Jun 30, 2011

On Disney Channel, and why it shouldn't exist

Okay, so we all had our own run-ins with the unholy nightmare that is Disney Channel. If you watched Disney Channel five years ago, and where amazed by the lack of quality, wait, it got worse! I spent, oh about five hours in the last two days watching this... this... terrible, terrible channel of horror, and I will tell you what I found.
What I found was a channel that has had all decency and entertaining value sucked out of it. Just about every show I watched was just boring. The acting was bad, but not the good, entertaining kind of bad, the boring, going through the motions kind of bad. The writing was unoriginal, and many of their shows HAD THE SAME EXACT EPISODE SCENARIOS. That's pretty bad when you're ripping yourself off.
But there is some hope. I actually came across some decent shows. Their names: Phineas and Ferb, Zeke and Luther, and the first episode of Good Luck Charlie. All of these shows are at least mildly entertaining, and don't steal much from other shows (with the exception of all the other Good Luck Charlie episodes). These are probablt the only Disney Channel shows kids today will remember with a nostalgic feeling.
Those... other shows (namely A.N.T. Farm, Shake It Up, Kickin It!, and Suite Life on Deck), will leave them feeling, empty. I feel really bad for kids today because the fact is they don't have much acess to those classic Nostalgic shows of the 90s answer early 2000s like we did. Heck, they don't even have Toon Disney or Mickey Mouse now (mickey nows hosts a kiddy Dora-like show, and Toon Disney is now Disney XD). Disney Channel used to be great, with classic shows like That's So Raven, and the originally good Suite Life of Zachary & Cody, but now they are pitching back old material, and it's getting staler and staler every time. Disney Channel, in my eyes, has become a waste of money. I bet only Phineas and Ferb will go beyond 4 seasons, for Disney Channel has a lot of shows that almost nobody likes or wants. All their good shows could just go on Disney XD, and many already are. In my opinion, instead of investing in a whole channel of boring extra 2-season shows, they should invest it in improving ALREADY ESTABLISHED FRANCHISES like Pirates of the Carribean and Spectrobes.

Until Next Time :)

Jun 29, 2011

Annoying Mr. Popper's Penguins Review

Jim Carry has got to be one of my favorite actors. His performance in How the Grinch Stole Christmas was just spectacular. So needless to say, my hopes where pretty high coming into Mr. Popper’s Penguins.
            Mr. Popper’s Penguins is about a businessman that is so close from becoming a majority shareowner or whatever (the movie doesn’t really explain, they just say he is close to getting his name on a marble slab with the other presumed “owners”). All he needs to do is get the owner of an old restaurant to sell, and he gets his name on the slab.
            Mr. Popper also has a tragic backstory, folks. Turns out his dad was never around because he was on “business trips” (also never explained), so the only way he could communicate with his father was via radio. Years and years have passed, Mr. Popper had grown up, had kids of his own, and his dad still didn’t come home.
            Then Mr. Popper gets a mysterious package from his dad, saying that he died, and in it was a flash-frozen penguin (because we all know when you’re frozen solid, you definitely won’t die). Immediately, the penguin becomes annoying and Mr. Popper tries to send it back, but ends up ordering more (why some place is selling penguins like cattle, I don’t know, or why NOBODY CHARGED HIM FOR THE EXTRA PENGUINS).
            Annoying. Funny. Cause that’s a perfect way to describe this movie. Jim Carry is obviously trying too hard, because his JOKES AREN’T FUNNY. The only funny Jim Carry moments in this movie, in fact, is when Jim Carry fails to crack a joke! Secondly, the penguins aren’t cute. If anything, they act immature, and are LOUD. And in theatres, loud=Really Loud.
            Okay, rant adjourned. So Popper tries to get the owner to sell, but she wanted to know if he was a good person first, because she doesn’t want him to tear the restaurant down and put the workers out of jobs. But guess what? Just as Popper was willing to prove he was a good person, the penguins sabotage it!
            Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that all the while, the zoo wants to take his penguins. Popper was all ready to give them up, too, if not for his kids falling in love with these incredibly annoying penguins, and his ex-wife supporting his decision. I mean come on, why should he give his penguins to a zoo, I mean his apartment doesn’t allow them, and he only doesn’t know anything about taking care of penguins, so it’s okay as long as the kids like them.
            So let’s move on, Popper ends up getting fired even though he pulled off miracles for the company because the company found out instead of working, he turned his living room into a winter wonder penguin paradise. Still, this attracts the attention of the Zookeeper, as meanwhile the penguins are laying eggs. All eggs hatch but one, and Popper get sad. The Zookeeper tries to help because apparently he had a change of heart that we never saw, but the egg still doesn’t hatch.
            Mr. Popper then finally decides to let the zoo have them.
            But then they decide to visit them.
            And they’re not there.
            So they march right up to whoever is in charge of the zoo, and demand their penguins back. He says they’re not there, but don’t worry, they where only in a safe in his office! A safe in his office! Who keeps penguins in a safe in their office?
            So they rescue the penguins, march up to the owner, get her to sell, and get the penguins back to Antarctica in one of the most generic endings ever.
            In all, this is not a terrible movie. It’s not particularly good, but not terrible. The writing is bad, yes, the penguins are bad, even the characters are bad, but this is not painful to watch, and there are times when this movie almost made me laugh, leaving a movie that is not particularly good, but at the same level as other movies of this genre.

