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Team J.A.F.



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Now I Have Four Ways To Punch You In The Face

Posted by xccj , in TV Sep 29 2017 · 87 views

So for all the missteps of the Lego Ninjago Movie, it did have a couple of decent songs to go with it. I was listening to the album, and the song "Heroes" is a pretty decent pop song. It's not as addictively catchy as "Everything is Awesome" but enjoyable. "Operation New Me" and "Found My Place" are also good, but I don't like "Dance of Doom." The instrumental bits are also nice, but they're not quite as iconic as those from The Lego Movie. There's an Asian / action movie vibe, but it's not super distinctive. (To be fair, the general soundtrack to Lego Batman was also forgettable.) They also included some of the flute parodies that Wu plays in the movie.

However, there is one epic song on the list, which I do not recall hearing in the movie: It's Garmadon. The lyrics are great and really dial in to Garmadon's narcissistic personality, with a couple of fun callbacks to the cartoon as well, plus the great line in the entry title. That's the catchy song from the movie... and it wasn't even in the movie! (Well, maybe the chorus bit where they're chanting his name.)

Anyway, I was also entertaining the thought about how I wanted the movie to go, and now I'm considering if I have enough ideas to write a story about it. Like how I could focus on more characters and settings and parts from the play sets that didn't get featured and such. Granted, I already have a handful of stories that are WIPs so starting, and ultimately never finishing, another fanfict might not be my best option... but I've started posting my stories elsewhere online, so maybe I could pull in an audience? :shrugs: Probably not here tho, BZP isn't really the library scene anymore.

:music:


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Ninja Concede

Posted by xccj , in TV, Thoughts Sep 24 2017 · 422 views

A true Ninja knows when to admit defeat, and alas I must too.

The Lego Ninjago Movie was kinda meh.

There, I said it.

I mean, it was a good movie and stuff, but it is definitely the lesser of the three Lego movies. In fact, there were some of the TV show seasons that I think would outshine it in terms of story and characters. (Tournament of Elements and Skybound, to be precise.) I thought there was potential that it didn't quite live up to, so yes I was kind of disappointed.

So what follows is a semi-spoilery review. I mean, I won't say anything too serious. Like, I'll tell you WHO the Green Ninja is, but not WHY the Green Ninja is...

Spoiler


So it was still a good movie, but still a bit of a let down... and I very much went into it hoping for the best. Honestly, now I'm more excited for the next season of the television show. Yes, the animation will be less impressive and it's not like the fight sequences are any better, but the continuing story probably will be. (At the very least, it won't have to work as hard to establish all the characters.) I probably will get the Lego Ninjago Movie when it comes out on disc, simply for the ability to pause and marvel at the scenery and background characters, because soooo much zooms by on the theater screen that I know I missed out on a lot. But still... mixed feelings about this movie, and that averages below my lofty expectations. :mellow:

Anyway, those be my ramblings. Now, the Ninjago video game... THAT looks like it might be fun!

:music:


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Pre Ninja

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, TV Sep 22 2017 · 65 views

So the Ninjago movie comes out this week... or rather, tomorrow. I had been planning to see it Thursday night, only to check and see that, actually, they don't have any showings for it Thursday. And the showings on Friday are either too early in the day (AKA when I'm at work) or too late (AKA going to bed cause I have work on Saturday too.) So alas, I won't be able to catch the movie until Saturday afternoon, making me jealous of everyone who got a chance to see it early.

Anyway, despite my earlier reservations, I'm excited for the movie. It looks like it will have some nice comedy and action, and I've come to terms that it won't be the same as the TV show. (Which is continuing on its own anyway.) But I've already read for other AFOL reviews, and they seem to be of the opinion that it's good, but not as good as the other movies, and it exceeded their expectations because they expected it to be a flop. Because, like Bionicle, a lot of AFOLs on certain sites seem to dislike the theme because... I dunno, because it has a story aimed at kids? The Ninjago TV show is a fun cartoon, but it's no Star Wars, and adults who don't like the Power Rangers / Ninja Turtle / Super Hero vibe don't like it. That's fine, but it always seems like some assume that since they don't like it, it should (and will) fail. (Disregarding that it's the one Lego theme that consumers did successfully revive after a cancelation and continues to be a best seller.) Even if some of them like the sets, they only "get it for the pieces" and assume the show and story is worthless.

