Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Doctor Who: Time of the Doctor Review

The Time of the Doctor has arrived and now Matt Smith's run has come to a close. Does the Time of the Doctor prove to be a fitting sendoff to one of the most popular Doctors, or is a disappointing end to his run?
Since some readers may have not seen the episode, I will provide warnings before I go into spoiler territory. However, you can watch the entire episode at this link if you have not seen it yet.

Despite being hated by a few, Matt Smith's run as the Doctor has been the most successful and popular runs of any Doctor, and it has given us some of the best episodes and moments of the series. The critical response to the episode has been mostly positive to average, the fan response has been mostly positive as well, and there are a few others that disliked the episode immensely. But, overall, most viewers were pleased. 

Here is a quick non-spoiler review of the episode: "The Time of the Doctor" gives us a fitting end to Matt Smith's run that is equal parts fun and sad. Matt Smith is fantastic as always, and Jenna Coleman as Clara is even more lovable than before. She is actually given something to throughout the episode. However, the story lacks logic and it contains some noticeable plot holes, which hamper it in the end. Now skip down to the Overall rating for my final thoughts if you have not seen the episode yet, but if you have, continue reading for my full spoiler review. 

*Spoilers Ahead*

Since there are so many questions brought up, and so many confusing plot points, I have a series of thoughts in no particular order.

Matt Smith was better than ever, particularly in the dramatic scenes. He played the elderly Doctor brilliantly, and his ending speech literally gave me chills: "We all change when you think about it…and that’s OK as long as you remember the people you used to be. I won’t forget this, not one day. I will always remember when the Doctor was me." Truly fantastic lines to end his run. The old age makeup was rather impressive. It was better than most movies I have seen. The Doctor aging was rather unexpected, however, my theory is that he is aging because he was so close to the rip in time or he was on his last regeneration.

The "Silence Will Fall when the Question is Asked" storyline has finally come to an end, although the inclusion of it was clunky and felt forced. Also the "Pandorica Opens" and the cracks in time story from season five is somewhat explained as being the Time Lords trying to come back. Basically, the episode tried to provide closure to all of the major plot threads of Smith's run, and those aspects felt unnecessarily rushed. There was way too much plot for one episode to cover along with the regeneration of the Doctor in just 60 minutes. The story would have been better served with an extra 20 to 30 minutes, but it still manages to pull it off in the end.

The humor in the episode was absolutely spot on! I laugh a lot during the earlier parts of the episode. However, The Doctor being naked joke was a little too silly and awkward, but it did produce some good laughs. It actually reminded me of the scene I posted below from when Tennant's Doctor was cloned.

The Time Lords using the Doctor saying his name as a locator is kind of dumb. If they heard Clara when she convinced them to help the Doctor, how did they not know the Doctor was there? But after re-watching the episode I figured out that they are asking the question so that the Doctor would tell them when it is safe to return. However, there is another unexplained thing, which is why did the Time Lords place a truth field if they are relying on the Doctor's help. He literally says, "If I give my they will know that this is the right place and that it is safe to come through." Also why did the Cybermen head transmit the message to everyone? 

When the Doctor explains to Clara that he is on his thirteenth regeneration he states, "Number Ten once regeneration and kept the same face; I had vanity issues at the time." When did this happen? If someone knows please comment and let me know. I feel as though I kind of remember that happening, but it has been years since watching those episodes, therefore I am not sure. Also, I assume he is referring to Tennant and not Eccleston if the War Doctor does not count.

With no more generations left how can the Doctor possibly save the day? Space-Magic, yes, it was basically Space-Magic, or a Deus ex machina if you prefer. The Time Lords send him a new regeneration cycle and the day is save. Why? Because Doctor Who is too good of a show to end, and hopefully it will never end for as long as I live. It made it 50 years, and it make it another 50 years. 

Also, what exactly was everyone trying to do and who was fighting who? Was the Cybermen, the Daleks, the Weeping Angels, and whatever else that decided to attack, sole objective to kill the Doctor so that he would not bring the Time Lords back? Maybe The Doctor would have just left if his TARDIS returned as planned. 

The cameo by Amy was a nice and sweet moment that worked very well. On the other hand, why did he see Amy other than she was the first person that saw his face. Technically, she is his mother-in-law, but he still kind of acts like he is in love with her, which is a little weird. Nonetheless, the scene was great. 

The "psycho space-nun," Tasha Lem, first appeared as weird, but later in the episode I really liked her character. She also took a big risk flying the TARDIS when she is partially controlled by the Dalek though, but her comment about flying the TARDIS was quite humorous saying, "Flying the TARDIS was always easy; flying the Doctor I never quite mastered." 

