My Thoughts On: Ratchet and Clank (2016)

Video game-to-film adaptations have always had a bad reputation for not being very good. Despite this, they’re still being made in the hopes that one might break the mould. This year, the ‘World of Warcraft’ and ‘Ratchet and Clank’ films came out and has pretty much been forgotten about, which speaks for itself really. Whilst I can’t form an opinion on ‘Warcraft’, I can definitely say that I’m dissapointed that ‘Ratchet and Clank’ didn’t do very well.

The ‘Ratchet and Clank’ games are a series that I have grown up with, and have loved next to ‘Spyro’ and ‘Crash Bandicoot’. It’s fun, funny and it has memorable characters and an interesting storyline. After I heard about a film being made, I was so excited for it and the trailers looked promising. However, a year’s delay and a very limited cinema release (it was only in my local cinema for a week) dampened my excitement quite a bit.

‘Ratchet and Clank’ is a retelling of the original game as it follows the two lead characters joining Captain Qwark and the Galactic Rangers. Together, they aim to defeat Chairman Drek who, along with Dr Nefarious, plans to destroy various planets in the solar system in order to make their own one.

So, I have now seen the film and I have to say: I really enjoyed it. The film took great care to make sure no changes in character and set design were changed, and the original voice actors for Ratchet, Clank and Captain Qwark also feature alongside a couple of famous voices (John Goodman, Sylvester Stallone and Paul Giamatti). The animation is also gorgeous: seeing Planet Veldin come to life was amazing and I did have my mouth open in amazement at how beautiful it looked.

A big part of the game franchise is the weapons and gadgets that the player collects or buys, and the film made sure to feature as many of these as it could within the 1hr 30 minute running time, which made me happy. The numerous action scenes are also exciting and interesting.

Because this is a retelling of the very first game, the film was allowed to expand on more of Ratchet and Clank’s origins and I quite liked this: I’d always wondered why Clank was created and what his original purpose was going to be and it turns out that, in this case, he’s a defect that was created by Dr Nefarious to help with Chairman Drek’s plan. The inclusion of Dr Nefarious is weird, but interesting and makes sense within the film’s storyline, although the plot takes place before he’s turned into a cyborg (stay around during the end credits to see him in his cyborg glory).

My biggest problem with this film is its humour. It doesn’t know whether to cater to fans who grew up with the original game, or fans of today’s generation who might be a bit younger. The end result is a confused sense of humour; sometimes it works and is in line with the games but, for the most part, it’s cringey which is a shame because it sometimes ruined some otherwise serious scenes. Two (smaller) complaints I had was with the voice of Chairman Drek (voiced by Paul Giamatti). The voice doesn’t suit the character at all and made me wish they’d kept the original voice actor. The other was with Ratchet’s idiolization with Captain Qwark. In the original game, Ratchet didn’t think much of him and thought he was a bit of an idiot. However, this particular detail works with the film’s retelling, and Captain Qwark is still portrayed as arrogant and easily swayed so the idiolization detail is a very minor complaint.

Overall, the positives outweigh the negatives and I really enjoyed this film. Even though I only watched it for the first time yesterday, I really want to rewatch it again right now. It respects the original game while expanding on the storyline and this film should definitely not be seen as a bad video game-to-film adaptation.

4/5

The two trailers are below:

 

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My PS Thoughts On: Spyro The Dragon (1998)

The ‘PS Thoughts On’ articles are going to revolve around any Playstation game I play. This can include games from the Playstation, Playstation 2 and Playstation 3 (I don’t own a Playstation 4). At the end of these articles, I’m going to include my favourite track off the game’s soundtrack.

Despite it being the first game in the original trilogy, ‘Spyro the Dragon’ was the last one that I played. After hearing about its flop when it was released, I decided to buy it off the Playstation Store and see for myself what it was like.

The story is pretty solid, even if the reason behind it is a bit underwhelming and silly. The visuals also look nice, if a bit rough, and the gameplay is entertaining for the most part. I’ve always liked the Spyro games for its soundtrack and this one is no exception; the musical score is beautiful and very pleasant to listen to.

Now onto the negatives.

