Tag Archives: review

Review: Niko and the Sword of Light (Amazon Original Series: Pilot Season)

Amazon recently launched their new “Pilot Season” of 2015, which is where they post several pilots for new series, then allow the viewers to watch (for free) and review them, and help decide which series will continue on Amazon Prime. This year, there are several new kids shows, but one of them specifically caught my eye – an animated series, Niko and the Sword of Light. 

The show, based on a fully-animated comic that premiered through Kickstarter and is available on iTunes, opens with a quick prologue describing how “the world was full of light and promise,” but the greed of man led to their own downfall, as a great darkness destroyed them, swept the land and poisoned everything it touched. Now there’s only one human left, a ten-year-old boy named Niko who has a glowing sword that lets him fight creatures corrupted by this dark force. This is a pretty epic opening / premise, and instantly sets this show up as more mature than most shows targeting the 6-11 age group.

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“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” Recap – The Movie, Part 2

Earlier this month, the entire series of Star Wars: The Clone Wars hit Netflix, and since it’s not a show I’m terribly familiar with, I’m going to watch and review every episode, all the way up through the brand new sixth season, which aired exclusively on Netflix. This week, we’re starting off with the film that premiered theatrically and kicked off this whole series.

When we left off yesterday, Anakin and his new padawan Ahsoka were trying to rescue Jabba’s kidnapped son, but it turns out they’ve been played by the Separatists. But can they make it out if the abandoned monastery alive?

Spoilers after the jump.

Continue reading “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” Recap – The Movie, Part 2

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” Recap – The Movie, Part 1

Earlier this month, the entire series of Star Wars: The Clone Wars hit Netflix, and since it’s not a show I’m terribly familiar with, I’m going to watch and review every episode, all the way up through the brand new sixth season, which aired exclusively on Netflix. This week, we’re starting off with the film that premiered theatrically and kicked off this whole series.

Last week, I covered the original Genndy Tartakovsky-helmed Star Wars: Clone Wars miniseries, which ran from 2003-2005 and bridged the gap from Attack of the Clones to Revenge of the Sith. After it concluded, George Lucas announced they were going to develop a 3-D continuation of the project. The series eventually premiered in 2008, set during the same time period but this time with full 30-minute episodes, and produced with CGI animation.

This movie was originally developed as the first few episodes of the series, but retooled to premiere in theaters as a feature film. That was actually pretty impressive once I learned that, since I didn’t notice the seams between where the episodes would have broken up – for the most part, it feels like one continuous story. That said, it still has that television-movie feel, and mostly comes across as a long episode of TV rather than fitting into the three-act structure of a feature film. Also, the animated faces look super weird, and take a while to get used to.

Spoilers after the jump.

Continue reading “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” Recap – The Movie, Part 1

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” Recap – The Miniseries, Season 3

Last week, the entire series of Star Wars: The Clone Wars hit Netflix, and since it’s not a show I’m terribly familiar with, I’m going to watch and review every episode, all the way up to the brand new sixth season, which aired exclusively on Netflix. This week, we’re starting off with the miniseries that first premiered in 2003 and got this whole thing started off.

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As I covered previously, these shorts aired on Cartoon Network and online, and take place between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Today we’ll be covering the third season, which changed the format from 10 3-minute episodes to 5 12-minute episodes. Last time, we saw the emergence of General Grievous as he took down five Jedi all on his own. Today we’ll see the series bridge the gap to Revenge of the Sith, and we’ll also see Anakin get high and go on a spirit quest with the cast of James Cameron’s Avatar. I am not even joking, that is the plot of these episodes.

Spoilers after the jump.

Continue reading “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” Recap – The Miniseries, Season 3

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” Recap – The Miniseries, Season 2

Last week, the entire series of Star Wars: The Clone Wars hit Netflix, and since it’s not a show I’m terribly familiar with, I’m going to watch and review every episode, all the way up to the brand new sixth season, which aired exclusively on Netflix. This week, we’re starting off with the miniseries that first premiered in 2003 and got this whole thing started off.