Anyway, that's probably an exaggeration, but that kinda feels like the gist I was getting from the reviews. The "This theme is awful, no way a movie based on it will work" that turned into "Okay, it's good but not AS good as the other movies." And there's legitimate reason's for it; the original Lego Movie was so awesome that it'll be hard to top or even match. (I think the Lego Batman Movie fell quite short of that.) And maybe it's too soon for another Lego movie to be coming out, because I guess people do start getting bored of more of the same and stuff. But I'm going to ignore that for now. I've read plenty of reviews where people who already disliked the genre ended up disliking the film, and I have high hopes, especially given that every new sequence I've seen clips for brings something new and cool to the table, so I'm optimistic that it'll be good. But the negativity right out of the door is a bit off-putting, even if that negativity is "good, but not as good."

(Although one spoiler that the reviews seemed to have confirmed is that the movie is very Lloyd centric. The original show was like that, where the first year focused primarily on Kai's journey. Further seasons have focused on the other ninjas, which is fine when you start getting a long running show, but that doesn't bode well for a movie, which made have started with too large of a cast of characters as is. If your favorite ninja isn't Lloyd, then you might get disappointed.) (Wait, must remain optimistic!!!!)

Anyway, I'll probably post more of my rambling thoughts this weekend after I see it. So far, I've kept myself from buying ALL the sets, only have two of the smaller ones... I'll see if I can continue to maintain that willpower...

:music:


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Elves on Netflix

Posted by xccj , in TV Sep 13 2017 · 125 views

So I just watched the Lego Elves series on Netflix. I've seen the previous two seasons (episodes, they didn't really last that long) and while it was a decent story, the animation always seems a bit off, and the voice cast wasn't always the best. Well, the voice cast stayed the same for the most part, but either they got better or I just got used to it. The animation, however, is way better; you can definitely feel the Voltron / Avatar vibe to it. I was expecting the elemental uses to be a bit more of the martial arts style of Avatar, and while there were a few instances of that, they kind of did their own thing, which works. (And maybe a bit more like Bionicle... I mean twice they did "combine powers for the ultimate power" kind of thing.)

The story was a bit more kiddy than I'd prefer, but I recognize that I am perhaps not in the target audience for it, so that I can overlook. The characters got a lot more time to shine (and Farran's awkwardness was one of my favorite parts) and the story had a nice positive message to it, so that was very nice. Plus, most of the playsets got some screen time and were easily recognizable. (And there were even a few bits involving the characters building something, to go along with the Lego theme... even a hilarious bit where they build something upside-down.) Plus, there were plenty of callbacks to the previous episodes to better connect the world, like the treehouse and dragons and such. (Sadly, one of the characters who didn't return was Ragana, the evil elf from last year. Don't know how they could've fit her in, but some sort of reference or quick scene might've been nice.)

But the very best part was how they threw in random bricks in with all the fantastic scenery. Like, they're walking through the forest and there are just rock bricks scattered on the ground and stuff. It wasn't calling attention out to itself, but it didn't look out of place either and was a great connection to the Lego sets.

Anyway, it was an enjoyable series. Maybe not as good as some of the Ninjago seasons IMO, but better than Legends of Chima, with an artwork style that will appear to non Lego fans but enough tributes to the construction sets to entice the set's fans. All I know is that I have to pick up a few more of this year's Elves sets.

:music:


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Force Awakens Thoughts

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, TV Jan 13 2016 · 319 views

Things to discuss about the latest Star Wars movie.

Spoiler


And that has been my random thoughts about nitpicky things in Force Awakens. Until next time / I think of more.

:music:


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No Stars in Star Wars

Posted by xccj , in TV Dec 17 2015 · 334 views
stars
Have I complained about this before? I feel like it's something I've complained about here before, but I don't see it in a search.

Anyway, a crucial problem I have with Star Wars is the lack of scenes with, y'know, stars. (Not like movie stars, but the big balls of burning gas and such that give off light. For local reference, see sun... just don't look directly at it.)

I mean, a big part of this takes place in space. You see planets and big ships. You see big ships casting shadows on other ships, so you know there's a big light source nearby. And you do see the sun(s) on the planets... heck, TWIN suns.

