Reviews with Pizzazz: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”

Boss-Bot is back! Please enjoy his newest post in “Reviews with Pizzazz”! 🙂

 

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” Review

Wow.  In a good way, though.  All that needs to be said about this movie is that if you like the Turtles, the certain aspects of the movie at the very least will put a smile on your face.  If you don’t like the Turtles, you won’t like the movie.  It’s as simple as that.  This movie is truly fan service at its best.  I’ve been a Turtles fan since the ’03 4Kids series and have loved the heroes in a half shell ever since.  That being said, the movie isn’t perfect, so here are the good and bad.

Good:

Compared to the 2014 predecessor this film really nails the characters; all of them.  We really see the Turtles struggle and eventually grow as a team throughout the picture.  Their goofy personalities are still there, while the crude humor is toned down from the 2014 movie; which no one is complaining about.  Rather than the cliché Leo vs. Raph drama which has been really overdone at this point, the turmoil between the brothers does not seem forced and it works.  That’s what is important: it works.  Turtles aside, Splinter has a much smaller, more fatherly role which worked for his character.  Rather than being a major player, he’s in the shadows and gives advice and wisdom when necessary, as a sensei should.  The human protagonists are not as heavily pushed as the last film.  As much as I loved the 2014 reboot, at times it felt more like the adventures of April O’Neil than a movie dedicated to the Turtles.  That being said, I did like Fox’s April and loved Will Arnett’s new character of Vern Fenwick during the 2014 film.  I had the same feelings towards their roles in “Out of the Shadows”.  While we saw less of them, they were used much more wisely.  April seemed much less of the focus character, but did important detective work with the Turtles.  Vern was still a great comic relief and his “Falcon Breath” scene was one of the funniest moments in the picture.  Onto the villains, we have an array of fan favorites including Baxter Stockman, Shredder, Krang, and even Bebop and Rocksteady.  Shredder was more of a traditional ninja rather than the last film’s Iron Man suit, which I liked, but I digress.  He was silent, intimidating, and seemed like a convincing Shredder.  Tyler Perry was surprisingly great as Dr. Stockman.  He was quirky, funny, and nailed the character, which seemed based off of the 2012 show’s incarnation of Stockman.  Krang was done well, too.  While not as memorable as the last villains that will be discussed, he was eerily humorous and again, most importantly, it worked.  Last but certainly not least, the best characters done in the film were Bebop and Rocksteady.  Sheamus and Gary Anthony Williams nailed the duo.  They were hilarious throughout the film and took the goofiness of the characters so seriously that you would truly believe the two were Bebop and Rocksteady.  The film’s tone and plot was much lighter and more cartoony than the 2014 film.  The Turtles are goofy and not meant to be taken seriously, so the light, comedic tone of the film was perfect for the franchise.  Most importantly, it was fun.  The script was corny, but it should be.  It’s a Turtles movie.  Call it a popcorn movie or just a fun movie, but for what the Turtles are it worked.  Not to forget, the film truly had heart.  The moral of one accepting who they are against what society believes is powerful to the casual viewer, fan, and incredibly important for the young viewers to understand.  This movie was for the fans of the franchise, to put it simply.  Not to mention, if you looked really closely when Shredder was frozen in the Technodrome, there was a frozen Triceraton next to him.  #BattleNexus

The Bad:

Well, there isn’t much bad for me to say.  I’m biased as I loved the film, but for general audience goers there could be some issues.  One could find the script too cartoonish, but as a nonfan it would make sense how not everyone will appreciate the film’s script.  The only other negative would be bathroom humor, but there was not much.  There was only one fart joke, which was not as cringe worthy as it could have been.  Other than that, I really did not find that many faults with the movie.  Before watching, one must remember “Out of the Shadows” is meant to be a fun, summer popcorn film.  It’s not meant to be taken seriously and torn apart.  It’s meant to simply be an enjoyable way to spend a few hours during a summer day.

Overall:

Out of a star rating, I would definitely give it a 5/5.  This rating is coming from a fan.  The good outweighed all of the bad for me and it was a fun movie.  It succeeded at its purpose: being an enjoyable film.  Coming from a more critical perspective, I would give it a 4/5.  The humor and plot may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that changes from person to person.  While some really hate this movie, all I can say is it’s at the very least, better than the last one.

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Movie Review with Pizzazz: The Fantastic Four (2015)

Review with Pizzazz: The Fantastic Four (2015)

Boss Bot here, oh boy, Fantastic Four. I’ve generally been not excited for this film since the trailers. That being said, I felt the same way about Ant Man and loved the heck out of it, so I figured I’d give Fantastic Four the benefit of the doubt. I mean, the more recent X-Men films have been pretty good, so I should have some faith in it, right? Wrong. So. Very. Wrong.

Here’s my review of the film (spoilers obviously) and if you’ve seen the film, you’ll understand these various points better.

To begin with, let me point out that the highlight of the movie for me was seeing the Deadpool trailer in theaters. I went to see the early screening with a friend and we were both pretty… “nervous” how the film would be. Our main issue was the Thing wasn’t wearing pants, which is just… weird. But I’m rambling, so let’s get down to the review of the film itself.

Not much to say about the characters, since there was barely any character development.  Aside from the Thing feeling betrayed by Reed at one point, the writing doesn’t really have much development for our beloved heroes.

I personally felt the first two acts of the film were enjoyable and most importantly, watchable. The main issue with those acts and the film in general is the new origin story. The new origin, which features interdimensional travel, is actually interesting. I feel like it’s a cool new way to reimagine the team’s origin, but the film focuses way, way too much on it. As my friend told me – and I agreed – the entire interdimensional travel plot would have been a great separate Sci-Fi movie. But the way the film was written, it feels like the Fantastic Four are worked into this new origin, not the new origin being worked into the story of Marvel’s first family. The new origin was interesting for sure, but it felt as if it were the main focus of the movie, considering we only see the team fight for practically the last ten minutes. That leads us to my other big issue- the last portion of the film.

The last act was confusing and just horribly done. I’ll be completely honest and admit I didn’t think the film was so horrible up until this point. It really ruined the movie for me and just felt like a poor way to end it. To start off, the audience has literally no idea what the heck Dr. Doom is supposed to be able to do. His powers are so powerful, he seems to be able to do anything. Doom blew up a head at one point and at another just killed everyone in a hallway by walking in it. Not to mention, we don’t actually see the team work together until the last ten minutes of the film. For goodness sake, the movie actually skips one year from the point the group get their powers and are taken under the military’s control to the final act. The audience is probably expecting the team to have to adjust and not understand how to work together, since I’m fairly sure the Thing didn’t even speak to Sue until the last ten minutes. Instead, in this final battle we see the team practically working perfectly with one another. Somehow Mr. Fantastic suddenly can control his powers on his own, without his power suit. That’s right, in this movie, some of the suits control the powers. Those are pretty much my main issues with the concluding act and the film, itself. If it counts for anything, the “after credit scene” was only a message telling the audience how many jobs the movie created. Let me add, I’ve never been to a movie where the audience actually universally booed at the end until now.

So overall, the film stunk. I want to find a better word to say so, but I can’t help but be blatant in this case. The first two acts for me were moderately enjoyable, but the focus on the new origin dragged it down. The final act was the nail in the coffin for Fantastic Four and honestly ruined the movie for me. The one positive I found was the acting was top notch. I really liked the younger Reed Richards and (pre-powered) Von Doom. Other than that, Fantastic Four seemed more like a Fantastic Flop with all of the negative aspects of it. I’d personally rate it 2.5/5 stars. The plot and writing wasn’t… fantastic 😉 , but I have to give credit to the acting and attempt at recreating the origin, even if it didn’t turn out so well in the end.  If anyone is wondering, I do believe that the 2005/2007 films were better.  Again, not a good thing

Also, the Thing didn’t wear pants.

Review with Pizzazz: Bionicle Mask Maker vs. Skull Grinder

Review with Pizzazz: Mask Maker vs. Skull Grinder

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Finally, the set we’ve all been waiting for, right? Boss Bot here with the big kahuna: Mask Maker vs. Skull Grinder. The set itself sets you back at least $30, which is honestly a good value since you get a Protector-size (with gear functions) and a set a little shorter than Tahu, which would probably cost around $15 if it were sold alone. But the most important part of the set is the Mask of Creation. Let’s start with that…

Mask of Creation:

It’s an amazing piece. It’s the first of the “legendary” (important) masks we’re getting. It’s incredibly cool. The design is incredibly unique with a very cool texture, which seems to be some kind of ancient language. Not much to say, but everything about it is fantastic. Definitely one of the biggest selling points of the set.

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Mask Maker:

Also known as Ekimu, this set is pretty neat. He’s the size of a Protector with loads of good articulation. He’s really nice and bulky and has a gear function. He swings one of his arms, which obviously isn’t over the top, but a nice addition. His colors are great (gold and trans blue) and has good armor add on bits. Definitely a solid set on his own. His trans blue and gold Protector mask is a nice touch, as well.

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Skull Ginder:

Also known as Kulta, he’s my favorite part of this set, personally. He’s around the size of a medium Toa set, but in this case, his size is no issue. He makes up for it with his uniqueness (and spooky-scary-skeleton-ness). He has a few bone pieces that I talked about in our last review, so I won’t go into detail on those aside from saying how cool and creepy they look. Kulta’s mask is also very cool and creepy, resembling a skeleton’s head. Only issue with him is that he could use another friction gear, since his weapon is very heavy and often causes his arms to flop around. Not a big deal and can be fixed by adding in another gear, but again, just something to consider. He’s very unique and very creepy- I’m surprised the sets are getting quite dark, since it seemed this series was going to be on the lighter side, but I can’t complain- I LOVE how eerie these new sets are.

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Overall, Mask Maker vs. Skull Grinder is a fantastic set and worth every penny. You get three very nice looking masks and two sets, for a pretty good price. As they become easier to find in the US, I definitely suggest picking it up on site- you won’t regret it.

In other (unrelated) news, expect a Skull Slicer review later this week and some G1 Bionicle reviews coming soon- and my review of the new “Fant4stic”.

Review with Pizzazz: Lego Bionicle Skull Scorpio

Woo, first Summer Set review is finally here!

Boss Bot posting with a new review, this time it’s the brand new (and so far very hard to find in the US) summer Bionicle set.  Today, we’re specifically looking at the latest one I was able to snag hidden behind lots of Wave I toys: Skull Scoprio.  Expect reviews of Mask Maker vs. Skull Grinder and Skull Slicer next week.

^Enjoy my little stop motion of him and Pohatu.  Need a better “studio” and lighting, but just something for entertainment.  😛

Scorpio is a pretty… interesting set.  He seems to be the least popular among the Bionicle fandom and so far has a really bad rep at the moment, just like our friend Lord of the Skull Spiders.  But this set is better than LOSS for me, at least. The colors are eye-catching and they’re balanced fairly well throughout the set.  I’ve heard some say they dislike the red-orange bits to it, but I feel like it just gives it the sinister/evil vibe if it didn’t have it already.  Skull Scorpio’s mask is actually very cool.  Reminds me of an undead hockey mask of some sorts, but it definitely pushes the skeleton vibe.  Speaking of the skeleton vibe, the bone pieces really push that, too.  They’re really neat and I can’t wait to get some spare ones to use for MOCing, they just push the skeleton vibe further.  Lastly, Scorpio’s function is really cool.  It’s fairly technic-based and uses the new weapon pieces to “grab” masks.  Speaking of masks, did I mention how cool the “infected” Pohatu mask it comes with is?  Now, sadly, it’s not all positive.  Scorpio’s legs do not move… at all. They look pretty cool, but that’s it… they just look cool.  Another thing that is a bit negative is his tail.  While the function is really fun and neat, it doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the CCBS aesthetic of the figure.  Overall, Scorpio is unique and that’s what is really fun about him.  Not the best of the sets of this wave, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.  The fact we’re getting more Rahi-like sets is very refreshing and I sure hope we get more down the line.

