Series Review: Transformers Prime – Season 1 (2010 – 2011)

Hello. My name is Markus. I’m 22 (soon 23) years old, and I watch kids cartoons. And you can’t fucking stop me.

Ladies and gents… “Transformers Prime” season 1.

A heroic group of alien robots known as the Autobots secretly reside on planet Earth as they try to fight off the villainous Decepticons. The setup is basically the same as any other “Transformers” adaptation, Autobots fighting Decepticons, Autobots having some human friends, yada yada yada. No need to dwell on the setup stuff, as it’s basically the same in most shows. However, “Transformers Prime” transcends its well-trodden premise in its execution, which is pretty damn good. While it’s still a kid-friendly action cartoon, it sports a fairly serious tone that isn’t afraid to go to some surprisingly dark places at times, making for a show that can give kids the colorful action fix they might want, while also featuring some surprising nuance for any potential adults (AKA me) watching. Even the filler episodes help further develop the world and characters, while still retaining a relatively closed off plot for those specific episodes. Am I saying this is the deepest plot for a show ever? Of course not. But it’s still way more compelling than I actually expected, leading me to be genuinely invested in what was going on without solely relying on my nostalgia for this franchise.

The characters in this are colorful, fun, and surprisingly nuanced (kinda like the plot). The cast is a bit too big to go into detail for, so here’s just a quick rundown (starting with the core Autobot team). You got Peter Cullen back as the ever inspiring Optimus Prime, you got Kevin Michael Richardson as the strong but not too smart Bulkhead, you got Sumalee Montano as the fierce and loyal Arcee, and you got Jeffrey Combs as the ever cranky but lovable Ratchet. Among the bad guys you got Frank Welker (fuck yeah) back as the menacing Megatron, you got Steve Blum as the ever scheming Starscream, you got Daran Norris (who possibly gives my favorite performance in the show) as the sassy and clever Knock Out, and you got Gina Torres as the sinister Airachnid. As for human characters, you got Josh Keaton as aspiring cool guy Jack, you got Tania Gunadi as the almost annoying, but luckily endearing Miko, you get Andy Pessoa as the young but bright Rafael, and you get Ernie god damn Hudson as Special Agent Fowler. Sorry I won’t go into more detail on each character, but I don’t have the time or willingness to ruin some interesting developments that occur.

The score for the season was composed by Brian Tyler and Matthew Margeson, and I think they did a good job with it. For the most part it is of course the cool action brass one might expect, but it does get a little more somber when needed. There is also frequent use of the main theme as well, but I’m fine with that, because it’s great. Really, this score is solid.

“Transformers Prime” was developed for the Hub Network by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Duane Capizzi, and Jeff Kline, with writing/directing by a whole load of cool people. And I have to say, this show is way more well crafted than I expected… those last three words seem to be coming up a lot in this review. The first time I saw the art style, I wasn’t really a fan. But when I watched it in action, I grew to really like it, with only a few minor niggles regarding some of the human designs. But the overall animation here is great, showing plenty of detail without sacrificing good movements and such. Usually I tend to lean towards preferring drawn 2D animation, but here I think the animation team made great use of 3D animation to create a lot of fun angles and camera movements, making for some spectacular action scenes.

The show doesn’t really exist on my sites I use for this “other ratings” section. But on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10.

Season 1 of “Transformers Prime” surprised the hell out of me, it’s one of the best action cartoons I’ve seen in recent years. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing/animation. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for season 1 of “Transformers Prime” is a 9,62/10. So it does get the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Transformers Prime” season 1 is now completed.

Roll out…

“The X-Files” season 11 trailer!

Hello there, my friends! More trailer talk coming your way! So let’s just jump into it!

So thanks to New York Comic Con we have gotten a trailer for season 11 of “The X-Files”. Now, for those unaware (fucking cave dwellers), “The X-Files” is a show created by Chris Carter and was first aired in 1993. It’s about two FBI agents named Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) who investigate a series of weird cases (AKA the titular “X-Files”). It ended in 2002, had two movies released in 1998 and 2008, and was revived for a tenth season which aired in early 2016. Then earlier this year it was announced that the show would come back for an eleventh season. While the tenth season wasn’t one of the show’s strongest, I was still excited about the season 11 announcement. Because one, season 10 ended on a bit of cliffhanger. And two, I will never say no to more “X-Files”. So now we have our season 11 trailer. And how does it look? It looks fine. More conspiracy stuff, the smoking man up to shady shit as always, some creature shit going on. Basically it’s more “X-Files”, but with a seemingly bigger focus on an overarching plot (though I could be slightly wrong about that last part). Am I excited? Like I said, I will never say no to more “X-Files”. The eleventh season of “The X-Files” will air in 2018.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for season 11 of “The X-Files”? And what are your thoughts on season 10 (I’ve seen a lot of mixed thoughts)? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

Movie Review: Arrival (2016)

The universe. An infinite space that has been fascinating us puny humans since the damn of man. What kind of worlds are out there? How far does it actually reach? And are we alone in the universe? We may never find out the answers to any of these questions, but they sure as shit are interesting to think about and discuss.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Arrival”.

