dives into how Garnet feels, even when it turns into a Couple Break up story. But of course, it still has comedy with Greg going to talk to an “internet Man” and the Square Pizza. Also, Sorry Steven, but I actually prefer Square Pizza. The tone is balanced here, as nothing is too goofy once the plot kicks in.

The Comedy adds to the drama like how Ruby gets really angry the point of evaporating the pool and exploding at the diner. There’s also Sapphire’s dry wit (I see where Garnet gets it from) and other bits like that.

Ruby and Sapphire were good before, and in The Answer but they are at their best here. We really see their personalities here and how they deal with what Pearl did. Ruby is angry and Sapphire just wants to keep her feelings bottled up thinking it will get better on it’s own.

It’s a great contrast and their relationship is great too. The whole thing is just a nice look at this couple who is angry at both someone else, and each other. The pacing is good too, as it spends just enough time in each scene from the opening, to them spliting up to, to the resolution.

Everything just flows really well and is as dramatic as it needs to be, with the right amount of humor. This is also another one that uses the format well. Each episode between Cry for Help and Friend Ship nicely has a tiny of piece of after math with how people deal wirh from Amethyst bonding with Onion’s mother to something like this.

Getting a small piece that they go into detail in sometimes works better than cramming a lot in and Friend Ship finished it so well that it was all worth it. But no episode from that week stood out more than this one.

The main thing that brings it number one is the ending. Ruby and Sapphire getting back together is the sweetest thing ever, especially with a line so cheesy that it’s just great. Especially after a damn emotion scene where Steven starts to himself for their fighting which makes them realize how stupid they are acting.

Speaking of that, I like how no one is the bad guy. They were both angry enough to get split up and no one is really acting better than the other, even if Ruby clearly shows it a bit more. Everything is so even and it makes the ending even more sastyging.

It captures some really real emotions near perfectly while also doing everything else you need for a good story. I suppose other stories are more complete, but this one stands out more and…yeah, the ending is the main reason this is my favorite.

The Season had plenty of good emotional moments, but none were better than this. It hit me the hardest because it was the most interesting conflict on a both theme and character level. It’s just so well done and incredibly interesting.

How does it compare to Season 1? Well, i’d call it the /’best” one so far…but Joking Victim is still my favorite. It does everything this one does, but on a more human level and with a character that is usually less interesting.

But this one is still amazing. It’s gripping, it’s funny and provides awesome character insights and is emotionally satisfying on so many levels. No amount of cruel internet jokes will ruin this one for me. It’s not only the best episode of that arc, but it’s the best episode of Steven Universe Season 2 for pretty much representing everything great about the Season.

And those were the best SU Season 2 Episodes. I apologize if this isn’t my best work, it was hard to rank episodes that are equally great and there isn’t a ton to say about some of these compared to the first list.

With Season 3, I’ll now only do a list if there’s enough to say. If not, I’ll just mention favorites on Deviant Art or something. Or just do some of quickie on Sponge’s Favorite Episodes along with some other show or whatever. We’ll see.

Either way, this Season was very good, even if it was short. While I do talk up the show, it isn’t the most perfect ever, and I don’t want to build it up too much for those who don’t care for the hype.

But it’s a show I just like quite a bit. When I watch an episode, there’s just something magical that prevents from caring about any of it’s problems. That magic just makes me love all the good episodes even more, and even keeps the “Bad’ episodes afloat.

So that might make me talk it up more than I should, but this is all true to the quality of the show. It’s that strong. Can’t wait for Season 3 starting this Thursday! We’ll get In Too Deep soon enough.

Hope you enjoyed this list, and there’s more to come. Usually I’d just hint to my next one but to be nice, I’ll throw oyu a bone.

COMING SOON:….TOP 11 ADVENTURE TIME EPISODES!

See ya.

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General Review: Captain America Civil War

Hello, Spongey here.

Well, it’s now May which means it’s time for Summer Movie Season to begin, even though Summer isn’t until June.

