For our 53rd episode we review the Studio Ghibli and Hayeo Miyazaki film, Princess Mononoke. Princess Mononoke came out in 1997 and is still, in the opinion of this podcast, Studio Ghibli’s best film. It is Miyazaki’s most adult film that explores deep and often unanswerable questions. There are no easy answers in this film and the story takes great lengths to explore both sides of issues. There are strong pro-environmental themes running through this film but it doesn’t disregard the reality. Sometimes, destroying a forest is vital to someone’s life and livelihood.
We attempt a serious in depth discussion of the film in this episode. I don’t know how well we succeed. Neither of us are film scholars or are scholars in general. However, we gave it our best and hopefully it’s still entertaining.
Ah, Merlin season five. The season that takes all of the cumulative storylines, character development, and drama built over five years and… takes a giant dragon sized dump all over it.
Have you been anticipating an awesome magic duel between arch nemesis Morgana and Merlin? Too bad. Been wondering what was going on with the white dragon? Keep wondering. Looking forward to the reveal that Merlin has magic and him finally stepping into his own as Arthur’s magic advisory? Sucks to be you. Remember how Merlin has been serving Arthur all of this time because Arthur was destined to bring about a golden age where magic could exist peacefully? Yeah that doesn’t happen.
As you’ve probably already guessed, this episode is a gigantic (but deserved) bitch session. We might not have done a podcast on this season if we hadn’t already done all of the previous seasons and if this hadn’t been the final season. We needed closure, even if the show didn’t provide it.
Today I bring you the greatest podcast in the history of podcasts of the greatest television show in the history of television. Yes dear podcast listeners, I bring you season one of…
HERCULES THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS.
Hercules the Legendary Journeys was a nineties syndicated telvision series starring Kevin Sorbo. It’s about a time of myth and legend in ancient Greece when the ancient gods were petty and cruel and they plagued mankind with suffering. Only one man dared to challenge their power. His name was the half god Hercules. Since he was half god, Hercules possessed a strength the world had never seen that was surpassed only by the power of his heart. During the series he travels the earth battleling bad guys. Often times these were the minions of his step mother Hera, the all powerful Queen of the Gods. Basically, whenever there was evil or an innocent was suffering Hercules was there to save them.
You’re welcome internets. You may procede to weep with joy.
Avatar: The Legend of Korra is a 2012 American animated series that is a direct sequel to the series Avatar: The Last Airbender. The Legend of Korra is set 70 years after the last series and the world is very different. Medevil technology has been replaced by an industrial revolution filled with cars, streetlamps and even mass media. The world even has a new avatar: Korra, a young woman from the water bending tribe.
In this episode we dicuss the first 13 episodes of Legend of Korra which constitutes the shows first season. It felt like it was the show’s entire run, but it has since been confirmed that it will have another season.
You get the most out of this show if you’ve seen Avatar: The Last Airbender but it’s not required. The show can definitly stand on its own merits. Korra, the show’s protagonist, is an awesome female character. Heck, even her character design is awesome. How often do you get a female character with drawn arm muscles without them being some kind of parody? Korra looks like someone who has been trained since she was small to fight. Her personality is great and a fun contrast to Aang’s passifism.
The creators excelled at world building in the last series and they reach new heights in this one. This is a world that is so well realized it feels like it would really work. The effects of the industrial revolution are well integrated within the existing world. For instance, the world now has electricity, but their power stations are fend with lightning bending. Amusingly, lightning bending is not the stuff of legends it was in the previous series. They must now teach it in schools. Similiarly, Toph has went forth and taught the secret of metal bending which is now used by the police.
Some of the side characters characterization suffers from the low episode count of the first season. Mako and Bolen, Korra’s best friends, rely a bit too much on a few key personality quirks. Furthermore, the last two episodes of the series feel REALLY rushed. But overall, the series was fantastic and everyone should try it out especially fans of the previous series.
Today we’re going to talk about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic instead of Scott Pilgrim because Charlie did not show up to podcast with us. So instead we’re going to inflict ponies upon you. This episode is chocked so full of magical talking ponies, love, friendship, and happiness that it’s like a giant candy coated plague that makes you smile so hard your face stays that way forever and little children point and laugh at you as you walk down the street and you never ever get a date again and live in lonely abject misery where even that weird guy down the street who is obsessed with paper cups won’t talk to you and when you gaze into the mirror at the horror your visage has now become you say to yourself “DAMN YOU FANTASY MOVIE PODCAST! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!”