The controls are not good. They aren’t very responsive which gets annoying very quickly, and there’s no option for Spyro to hover (this is introduced in the second game) which makes some parts of levels quite tedious and frustrating.

Some of the levels seem way too small, and most of the boss fights are underwhelming and forgettable. The exception is the final one, Gnasty Gnorc, which is suddenly way too difficult, due to the awful controls.

Lastly, and this might be a personal peeve for me, but I found Spyro’s voice to be very annoying and grating.

Unfortunately, I can see why this flopped. It has a lot of problems which was thankfully fixed in the next two games, and I do like playing this game. However, I would pick the other two games over this one.

2/5

Favourite Track: Town Square

 

My Thoughts On: Skylanders Academy (2016)

Oh look, it’s my first TV review! I came across this one from the Crash Bandicoot subreddit, where it was recieving backlash from the fans due to how Crash sounded and acted throughout an episode. I was intrigued, so I thought I’d watch that episode. However, I then proceeded to watch the whole series, as I quite liked the show. Now that I’ve voiced my overall opinion on the show, lets go into what I liked/disliked about ‘Skylanders Academy’.

‘Skylanders Academy’ is a Netflix Original Series that was added on 28th October 2016. It follows Spyro and his friends in Skylands as they defeat various villians, including their nemesis Kaos.

I want to start off by saying that this is my introduction to the Skylanders franchise; when it first came out, I was very against it; I grew up on the original trilogy and I haven’t really liked any of the other Spyro games since. Also, Spyro’s recent design is still terrifying; he has a flat face! I just find the design overall creepy and odd. On the other hand, I love the animation: the CGI animation is gorgeous, and the character’s movement look really nice.

The voice cast is also impressive: Justin Long (Spyro), Ashley Tisdale (Stealth Elf), James Hetfield (Wolfgang) and Catherine O’ Hara (Kaossandra) are just a few of the actors who are involved in this production. Each voice also suits all the characters; not one feels out of place….ok, maybe one but I’ll get to that.

‘Skylanders Academy’ does come off a little cheesy and way too expositional at times, and it does have a few cliches which is a shame, but the show does also have a good sense of humour and some good jokes too. This did mean that I was rolling my eyes a little at the over-expositional parts, but it doesn’t do this too much and I do understand that this is a kids show, so it doesn’t hurt the viewing experience too much.

Overall, I really enjoyed this show.  It has a nice running time and isn’t too long (12 episodes) and it’s a pretty decent kids cartoon. The theme song is also really catchy!

4/5

Favourite character(s): Glumshanks, Pop Fizz, Stealth Elf

Least favourite character: Bad Breath

Favourite Episode(s): ‘Space Invaders’ (Episode 6) or ‘Pop Rocks’ (Episode 8)

The trailer is below:

SPOILER SECTION!!

So, earlier I mentioned that there was a character who’s voice didn’t suit their appearance. Unfortunately, this character is Crash Bandicoot himself. He appears at the end of episode 10 and throughout episode 11. The main complaint that was on the ‘Crash Bandicoot’ subreddit was that he spoke fully and his voice didn’t suit him at all. Like Spyro, I grew up with Crash Bandicoot: I got the first game the Christmas it was released but, unlike Spyro, I’ve loved most of the Crash franchise since then. Therefore, I’m used to him being a mute character. However, I was surprised at how quickly I got used to his new skill at speaking, and was actually ok with it. The problem I have with his voice is that it’s too deep-sounding; I was expecting his voice to sound like the noises he made in ‘Tag Team Racing’; slightly high-pitched and dopey sounding. So, I do agree with the subreddit on that point but, otherwise, I was ok with him talking fully.

 

 

My Thoughts On: The Machine Girl (2008)

Like ‘Primal’, this is a film that I remember seeing in HMV whilst at college. Again, I comepletely forgot about it until recently when I got Shudder (can you see a pattern forming?…). I saw it on there and decided to watch it.

‘The Machine Girl’ follows Ami, as she seeks revenge on a ninja-like gang after they bully her younger brother to death. This is the best plotline I can give you. Sounds simple right? Sounds generic right?…But then you realize that this is Japan going ‘let’s make a live-action anime/grindhouse film!’ and it’s not so generic anymore.