I never got that either. Besides, the only real Summer films to come out May tend to be Marvel films. Which brings us to today’s general review. In 2012 and 2015 I did posts on the first 2 “Phases” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

They weren’t my best or most notable works (aside from my ignorance on how tastes work) but I had fun doing them as it was interesting to look at those films. The MCU is interesting since they are basically just typical Comic Book Summer Blockbusters, yet have a ton of respect from people outside of the usual groups.

Some just see them as typical stuff, while others see them as proof Summer Blockbusters are mostly better off now then before. Obviously I am a Marvel fan, but I see people’s points. But it’s only bugged me recently.

For the most part, a ton of effort goes them and each has their stamp. Some more than others, as Hulk was just a solid Hulk film, like something like Thor or Captain America had their directors stamp all over them.

Iron Man is still likely the best of those as it works the best as a film, even if Cap is the most enjoyable. Both are great for different reasons, and show the ways a Marvel film can work. Phase 2 was mostly better with Iron Man 3 and Winter Solider being some of their best written work while Guardians of the Galaxy was pure fun in how unique it was.

But recently with the end of phase 2, there has been some worry. While Ant-Man and Avengers 2 were good, they had a more mixed response. Ant-Mans’ mostly came from people whining about the Edgar Wright thing and not letting go of that, but they did have some points, and same goes for AOO.

Both kind of abuses the Marvel formula at points and weren’t 100 percent fully realized. Ant-Man made me realize the formula that these films tend to have, and while it still worked, it did end up holding it back just a bit for me.

Age of Ultron was plenty of fun but did pack in too much for the sake of it, and was just a pretty good film instead of a great one. There are starting to be some cracks in how Marvel does things, as has been explained.

But there’s hope, as their slate seems mostly promising, which finally leads us to this review. To fully start Phase 3 (yes, the film that came out after the finale of phase 2 was still phase 2. I don’t get it) we have another Captain America film.

So far, he’s had the best films. The first stood out with it’s setting and how damn likable the main character was, while Winter Solider was a genuinely well written sort of political thriller on top of being a blast of fun.

The other heroes are more mixed, but Cap has 2 great ones under his belt, so naturally I was interested in his next adventure. Which turned out to be an adaptation of of a more divisive story line from the comics, The concept of it was interesting for a film at least. I will admit I had a bit of worry about this one.

I mean, the advertising plays up the fact that a bunch of the heroes will be fighting, while introducing new ones to the MCU instead of the actual story, which sounded way more interesting.

Just two months or so ago, we have a film about heroes fighting that put in new characters to that world. Look how that turned out for some people. I didn’t want Marvel to make that same mistake.

But of course, I was still hyped anyway…..especially when the early reviews came in! Yeah, it got screened in April and since then there’s been praise up the wazoo from mostly everyone who saw it.

At the moment, it has a 92 on RT. Dang, that seem to be happening a lot this year. The buzz got me interested and with that long into, we’re going to see if the hype is worth it.

Also, I’m not sure if I will do a Phase 3 posts, since I will do reviews for those films. I could have skipped them but I think you can do without another Marvel post, if I end up having nothing to add. We’ll see.

For now, let’s see if it earns it’s high RT rating like Zootoopia, or falls a tiny bit flat compared to the rating like The Jungle Book. Let’s find out.

This, is Captain America: Civil War

NOTE: This is a general review, written after first seeing the film. Thoughts may change at any time so don’t take this too seriously. Should have put this note on the general reviews a while ago but ah well, better late than ever.

PRODUCTION:

There isn’t too much to say here, as the film isn’t exactly a big CGI fest like the Avengers films. It’s more down to earth like Winter Solider, even with some effects from people like Ant-Man. But in general, the movie is well made as the rest of the MCU.

The effects are solid and action is good. A few use shakey cam but they get better and more enjoyable as it goes on. Of course, the highlight is the big fight the trailers teased. It is…amazing.

The fight is awesome with how they use the various and heroes and how their powers play into it. It makes me glad certain heroes were used because it’s so huge and so awesome, and has a real energy to it.

