Clean Up Crew of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Pick up the pieces. Uh huh.  Pick up the pieces. Oh yeah.

Pick up the pieces. Uh huh. Pick up the pieces. Oh yeah.

The Well” was promoted as the AMAZEBALLS Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. crossover event with Thor: The Dark World.  Does it pay off?

Well, we do get to spend some brief time on a set from the movie that was featured in maybe a half a scene.  And there is an Asgardian. But if you were expecting guest stars from the movie making cameo appearances or any encounters with Dark Elves, you’d be sadly disappointed.  This episode was meant to give us a reason to connect with Ward.

We open with Team Coulson cleaning up after Thor’s mess.  They’re looking for any alien tech that might get out to the public.  And thus ends the crossover and out time on a movie set.

Meanwhile, some neo-pagans find part of an Asgardian staff embedded in an old Norwegian wood and get rage powers.  So we’re on an artifact hunt to look for something that wasn’t actually in the movie at all.  Why bother saying this shit is a crossover?

The artifacts is one third of the Berzerker Staff which instantly made me think of this:

It was left here ages ago when an Asgardian decided to stay on earth after a big battle.  The Berzerker Staff unlocks the rage within any who touch it while giving them super strength.  The warrior thought the staff to be too dangerous so he broke it into three pieces and hid it.

Team Coulson consults with some professor guy who turns out to be the Asgardian warrior who really turns out to be an Asgardian mason and I kinda just don’t care anymore.  Ward touches the second piece of the staff and he remembers the time when he chucked a kid down a well and wanted to save him but his brother wouldn’t let him or his brother got chucked in a well or something or some well with Samara who isn’t your daughter and if you don’t make copies of the vhs she’ll kill you from the tv… man, I’m really just not connecting with this episode.  Even when he’s rage face, Grant Ward is just boring.  Certainly, he’s got the build.  We get some nice shirtless-o-clock time with him.  He can be a male model.  But he can’t carry this episode.

So Ward now has rage powers.  The physical strength will wear off in a matter of hours.  But the pit of rage, the thing that the staff forced him to face, will be there for decades.  This makes Ward a ticking time bomb.  The funniest shit to me is that when Melinda May touches the staff, it’s no biggie.  Yes, she sees shit, but she sees it every day.  Much like Bruce Banner is angry all the time, Melinda May is seething hate always.  But because she’s so badass, she keeps it in check.  It actually makes her more frightening than any of them.

The only other thing that’s significant is Coulson’s dream.  He’s getting a massage in Tahini and he feels truly relaxed.  He remarks to the masseuse, “Tahiti’s too good to be true.”

She relies, “I know. It’s a magical place.”

Coulson wakes up in a pool of sweat.

Only two more episodes to find out what the fuck it all means!

My friend Marty asked me to tell him when this show became MUST SEE.  We’re not even close.  And we’ve only got two episodes to make geeks give a shit again.  I’d be surprised as hell if this gets picked up for a second season, but if it does, man, they really gotta do something with Ward and Skye.  Make them villains or something.

First Look at Miyazaki’s Samurai Manga!!!!!


NHK got an exclusive look at the samurai manga Hayao Miyazaki is working on in his so-called retirement and HOLY SHIT LOOK AT THE DETAIL!  Every frame is packed to the borders with gloriousness.  The watercolors are so vibrant.  I cannot wait to get my hands on this.

Still no word on what it’s called or when it’s coming out, but holy hell, this is amazing.  Crunchy Roll has more screen shots which are equally breath taking.

From: Crunchy Roll

Catching Up With Korra

I can't believe it's over already.

I can’t believe it’s over already.

I don’t know what happened, but apparently a whole mess of episodes aired and I missed them.  So I hit up Nick.com to binge the last four episodes.

Night of a Thousand Stars

I kinda forgot that Korra went to Republic City in the first place to try to get the President to side with the Southern Water Tribe.  Seems like the show forgot, too, so this episode is dedicated to closing up that thread and the whole Varrick thing and much of what I felt dragged this season to a halt in the beginning.

It’s kind of cute that Bolin is the one who saves the President, but it really makes Lin Beifong seem like an incompetent police chief.  Still, it’s pretty cool seeing Bolin use his pro bending for awesome.

