Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dark Discussions Podcast: Tusk


   In this episode the Dark Discussions Podcast reviews the latest Kevin Smith film starring Michael Parks, Wallace Bryton, and Johnny Depp.

Link to episode
http://darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_156.html

Dark Discussions Podcast: Nightcrawler


    In this episode the gang and I take a look at this year's underappreciated gem from director Dan Gilroy starring Jake Gyllenhaal in this obscure and tense thriller.

Link to episode
http://darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_161.html

Friday, November 28, 2014

Fate Stay Night: Fate


     Hello everyone and welcome back. So for today's article I will be discussing the popular visual novel titled Fate Stay Night well actually only a part of it. From this point on until I have completed the game we will be looking at the game's three main routes, the prequel, and the controversial bonus chapter. I may do other pieces of media that are associated with the franchise but for now I will be focusing my attention on the main dish.

     Before I begin I should explain to those who don't know as to what Fate Stay Night is as well as visual novels in general. By definition a visual novel is an interactive fictional narrative like a "choose your own adventure" story but in a video game format. They are mainstream in the country of Japan but getting your hands on one here in the states believe its a bitch of a time to acquire one and being able to play it especially if it isn't translated(or you don't know Japanese). Fate Stay Night is one of the more well known visual novels having had several anime and manga adaptions along with video games, spin-offs, and toys produced with two new animated adaptations being released by Ufotable. It was written by Kinko Nasu with art by Takashi Takeuchi and if you forget their names no worries because these guys will be coming up quite a bit in these reviews.

      Now that we got that out of the way lets begin with the first route appropriately titled: Fate.
    
                 

    Before we actually get into the story itself  I need to bring up. First is that while there are three story routes they don't necessarily stand on their own as certain details and questions can only be filled in by playing the other routes. Second there will be heavy spoilers so if you ever plan on playing this soon or in the near future then stop reading while you still can.

     Okay so I'm going to begin now...

     I'm serious if you don't want to get spoiled then stop reading.

     Last warning...

     Still here? Okay lets do this then. 
 
     So the before we actually get into the meat of things the visual novel starts us off with a prologue where we share the point of view of a young high school student and magus named Rin Toshaka who is preparing for deadly competition and ritual known as the Holy Grail War in which seven Magus called Masters face off against each other with the aide of powerful beings called Servants. Whichever pair remains standing will lay claim to the Holy Grail; a powerful artifact that can grant any wish. This war was the very same one her father fought and died in when she was young so ask the successor of the family it was her duty to fight as he did. For a majority of the earlier parts of this prologue aside from exposition we are introduced to several of the side characters and a bit of foreshadowing for later on.

     With the final hours of the upcoming battle counting down Rin makes some final preparations and attempts to summon her servant. In the Holy Grail War there are seven classes of combatants that can be summoned by a Master. These seven are: Saber, Archer, Caster, Assassin, Rider, Lancer, and Berserker. Out of all these the class that had made it the farthest in the battle was Saber and Rin believes that by summoning it her chances of winning would increase greatly. While the ritual seemed to be going well at first there were some unforeseen complications. What she brought into the human world wasn't what she expected.

     Lounging on a pile of wrecked furniture is a strange man with white hair and a deep red jacket. After a rather awkward questioning Rin learns that the warrior is of  the Archer class. What's more he cant recall his name or anything else about himself which most likely a side effect of the botched summoning. Rin decides to try to make the best of the situation and work with what's she's got.

    You see Servants are much more than just warriors or spell casters because each one is a legendary hero of myth and legend worshiped by mankind since ancient times and their prowess is measured by their fame. Every hero and heroine has a true identity and by extension a Noble Phantasm which is their ultimate weapon. Because Archer can recall who he is he wont be able to unleash his own Noble Phantasm which puts the pair in a rather big pickle. 


                  


     The two begin searching for other Masters and Servants. Its during this time that we learn about a park that once was part of the city but was destroyed by a catastrophic fire which killed many in its wake. In addition Rin and Archer discover a magic symbol on the roof top of Rin's high school which most likely was placed there by one of the Masters for a very sinister purpose. While she is unable to full remove it Rin uses her magic to suppress it power and delay it's creator's opportunity to use it. Its at that moment that the two are descended upon by a Servant who reveals himself to be Lancer.