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As I covered yesterday, these shorts aired on Cartoon Network and online, and take place between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the SithToday we’ll be covering the second season, which consisted of another 10 episodes of 3 minutes each, and can be found on Youtube pretty easily. When we left off, Anakin was playing chicken with an enemy ship. Today, we’ll get a lot more Vader foreshadowing, along with a few more random side stories of other Jedi doing things that don’t necessarily make a lot of sense.

Spoilers after the jump.

Continue reading “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” Recap – The Miniseries, Season 2

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” Recap – The Miniseries, Season 1

Last week, the entire series of Star Wars: The Clone Wars hit Netflix, and since it’s not a show I’m terribly familiar with, I’m going to watch and review every episode, all the way up to the brand new sixth season, which aired exclusively on Netflix. This week, we’re starting off with the miniseries that first premiered in 2003 and got this whole thing started off.

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A bit of background: in 2003, Cartoon Network and StarWars.com aired Star Wars: Clone Wars, a miniseries of animated shorts which took place in the years between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, from Genndy Tartakovsky, the creator of Samurai Jack. In 2008, a new series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars premiered, set during the same time period but this time with full 30-minute episodes and CGI animation. Apparently the show is terrific, and it just hit Netflix Instant, so I’m going to be reviewing every episode of that series starting next week.

Before we get into that series, however, we’re going to cover the original 2-D Clone Wars series, since that was sort of the field test for the in-between series that eventually became The Clone Wars. Today we’ll be covering the first “season,” which consisted of 10 episodes, each one about 3 minutes long. This series is not on Netflix, but the whole thing can be found on Youtube pretty easily.

Spoilers after the jump.

Continue reading “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” Recap – The Miniseries, Season 1

Retro Reviews: Galaxy Quest

While every other site offers you reviews of the most current movies in theaters, someone needs to step in to review the movies that came out 10+ years ago. So hop on into the Wayback Machine with me, and let’s see what cinema has already offered…

With the new Star Trek movie blowing up the big screen, I thought it would be a good time to take a look back at the greatest Star Trek movie of all time: Galaxy Quest.

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My friend Chris Larsen often says Galaxy Quest is a perfect film because it appeals to everybody: If you are a Star Trek fan, you’ll love this movie; if you like making fun of Star Trek fans, you’ll love this movie. That may be a bit of an oversimplification, but I think it definitely speaks to what works about the movie. Galaxy Quest is certainly a parody of Star Trek, but it’s not malicious or cynical – there is a genuine love of Star Trek evident at every turn. That said, you certainly don’t need any knowledge or backstory about Star Trek to enjoy the film; that’s what makes it work as well as it does.

The film is about the cast of a sci-fi show (the eponymous “Galaxy Quest”) who are stuck going from one convention appearance to another, with no real prospects past the next autograph table. But when real space aliens mistakenly believe the TV series to be “historical documents,” they recruit the “crew” to help them fight off a genuine evil… and hilarity ensues.

Every cast member is pitch-perfect. Tim Allen is terrific as the William Shatner-analogue. Alan Rickman is fantastic as the former respected theater actor now forced to wear a rubber fin on his head and repeat meaningless catchphrases for every sweaty fanboy. Sigourney Weaver is terrific as the only woman on the crew (whose character has absolutely no useful function on the series), Tony Shalhoub is wonderfully deadpan as his character takes everything in stride, and Sam Rockwell is an absolute delight as the expendable extra shipmate who is painfully aware of the dangers that await undeveloped characters like his own (a terrific send-up of Trek’s ill-fated “red-shirts”).

While the new Star Trek films are terrific spectacle, and some of the older ones like Wrath of Khan or First Contact are certainly classics, Galaxy Quest is maybe the most faithful adaptation of the Star Trek TV series itself, and finds not just the humor inherent in sci-fi fandom, but a great deal of heart as well.

Also, you’ll never again hear someone say “Never give up” without wanting to finish the slogan: “Never surrender.”