Giant banana-shaped vessels have come down to earth. The military and government do not know what these alien things want. So language expert Louise Banks (Amy Adams) gets brought in to try to communicate with the aliens and find out what they’re doing here. And now we have an intelligent drama with aliens in it. Firstly, a plot about trying to communicate with aliens is actually quite refreshing. Most “aliens coming to earth” movies are about aggressive invasions, but this isn’t really that. It’s a clever spin on the “aliens coming to earth” genre of movies. The plot overall is also really suspenseful because for most of the movie you don’t know what these aliens want. The plot also has a surprising amount of emotion that really got to me. I should also mention that this is quite slow-paced, which might put some people off. But I appreciate it, gives me time to really soak in everything that’s going on. Really, it’s quite a fascinating science fiction-drama plot that I think was pretty fucking great.

The characters in this movie are all interesting in some way. Amy Adams was fantastic as Louise Banks. She’s a deep and complex character and I was really invested in arc in the movie as she was trying to find ways to communicate with these aliens. Jeremy Renner is great as Ian, a scientist that is helping Louise with the alien communication. Forest Whitaker plays a soldier that is part of this operation and he was great in his role. We also got Michael Stuhlbarg as a CIA agent that is part of the operation and he was really good in the role. Yeah, there were no bad performances in this movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Jóhann Jóhansson and it was absolutely fantastic. His score was eerie, tense, thought provoking, and just fit the scenes incredibly well. They also used Max Richter’s “On the nature of Daylight” in the movie. Not gonna say how if you haven’t seen the movie, but let’s just say that it was pretty damn good how it was used.

This movie was directed by Denis Villeneuve (one of my favorite directors) and once again he knocked ith out of the fucking park with the directing. He makes scenes flow very well and his directing really helps to improve on the storytelling. I also have to comment on Bradford Young’s cinematography which is stunning, it is an absolutely gorgeous movie. And while the visual effects aren’t necessarily the main focus in this movie, they are there and they look fantastic. Most big sci-fi movies will have the visual effects there for the sake of looking flashy and cool, but here they exist to serve the story.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10. The movie won 1 Oscar in the category of Best sound editing. It was also nominated for an additional 7 Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best director, Best adapted screenplay, Best cinematography, Best film editing, Best sound mixing, and Best production design. 

“Arrival” is a fantastic science fiction-drama. It has a fantastic plot, really good characters, fantastic performances, fantastic music, fantastic directing/cinematography, and great visual effects. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Arrival” is a 9,90/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Arrival” is now completed.

It’s official… I am excited for “Blade Runner 2049”. Villeneuve will succeed!

Movie Review: Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Star Trek Beyond”!

As the Enterprise goes out to explore an uncharted part of space it gets attacked by the villainous Krall (Idris Elba) and his followers, which makes the Enterprise crash on some unknown planet. So now Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), and the other people of the Enterprise have to team up with an alien woman named Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) to try to stop Krall and also find a way off the fucking planet. All of this makes for one hell of an entertaining plot. It’s a fun and fast-paced adventure that gives us an entertaining popcorn plot while also honoring the original series in a good way. Sure, this plot doesn’t exactly break any new ground, but it’s still pretty damn good.

The characters in this are al layered, interesting, and incredibly entertaining. Chris Pine is once again terrific as Kirk. Zachary Quinto once again knocks it out of the park as Spock. Karl Urban was once again fantastic as Bones, AKA my favorite character in this reboot series. Anton Yelchin (may he rest in peace) was once again great as Chekov. Zoe Zaldana was once again great as Uhura. John Cho was once again great as Sulu. Simon Pegg was great as Scotty. Okay, let’s just put it like this: Returning cast was great. I especially liked how they teamed up various characters in the movie that didn’t get too much time together in the previous two movies. My favorite of those was Spock and Bones, their back and forth was fantastic! Now, let’s talk about the newcomers. Idris Elba was great as Krall. At first he just felt like your typical scary alien villain, but during the third act (no spoilers) you learn moe about him and I thought he got a lot more interesting and compelling as the villain. Sofia Boutella was great as Jaylah, this alien woman that our heroes meets in the movie. Her character was interesting, funny, and badass… I really liked her. So in conclusion: It ‘s a great cast and they’re all giving great performances.

The score for the movie was (like in the previous two movies) composed by Michael Giacchino and once again it is great. Big, epic, and overall very well composed… it’s a great original score that perfectly fits the movie, not much else I can say about it. I’ll also say this, there’s a certain licensed track used in the movie in a really fun way, not gonna say what it is or how it was used, but let it be known that I thought it was quite awesome.

This movie was directed by Justin Lin (the man behind 4 of the 8 “Fast & Furious” movies) and I think he did a great job. The shots look great, and the action scenes are very well handled. The action scenes flow very well and they are just awesome! The visual effects once again look absolutely fantastic, and the the makeup/prosthetics are absolutely amazing! How “Suicide Squad” took the Oscar over this movie is just baffling.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best makeup/hairstyling.

“Star Trek Beyond” is an incredibly fun summer blockbuster filled with good character moments while also honoring the original series. It features a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great visual effects (CGI and practical). Time for my final score. *Gets beamed up to ship*. My final score for “Star Trek Beyond” is a 9,87/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Star Trek Beyond” is now completed.

“In loving memory of Leonard Nimoy”.
“For Anton”.
Tears, man… tears.