                  


     Archer and Lancer clash in a grand scale melee with neither side giving an inch. Seeing no other option Lancer decides to unleash his Noble Phantasm to kill Archer. It looks like Rin's participation in the Holy Grail War is going to come to an abrupt and bloody end when suddenly a young man makes his presence known. Lancer turns his attention away from his opponent and gives chase in order to silence the boy as outsiders must never know about the Grail Wars.

     Rin and Archer try to stop Lancer but arrive too late and find the boy dying in a pool of blood. Upon seeing the boy's face Rin becomes determined to save him and uses the magic she had stored in her personal amulet(for many years I should add) to save him from the brink of death. After a job well done Rin and Archer retreat to her house but quickly realize that Lancer is not going to give up that is easily and will most definitely try to find the boy and finish him off. Knowing the location of the boy's home Rin and Archer makes their way there.

     As soon as the pair arrives they spot Lancer jumping over the wall that surrounds the house fleeing from something. That "something" leaps over the fall soon after Lancer and attacks our duo quickly overpowering Archer which forces Rin to order him to retreat. The young Magi tries her hand at dispatching her enemy but her spells are rendered useless and she is corned. The moonlight reveals her opponent to be a golden haired girl in plate mail wielding an invisible blade shrouded in a wind and air. Its at this moment that we cut to the main menu that's right we haven't even started the game yet.

      When we start the visual novel we jump into a new point of view that being of our main character Shirou Emiya. As a child he was one of the few survivors of the great fire that destroyed a large chunk of the city but was rescued and adopted by a man named Kiritsugu Emiya who reveals to his newly adopted son that he is a Magi. Shirou begins to look up to Kiritsugu and takes on the man's ideals of being a hero and lives by them throughout most of his life even after his adoptive father mysteriously passes away one quite night.

      We cut to present time where we get an idea of Shirou's daily life and his overall character. Shirou is selfless to an absolute fault and would be willing to help anyone in need or complete any task asked of him. While this is a rather admirable trait its clear that its rather unhealthy as well as his good nature is taken advantage of by others like his "good buddy" Shinji Matou who we have plenty to talk about down the road. No its more than that actually as Shirou has severe survivor's guilt and pretty places no value on his own life willing to throw away to save someone. The real focus of Fate Stay Night's narrative is not the Holy Grail but the ideals of Shirou and how he deals with them throughout his struggles in each route.

       So at this point we are pretty much covering the same three days that we did in the prologue with Rin and just like in those 3 days we meet several colorful side characters so before we continue lets do a quick run down of them. There is Sakura who comes over to Shirou's house everyday to cook for him and is also the sister of Shinji. Also there is Shirou's overly energetic teacher and guardian Taiga and his buddy Issei along with Archery Club president Ayako.

    We also learn that the young man who gets caught in the skirmish between Archer and Lancer and after being saved by Rin returns to his home only to get attacked again by Lancer. When it seems that he is going to become more familiar with the point of his attacker's weapon he inadvertently summons the blond iron clad woman who refers to herself only as Saber who then proceeds to drive off Lancer.

     In addition to what is mentioned above the first three days set the stage for when the story diverges into three different routes: Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, and Heaven's Feel. Since the game is structured in such a way that one needs to play them in that order that is how I will be handling the reviews in the future.
     Okay now that we've have cleared the prologue and the first three days lets finally talk about Fate here. I know I may be rushing a bit here but on top of the route covering these other earlier parts of the game has already stretched this article out big time and we still have so much more to talk about here so lets get to it. ヾ( ̄0 ̄; )ノ

      Every route here is an odyssey so to break it down I will be dividing each part of this review and most likely the others into different points of focus among them being the plot and characters.

Part One: The Plot    
 
     The storyline for the Fate route is well...difficult to really to describe mainly due to there being not much of one in the first place. This route mainly serves as an introduction to the world of Fate Stay Night and its characters explaining both the rules of the Holy Grail War and the magic used; things that were a bit skimmed over in the prologue and dumped on you head during night 3. So there is ALOT of exposition and boy was it a chore to read through it all. I mean it important to understand the setting and all but God damn!

