Tag Archives: trailers

TV Review – Masters of the Universe: Revelation (2021)

I HAVE THE POWER…to write this review, 3.5 readers.

BQB here to check out Netflix’s sequel series to the popular 1980s cartoon, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

3.5 readers, perhaps you’ve heard there is a bit of controversy behind this show. Rather than do a straight up review, I’m going to organize my thoughts into PRO and CON but beware, SPOILERS abound. Frankly, I wish I had watched it before reading about it online, so if you haven’t read about it, here’s your chance to go watch it first, then come back and praise it or kvetch about it, or both, whatever your preference. Believe it or not, I fall into the “or both” category.

THE CONTROVERSY:

Fans of the series were totes stoked that He-Man was coming back in a Netflix series helmed by Kevin Smith, a comic book auteur known for keeping it real when it comes to comics. If K-Smitty is behind it, it must be good, for he’s an OG comic fan from way back and would never, ever sell out to The Man just to make a quick buck.

Alas, in the first episode (BIG TIME MEGA SPOILER) He-Man and Skeletor (the trash talkiest villain of all time, basically imagine a combination of your mother in law, a sassy drag queen, and Donald Trump in their ability to pinpoint and throw shade on your flaws and put them in a skeleton man costume) have the final duel that has been forever in the making. At first, this seems awesome but then, they kill each other and for the rest of the series, the show is helmed by Teela, the longtime friend, confidante and lady bodyguard of Prince Adam, He-Man’s true identity and alter ego.

To boil it down further, there is very little He-Man in a show where He-Man is the main draw.

PRO:

#1 – Teela is voiced by Sarah Michelle Geller which makes me happy as a Buffy fan.

#2 – Kevin Smith’s argument is that he made a show for adult fans of a kids show – people who loved a show when they were little but are now in their 30s and 40s. Often, adults tend to look back at things they loved as kids with rose colored glasses, only to revisit them as adults and realize it was kind of dumb and silly. For example, I like He-Man as a kid. It wasn’t my favorite show, for that role went to GI Joe, but I generally like the show. As an adult, I went back and looked at old clips of He-Man only to find it is campy and silly AF, lots of bad puns and goofiness and what have you.

Ergo, Smith tried to make something where the stakes are real, in other words, where there are consequences and yes, where characters can actually die, as opposed to the show we got when we were kids, where He-Man and Skeletor would just wail on each other for a half hour each week and then the next week, they were fine and ready to go at it again.

He makes a good point. The show has a great musical score that puts me back in the 80s and it has that 80s feel while not being a campy romp. It has about as much of a plot as a fantasy show about warriors battling over the control of a planet’s magic can have and though I was sad to see He-Man go, I did want to find out what happens next. The five episode run is short and bingeable.

#3 – Lena Headey steals the show as Evil-Lynn, a sorceress who rivals Skeletor in her ability to throw shade. He Game of Thrones co-star, Liam Cunningham, is also pretty great as Man-At-Arms, Eternia’s resident weapons-smith.

#4 – The show isn’t a reboot. It starts where the series left off, just with a flare that is more adult yet can be watched by children. In the 1980s, comic book type shows and movies were considered silly by adults, and presented as silly for the kids with the idea that comic books are silly and should be presented as silly for the kids. Today, see the Marvel movies as an example of how it’s almost as if the studios think about the adults first and the kids second when it comes to comic book movies. This is a show with a plot that will appeal to adults yet kids can watch it. Whether or not today’s kids will enjoy it though, I have no idea. I’ll admit I wasn’t enough of a He-Man fan to keep up with it over the years and I had forgotten its main plot points, though the show quickly reminds who in the beginning who everyone is and what they do, what the world and the war is all about.

#5 – To the show’s credit, it is called Masters of the Universe: Revelation. In other words, it’s not called “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” as it was originally titled. This should suggest up front that a) there was a reason why they didn’t include He-Man in the title and revelation means something you didn’t expect is going to happen.