But in no shots in the original trilogy do you actually see a full on star from space. I mean, you see the little white dots in the background... technically stars, yes. But they're moving around so many planets and such that you know they get close to real stars, and yet they're never visible from the camera angles.

I rewatched the original trilogy this weekend and confirmed this to be true... except for two cases. In "A New Hope" when the Millennium Falcon flies to the rescue in the last scene, it flies with the sun at its back... which is probably a legit tactic in space (it's hard to detect something small when you have the sunlight behind it overpowering the sensors... like your vision. I mean, it's possible... it's actually one way astronomers detect planets around distant stars... but I said it's hard for SMALL objects.) The second time happens in Empire where the Millennium Falcon again flies out of the sunlight as they escape Bespin.

So it seems that the only time you see a star in Star Wars is when the Falcon is flying out of it. Keep that in mind when you watch the new movie tomorrow. (Because of course you're all watching it tomorrow night, right?)

Also, don't ask me about the prequels, I didn't rewatch those looking for star scenes. Not that I greatly dislike the movies, but I don't feel like going out of my way to rewatch them, sorry.

No, I think this is a totally productive use of my time.

:music:


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I Still Don't Like Ants

Posted by xccj , in TV Jul 17 2015 · 460 views

But Ant-Man was a good movie.

Some great action, some decent characters. Pacing felt a little off near the middle, but the finale was solid. But it played it high with the humor, which I really appreciate. A lot of LOL moments, especially with his "crew". But quite a few deaths in this one too, and although a lot weren't a huge focus, there were a few that were emotional. Still, would see again. Probably will see again.

Still, some of the swarm scenes with the ants creeped me out. I'm not a big fan of ants IRL. It was cool to see them acting like a team (and god forbid ants actually learned how to do that IRL our species would be toast) but there were a lot of scenes that felt more realistic and thus squeamish-worthy.

Spoiler


Make sure to stay until the very end... there are TWO end credit scenes here, and both are worth it.

:music:


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I Saw Ultron

Posted by xccj , in TV May 01 2015 · 374 views

He was actually a far more interesting character than I thought the trailers made him out to be.

The movie was good overall. A lot of cameo or guest appearances. Except for one that I was hoping for...

Spoiler


But, of course, the most critical part of the movie must come under some scrutiny, and that is... how well do the Lego sets fit in with it? Spoilers beware:

Spoiler


Anyway, good movie, glad I saw it. Based on first impressions, not necessarily my favorite Marvel movie (that might go to Winter Soldier, and even the first Avengers was a bit better) but still a very good movie, especially for all the characters it managed to handle, and all of the future plot lines it left for future films.

:music:


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Last Korra Episode

Posted by xccj , in TV Dec 19 2014 · 253 views

Was great. I was worried they wouldn't be able to pull off something awesome, but I shouldn't have. Also:

Spoiler


:music:


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Hobbit III: They Shoulda Stopped at Two

Posted by xccj , in TV Dec 17 2014 · 371 views

Spoilers below Smaug burns and eats everybody and then goes to sleep on his gold pillow. He also burns Sauron too, just cause.

Spoiler


And that is the story of how Bilbo and Smaug moved into 22B Baker Street together and now solve crimes.

:music:






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Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel, or just the train.
~ Owl City

Lisztomania, think less but see it grow. Like a riot, like a riot, Oh.
~ Phoenix

I took a sip of something poison but I'll hold on tight.
~ Foster the People

Birds sing for you, you can make this blue sky blush
~ Oh Land

On the other side of the street I knew, stood a girl that looked like you.
I guess that's Déjà vu, but I thought this can't be true
~ Train

But even the sun sets in paradise
~ Maroon 5

Crazy how that shipwreck meant my ship was coming in
~ Train (Again?)

So make now your ally, and leap before you look
~ Nothing's Carved In Stone

I'm just too much a coward to admit when I'm in need.
~ Passion Pit

Just believe in far away, ikiru tame ni sore wa
~ Song Rider

Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.
~ One Republic

I live my life in shackles, but I'm borderline-free.
~ Tove Styrke

Silver Lake, Mercury Mining, This Mistake, No Silver Lining.
~ Alkaline Trio

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