Series Review: Transformers Prime – Season 2 (2012)

There are probably those in the world who would say “You’re 23, stop watching cartoons!”. And to that I say “Be quiet, fool, I’m trying to watch a cartoon”. Oh, and there will be spoilers for the end of season 1, just so you don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Ladies and gents… “Transformers Prime” season 2.

At the end of the previous season, we saw Optimus (Peter Cullen) defeat the mighty Unicron. But that doesn’t mean him and his fellow Autobots get any time to rest, since they find themselves in a race against Megatron (Frank Welker) and his Decepticons to find and gather up mighty Cybertronian artifacts, all scattered across Earth. Yes, most of this season is a MacGuffin hunt, but so are all the “Indiana Jones” movies, and those are great. And “Transformers Prime” does it really well too by throwing in a lot of enjoyable character development, some clever twists, and genuinely fun sci-fi concepts. It also continues the show’s exploration of “Transformers” lore in really nuanced ways. The narrative manages to be a lot more compelling than a lot of contemporary cartoons… and a lot more compelling than the live action movies… what I’m saying is that the story here is great.

The characters here are flawed, layered, colorful, and just in general great. In season 1, they kinda started out one way, kind of being a cliche. But by the end of it, they had developed further. And they kept that going here in season 2. A lot of cartoons return to the status quo every now and then, just to make syndication easier. But none of that’s here. Character development sticks, and even gets furthered throughout the season. And the voice cast is great too. Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Kevin Michael Richardson, Jeffrey Combs, Sumalee Montano, Josh Keaton, Tania Gunadi, Steve Blum, Ernie Hudson, and a few more all return from the previous season, all delivering damn good voice performances. And some of the newer additions, including the likes of Tony Todd, David Kaye, and Nolan North, are also great great.

As with the previous outing, the music for season 2 was composed by Brian Tyler, and he once again did a good job with it. It’s a big, bold, badass, brass-based score that fits the tone of the show really well while adding an extra layer of emotion to certain scenes throughout.

In my review of season 1, I praised the show’s animation for being fluid and dynamic without sacrificing much in terms of detail. Well, I can happily say that it’s still the case here. The animation is beautiful. Sure, the human characters look a bit like putty, but that’s an acceptable compromise for the titular robots. My god, they look amazing. The amount of detail on them, from parts, to shine, to wear and tear in their paint… you can tell that the crew really cared to make them look amazing. And the good animation carries over to the action too, which has plenty of exciting fights, shootouts, and chases. It’s all fluid and super fun, without compromising on any of the detail.

On imdb.com the show has a score of 7,8/10.

The crazy bastards did it. They somehow managed to give “Transformers Prime” another terrific season. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and excellent animation/direction. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Transformers Prime” season 2 is a 9,82/10. Which does mean that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Transformers Prime” season 2 is now completed.

Roll out…

Movie Review: Ratchet & Clank (2016)

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Video game movies… they don’t really have the best of track records. So I am always curious but also cautious when a new one is announced. Especially when it’s based on a franchise that I am a fan of… like this one.

Ladies and gents… “Ratchet & Clank”.

Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor) is a Lombax with huge aspirations. Then one day when he meets a little robot he calls Clank (David Kaye) he might be able to fulfill them as they have to team up to join the galactic rangers and stop the evil chairman Drek (Paul Giamatti). The formula is so standard that it should be impossible to fuck up… but they kind of did it. The plot in itself isn’t bad, it’s relatively harmless. Problem is that the pacing of it is pretty bad. I kept looking at my watch throughout the entirety. So it was basically boring… something that “Ratchet & Clank” shouldn’t be.

The characters in this movie aren’t bad. The titular heroes are still really good and pretty entertaining. And I am so glad that the filmmakers decided to get James Arnold Taylor and David Kaye to come back and voice them instead of some random celebrities. Seriously, hearing them as these characters once again makes me happy. I also loved hearing Jim Ward back as Captain Qwark, and I was actually happy to also hear Armin Shimerman back as Dr. Nefarious even though he wasn’t in the OG game. As for any other actors in the movie… they did fine. Paul Giamatti was really good as Chairman Drek, though I did miss the magnificent voice of Kevin Michael Richardson. It was also interesting hearing people like Rosario Dawson, John Goodman, and Sylvester Stallone in the supporting cast. Though their characters were kind of bland and not very interesting.

The score for the movie was composed by Evan Wise and Jingle Punks(?) and it was really bland and not exactly memorable. The “Ratchet & Clank” games have always had great and memorable pieces of music, so the fact that this score was so generic is really disappointing.

Since this is an animated feature, let’s talk about the animation… yeah, it’s pretty good. It looks like a “Ratchet & Clank” game, minus the fun gameplay. Sure, there are certain thigns that don’t look too great, but for the most part the animation looks good. And the action scenes are pretty well done. Seeing some very “Ratchet & Clank”-esque weapons be used in the movie was really fun, though I feel like there wasn’t enough of that stuff. Speaking of “Ratchet & Clank”-esque things, the games have always had a good dose of comedy thrown in there… most of it prety hilarious. However, I didn’t think this movie was hilarious. There were parts where I chuckled at certain things, but there was never any real laughter. Some of the things I chuckled at included a few movie references that I thought were kind of fun. But most of the jokes in the movie fell flatter than a pancake that’s been run over by a steamroller.

This movie has not been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 16% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 29/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,7/10.

“Ratchet & Clank” was one of those video game movies that actually had some potential, but it somehow kind of failed. First the positives: The story itself was okay, the main characters were fun, the voice acting was really good, the animation was good, and there were some decently fun jokes/references. As for negatives: The pacing was bad, a good amount of the characters were bland, the music wasn’t very good, and a lot of the jokes were pretty bad. Time for my final score. *sniffles*. My final score for “Ratchet & Clank” is a 4,98/10. So I’d suggest you skip it. *sniffles*.
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My review of “Ratchet & Clank” is now completed.

Shit… well, the video game tie-in is at least supposed to be really good.