Team Avatar reunites and Mako’s back in action.  And now we have a stupid love triangle thing with Korra, Mako, and Asami.  Apparently, when Korra lost her memory briefly, she also forgot that Mako broke up with her. Guuuuuuuh.  Kinda want Bolin and Asami to happen.

Tonraq’s fight to retake the Southern Water tribe goes about as well as could be expected. With no reinforcements fro Republic City and Team Avatar headed to the portals, Korra’s father is left on his own to take on Unalaq and the dark spirits.  Tonraq’s uprising is put down swiftly.

Harmonic Convergence

For the love the spirits, please END THE KORRA/MAKO thing!  Why must we be reminded of the worst parts of this season.  And last season.  Bleh.  Not that I like Asami/Mako any better.

Thankfully, we have a Harmonic Convergence to stop.  Man, I have to hand it to the animators, the battle scenes in this show are absolutely fantastic.

Sadly, Team Korra gets captured.  Unalaq’s forces plus the Dark Spirits are too much for them.  Unalaq reveals his plan.  He wants to fuze with Vaatu to become a Dark Avatar.  I think it would be kind of cool to see a Dark Avatar Unalaq vs Avatar Korra.

Bumi saves the day in one of the most unlikely rescues ever animated!  It’s great and I kind of think this season could have done with some more of him.

Team Avatar makes it to the portal, but are too late to stop Harmonic Convergence.  Vaatu escapes.

Darkness Falls

Man, Vaatu’s design is kind of awesome.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see him show up as a tattoo on a few arms and backs.

Tenzin, Kya, and Bumi search for Jinora while Korra fights Vaatu.  Again, the fight scenes are amazing.  Korra vs. Vaatu is exceptional. Especially when Korra goes all Avatar state on him.  Though Korra kicks quite a lot of ass, Unalaq stops Korra from imprisoning Vaatu once again.  Vaatu fuzes with Unalaq and the Dark Avatar is born.

Meanwhile, Uncle Iroh returns to give Tenzin, Kya, and Bumi some guidance. It’s heart breaking to see him again.  They let themselves get taken to the Fog of Lost Souls to find Jinora.  The Fog is actually a spirit that slowly infects your mind, eventually driving you insane.  Zhao the Conqueror from Avatar: The Last Airbender makes a cameo in the Fog.  He mistakes Tenzin for Aang.  It’s kind of a disturbing cameo.  Kya and Bumi succumb to the madness leaving Tenzin to search for Jinora on his own.

Tenzin is able to overcome the Fog when he realizes that he needs to stop trying to be like Aang and just be Tenzin.  We’ve gotten some really good character development from Tenzin this season.  It’s been fun to watch him grow through his interactions with his siblings.

Unalaq and Korra continue to battle.  They are evenly matched for a while, but the Dark Avatar proves too much.  Vaatu draws Raava out of Korra and destroys the Spirit of Light.  Unalaq goes all Super Sayan 5000 and turns into a giant of Darkness.

Light in the Darkness

The Dark Giant descends upon Republic City, and though General Iroh voiced by RUFIOOOOOO is there with his armada, the city falls.  The giant is really impressive.  I love the sound design when he unleashes his chest laser.

Tenzin gives Korra some truly excellent spiritual advice.  It a great emotional moment and looking back on this season, it feels like this is what the show has been building up to, Korra’s true spiritual awakening.  In some ways, since she’s been such an annoying brat for a good portion of it, the scene is probably a lot more impactful than I expected.

Korra becomes a giant of Light and returns to Republic City as a spirit to fight the Dark Giant.  More epic fight animation!  Seriously, this is impressive stuff.  The Dark Giant proves too much.  And then, JINORA!!!!!!!!


Seriously, I got all choked up when she descended.  I love that she was the one to truly save the day.

“Don’t worry, they’re alright. Korra saved the world.”

Um… no. You did, Jinora.

Korra and Raava reunite, but her link with her past lives is gone.  I actually think that’s a good thing.  A break with the past forces Korra to be her own person rather than live up to the expectations of her previous lives.  She also decides to keep the portals open so that humans and spirits can co-exist.