    We do get a pretty good idea about Shirou and his ideals here but as I read on it didn't really like he was the focus of this route despite him being the protagonist but it being instead the route's heroine Saber as her circumstances are pretty much the driving force of the plot.

     The big events that occur feel rather episodic in a way as Shirou and Saber must confront a new Servant that is out to kill them. It kind of reminded me of the monster of the week formula that shows like the X-Files or the Power Rangers had. I liked some of the battles but none of them really had an effect on much of anything except one where a former Master joins our heroes after her defeat but that's it. To emphasize how much of a problem this is I have to tell you folks this: Each route takes place over the course of 15-16 days. Why is this a problem? The answer is that we don't get into the main conflict until Day 14! DAY 14! Its not until the near end of this storyline that our antagonist start making their move! Pacing is the worst enemy of this visual novel.

     So if the battles with the other servants or the villains are not the important parts of the Fate route then what is? Well as I mentioned above Saber seems to take the spotlight in this regards as her character arc is the actual main conflict.

    Throughout Fate we learn more about Saber's past as well as her goal in the Holy Grail War. Her character arc is really(in my opinion) the only thing worth noting in the entirety of this bloody route as it provides the best closure for her character.

      The lack of a plot is one of the things that has made the Fate Route rather unpopular with the fandom among other things and can potentially scare away new readers before they get to the better parts of the visual novel.

Part Two: The CharactersNote: In this section of the review I will be looking at the characters mainly those who play a major role in the route.

Shirou: As mentioned above we learn a bit about Shirou from this route and the first 3 days but he felt like the tag along kid. Because he lacks little to fighting abilities for a good portion of the route he has to rely on Saber most of the time. He is also kind of dense here. In a positive view of this it makes him a good fish out of water which allows him to be a sponge for all the things that he(and by extension the reader) will need to know about Fate Stay Night. On the negative side of it though he is actually pretty fucking stupid. A grand example is when he receives a phone call from Shinji(who he earlier learns is a Master) telling him to come to the school alone without Rin or Saber because he has to talk to him about "something" this is all be spoken in a rather unstable and creepy voice which should have been a dead give away. Instead of telling his allies about the situation and coming up with a plan the dumbass goes to the school and nearly gets his ass sliced off by Shinji's servant Rider. He doesn't get that much character development either when compared to the other two versions of himself in Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven's Feel but instead acts as a form of emotional support for Saber and plays a major role in her character arc.

Saber: I really like the character of Saber and thought she was definitely the highlight of this route. A dedicated knight from a distant time who hides her emotions behind a mask of stoicism and a suit of armor. What I found so likable and endearing about her was seeing the human buried beneath the veil and was one of the few reasons I kept reading the route despite how dull most of it was. She isn't the most entertaining of the characters in this visual novel as she can a bit too serious at times but her straight man act works well when it collides with the more energetic and animated members of Fate Stay Night's cast.

Rin: For this route Rin pretty much plays the role of the mentor to Shirou explaining to him about certain magic as well as important details of the Holy Grail War as well as help him out in a couple of battles. In terms of her character I think she is the most well rounded of the female cast as she has a nice size role in all three routes. Smart, resourceful, snarky yet has a heart of gold and can be pretty funny at times(especially when she messes with Shirou). She is awesome and I definitely give the visual novel a plus that we get plenty more of her as we read the other storylines.

Ilyasviel "Ilya" von Einzbern  & Berserker: The second boss battle duo of the route one being a creepy white haired child and the other a great hero whose sanity is removed turning him into a rampaging monster. Ilya is a pretty great character and one of my favorites out of the cast along with Rin, Archer, and several others. Her past and her connection with Shirou are not revealed as she hold some sort of grudge against out red haired protagonist but as we get into Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven's Feel those secrets will come into the light. Berserker is a face-wrecking tank but because he is constantly in a state of rage and blood lust there isn't much character to him aside from his very protective nature of Ilya and his job of getting killed off in different ways to showcase the threat of a much stronger enemy.

Shinji & Rider: Ah these two. So the first pair that Shirou and Saber have to contend with is this lovely team. I talked about Shinji rather briefly so I'll go into a little more detail here. Shinji is a bonafide spineless jackass who likes to talk big and is very manipulative. He is also a very crappy Magi and Master with a superiority complex. While he just seems to be just an evil counter part to Shirou he is actually much more complicated than that.
 
