Masters of the Universe

June 24, 2016

This time around Sharon and I take a look at a movie nobody asked for a review of and that most people are either unaware of or just plain dislike. The 1987 attempt to bring He-Man to the big screen.

Eschewing a land of swords and sorcery blended with crazy technology in favour of running around American suburbs at night dressed like utter plonkers this film was presented with the task of making space barbarian He-Man real and relevant to teenagers in the 80s. It fails, but it fails spectacularly and earnestly which, for us is enjoyable to watch. 

So out with the old Masters of the Universe and in with Gwildor, (the exuberant wizard-dwarf), Blade (the guy with the blades), Saurod (the guy who gets killed) and Karg (the over-designed glam metal housecat with a hook for a hand), in with Courtney Cox and in with Kevin! And VERY much in with bored-looking, pleasant-berserker; Dolph Lundgren's He-Man and ranting, gloating, aggressive Frank Langella's Skeletor. 

Whether you have fun watching the movie or not you'll probably have fun with us here.

Next week: Independence Day and its sequel (which I advise you not to pay to see) Independence Day: Resurgence. 


He-Man & She-Ra

June 17, 2016

This week's episode is all about one of the first wildly popular toy and animated show tie-ins. Emerging in 1982 the Masters of the Universe toy line was hot on the heels of Star Wars and (thanks to the repeal of certain laws about ethics in programming) was able to advertise its products to the child during the commercial breaks as they were watching the show. And of course, seeing as most of the characters featured were already toys, every episode was a commercial in its own right.

He-Man is, by today's standards a dreadfully polite pacifist who seeks only to hold Eternia's morals in check, whist Skeletor is a charmingly gentle nitwit who seeks power via boneheaded schemes. Both of them have colourful henchmen and at the end of the day nobody is getting hurt. 

She-Ra is a scenario much the same, only she and her buddies in the Great Rebellion are always on the back foot and Hordak is an oppressive warmonger that they are trying to depose, giving that show more of a struggle and stakes, and a rather empowering female hero for many girls (and boys) to be inspired by. Stay to the end to see how Mattel sold this strong woman in doll form. 

We also cover the ill-fated New Adventures and the badass 200X show. Next week we're looking at the 1987 Dolph Lundgren movie. 



June 10, 2016

This is a troubling film for us. My overriding feeling on leaving the theater was not just being pissed off and disappointed, but angry at many of the decisions taken that will leave general audiences cold to this, and unless it does gangbusters overseas will greatly reduce the chances of a sequel that could correct these oversights.
But then again, the Transformers movies are increasingly more vile and poorly received, yet clean up worldwide and continuously break a billion, so you never know for sure. 

This is a game series and a concept that is important to a great deal of people. It was more important to show everyone else why they should care as well rather than placate fans of the lore. 

Join Sharon and I with Glen Watts as we discuss what went wrong that resulted in a critical mauling. There are still definitely elements we like, but they are bogged down in a lot of stuff we don't, and that people don't respond well to in general.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / Out of the Shadows

June 3, 2016

This show covers both the 2014 reboot of the Turtles (recorded a year ago and stored in our vault for this very week) AND the 2016 sequel, Out of the Shadows. 

It's Sharon and I going back to a series that has had patches of good, flashes of great but never produced a truly brilliant film. It's also been plagued by some horrible decisions on the parts of the creators, hair-brained, patronizing, head-slappingly dismal attempts to cash in again on the four green brothers once ubiquitous Turtlemania. 

So how do Michael Bay's Turtles stack up against both the previous movies and the Transformers series, which this is now intrinsically linked with?

Next week: Warcraft.