So while it’s not exactly filled with eye candy, it gves you some fun spectacle to enjoy, along with one of the best set pieces in the MCU so far. Yes, it is that glorious. That was short, but let’s see if there’s more to say about the other stuff.

WRITING:

The Avengers become fractured into two opposing teams, one led by Captain America and another by Iron Man, after extensive collateral damage prompts politicians to pass an act regulating superhuman activity with government oversight and accountability for the Avengers.

In essence, this is a combination of an Avengers film, and The winter Solider. It’s pretty much about the team of heroes, while also carrying a more complex plot with themes that are kind of relevant in today’s world. It’s even directed the same way as Winter Solider, and has the same writers.

Which explains why it has the same pros as that one. I will say off the bat that the main theme that kickstarts the plot is more of a jumping point and reason for The Avengers to start growing apart, and eventually fight.

It’s more about them as a group growing apart, and how Steve and Tony deal with all of this. Don’t expect too big of a debate on what a Superhero should do. For some reason, I expected more of it given how important it is the plot, and how much of a hot button it can be after certain films had heroes being careless.

So there was slight disappointment there when I saw that it wasn’t quite all about that. Meaning I will need to watch it again knowing what it’s really about so I can appreciate it more. But for now, I can look past that now that I’m thinking about the film. Just expect a better review come Phase 3 post, which will now happen.

There’s plenty to say now, so let’s say it. This film is both a big Vs flick and an actual story with themes and it’s hard to juggle those if you just came for one. In general, they do it well. The fighting is given a reason to be there, but there is more to it.

They use it to explore how the characters feel and it gives some good moments, especially near the end when it all comes together. They explore decent themes and the writing itself is a solid as expect from the Winter Solider writers.

With that said, it’s not perfect. Since a lot goes on at times, some elements can feel undercooke or pointless to some. They aren’t badly done per say, but I can some people finding some parts to be pointless in the long run.

And on a first viewing, the bigger conflict they face isn’t the most interesting ever. The best parts deal with the starting conflict, not so much the big baddie stuff, as sometimes it’s not the most interesting. But the strong qualities of the writing make it still work with a pretty good ending to it all.

But yeah, there are elements that aren’t done perfectly, and I can say some people calling it minorly bloated in some aspects, even if I’ve seen worse. I think I’ll like some of those parts more once I watch it again knowing the bigger picture, but on a first viewing I know this mostly works.

In general, the writing is strong with some decently thought provoking themes and each member being given a good reason for being on their side. Sort of. Ant-man is litterly thrown into the film and is on the side he’s on because….reasons. Unless I missed the explanation, which is likely.

(Falcon, who is on Cap’s side, being in his movie doesn’t count as a reason).

Most of fits together well, but as I said, it has some kinks here and there. And perhaps Winter Solider was constructed slightly better. But I can’t deny that they did a solid job with this one, even if my expectations were a bit different then they should have been.

CHARECTERS:

The MCU tends to do a good job at giving us likable heroes, and this one keeps them as solid as ever. This one should be easy as the characters can be put into two groups.

The first would be the major players that headline the story, starting with Captain America/Steven Rogers, played by Chris Eveans, and Tony Stark/Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr. A better title would have been Captain America/Iron Man as it’s om ore about them together, then just Cap, or even just the Avengers.

Cap is still a likable hero who deals with some interesting stuff here. He’s not quite as strong as lead as last time, as his development isn’t quite as strong, but he still works. Tony is better, with what he goes wrong. You think his development was pretty much done after IM3 and Age of Ultron but nope, there’s more and it mostly works, making him still charming as ever.

The two work well off each other too, especially with their clashing ideologies and you get their POV. #TeamCap, by the way. As for our other major players, we have Bucky/Winter Solider, played by Sebestian Stan. His bigger part is kind of a spoiler, so I’ll just say he’s here and he’s actually better than in his previous outing, with what he goes through and his basic role.

There’s also a villain, who I didn’t see too much in the trailers so I suppose it’s a spoiler to go too deep. The short version, like most Marvel Villains, he can be kind of enjoyable but is mostly just …there. A bit better maybe, but they still need work. I’ll get to go into detail some other time.

Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johanson is also here again and she’s still a solid partner for Cap and her role is interesting as she’s actually on Tony’s side of the debate, making her side in the fight very interesting. She’s about as solid and awesome as before.

Oh, and just today they said they are “committed” to a Black Widow film. You better not let us down with that commitment, guys…

Someone who is kind of in both groups is Scarlet Witch, played by Elizabeth Olseon. She’s better here than in Ultron as her character is more interesting with her likability, and she is one of the first to think that maybe they cause too much damage.

She’s less important later on, but she fits enough to be in the major players group. And ending the group is newcomer Black Panter, played by Chadwik Boseman. He’s the biggest new addition and from this, I’m looking forward to a solo film.

He’s a strong hero here and I like how he is the King of his Country, since it gives him his edge. He’s just cool and his role is done pretty well., even we have to wait for him to be a bit more complex. Although one part of his opening scene feels really obligatory, you’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen it.

The other group would be people there for the fight, and that’s it. There’s certainly a role for them but that’s the extent of it, which actually isn’t bad for some of them. Some like A-nTMan are kind ofj ust…there. He’s role in the big fight is AWESOME but character wise, he’s…there.

An better example is Hawkeye, who has a role outside of the action which isn’t huge, but is decent. Still not my favorite, but he is getting better. I’m the only one who wants a Hawkeye movie it seems, but don’t you want him to be fleshed out more as a character?

There’ also The Vision who I always thought was just an odd addition. He’s a cool character I suppose, but he wasn’t used as well as the others in both this and AOU. He has one solid scene here and for the rest he’s just here cuz he kind of had to be there.

Flacon/Sam Wilson, played by Antony Mackie is here and that’s all there is to say about him. He works, I just don’t recall exactly what he does, he’s just there for support, which works for the story.

Speaking of black friends, Tony has Rhody, played by Don Cheadle, who has a bit better of a role than usual with some spoiler things that happen. A bit minor but interesting enough. The others I can think aren’t too notable, like Sharon Carter, Peggy’s neice who exists as minor support and for ship teasing.

If they hook up, it will pretty much purely because she’s related to Cap’s old girlfriend. That’s…weird to me.

But you don’t care about any of the minor people, you want to hear about…Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland. That’s right, Marvel got the Spidey rights back and this is his introduction.

Like Ant-Man he’s here for the action and that’s all but there is more. He’s honestly arguably pointless, but he is …done well. The actor makes both Peter and Spider-Man charming, and I like him just as much in both roles.

We’ll see if he ends up being a better spidey than the others, but he is good enough to make me want his solo film. And yes, as everyone has said, Aunt May is a bit too young to the point where Tony keeps calling her hot.. Ew.

The characters have a varying degree of useful-ness, with some feeling pointless or weak but most of them as strong and likable as ever, with some very welcome new additions.

Final Thoughts:

Time will tell if I end up loving this one as much as my Marvel faves, but for now Captain America Civil War is another winner. Maybe some elements are pointless, or weak, but that can be overlooked. The writing goes into deeper themes and juggles a few elements well, with great action and great use of old characters and some solid new ones.

It’s a good end to the Cap trilogy, and a nice lead in for future Avengers stories to come. It’s a good follow u pto Winter Solider with the same strengths. It’s weird that Cap has the best films at the moment, but hey, I like that they did the character this much justice.

Is it the best Marvel movie ever? Eh, it’s all opinion so I don’t think it matters what I think. Personally, I really liked it but I loved a few others more. Honestly, maybe Winter Solider was better.

I’ve only seen this once and Marvel films usually get better on repeat viewings, or I just gather my thoughts better. But in general, this was a very solid outing with better writing than usual. I’m very much looking forward to what they have for us next.

PRODUCTION: B

WRITING: B (Subject to change)

CHARACTERS: B+

OVERALL: B+

I hope when I revisit this for the Phase 3 post, I’ll get to say more as I need time to reevaluate some elements. In two weeks, we’ll see if pissed of birds can be funny.

See ya.

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