Review with Pizzazz: Transformation Tuesday

Review with Pizzazz: Transformation Tuesday

Boss Bot here again, with another quick review.  Today we’ll be looking at one of the Wave II Deluxe figures, Offroad.

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Offroad is the oddball-out of his Stunticon comrades. Offroad is a totally new character, with paint resemblance to a G1 Stunticon. Offroad is a pretty cool design on his own and works fairly well as a limb (either arm or leg). He’ll set you back anywhere from $14-$20 (here’s looking at you, Toys ‘R’ Us). Is he worth the money? Here’s my two cents:

Pros:

  • Fun Transformation- It’s relatively simple (which is a con for some), but gets the job done and does it well
  • Good Design- Again, he’s fairly simple (which is something I enjoy), has good articulation, and I love his head sculpt. In my opinion, it’s a good mold all around.

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  • New Character- For reasons I don’t understand, people are actually upset we have a new character. Rather than getting constant updates of 30+ year old G1 figures, we finally get something new and cool. I certainly give Hasbro props for finally trying to change things up in Generations (still waiting for Beast Wars Anniversary toys…).

Cons:

  • Backpack- The backpack/front of the truck can get in the way a bit in robot mode and is fairly chunky
  • Legs- The way his legs transform/are designed is a bit odd to me. The knees don’t always stay tabbed in with the lower leg and it can be a bit frustrating at times, when posing.

Overall, Offroad is pretty fun and for me, definitely worth it. Wouldn’t pay the $20 that Toy ‘R’ Us is charging for him, but anything lower is definitely reasonable. His backpack and legs are the only big negatives I can think of, but the good outweighs the bad. He’s a solid toy overall. Despite angering “Geewunners” (not G1 fans, but simply the ones who can’t accept the existence of a new character), he’s fun. Not perfect by any means, but a fun, solid toy.

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Review with Pizzazz

First off, thanks for checking out our blog. Boss-Bot here, with an introduction to my posts.  While Bee is more into crafting, I’ll be posting mainly toy, movie, and even some comic reviews while I’m here.

Review with Pizzazz: Tahu: The Master of Fire (2015)

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Finally, the prayers of countless fans across the world were answered this past January: Lego brought the Bionicle franchise back to life. Many, including myself were fairly (to say the least…) upset by the franchise’s ending around 2009/2010. I can’t say I was a fan of the Glatorian series myself, but that’s a post for another day. Today we have a quick review of one of the best sets of the 2015 winter wave of Bionicle sets: Tahu.

Tahu; most of you probably remember him as the “fire guy” or you know, the red one. Tahu is a fairly big set and will set you back anywhere from $19-$25, depending on where you purchase him. Is he worth the cost? Here’s my take on him:

Pros:

  • Lots of good looking translucent red parts
  • The new piston add-ons are very cool and certainly capture the essence of G1 Bionicle
  • The gearbox allows posing and function, something we have not seen in Bionicle before
  • The mask is a good mixture of the Mata and Nuva versions, with a touch of originality
  • CCBS parts seem to be sturdy and noticeably less fragile than the last few waves of G1 Bionicle parts were
  • A solid, fun build

Cons:

  • Only a few piston pieces (4) are included in the set
  • The mask pop-off function is neat, but often can often unintentionally knock the mask off

Those are all the negatives I can think of. Tahu is a very solid set and if you haven’t yet gotten him, there’s no doubt that you should. Tahu has a fun and interesting build (especially his new gearbox). I have to say, I’m impressed with the new 2015 line. CCBS can be labeled as the “Hero Factory” system, but it hasn’t shined in any official builds up until now, in my opinion. CCBS seems to be a great system when used right and boy, is Bionicle using it right.

*To note, in the picture, Tahu has the translucent Mask of Fire from the Hero Pack promotion, it is not included in the Master of Fire set.

Be on the lookout for the summer wave of the Skull Villains, which should be hitting shelves in North America on August 1st!