The Servant Rider is tall, beautiful, and mysterious woman dressed in black. In the Fate route we learn almost nothing about her and she just serves as a mini boss. Her design is rather odd and sticks out like a sore thumb. While everyone else looks like a warrior from ancient times Rider looks like she stepped out of a S&M hentai or something it is really odd to be honest even if I have seen much stranger character designs. Its not bad just jarring when looking at everyone else..



                        

We will learn more about these two later on in the visual novel but for the time being what we see is what we get.

Kotomine & Gilgamesh: Our main villains of the route who don't do shit till the climax. Despite that these two are pretty great. Kotomine is more or less the game's main antagonist and very interesting when the readers learn more about his inner workings but in the Fate route he is just a mustache twirling villain and doesn't appear much in the route. His partner/Servant Gilgamesh is a nasty piece of work but is the kind of villain you just love to hate(or just love for some folks) and is a very intimidating and poweful figure whose only weakness is his sheer arrogance. He has some pretty awesome moments but he is kind of wasted here as well since he doesn't show up for a long time either and his sole motivation is trying to force Saber to become his bride like some cheesy "Magical Girlfriend" villain or something.

Part 3: The Romance   
 
    Fate Stay Night isn't just a visual novel but also an eroge. Yes there are sex scenes in this(at least the original version) but not as many as you may think. Now I'm going to get this out of the way right now: the sex scenes in this game are awful! These are embarrassingly bad like they were written by a God damn 14 year old. I never felt so awkward reading anything until I read the first 'erotic' scene and I knew this wouldn't the last or the worst for that matter.

     Now I don't know if Nasu himself wrote them or not but I really would have loved to have been the fly on the wall when the folks who were putting this thing together thought this was a good idea. Thankfully in the updated version called Réalta Nua("New Star" in Irish) these scenes are removed and are instead replaced with alternate scenes. These new scenes are not exactly great but given the choice between them and these sad excuses for pornography I'm going with the former any day even if the sex scenes are good for a laugh or two.

    Okay so now that elephant in the room is out of the way lets talk about the relationship between Shirou and Saber. This pairing is definitely popular almost to almost insane extremes I mean you can make a fat ass dictionary sized book of all the fanart, fanfictions, and doujins of these two. I think part of that has to do with the anime adaption by Studio Deen which was mostly centered around this route which some believed to be the main and/or only storyline since a good number of them haven't or will not read the source material(some don't even know about the visual novel's existence). But popularity aside how is it in the actual story? Well...
 
     The romance is not the worst thing I have read but it is definitely not great either. I guess to better understand this part of the review I need to spoil a big reveal which revolves around the identity of Saber. I mentioned earlier that all Servants have an identity that they must keep hidden from their opponents well take a guess as to who Saber really is. I'll post a second pic of her below and you can guess away.

                               

     If you have never heard of this franchise, read the visual novel, or watched any of its adaptions I bet that none you would have got. The most common(and understandable) mistake is that she is Joan of Arc but no its no existing female warrior from history or legend but in fact a well known hero who has gone under a sex change. That hero is none other than the Ruler of the Britons, the wielder of Excalibur, and the Once and Future King: Arthur. I'm not trolling you folks.

     Originally Nasu wanted to create a story where King Arthur was just doing awesome stuff but someone(I'm looking at you Takeuchi) talked him into making Saber a woman and so the Saber that has become the face of Type Moon came to be. What does this have to do with the romance you ask? Well while it seemed that most of the guys were fine with gender bending Saber I think Nasu still saw her as a man. During the early part of the route Nasu beats the reader over the head with the Gender Hammer constantly trying to remind them(and/or most likely himself) that Saber is a woman and it is fucking obnoxious. What's more we then have to deal Shirou's "girl's can't fight" bullshit that was flanderized and made infamous in Deen's anime adaptation resulting in many hating Shirou's guts. Now I know from reading the visual novel that Shirou's overprotectiveness of Saber is due to his lack of self worth and the fact that he doesn't want anyone getting hurt for his sake and this could also be attributed to her being his love interest in this route because in the other routes he doesn't do that at all but it doesn't make the earlier scenes between him and Saber any less cringe worthy.