Snow White and the Huntsman is a 2012 fantasy film directed by newcomer Rupert Sanders. The film stars Kristen Stewart, Cherlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth. There is defintily more style to the film then substance. However, the film isn’t as shallow as it would first appear. It does some very interesting things with the evil queen’s back story. Charlize Theron steals every scene she is in. Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth do the best with what they’re given, but they’re largely archetypal compared to Kristen’s Stewart’s fascinatingly broken queen.
The film is worth watching alone for its imaginative portrayal of magic. There’s a scene for instance, where the evil queen slowly drags herself from a pile of raven ichor until she slowly solidifies into a woman once again. She doesn’t rise magically or form from a mist… She has to painfully drag her broken body from a pile of corpses. Her magic is dirty, bloody, primal and comes at a drastic cost.
Overall, the film isn’t a study on the human condition, but it isn’t a shallow special effects fest either. Want to hear more? Listen to the podcast below!
Eragon is a 2006 film based on the book series The Inheritance Trilogy by Christopher Paolini. The movie was touted as the beginning of this epic trilogy, but there was never a trilogy because the first movie kind of sucked. The movie is about a young guy who finds a dragon and then rides it into battle against the forces of evil. This should have made a pretty decent movie, but the plot is a mess. When it’s not being generic it’s confusing the hell out of the viewer. Kasey watched the movie three times and was still unsure who the bad guys actually are. Still, the movie is worth watching once for the sheer awesomeness of the dragon visuals. The cgi holds up well, and the visual design of the evil dragon is badass. Riding dragons is portrayed in a real jaw dropping way. It’s fun to watch the movie and simply insert yourself into Eragon’s place riding a totally awesome dragon who is your BFF FOR EVAH while you kill some evil dudes.
Because come on, you know you’ve day dreamed that before.
Beauty and the Beast is a 1991 Disney animated film that is part of the Disney Renaissance. It is an adaption of the fairytale Beauty and the Beast. This version is quite different from the original, but still keeps the essential themes of looking beyond the surface and not judging a book by its cover.
Melanie likes the film and Kasey doesn’t. On one hand, it’s a very beautifully animated film that’s rich in detail. The themes it portrays are universal and it has a good message for children to learn. On the other hand… Belle is such a Mary Sue. A completely and totally Mary freakin Sue. And the couple fall deeply in love in like a week. Sure that’s improvement upon love at first sight but…
What do you think of Beauty and the Beast? Was Kasey’s hate for Belle justified? Do you think it portrays positive values or does it just reinforce negative gender stereotypes? Does Gaston’s friend Lafou really have a gay crush on him? Let us know what you think!
This time around we review the 1977 animated film The Hobbit. The Hobbit was adapted from a 1937 Tolkien book of the same name by Rankin-Bass. Rankin-Bass were the same production/creative team that also created The Last Unicorn, and all of the stop motion holiday classics that ABC Family shoves down Americans throats every winter.
This production was a made for TV movie for children and it shows in the final product. The animation is stilted and the movie does its best to avoid showing violence while still oddly implying it. The budget restraints of a made for TV movie are pretty apparent. The animation is stilted and a large scale war between multiple armies is depicted like a giant dust cloud. However, there was obvious love for the source material in the production. The art design is quite nice. Top Craft, the Japanese studio the animation was filmed at, created some really beautiful hand painted backgrounds. They production company also respected the source material and didn’t try to add to or dramatically change the story. Despite it’s short comings, they did the best they could with a TV movie’s budget and time.
Should you see this? If you’ve read The Hobbit before by all means go for it. It makes a fun diversion while waiting for the Peter Jackson version. If you haven’t read the books give it a pass and wait for the live action movies.
Kasey has just made a guest host appearance on Lee and Dan’s Midnight Movie Club! There she discusses the 1983 fantasy movie Krull which was disapointingly not about barbarians. It sounds like it should be a movie involving dudes in loinclothes right? But alas, there are no dudes in loin clothes. There is a cyclops, magical horses, marriage rites involving fire, kids choosing puppies over dead relatives, and a horny evil lizard man.