The way Smith left was perfect. Unlike when Tennant's Doctor regenerated, where he complained, "I don't want to go" and that he is not the same person, which is completely inaccurate, Smith gave us hope and reassurance that no matter which incarnation he will always be the Doctor. He went out like a man and he will always remembered. Do not get me wrong, Tennant was an awesome Doctor, maybe my favorite, but in retrospect, the Tenth Doctor acted as if he was actually dying, and not regenerating. He is still essentially the same person with the same memories, just with a different body and some personality differences. 

Now for Peter Capaldi's zany 45 seconds as the twelfth or thirteenth or fourteenth or whatever number you designate him as, Doctor. "Kidneys, I've got new kidneys; I don't like the color!" Despite the limited time we got to see him, I am confident that he will do well. Jacob theorizes that the Doctor has forgotten everything, which is why he is asking how to fly the TARDIS. Right before he regenerated he talked about how he will never forgot, which sets up him forgetting.

*End Spoilers*

Overall: 9.5/10- Admittedly, "The Time of the Doctor" has its problems as it tries to do too many things in one episode and there is little logic behind what is happening some of the time, but despite those problems, the episode nailed it where it needed to most: Matt Smith's saddening sendoff. Everything about the characters worked, and even though the plot did not make sense the entire time, the ambition shown in the episode is admirable and a worthy sendoff from to the Doctor. Additionally, from a personal enjoyment rating the episode would receive a 11/10 (see what I did there?).

Now I will leave you with this cool gif.

Please check tomorrow for my New Year's Blogging Resolutions!

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Sherlock Season 3 Mini-Episode

Here is the Sherlock season three prequel mini-episode: "Many Happy Returns." This short mini-episode is a lot of fun, and it makes me even more excited for the upcoming season. We get to hear more about what has happened since *Sherlock Spoilers* "The Reichenbach Fall." *End Spoilers* It would have been interesting to have at least seen Mary Morstan, but she will probably be revealed in the series. However, the ending that almost breaks the fourth wall is great! For those in the UK and other lucky counties Sherlock season three is about to premier in two days, but the rest of us still have to wait until the 19th of January. What did you think of the mini-episode? Please comment and check back tomorrow for my review of the Time of the Doctor.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Paul Rudd is Ant-Man

Paul Rudd is in final nogations to play Ant-Man Edger Wright's 2015 film, Ant-Man. If you remember, a while back both Joseph-Gordon Levitt and Paul Rudd were in talks to plan the tiny hero, but JGL opted to star and direct DC's Sandman film, therefore Rudd is taking the role. Casting an older actor like Rudd, who is 44, suggests that this Ant-Man is definitely Hank Pym the original Ant-Man, and not Scott Lang or Eric O'Grady, which is good because Hank Pym was one of the original members of The Avengers. Overall, Paul Rudd is a great pick and having Edger Wright direct it will make for a unique and interesting superhero film. What do you think of this choice? Please comment below.

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Internet Explorer in Anime?

Microsoft's Internet Explorer web-browser has a new ad campaign featuring an anime character named Inori Aizawa that battles malware, and this recently released commercial features some impressive animation quality and cool symbolism. It was created for Anime Festival Asia, and it is one of my favorite ads of the year. I would like to know the opinion of non-anime fans as well as fans of the medium of the ad. I would certainly watch more of these type ads if they were released, what do you think? Please comment below.

Here is the soundtrack to the video. I like it a lot.

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Friday, December 27, 2013

1000th Post! And a Big Announcement

This is my 1000th posts! After almost three years of blogging, I have finally reached my 1000th blog posts. To honor the 1000th post, I have a big announcement, starting sometime next month, J and J Productions will host a blog giveaway! I plan to giveaway a copy of The Dark Knight Rises, and even though the exact details as to how I will conduct the giveaway is unknown, it will happen. In addition, I will hopefully be able to post The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug and The Time of the Doctor reviews up next week.

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Expendables 3 Trailer

The Expendables 3 teaser trailer is here, and while not much is shown, it is very well executed. In addition to the cast from the previous Expendables, Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson have been added to the cast. However, Bruce Willis will not be returning because he asked for way too much money and Stallone told him to take a hike, but it worked out in the end because Ford came on-board since Willis left. If you do not recognize the tune that is played, it is from the film The Bridge on the River Kwai, which is one of the best war movies ever made. The trailer itself only shows all of the actors walking out and standing there, but it is epic since many of those guys are action movie legends. What did you think? Please comment below and check back tomorrow for a big announcement with my 1000th Post.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!
Never forget the true meaning of Christmas.

Merry Christmas and God bless you.