     Despite that the romance isn't completely terrible as there are several heartwarming moments in between and I wish there could have been more of them instead of having to wade through the awkward crap from earlier. At the end of the day its a mixed bag so one can take it or leave it.

Part 4: The Finale and Epilogue    

    If there are any positive things that I can say about Fate is that it finishes strong. We learn that Saber's desired wish is to save her kingdom from its destruction as anyone should remember the bitter end that Camelot suffered in the Arthurian legend. What's more she wishes to redo the selection of the King believing that it was her failure as a ruler that led to the fall of her country. In addition we learn that the Grail is not what it seems and was the cause of the great fire years ago.

     Shirou helps Saber accept her past and finds the strength to move forward. Together the two defeat Kotomine and Gilgamesh who wish to unleash the corrupted artifact's power in a climatic battle. With their enemies slain Shirou uses his last Command Seal to order Saber to destroy. Before she fades away Saber declares her love to Shirou and returns to her time.

     Shirou moves on forever remembering Saber and the love he held for her and lives out a peaceful life with his friends. We flashback to Saber's time as she is dying during her final battle and while her life may be ending she is proud of what she managed to accomplish and doesn't wish to change her past. After giving one final order to her loyal knight Bedivere her end draws near as the King of Knights Arturia dies peacefully and without regret.
 

                            

       This epilogue: "Continuation of a Dream" is one of the most well known endings of the game and it certainly had a bit of a punch but if I had an issues it would be that the impact could be lessened if the reader didn't care about Saber or her relationship with Shirou.

Part 5: The Final Verdict   


At the end of the day the Fate Route is very mediocre and doesn't show the best of Fate Stay Night. I personally wouldn't recommend that any new readers start their experience with this one and if they have the ability to skip over then they should do it. I know some folks like it and that is totally fine but man could this use a rewrite I see a lot of potential in this storyline amongst all of its problems and if the day ever comes that a new adaption of this route is made I hope its better than what we got here or with Deen...especially Deen.

     So lets look over the good and the bad of the Fate Route before we finish.

   The Good

+ Several exciting fight scenes

+ The Finale and Epilogue

+ Saber's Character Arc

   The Bad

- A rather directionless plot

- Awkward romance

- Shirou's lack of growth and development

- Way too much exposition along with other pacing problems


     If I could score this I think it would fall into the range of a 5 out of 10. Part of me feels that it should be lower but the good points help it from taking on any more water.


     That is for this article thank you for reading I know I kind of skimmed over some stuff and simplified others but if I tried to go over every small detail then you might as well just go and starting reading the Visual Novel because there is a lot of information and lore in this thing.

    I know its been awhile since I posted anything but between reading the route, writing this review, and other things I've been pretty swamped. Stay tuned for my review of Unlimited Blade Works along with future episodes of

Thursday, October 23, 2014

My Top 10 Favorite Monsters


      Hello boys and girls its getting close to Halloween so I thought I do a quick count down list for today's article. Here below are my Top 10 Favorite Monsters of all time! So lets not waste anytime and get right into it!

Number 10
The Blob(Both films)
Starting off the list is everyone's favorite killer pile of acidic strawberry jelly: The Blob! First making its appearance back in 1958 and remerging in the 1988 remake this gooey terror made a meal out of everything caught in its path. This thing was freaky as well because not only did it guarantee a slow and horrible death by digestion but it could slip into any small crack or hole making it damn near impossible to escape it.

Number 9
Gwoemul(The Host 2006)
Swinging in on number 9 is the freaky tadpole monster from the 2006 South Korean horror film the Host(The Good One!). I love the monster's design as well as how it moves as it uses its tale to swing around like some kind of evil fish monkey. It may not look stellar due to the CGI being used but I can forgive that considering how fresh to see such an original monster gracing the silver screen. I cant wait to see its upcoming sequel which hopefully will just as awesome(or maybe even better) than its predecessor.

Number 8
Graboids(Tremors)
Snagging its spot at number 8 are the Graboids from the Tremors franchise. These giant worms will make one want to keep both of their feet off the ground as they terrorize Nevada eating sheep and trying to get a piece of Bacon(Please get the joke! :3).  The success of the first film spawned several sequels as well as a short lived TV series and is still regarded as a cult classic film. Hopefully down the line a new Tremors film will burrow its way to the surface that is filmed to "Perfection"(Also another inside joke).