#6 – The show survives by plugging up past plotholes. Namely, Teela never knew that Prince Adam was He-Man and feels betrayed so many of her friends knew and never told her. King Randor never knew either. An ongoing plotline was Teela and the King thought Prince Adam was a wimp and if only he could be half as brave as He-Man. The King’s rage at being lied to leads to a big shakeup in the kingdom. Teela becomes so jaded that she dons a butch haircut and travels the world as a merc, giving a middle finger to honor and duty and just being in it for the money and herself.

#7 – The show pits magic against technology. With magic in short supply as a result of Skeletor’s chicanery, Eternians turn more to tech, which seems like a commentary on the modern age, i.e. people turn to religion for comfort yet are more reliant than ever on tech.

CON

#1 – MOTU without He-Man is like buying tickets to an Insane Clown Posse concert only to arrive and find that ICP took the day off and have been replaced by Flo from the Progressive commercials strumming a ukulele. It’s like turning on a new Batman movie only to discover Batman has decided to go to a spiritual healing retreat while Robin takes over for 2 hours. It’s like showing up to a Mets vs. Yankees game only to discover both teams have gout, and the only entertainment will be Mr. Met dancing the Macarena for 4 hours. It’s like showing up at the alter, ready to marry your beloved, only to pull back the fall and discover she has been replaced by a chimpanzee in a dress.

In short, when He-Man and Skeletor buy the farm so early in the show, you can almost hear the WOMP WOMP.

#2 – I’m not 100 percent sure this was the case here, but in today’s super woke world of ultra woke wokesterism, it’s hard not to believe that some suit at Netflix HQ didn’t decide that there was no way a show helmed by a character who is a super muscular stud-muffin blonde barbarian man who is so frigging straight and macho that he probably bangs hot chicks two at a time in between sword battles was going to fly unless he gets straight up ganked in the first episode and is replaced by a female character and said female character needs a butch makeover. I mean, for Christ’s sake, He-Man is so freaking macho and manly that his name is literally the combination of HE and MAN (which hey, by 1980s standards, the dude put his pronoun right in his name and in retrospect was hella woke) but no way such a macho sumbitch can be allowed to be in charge in this day and age. I’ll admit, that was my first reaction when I learned He-Man kicked the bucket early but then I admit once I started watching, I was intrigued.

#3 – I’m not sure what to think of K-Smith’s involvement. It feels like he was brought on board to give the series that OG Comic fan street cred. As of late, he’s been ranting online about how the fans are being jerks yet a comic guru like himself should realize you can’t just waste He-Man without there being some blowback.

#4 – Eighties kids have been through this already. Corporate suits loved to straight up murder characters we loved all the time, often just to sell toys. The Transformers movie ganked both Optimus Prime and Megatron and their top cronies, all for them to replaced with all new characters, which little kids of the day openly realized was just a cheap marketing trick (though we demanded our parents buy us those toys anyway.)

The Transformers move was so poorly received that Optimus had to be revived in the show and the GI Joe movie had to scrap storyline where Duke dies and it ultimately went to release straight to video. In short, we didn’t like it when our TV show cartoon pals died as kids and we don’t like it as adults either.

BOTTOMLINE – Whenever I want to criticize a show or a movie, I take stock and admit that hey, at least they made something, which is more than I did. I’m a frigging adult, so it’s not like I’m crying over the demise of He-Man. Though he is the main draw, I did binge the show because I found the storyline interesting and wanted to see where it went, so perhaps ultimately Smith and Netflix found a way to get the show a lot of free press and to draw viewers in. Would a show where He-Man wields his sword and kicked ass while Skeletor mocks his loin cloth been just more of the same? I don’t know.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy, though I’m not sure where the show goes from here. A MOTU show without He-Man and Skeletor probably can’t last forever and yet, if you bring them back with a magic wand wave, that sort of cheapens the idea that this show has adult level stakes. As much as I have enjoyed watching Teela’s storyline, I wonder if, in the long run, you do need the buff barbarian and the trash talking skeleton to go at it because really, who doesn’t want to see more of that?