Note: For whatever reason, this post is just now showing up on the dashboard, but I did post it on Christmas day.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Time of the Doctor has Come

Tomorrow the Time of the Doctor will come to an end with Matt Smith leaving the series on the Christmas special. I am simultaneously excited for the episode, and dreading it because Smith run as the Doctor was a great one. After watching the episode on Christmas day, I hope to have the review of before the end of the year or right after New Year's Day. In addition, I hope to see the Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug before the end of the year and I will try and have the review for that up as soon as possible. Along with that, I will a New Year's Blogging Resolution with the things I plan to do next year. After that, I will have several retrospectives about the year in movies, television, and a general one about the other things that have happened throughout the year. Lastly, I will have a list of the movies and things that I most look forward to seeing in 2014. Merry Christmas to all! 

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Funny Pictures: Christmas Style!

Here are some humorous Christmas Geek pictures of my favorite movies and other geeky stuff.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dawn of The Planet of The Apes Trailer

The new trailer for the Dawn of The Planet of The Apes has arrived, and while it would have been nice to have seen more of Andy Serkis' ape character Caesar, the trailer intrigues me. The recent Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of the better movies of 2011 with Andy Serkis' performance being the highlight. If you are not familiar with Andy Serkis, he played Gollum/Sméagol in the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit films, and he is the premier actor in the motion capture field of computer generated acting. Even though his performance is partially computer animated, he is one of the best actors in the business and his performances should receive more recognition. As for the trailer itself, it needs more Caesar! Maybe they are going to hold off letting us actually hear Caesar speak until the movie, which would actually be a cool idea. But wow, the CGI for Casar is freaking amazing! Gary Oldman is in the film and, even though he has often chosen terrible roles, hopefully this is not one of them. Overall, the trailer excites me for the upcoming film and it was very well done. What did you think? Please comment below and before you go, my friend Jordan at RATH'S REVIEWS is hosting a poll where you vote for your Top 3 Movies of 2013 so Click here to take the survey if you haven't already.

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

How To Train Your Dragon 2 Trailer!

The trailer for How To Train Your Dragon 2 is finally here! Yet another impressive trailer this week. The first How to Train Your Dragon is an underrated animated classic in my book that featured a surprisingly mature tone and a unique fantasy setting, and this sequel looks even better. The animation looks great as expected, and the scale is epic. My biggest problem with the trailer is Jay Baruchel's voice as Hiccup still sounds like first movie, in that he sounds like a 13 or 14 year old, and not a late teen. Cate Blanchett plays Hiccup's "mother" that knows how to control the dragons, which is cool. Even though the movie does look a little a darker, it is definitely still a family film because of the goofy humor, which I suppose is not a bad thing. The large battle scene looks cool. Hopefully the creators will not be held back the PG rating and actually produce an epic battle scene that can compare to other great animated fantasy epics like Princess Mononoke. With The Lego Movie, Big Hero 6, and this, 2014 is sharing up to be an amazing year for animation and that is not even including Japanese animation that is coming. What did you think of the trailer? Please comment below and before you go, my friend Jordan at RATH'S REVIEWS is hosting a poll where you vote for your Top 3 Movies of 2013 so Click here to take the survey if you haven't already.

Side Note: Unfortunately, I was not able to go see The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug as planned due to unfortunate events (nothing too serious), but I will hopefully be able to see it after Christmas.

Below is a review of the trailer by Grace Randolph from Beyond the Trailer, one of my favorite YouTube channels.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Elf Review

Thoughts: Elf, Will Farrell's modern classic Christmas comedy, and one of the best Christmas films in recent years. Elf is about an guy named Buddy that was adopted by elves from the North Pole and is raised as an elf until Papa Elf tells him that he is human and Buddy goes to find his real father. What makes Elf enjoyable is how awkward Buddy is in the real world with his simple elf sensibilities. Isn't funny that the director of the first Iron Man film, Jon Favreau, directed this family comedy? Although, Marvel has always been great at getting unlikely directors to tackle big franchises and make it work brilliantly.

Directed by: Jon Favreau
Genre: Comedy, Christmas, Family, Fantasy,
Release Date: November 7, 2003
Running Time: 97 minutes
MMPA rating: PG

The Good: Will Farrell is hilarious, Great humor throughout, Fun and entertaining throughout, Perfect Christmas feel, Zooey Deschanel is great, Many memorable moments,

The Bad:

Plot: The following plot summary is copied from
An elf, simply dubbed Papa Elf (Bob Newhart), explains that, in addition to the boring job of making shoes and the dangerous job of baking cookies in a tree, elves make toys for Santa Claus at the North Pole. During a stop at an orphanage, a male infant named Buddy, captivated by the sight of a teddy bear, crawls into Santa Claus's (Edward Asner) sack of gifts while he is delivering toys to an orphanage on Christmas Eve. Santa Claus unknowingly takes the baby back to the North Pole, where Papa Elf volunteers to raise him.
Once grown up, Buddy (Will Ferrell) remains unaware of his status as a human. Papa Elf makes him his apprentice, explaining that he repairs the "Kringle 3000, 500 Reindeer-Power" jet engine, which he invented when the Christmas Spirit that powers the sleigh started declining after people started to stop believing in Santa Claus, forcing him to build the engine to assist Santa. Unfortunately, Buddy is bigger than the elves, and is unable to use the tiny items used by the elves. As a result of that and his toy making skills being inferior than elf's, he is unable to keep up with the elves' high quotas, and despite the elves' assurances that he's just "special", is demoted to a demeaning job testing the toys the elves make. While working, he overhears a conversation where another elf reveals that he is a human. Papa Elf reveals that Buddy was born to Walter Hobbs (James Caan) and Susan Wells and given up for adoption, and that Walter never knew of his existence. He explains how Susan later died and that Walter now works at a children's book company in New York City. Buddy is convinced by a talking snowman named Leon (Leon Redbone) to go to New York City and find his father. Buddy sets out for a long trip to New York to find his father after saying goodbye to his friends.
Watch the movie to see what happens next.

Plot: 8.2/10- You will not find any shocking plot twists in Elf, however the film's plot is simple and fun one that delivers the Christmas cheer.

Action: N/A-

Acting: 8.4/10- Aside from Will Farrell's entertaining performance, Elf has a very strong supporting cast of many actors that would later become stars in their own right. Zooey Deschanel as Jovie gives a very charming performance in her role, as she usually does. James Caan is very good in his role and Bob Newhart is equally as good in his smaller role. The now famous Peter Dinklage even has a minor role in movie.

Special effects: N/A-

Soundtrack: 6.0/10- The score is comprised of mostly standard Christmas fair, however it suits the film well enough.

Comedy: 8.9/10- For a family friendly film, Elf manages to be often hilarious with Will Ferrell delivering many of the best lines. There are several very memorable scenes and jokes, and I still laugh watching it today.

Would I Watch This Again: Every other Christmas I watch the movie.

Overall: 8.0/10- Overall, Elf is a lot of fun for a family film, and one the best Christmas movies ever made.

Closing comments: While not a "perfect" film by any means, Elf fun Christmas flick with a good Christmas message that the entire family can enjoy.

Recommended for: Christmas movies fans, Will Ferrell fans, Comedy fans,

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Top 5 Christmas Movies

Merry Christmas everyone! With Christmas right around the corner, it seemed like a good time to rank my favorite Christmas movies. For this list, Christmas movies are defined as any movie that takes place on, or around Christmas. Please note that there are a few famous Christmas movies that I have not seen, like A Christmas Story, or Miracle on 34th Street. Without further ado, here is the list. Please comment and let me know what your favorite Christmas flicks are.

Honorable Mention: Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol
Since Doctor Who's adaptation the classic story, "A Christmas Carol" is not strictly a film, I had to include it as an honorable mention. Among adaptations of Dickens' story, this is easily my favorite and one of the most fun to watch. Matt Smith is brilliant with his wackiness and it is just an all around well told story with a bittersweet ending.

At Number 5: Home Alone
Home Alone is the Christmas movie that I watched every Christmas as a kid. While it does not hold up as well as other movies on the list, it is a movie that I had to include on the list.

At Number 4: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is the hands down funniest Christmas movie for me at least. The National Lampoon Vacation series in general is among my favorite comedies for their absurd, and sometimes crude, humor, and Christmas Vacation might be the best of the series. Chevy Chase is positively hilarious and the entire movie leaves me laughing hysterically! 

At Number 3: It's a Wonderful Life
It's a Wonderful Life is the quintessential classic film. James Stewart gives an amazing performance as he always does as George Bailey. The film also manages to provide a great Christmas message while not being overly corny.

At Number 2: Elf
Elf is probably my favorite movies to watch around Christmas time. Along with Stranger than Fiction, Elf is almost one of my favorite Will Feral movies. Elf manages have family friendly humor, yet it is actually hilarious, unlike 95% of family films, which are not funny at all. If you have not seen Elf, watch it; it is a ton of fun and has a fun story without feeling too cheesy. Please check back tomorrow for my full review of Elf.

At Number 1: Die Hard
Even though Die Hard is not strictly a Christmas movie, nor is it one that I feel I need to watch around Christmas, the film does take place on Christmas and it does have Christmas music. If I was making a list of movies that are strictly Christmas movies, Elf would be number one, but Die Hard is an undeniable classic action flick and one of my all-time favorites. If you didn't already figure it out, John McClain never wore a Santa in the movie, that is photoshoped. "Now I have a machine gun ho ho ho." If you do not agree that Die Hard is a Christmas flick, I do not entirely disagree, it is on the borderline. 

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