I’m gonna be completely honest: I had a blast watching this film. From the get-go, it doesn’t take itself seriously; it knows how ridiculous it is. The acting in this is actually pretty decent for a film that is basically a rollercoaster ride, and some of the cinematography/editing reminded me of a fast-paced anime.

I would say definitely watch this one, but just don’t go in expecting a cinematic masterpiece; this is not that type of film.

4/5

The trailer is below:

 

 

Medical Update: I’m Home!

So you might have noticed that I’ve uploaded an article on the website. Therefore, I thought I’d update you on what my situation is. Although, I warn you: I might get a bit yucky with the medical details.

First things first: I’m now home and am slowly moving around. I came back home around a week ago and have just started getting out of bed and tried walking around.

My operation didn’t exactly go as smoothly as the surgeons thought: Instead of just reconnecting my V.P shunt, they discovered that actually both of my shunts are broken, however it was easier (and better) to fix the one revolved around my medical condition instead of the one draining the cyst. The V.P shunts are in three parts: the tubing connected to the brain, the valve which controlls the pressure of the shunt, and the long tube that connects the valve to my stomach. The latter two parts were the ones that were broken and needed to be fixed. So, I have two sets of stitches on my stomach (they had difficulty getting the stomach tube out due to me growing so had to make another incision), and one (I think) on my head. As of writing, I still have the stitches in, and a big plaster over my head but I’m getting the stitches taken out tomorrow, so moving around should be abit less sore than it is now.

Now that I am home, I’m going to start doing some more written reviews and articles. Some of them won’t be film-related, as I’m wanting to slowly branch out and talk about other types of media (TV shows, video games, music, etc.). Apart from one or two Behind-The-Scenes episode (hint, hint), these other types of media won’t crossover to the podcast; that will still be a film-related podcast.

SPEAKING OF THE PODCAST!

Zombie Kitty Podcast will be continuing beginning of December. That’s a bit longer than I originally said, however it’s taken me abit longer to recover than I thought it would; as I said at the beginning, I’m taking things very slowly due to the pain of the stitches and my head.

However, I’m going to be more active on here and Twitter so look out for more articles on here!

Zombie Kitty Podcast (Megan) x

Anime Goes Live-Action: The Trailer for ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Is Here!

2017 is quickly shaping up to be an exciting year for film, and another film I’m looking forward to has just dropped its first trailer!

Staring Scarlett Johansson, ‘Ghost in the Shell’ is based on the hit anime film from 1995. According to IMDb, the plotline is: A cyborg policewoman attempts to bring down a nefarious computer hacker. As the release date looms closer, I’m sure more plot details will be revealed.

Whilst the trailer hasn’t revealed too much plot-wise, the visuals definitely echo that of the original classic which I am really pleased about; hopefully the film completely respects the original.

‘Ghost in the Shell’ is released in cinemas 31st March, and the first trailer is below:

Day 29 of Halloween Film Challenge: Sorority Row (2009)

Sub-Genre of the Day: Teen Scream

The IMDb plotline is as follows:  A group of sorority sisters try to cover up the death of their house-sister after a prank gone wrong, only to be stalked by a serial killer.  

I remember seeing a trailer for this when it first came out and wanting to see it; it looked like a fun little slasher film. However, this is yet another film I forgot about until recently.

My first thought when watching the film was that all the main characters were horrible, with Jessica (the main blonde girl) being plain evil. The prank that kick-starts everything seems way too harsh for Megan’s cheating boyfriend; this is a film where I definitely sided with the killer. I also spent most of the film thinking Cassidy was the killer. The tension before each kill got annoying quite quickly, as I was always expecting a jumpscare; this tactic is the one thing I hate about horror films, and it seems a lot of mainstream horrors would do this. However, a couple of kills were creative and they were effective.

I quite liked the cinematography; the sometimes gritty camerawork was similar to ’28 Days Later’, although some of the shots seem oddly framed at times, especially the close ups. The pacing was also uneven throughout the whole running time and, at times, did drag on.

The film does fall apart a bit at the end, when the killer is revealed; it comes out of nowhere and isn’t believable. However, I did enjoy this film overall. It is fun little slasher that viewers can watch without having to think too much.

3/5

The trailer is below: