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Archives for : Review Crew

HunnicOutcasts Review of Amazon’s The Tick

Amazon’s The Tick, part of the new Pilot Season Program, is one of three shows now available on Amazon Prime Video. The Pilot Season Program offers viewers the option to take a five to ten minute survey which will help determine if the show will be picked up as a full series.  The other two shows star Jean Claude Van Dam and Kevin Bacon and weren’t unwatchable.  However, in a world where capes and cowls have taken over.  I wouldn’t be surprised if The Tick does get a full season.

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This is the third T.V. series starring the Big Blue Bug. The first was an animated series that aired on Fox Kids in the mid 90’s.  Another was a live action show that starred Patrick Warburton and aired on Fox in the early 2000’s.   In my opinion one was a cult series(animated) and one was forgettable(liv e action).The live action series did have a cult following, but between it being too expensive, the lack of on screen chemistry, and poor writing the show didn’t have much of a chance for success. I’m glad that the live action is getting a second chance.

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Fans had rejoiced until they heard that Patrick would only return as a producer. I enjoyed Peter Serafinowicz’s performance a lot more than Warburton’s. Granted voice actor Townsend Coleman “is” The Tick, but Peter is no slouch. He comes off as Adam West from Batman ’66 meets Moose from Archie Comics. He still keeps his unconstrained bliss. Charging into battle and swaying at the bad guys like they’re nothing.  The Tick is still invincible and that is fine.

 

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Arthur is now being portrayed by Griffin Newman. As a boy, Arthur witnessed The Terror, portrayed marvelously by Jackie Earle Haley, slaughter his childhood heroes.  This is probably the best live action version of these characters that I have ever seen.  Now if you did purchase The Tick live action DVD you did pick up the lost episode featuring The Terror, but the less it’s brought up the better.  Here Jackie brings his classic creepy and funny at the same time. It’s a nice balance of how Arthur just wanted to enjoy his FroYo only to have The Terror come out of nowhere to wreak havoc. I don’t want to go into full details of how The Terror and future crime fighter meet besides to say it is terrifying.

Arthur still thinking that evil is still afoot heads over to the docks at night.  He is listening in on criminals that have stolen, what will soon be Arthur’s famous Moth Costume.  Griffin is actually the main star of this episode which is not a bad idea at all. In the cartoon, Arthur found the costume in a trashcan. Outside his apartment, and never wanted to take it off.  Claiming that his life as an accountant was getting boring

In the cartoon and live action series Arthur unfortunately became a wet blanket rather quickly. He regretted finding the costume and becoming The Tick’s sidekick and became whiny and neurotic fast. In this universe, Arthur is a delight. Far from being a wet blanket.  Granted he’s not ready to fight crime yet. Fans can’t wait for him to put on the costume and there is some controversy on how Big Blue and Moth will unite.  Again I don’t want to give away too much, but there is “potential chemistry” with these two; more than I have seen in the past.

The Verdict

This version of The Tick is Alan Moore’s WatchMen meets Mark Milliar’s Kick Ass.   It’s both light and dark.  Making the balance between the two work rather well.  People do die in this episode and they don’t sugar coat it in any way.   Then a comedic moment will occur, but it doesn’t stink up the room.   The Tick is still The Big Blue Brute, with a tiny brain and good intentions.  Arthur has more meat to him. And as for The City, which has always been named The City.  It has never looked better.

The reviews have been mixed, but with some three to five star ratings on Amazon.Com as well as IMDB and the “cliffhanger” ending.  We haven’t seen the last of The Tick and Arthur.

Until Next time…SPOOOOOOON!!!

Review by HunnicOutcast.

You can also find our Podacst.  On Digital Nerdage and SoundCloud

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The eighth Harry Potter story has been released, and like any die hard fan I rushed out as soon as possible and read through the book with the fervor of a child opening a Christmas present! I use the word story because, for those that don’t know, this book is actually just the script of the new play that opened on London’s West End July 30th, 2016.

J.K. Rowling said that this story could only be told on the stage and I can definitely see why. This story opens on the scene from the prologue at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It is 18 years after The Battle of Hogwarts and Harry Potter’s children are heading to Hogwarts. Albus Severus Potter and Rose Granger-Weasley are headed to Hogwarts for the first time and have high expectations.

Rose believes that, like their parents, she and Albus will meet the people that will become their closest friends on their first ride on the Hogwarts Express. Albus does, but it definitely is not the person she expects it to be. This causes some conflict between the young cousins and shapes the whole journey ahead.

I want to keep this review spoiler free so I won’t go into details on the story, but it definitely highlights different things than the original stories did. Albus Potter is a character that I believe kids could identify more with than they ever could with Harry and the central struggle is absolutely one that everyone over the age of 12 has been through.

There is an interesting plot hole in Act 1 that I am still struggling to understand, and Harry is not featured as much as he usually is in a Harry Potter story, but even still these problems do not detract from the story. Also, the big reveal will hit you like a ton of bricks.

I truly hope that they take the stage production on the road because I can tell you that the final scene in the climax of Act 4 will have a tremendous impact on me. I darn near cried reading it, I can’t even imagine how I will feel watching it on the stage. Cursed Child is a beautiful story, but it is certainly obvious that it is written for the stage and needs to be experienced as such when all is said and done.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Kirby: Planet Robobot

Title: Kirby: Planet Robobot

Platform: Nintendo 3DS, eshop

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: HAL Laboratory

In the early summer of 2014 during the wake of my favorite comic convention (C4) I couldn’t wait to jump into Kirby Triple Deluxe. This was also during a huge transition in my life and having a bright pink colored and cute platformer to distract me was fantastic. So, when I saw that Kirby: Planet Robobot was coming out I was really surprised, and assumed that this would be HAL Laboratory’s weird Kirby game for this generation. If you’ve followed HAL and the Kirby game throughout the years there always seems to be a traditional Kirby game followed by a unique experimental type Kirby game. These two types of game usual alternate throughout a console generation. This practice has lead to great uncommon Kirby games like Mass Attack and Epic Yarn, to just name a couple.

With little information other than seeing Kirby in a pink mech I was very excited and interested in seeing if Robobot was a followup to Triple Deluxe or something new and different entirely. After firing the game up the shimmering view of Planet Popstar comes into focus, the friendly and colorful cast appear, and the comforting sounds bring life to this new yet recognizable adventure. The intro played and I was able to jump into level 1-1 and quickly realized the similarity between Triple Deluxe and Planet Robobot. The controls are just as good, the platforming looks and feel familiar, while Sun Stones are swapped for Code Cubes and key chains are replaced with stickers; Planet Robobot is built on the bones of Triple Star. Some people might think that’s a negative, I actually really enjoy it. While playing with the 3rd dimension was the focus in Triple Star, it is nice to see that 3D is still an important part of the platforming in Robobot but it’s not the main gimmick.

Using the different cloned abilities inside the Mech plus the added puzzle elements that accompany the Mech’s abilities are a clever addition to the game. Once I was into the second world I really started to notice the level design has some very unique and wonderful additions that weren’t in the previous game. The game play opens up wider in Robobot than its predecessor did by creating levels around specific abilities with Mech like shmup and racing levels. I didn’t want the shmup levels to end and they reminded me of what makes Kirby games so versatile while also calling back to the Kirby’s original Game Boy release of Adventures in Dreamland.

But, the real meat of the experience for anyone who’s played Kirby games or is an advanced gamer comes from the boss battles and the desire to complete everything in the game. Collecting all the Code Cubes, beating every level, and collecting a full sticker gallery is enough to keep any gamer busy. But, in the typical HAL fashion, Robobot is full of additional game modes. Outside of the hidden game mode thats unlocked on the completion of the game (Editors note: as of this review I haven’t finished the game yet) there are two other mini games. Team Kirby Clash is a boss battle mode with RPG elements. You enter the ring with one to four Kirby’s with different character class ranging from a sword fighter to heal and lay waste to classic foes. This was really great mini game especial if you want to jump into the game but don’t have the time to play a entire level. Kirby 3D Rumble is a action puzzle-ish mode the lets Kirby loose in a 3D environment. This too was a great little side game to play in short bursts, it also felt like HALs exploration of Kirby in a full 3D environment–maybe we’ll see this game play explored further in the future.