FINAL SCORE: C+

On the Fairly Odd Movie

So, many of you Nickelodeon-watchers might notice that trailer for the Fair…Fair…. FAIRLY ODD MOVIE!!!
            Why? What has the Fairies ever done? How could they do this? Why!!!
            That’s the one movie that you can never make, I don’t care how talented you are, and they made it! You cannot make a live-action Fairly Odd Parents work! There’s just no way. The only thing that could make this worse is if they take someone I highly respect and make him don the pink cap and shirt of Timmy Turner. Let’s see whom they got:

Drake Bell!!!
They got Drake Bell from the highly regarded show, Drake and Josh. Why? By putting Drake as one of the coolest characters in the show, don’t you know you just built him up! This is an insult to Drake’s legacy! Sorry, but I have just lost all respect for Drake Bell in that one trailer.
So, before I rant on about how bad this movie is for Drake, let’s take a look at the story, shall we?
So, it has been thirteen years since Timmy first got his fairies, and he is now 23. Despite being 23, he is still in Mr. Crocker’s 5th Grade Class. Wow. You have to try really hard to do that.
But wait a minute; aren’t adults supposed to give up their fairies?
Fear not, for Timmy has found a loophole! If he acts like a child, he gets to keep his fairies! I guess that explains the whole still-in-5th-grade thing.
But that could all change!
Tootie, the dorky sister of babysitter Vicky, has returned after many years as a beautiful woman, and Timmy is starting to like her. So needless to say, love is starting to make him act like an adult, and he may have to say goodbye to Cosmo and Wanda forever.
Seems like a decent story, and might work, except Timmy’s 23! That’s commitment, there. Also, Tootie is played by Danielle Monet, the girl they built up as a well, loser, on their very own show, Victorious (starring Victoria Justice). One last issue is that they have to use bad CGI’s that makes me wonder if the animators where actually trying. I mean, come on, these CGI’s are Barbie-level graphics, and they could have just put, oh I don’t know, THE CARTOON in! The worse that can happen then is you’ll get the equivalent of the Spongebob Squarepants Movie, which wasn’t all that bad by itself. Or they could just make the movie Animated! I’m sorry, but I just can’t believe that this movie will ever be good, but that’s just my opinion. If you don’t agree, please comment.

Until then, Timmy is an average kid….
Except he’s 23

On the Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo DS, in its time, was (and still arguably is) the best handheld on the market. It had all the features of a Game Boy Advance, with a lot of upgrades. The Game Boy Advance folks, was good enough already. Then Nintendo upgraded the graphics, and added Wi-Fi. It was amazing! To do any two-player things, you didn’t need that stupid wire to link your consoles! Wait, though it got better. The DS has two screens! At this time, I’m not sure about other gamers, but I just thought that was stupid. What if they made games that require you to use both screens, afterall?
            Well, it’s safe to say I was pleasantly proven wrong. Both screens play key elements in the DS’s success, with only 3rd party developers managing to screw up the touch screen controls. Here’s a tip for making a good DS game, don’t overuse the touch-screen controls! Don’t center gameplay on pointless details like flicking the touch screen in the right direction. That is how you end up with frustrating, almost pointless games like that game for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian movie. That game had great potential, but it was all bogged down by pointless touch-screen battles that had hard-to-use controls.
            Unless you’re Nintendo. They can actually make the touch screen work almost every time. Like most every Nintendo console, most of the best DS games are made by Nintendo, but unlike the Wii, that contest is very close with developers like 5th Cell coming out with great titles every year.
          