Last Impressions

While I feel this ending is far superior to season 1, overall I felt season 2 of Legend of Korra was terribly uneven.  Though we got a lot of good development with Tenzin, the show literally reset its title character halfway through.  After Korra’s brief amnesia and a look back at Wan, she was a completely different character.  Granted, she became way more tolerable in the second half of the season, but will it stick?  Will she revert back to her asshole ways in season 3 only to turn it around halfway through?

The biggest surprise was how essential Jinora was to the ending.  Tenzin’s children have been comic relief for the most part.  It was great to see Jinora take a more important role.

Bolin kind of got lost in the mix until the end.  The Republic City/Varrick/Nuktuk storyline was a bit too obvious for my tastes and didn’t really add much.  I guess we needed something for Mako, Bolin, and Asami to do, but it somehow didn’t feel essential to the overall plot.  Yeah, Varrick was trying to cash in on the war. And?

Unalaq was my least favorite type of villain, the sort of obvious mustache twirling evil mastermind that you can recognize the second they step foot onto camera.  No nuance.  No subtlety.  Just a big red sign over his head that read, HEY LOOK EVERYONE, I’M A BAAAAAAAD GUY.

Still, they have done some pretty great things with Korra.  I’m a huge fan of the world that they’ve built.  And the animation continues to be some of the best I’ve seen.  And I really do love the concept of the show.  In the end, I’ll still probably keep up with it.  I’m not super excited for season 3, but I’m not ready to ditch it just yet.  This season finished strong and I hope it carries over to the next.

Mako Mori Fights the Giant Kaiju

Had to do a song for my favorite character from my favorite movie (because I’m obsessed), so here’s my tribute to Mako Mori from Pacific Rim!

With apologies to the Flaming Lips.

If you like the track and want to download it, head on over to my Soundcloud:




Technically, he’s appeared in more Doctor Who things than any of the others through the audio plays and such, but he only got the made-for-tv movie which aired on FOX when they tried to revive the series for an American audience in 1996.  Holy fuck, it’s so good to see him back!

“The Night of the Doctor” takes place during the Time War.  And we finally get some answers as to which version of the Doctor John Hurt represents.  What? Answers? From Moffat? Naaaaaaaaaah.

This is a great setup for “The Day of the Doctor” so why don’t we just drool over the latest trailer now:

I’m actually shaking with excitement as I type this!

Angelina Jolie Has a Big Ass Hat

Of all the Disney movie villains, Maleficent has to rank among the top.  She’s absolutely terrifying.  But until now, we haven’t heard her side of the story.  That all changes next May when Angelina Jolie brushes off her Lara Croft accent and steps into the role in a live action retelling of Sleeping Beauty called Maleficent.

Seeing her in costume, it’s uncanny.  She’s absolutely perfect for the role!  She looks like she stepped right out of animation cell. I also appreciate that they didn’t go all titacular with the costume design as designers often do to sexify their evil sorceresses.  Casting Elle Fanning as Aurora is pretty inspired and I think the two will play very well off of each other.  I think they’ll be able to elevate this from just a CG spectacle.

I can’t believe I’m actually looking forward to a non-Pixar Disney film.

Miyazaki Spends His Retirement Drawing Samurai Manga

So many Miyazaki!

So many Miyazaki!

I was heartbroken when I heard that Hayao Miyazaki had decided to retire from animated features.  His films have always filled me with a sense of wide-eyed wonder.  And though we have twenty films directed by him to fill our days, I still want more.  I guess that’s the best time to retire.  Far better to leave fans hungry than sated.

So what does an animation director do in his retirement? Serialized manga, of course!

On NTV’s “Sekai-ichi Uketai” variety show, Studio Ghibli’s producer Toshio Suzuki let slip that Miyazaki is working on a samurai manga set in the sengoku era.  Suzuko refused to elaborate any further.

Miyazaki is no stranger to manga.  His seven volume version of Nausicaä Valley of the Wind has sold millions.  I’d be curious to see if he’s using assistants on this new work, or if he’s going solo.  Either way, I can’t wait to see what he has in store.  I’m a sucker for a sword.

More as it develops.

From: Anime News Network

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