Recommendation: High

Kirby games are all about fun and Planet Robobot is just that, fun. From the vibrant world, exciting boss fights, and clever puzzles Planet Robobot exudes charm at all times. Building on what its predecessor, Triple Deluxe, created Robobot already has a lot going for it. And with the addition of the Mechs, new powers, and solid platforming Robobot feels less like a follow up and more like a completely new beast.

We’re in the dawn of the 3DSes life now and it must be a testament to the system that games of this calibre keep coming out. Pretty soon we’ll be moving on to something new like the NX and Kirby Planet Robobot will just be a hidden gem. Don’t let this game get lost in the shuffle.

Follow me on twitter @bramble_travis, read my comics at sidequestcomic.com and, take a look at what games I’m playing or even recommend a game I should be playing at backloggery.com/travis1

Dave the Nerd’s – Music Review – One Republic ~ ‘Waking Up (Deluxe)’ 2009

The sophomore album for One Republic had a lot to live up to. Their debut album had three top ten hits. But ‘Waking Up’ actually has a feel of a more established group that is putting out their eighth album. Having as many, if not, a few more hits proves that they will last longer than the “15 minutes of fame” most groups that gain quick success receive. “All the Right Moves”, “Good Life”, and “Secrets” are just a few of the great songs on this album. They can flawlessly blend cellos and other orchestral strings in with the Adult Contemporary/Pop-Rock feel that they have. This album has more emotion and heart in it, when put up against their debut album. That is one of the reasons why I give this album a 8.5 out of 10 rating.

Dave the Nerd’s – Music Review – Chicago ~ ‘Chicago Transit Authority’ 1969

Certain bands do not need an introduction, as soon as you hear the first few seconds of some songs the name of the group just comes to you. Chicago is one of those bands. As soon as you hear the horn section you know when you are listening to them. Chicago, who’s original name was Chicago Transit Authority, was told by the mayor of Chicago that they could not use that name in 1967, so they shortened it to Chicago. Giving them the reason to use Chicago Transit Authority as their first albums title. With the whole original line up, this album goes down in the history books as the start of something different. Most people will sing along to the vocalist or the guitarist, but when you are listening to Chicago people sing along with the horn section. This album is one of their obscure treasures, mainly because it does not follow their numbering sequence that starts a few albums later. This album was just title ‘Chicago Transit Authority’ with no other name for the artist on the album. The only really well known song on the entire album would be either “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” and “Question 67 & 68”. And when asked in a concert that was televised on A&E in 2002 “What about the other questions before 67 & 68?” They responded, you just have to listen to the music and find out. Although this is not your normal Chicago album, it is still an amazing album to listen to, and one that will transcend the ages. I give this album 9.5 out of 10

Dave the Nerd – Music Review – Sixx AM ~ ‘The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack’ 2008

I first want to apologize for not putting an episode out last week. I was busy with finals and working, that time just slipped by me. So this week I am back and hope to have better time management going forward.

Sixx AM is the side project of Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue. The story behind the Heroin Diaries is that it is a collection of entries written by Sixx during the 80s and 90s while he was a heavy drug user. He wrote these diaries for three reasons:

  1. He said he had no friends left
  2. So he could read back and remember what he did the day before
  3. That way if he died he would leave a nice little suicide not of his life

Those three points are taken from the first track of the album, but also the prologue of the book ‘The Heroin Diaries: The Shattered Life of a Rockstar.” I will say that this is an amazing debut album. But can you really consider it a debut album, since the members of the group are all members of different groups? Nikki Sixx of course of Motley Crue, DJ Ashba (Bulletboys, Beautiful Creatures, and Drowning Pool), and James Michaels (record producer and fill in vocalist for when Vince Neil wasn’t touring). But this album being so good is just a standard expectation from an icon such as Nikki Sixx. Each song on the album is taken from excerpts from entries from the book “The Heroin Diaries.” Which is an odd thought, a soundtrack based off of a book? The marquee hit from the album is “Life is Beautiful”, yet this is not the only hit on the album. “Pray for Me”, “Accidents Can Happen”, and “Girl with Golden Eyes” are just a few of the amazing and emotional songs that reside on this album. And if you haven’t heard this album or even read the book. Please do yourself the favor and check them both out. I give this album a 10 out of 10. And just to let you know that at the time of writing this review “Heart Failure” is my favorite song on the album. But the changes each time I listen to this album!

Dave the Nerd – Music Review – Jimi Hendrix Experience ~ ‘Are You Experienced’ 1967

One of Jimi Hendrix first albums and probably one of the essential for any collection, seconded only to ‘Electric Ladyland’. This album has most of all the songs that Jimi is known for. ‘Purple Haze’, ‘Fire’, and ‘Foxy Lady’ this album is only missing a few songs from being a definitive greatest hits album. Although a studio album you can easily tell in the tracks he was fighting with himself from going on long experimental guitar solos. If you like classic rock and psychedelic rock then ‘Are You Experienced’ is an album that should be in your collection. Whether you do smoke or are a non-smoker, and no I am not talking about cigarettes, you can also experience the feel of the music on multiple levels. I for one am not condoning the use of, but I am not telling you not to either. I give this album a 9.5 out of 10.

Dave the Nerd – Music Review – The Second Guess ~ ‘My Life This Year’ (2005)

Back some years ago when I did a lot of theatre shows I ment the majority of the members of the group The Second Guess. While on Spotify one day I found this album, ‘My Life This Year’. To my surprise it was the same group and I had to check it out. To lable them with a genera is kinda hard to do. They have an alternative rock feel, but have some punkish stylings as well as a blend of some solid classic rock. I will say that it is hard to review something produced by people you know, and have known for over a decade. Especially when you have shared beers and stories with them as well. This album has some songs that could use a little more work on, in regards to mixing and blending. But that is just my opinion, and should not be held against this album. The song ‘Newborn’ is an amazing song, and totally has a Foo Fighter-esque feel to it. This is a great album by a total indie band that is still rather unknown. I can’t wait to hear more from them, and hope that they are still jamming together. I give this album an 8.5 out of 10. I think you should check it out. It might just be the mix you are looking for.  

Dave the Nerd – Music Review – On the Off Chance ~ Debut EP 2015

This is a unique occasion, I got the chance to check out a new up and coming band out of Chicago. The group is called On the Off Chance. They are a group that does original music but will also touch on covers. A good friend of mine is the lead guitarist in the group and graciously gave me a copy of their debut ep. Now there are 5 songs on this ep: ‘Shackled to the Drawing Board’, ‘A Ring For My Bell’, ‘(Fall of) The Butcher’, ‘Cameraman’, and ‘I’m Not Listening’. Each one of these songs is amazing in their own regard. The stories each song tell is very well written. The musicianship on each song is top notch. I hope to be able to get my hands on a copy of their full length album. I would strongly recommend this album for anyone that is looking to get into a band. Use this as your guide of what to do to make the epic first start into the realm of recording music and song writing. I give this ep a solid 9.8 out of 10.

https://www.facebook.com/OnTheOffChanceBand/videos/vb.705348046208150/860190424057244/?type=2&theater

Dave the Nerd – Music Review – Colin Hay ~ ‘Man @ Work’ 2003

Most people when they hear the name Colin Hay they think the guitar guy that was following JD around on scrubs. But for people who were around in the late 70s early 80s they would know him from Men at work. This album ‘Man @ Work’ is actually his 8th studio solo album. It is actually a retrospective of his career both in the group and solo. The album has some great hits like ‘Overkill’, ‘Who Could it Be Now’, and ‘Down Under’. But it also has a few other hits like ‘Happy Jack’, ‘Be Good Johnny’, and ‘Waiting For My Real Life to Begin’. One amazing thing about this album is that it is all acoustic. Everyone who knows Men at Work knows they had a rock or new wave feel. But his work on ‘Man @ Work’ feel more indie/folkish. This album speaks for itself in regards to many aspects that I judge on. The lyrics are amazing, the musicianship is top notch, and the mixing makes everything flow perfectly. I think this album should be in everyone’s cd collection. I give this album a 9.6 out of 10. The reason is there is a couple songs that I do not think fits the overall theme of the album. But this album is very enjoyable.