Number 7
Pyramid Head(Silent Hill Franchise)
Who says that this list can only have monster from movies? At the lucky number 7 is Pyramid Head of the Silent Hill franchise. I was amazed to see how popular this guy got with the fans. He is practically the series cash cow because he had started showing up in a number of sequels as well spawning a number clones like the Butcher(Origins) or the Boogyman(Downpour). His design is bizarre complete with the iconic pyramid shaped helmet(although it looks like a right triangle but whatever). This guy is a forced to reckoned with dragging a huge cleaver like blade behind him reading to bring it down on any poor fool who happens to run into him. Also his first appearance in Silent Hill 2 has got to be one of the most fucked up establishing character moments I have ever seen!

Number 6
The Cenobites(Hellraiser Franchise)
Angels to some Demons to others at number 6 are the cenobites of the Hellraiser series. Sweet buttery Jesus are these guys freaky as fuck(just like the films). They are hard to describe in words really but imagine supernatural demonic hedonist with a taste for torture and fine leather. The first film is a classic while the sequels are a rather mixed bag. Regardless the Cenobites are a strange and scarily awesome group of characters who I hope to see in more films down the road.

Number 5
The Alien(Alien 1979)
Bursting out at number 5 is H.Giger's Alien. While its true that there have been many more Xenomorphs terrorizing the silver screen since the debut of Ridley Scott's film but it was this scary bastard that really stood out for me. The creature first reveal was truly unsettling and the fact that they only should a little of it at a time made it all the more terrifying whenever it showed up on screen to snatch up another hapless space trucker.

Number 4The Thing(1981 Remake)
Man is the warmest place to hide. At number 4 is mean ugly shape-shifting beastie from John Carpenter's horror film The Thing. I loved this movie and it titular creature as each form it took was unique and memorable using incredible special effects to bring them to life. Nothing is more terrifying than an enemy that could be anyone or anything especially in an isolated location such as Antarctica. If I had personal favorite out of all of these things(pun intended) it would be the Kennel Thing(pictured above) which was created by Stan Winston Studios.
 
Number 3
Godzilla
No one should be surprised that he is on this list. Stomping into third place on the count down is the almighty King of Monsters himself: Godzilla. Big G here has been a huge source of nostalgia for me. I remember my first Godzilla film being 'Godzilla vs. Megalon' and while it wasn't the best place to start I found myself hooked and seeked out as many movies that I could find. I loved the monsters, the cheesy acting, WWE style fight scenes, and over the top special effects . Godzilla was a big influence on my childhood and I'll always be grateful to the radioactive dinosaur for that. Here's to you, Godzilla!

Number 2
Medusa(Clash of the Titans 1981)
I love Greek mythology and my favorite part of any of the legends I had read growing up were the fantastical creatures in them one being the tragic Gorgon Medusa. She has had many incarnations in literature and film but a personal favorite of mine was nightmare inducing snake woman in 1981's Clash of the Titans. I talked about her in my review of the film so I wont babble on too much. What really stood out to me about her design was her grotesque serpentine body that she is forced to drag along with her as she crawls around the stone floor which was surprisingly dark and disturbing in a movie that was meant for kids. Her scene with the hero, Perseus was the best part as she stalks him through the dark columns of her lair in a terrifying game of cat and mouse. Medusa is one of my favorite monsters created by the late stop motion effects master Ray Harryhausen and while he may have passed away what he left behind will live on to leave audiences in awe.

Number 1Pumpkinhead

At number one is the Demon of Vengeance, Pumpkinhead. I am not surprised that I placed this character at the peak of this list because while he is not as well known or as popular as other famous monsters he(like the other monsters) played a major role in my life. Pumpkinhead was the very first horror movie I ever watched. I remember I was around seven or eight years of age when I first watched it and recalled popping my video copy of the film into my VCR(probably drove my folks crazy) whenever I got the chance. I loved the creature's amazing design as well as the movie's fantastic atmosphere and it quickly became an all time favorite and its because of Pumpkinhead that I got into horror movies in the first place and hell its part of the reason why I started this blog. Its great the character is getting more recognized by the horror community as of late along with its film which definitely needs more love and is a high recommend from me.
Well that is the end of this article thanks for reading and please stay tuned for future reviews and episodes of the Dark Discussions Podcast here on A Reeler Movie Reviewer! Until next time everyone!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dark Discussion Podcast: Deliver Us From Evil


     In this episode we sit down to discuss the 2014 horror film from Scott Derrickson which follows a gruff detective as he tries to uncover the mystery behind a series of bizarre and disturbing occurrences soon coming to the horrible conclusion that dark forces are at work and is forced to team up a hip Spanish priest to solve the case.