          So what will the 3DS bring? Will it fix the DS’s past woes? Will it further open the field for 3rd Party success, like the Wii U will most likely bring? Let me answer these questions.
            The 3DS is foremost, a DS. It has all the features of a regular DS (save for the DS Light’s backwards compatibility with GBA games), with a lot of new features. One is the introduced motion controls, and, of course, another is the actual 3D. The 3D works so that it will only work really well when held at an angle. I admit that when playing with motion controls, this might render the game nearly unplayable, but thankfully, the 3DS comes equipped with an off switch to the 3D. Now, seeing that to play many games, you might not even use the 3D, is it even worth to put 3D in it?
For the most part, I actually like the fact that now there is a 3D-console, without the glasses. That is a really cool feature, and I think a lot of games would look really amazing (like Golden Sun: Dark Dawn). However, I do not like how they based their whole campaign on it.
3D should be just an extra feature, not something you name your whole system after! Seriously, I’m not even that mostly excited about the 3D; it’s the other features. Being a DS Light owner, I look forward mostly to the upgraded DSi feaures.  This thing has a camera, and god will I use it! This thing even comes preloaded with its own SD card, so it would be easy to make actual legitament videos.
The Last thing I’m excited about is the games. With good, reliable titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarine of Time 3D, and plenty more on the way, the 3DS will surely hold the title of Best Handheld.

Jun 28, 2011

On the Nintendo Wii, Wii U, and the Wave of the Future.

The Nintendo Wii, is an awesome console by itself. It really unlocked new possibilities in gaming. The Wii was a revolutionary step at the time to make motion controlls marketable.
The games, however, did not. Yes, I know you can find a lot of exceptions, but the fact is the majority of the Wii's games are made by 3rd-prty publishers, and it seems most of those publishers just didn't try hard enough to make good games for the Wii, either for financial reasons or just because of strict deadlines, it doesn't matter, the fact is that 3rd Party developers need to try harder. With games like Super Mario Galaxy and Mario Kart Wii, the best Wii games remain to be Nintendo titles. As it is, 3rd Party developers just can't compete with Nintendo-owned titles on their console.
That doesn't mean all 3rd Part developers can't make good games.
Take The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, for instance. This game actually posts excellent graphics for a Wii title, engaging puzzles and boss fights, while offering an entertaining but generic storyline. As far as 3rd party developers are concerned, this is gold.
However, it is still dwarfed by Nintendo’s own games for 1 reason, and 1 reason only, it has terrible motion controls. This is one title that would be better without motion controls, while Nintendo’s games all are based solely on excellent motion-controls.  This is probably why Spyro is getting reviews in the 60 percents and 70 percents, while Nintendo’s own games usually get 80 and beyond.
But that can all change.
While witnessing the Wii U’s E3 press conference, one thought struck me; this could really help 3rd party publishers. The Wii U will introduce new ways to play, and all the 3rd party publishers now need is a strong imagination and a will to put that their plans into action. In fact, on many of the interviews posted on the Wii’s own Nintendo Channel, many of the new 3rd party publishers where excited about all the possibilities the Wii U could unlock. The graphics upgrade will also help 3rd party publishers, too, attracting the flashy Ubisoft franchise that is Assassin’s Creed (Can’t wait to see how they use motion controls for that one).
Finally, the Wii U is truly the wave of the future. “Why?” you might ask. Because this is a convenience that nobody saw coming. Honestly, how many of you actually thought next year we’ll be able to have a controller with a touchcreen on it, get a picture on the controller, and then flick it to a random TV (Seriously, those who saw this coming, please comment). This is like the Internet in the 1920s, nobody thought we could do all that stuff on one Screen, and just like the Internet, nobody saw the Wii U (except for those small psychic communities scattered across the globe). Honestly, I did not see this in my wildest dreams, and I’m so energized to see what this console can do.

Until my next post, mow your ice cream and eat your lawn, or the other way around, cause I’m ready dream.