Link to Episode
http://darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_155.html

Dark Discussions Podcast: I Saw The Devil



    In this episode the crew and I look at the 2010 South Korean Psychological Thriller from director Kim Jee-woon in which a secret service agent goes on a quest for revenge when his wife is murdered by a savage serial killer. Blood and gore galore in this one here folks.

Link to Episode
http://darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_154.html

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dark Discussions Podcast: As Above So Below


     In this episode the gang and I take a look the 2014 found footage horror from director John Erick Dowdle in which a group of explorers become lost in the dark catacombs beneath Paris.

Link to episode
http://darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_153.html


    Enjoy and sorry I haven't posted any reviews recently. I've been a bit busy but I am working on a couple of reviews back to back and I should have them done soon. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dark Discussions Podcast: 150th Episode


     Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you the 150th episode of the Dark Discussions Podcast! This a two part episode as well so you get the added bonus of some random topics right before we get down to talking about Se7en; the 1995 thriller starring Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt. Blood, tears, and laughs shall be had in this big event so sit down, grab a drink, and enjoy!

Links to Episode
150A: http://darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_150A.html

150B: http://darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_150B.html

    Enjoy and stay tuned for future episodes as well as some articles that I have planned for this blog. So until next time everyone stay classy!

Dark Discussions Podcast: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes



     In this episode the gang and I get down to some monkey business as we take a look at the sequel to the 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, and Gary Oldman.

Link to Episode
http://darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_148.html

     Stay tuned for future episodes and be sure to visit our Facebook page as well or find us on ITunes or the Dark Discussion Podcast website.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Dark Discussions Podcast: Event Horizon


     In this episode the gang and I look at the mind fuck bloodfest from director Paul S. Anderson starring Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neil. Join us on our journey into the darkest reaches of space and the deepest regions of hell itself.

Link to Episode
http://darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_149.html

Monday, August 25, 2014

Top 10 Worst Anime Experiences

 
     Hello everyone and welcome back. For today's article I wanted to do a Top Ten list. The subject for this one is "Worst Anime Experiences" if it already wasn't obvious from the title. These choices and their rankings are based on my personal opinion and are not official by any means so keep that in mind as we head down the list. So without further ado lets get started shall we?


10. Pupa 
    This a prime example of everything that can(and did) go wrong with an anime adaption. Its twelve episodes each one being only 4 minutes in length. Whose bright idea was it to do that?!? I don't understand with each episode being so short the audience doesn't have time to get a grasp as to what the hell is going on and that's another issue its all over the place you wont have the vaguest idea what is happening or who the characters are. What worse its a horror anime with almost all of its violence being censored in the shoddiest way possible. Skip this one and avoid at all cost. I had hear that this is based of a manga so maybe one could get a better grasp of the plot through that than this sad excuse of an adaptation.

 
9. SD Gundam Force
    Urgh my stomach...I really don't want to talk about this bastardization again. Even as a stand alone this was awful to sit through.
     I'm going to let my review speak for me while I take some TUMS. :X

8. Shining Tears X Wind 
    So boring! When I began watching this anime I was in the mood for a high fantasy story and at first I was thinking that maybe this would have a bit of potential...since this is on the list it should be obvious how wrong I was. This is such a lame show and every minute felt like someone was trying to euthanize me and that opening theme...DEAR BUTTERY JESUS ON AN ARMORED MOOSE THAT FUCKING THEME SONG! Its one of those preppy and obnoxious J-Pop songs that gets stuck in your brain and not in the good way either. If you folks want a fantasy anime go watch Record of Lodoss War or Slayers f you are looking for a comedy.(>д<)

7. Yugioh 
    Oh yes the nostalgia is flooding back now. I was caught in the popularity of this franchise buying cards and you guessed it watching the anime and guess what channel it was showing on. If you guess 4kids then ding ding ding you are a winner! This version was both painful and hilarious to watch from the infamous finger guns to the cheesy lines about the power of friendship and the heart of the cards right down to how much 4kids toned down what was(according to my buddy; Technology Caveman) a rather dark series. In addition I found hard to take a series where the fate of the world rested on a damn card game when most of the situations could be solved with a couple of bullets or a baseball bat to the head.

6. Mars of Destruction 
    At this point taking pot shots at this anime is basically beating a dead horse so I will be brief with this one. This OVA is rubbish pure and simple. The animation is low grade, the characters are flat and uninteresting, and its badly paced. It script is awful with moments of unintentional comedy for example during a skirmish with the antagonists, one nameless red shirt gets her head blown off clean and later on with see her body on the operating table and are taking her vitals and then declare her dead despite you know having nothing attached her shoulders or spine. It also has a cheap soundtrack using only classical music which makes most of the fight scenes feel rather silly. Thank God there was only one episode...

 
5. Master of Martial Hearts

    This came down to a coin flip between this and number 4 because both of these anime sucks so hard that it became difficult to choose between them. Master of Martial Hearts is one of the most pathetic attempts at fanservice that I have ever had the displeasure of sitting through. Its animation is rather poor giving all of its characters an overly shiny look and it kind of makes them look like they were made out of plastic or some shit and they might as well be considering just about every one of them is bland as any poorly written character can be. The action scenes are not badly done but its one of those strip brawls in which every well placed blow obliterates a piece of clothing. The opening theme is an assault on the sense making My Heaven from the first Silent Hill game sounds like a heavenly choir and that piece of music was intentional made to sound like complete chaos! The main reason this OVA made on to this list was its ending. After four episodes of women battle stripping the show drops a bomb on the heads of its audience with a very disturbing plot twist along with a message. Yeah a sleazy fanservice show wants to teach us something and the reasons behind it and the "Big Reveal" are so jaw droppingly retarded and mean spirited that it falls flat. With these things taken accounted for I feel that this show should have scored higher but number 4 and I have some history.


4. School Days 
    Oh yes this fucking anime now this was a awful ride. 11 episodes of horrible characters and a whole lot of back stabbing\and cheating right up to the mother of all WTF endings. It was an endurance test to get to the end and right after I had finished I swore to myself that I would never watch this again.

3. Eiken 
    Oh Goddess the memories...my mind is forever stained with the black corruption that oozes from this...this thing. Its fanservice of the worst kind trying to appeal to it target audience to get an arousal but is just so grotesque and unsexy that it makes the stomach of its audience choose seppuku instead of having to watch another second of this travesty. If you want a few extra details then you should be able to find my review on it here.

2. DearS 
    This anime pissed me off to no end. Was this supposed be cute and endearing but it sure as hell didn't seem that way from what I saw. Chobits this show is not! It tells the sad little tale of a young man named Ikuhara Takeya who meets a beautiful and mysterious young women wearing a collar who tells him that she is his slave...still with me? The concept alone just screams unfortunate implications here hell even the opening theme doesn't help any either. Its was just so uncomfortable to watch and looking back I don't know what kind of evil force possessed me to do so in the first place. Being both sexists and sugar coating slavery I am not surprised that it ended up being my runner up. Fuck this show.

 
1. Demon Lord Dante
    Blood filled insanity. This was one of the most ridiculous and brainless anime I have ever had the displeasure of sitting through. I mentioned this freak of nature on my 'Top Ten Dumbest Things I Have Ever Seen' list way back some time ago and really I'm not surprised this made it to the top. The story is silly as all hell(no pun intended), the animation cheap, the voice acting laughable, and its characters underdeveloped and rather unlikable as well. 13 episodes of bull shit made this anime painful to sit through and I can recommend this to anyone. After scoring so high on two list here I think its going to need a full review to cover all the things wrong with it.


     Thanks for reading and stay tuned for future Top Ten list, reviews, and articles as well as all new episodes of the Dark Discussions Podcast. Until next time everyone!!!!