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New Ghostbusters Trailer

Hey 3.5 Readers.

There’s a new Ghostbusters trailer out.  Eh, in some ways it looks like the original but then in other ways it looks like it branches out.

I’ll give it a try. What do you think?

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Sausage Party -NSFW Trailer

Hey 3.5 readers.

Have you seen the trailer for Sausage Party yet?

So here’s the setup.  Seth Rogen and James Franco (the comedy duo behind Pineapple Express and also that movie that almost led to a war with North Korea) have made a cartoon.

For the first thirty seconds of the trailer, you almost think it is another Pixar style cartoon.  What’s every Pixar movie about?  Talking toys.  Talking cars.  Talking bugs.  Talking planes.  Talking fish.  Always about something that doesn’t talk only now it is talking.

This one is about food.  Yes.  All this time you never knew that food products can talk.  They sit on the store shelves, waiting for you to pick them up with the hope that you’re going to do something great with them and….

…yup…the food products engage in all kinds of obscenity once they learn what people actually do with food.

Here’s the Sony Red Band Trailer.  If you don’t want to be offended you probably shouldn’t watch:

I’ve been hearing these guys talk about this project on different talk shows for awhile now.

It sounds like a funny concept to me but I’m a male with a warped sense of humor so I’m basically their target demographic.

I give them credit for actually getting the studio to put up the money needed for Pixar quality rendering…or for getting a studio for doing something completely outside of the box for that matter.

PREDICTIONS:

  1.  People will be divided on whether it is hysterical or garbage.  There will be very little in between.
  2. There will be adults who would have thought it was funny but won’t go because they’ll think it is a kids’ movie based on a quick look at the poster.
  3. Also based only on a quick look at the poster, there will be many clueless parents who will be like, “Hey this looks like a good movie to take the kids to!” only to be horrified.

Anyway, I will have to check this out and write a review for my 3.5 readers when it comes out.

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New Ghostbusters Movie Preview

It’s finally here, the preview for the new all-female Ghostbusters movie:

My main observation is it looks and feels like the original.

They’re not quite like the original team but:

A)  You’ve got the lovable, almost childish nerd Ray (Dan Akroyd) vs. Abby (Melissa McCarthy)

B)  The glasses wearing ultra smart nerd – Egon (Harold Ramis) vs. Jillian (Kate McKinnon)

C)  The leader – Venkman (Bill Murray) vs. Erin (Kristen Wiig)

D)  The black non-scientist who talks the scientists into keeping it real – Winston (Ernie Hudson) vs. Patty (Leslie Jones)

I’ll just throw it out there.  A Ghostbusters sequel has always been a very high hurdle to jump over because the first was so great.

It was such an original and funny idea – serious so you felt a sense of danger but hilarious that you kept laughing.

In this preview, you have what looks like a ghost in a library.  A giant monster in New York.  Tributes to the original.  But then again, the tough part about comedy movie sequels is that people ALWAYS expect a repeat of the original movie’s jokes.

I don’t know.  They’re not deviating from the original formula, that’s for sure.  But then if they went off the deep end into something too new people would criticize that too.

I want it to be good.  I hope it is good.  I can’t believe it’s been 30 years though.  Holy shit.

You know, I really don’t care that it is an all woman cast.  I know some people have complained about it.  I just want it to be good, funny and enjoyable.

I will say this – we’ve come a long way that there are so many female nerd moviegoers that an all female Ghostbusters cast would get the studio green light.  These nerd women were nowhere to be found when I was a young lad.

I’m also glad to see whatever idea they’re going with here does not wipe out the first two movies.  It exists in the same world and at least according to IMDB some of the original Ghostbusters will be making cameos.

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BQB on the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer (The Final Trailer)

Hey 3.5 readers.

Bookshelf Q. Battler here, still riding out the zombie apocalypse, but luckily I have Alien Jones’ space phone to stream stuff on, like the latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer:

My thoughts, in no particular order (and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong because many of these are predictions i.e. me just spitballing:

  1. So we have two new heroes, a young male and a young female lead.  The girl I believe is some kind of junk scavenger and I’m guessing the structure she is searching through is that big crashed Star Destroyer from the previous trailer.  I’m assuming it is, in fact, the Star Destroyer where Luke had his final battle with the Emperor in Return of the Jedi.  Could be wrong but I thought I read somewhere that the girl find’s Luke’s lightsaber or something.  (Again, I’m just throwing stuff out there, I really have no idea.)  Meanwhile, the male lead is a stormtrooper and apparently something happens that makes him renounce his stormtroopery ways.
  2. We see/hear the female lead ask Han if the stories are true and he explains that yes, they are.  Therefore, apparently much time has passed, the tales from the older films have become less real and more like legends to the people of the Star Wars universe, and assumably, Han, Luke, and Leia as old-timers will guide a new generation of heroes in taking on a new threat.
  3. That threat comes in the form of some bad masked dude who’s checking out Darth Vader’s crushed mask, pledging to finish what Vader started.  Didn’t he get the memo that Vader recanted his evil ways while he was dying and finally ended up being a nice ghost who chilled with Ghost Obi Wan and Ghost Yoda at the end of Return of the Jedi?
  4. We see Leia – she looks sad, she appears to be hugging Han.  I don’t know why she’s sad.  Presumably because evil deeds or transpiring, or maybe she missed Han.  Han said “Chewie, we’re home” in the other trailer, so assumably Han and Chewie went somewhere for a long time.  Here’s hoping there will be some joke where Leia calls Han a scruffy nerf herder or something.
  5. I’m sad to hear about all the “Boycott Star Wars” nonsense, i.e. claims that the movie is “anti-white” but on the other hand, if you check out the hashtag, it’s mostly people complaining that the hashtag was ever created.  Food for thought – I get people are mad and want to vent but sometimes where the Internet is concerned, ignoring a dumb idea makes it go away faster whereas talking about it helps it gain steam, which, yeah, why am I talking about it then?
  6. Ticket sales are breaking records as well as websites.  People buying pre-sale tickets for a movie that’s 2 months away.  I’ve never really cared about a movie before enough to buy tickets in advance but I might just for this one.
  7. So we see Han, and Leia, where’s Luke? We only see his hand in the first trailer.  I mean, Mark Hammil hasn’t had it easy when it comes to aging (but then again who does?)  He was in a car wreck when he was younger and he wasn’t the best looking dude starting out (Kids there was once a time when Hollywood allowed people who didn’t look completely like Gods and Goddesses to be the leads in films, I know, amazing!) so I wonder if that’s it – but he was in the The Kingsman earlier this year and he looked fine.  I hope they’re not going to do some Hollywood thing and cover him up with a cloak or something for half the film.   I dunno.  That’s all pure speculation.

OK.  My two cents over.  Again, don’t quote me because I’m just talking out of my butt.  I look forward to seeing this movie.  What do you nerds think?

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News Out of Comic Con 7/11/15

What I’ve picked up so far through the Twitterverse…

  • New Star Wars Villains = Kylo Ren, General Hux, Captain Phasma

For more see this IGN article.

  • J Law bid a fond farewell to her Katniss character from the Hunger Games.

Fear the Walking Dead (companion series to AMC’s The Walking Dead) was released.  See it below:

According to the trailer, we learn a bit more about the zombie outbreak, namely that it is caused by some kind of virus.

You may recognize the mother of the family as Kim Dickens aka Detective Rhonda Boney from Gone Girl.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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Star Wars – The Force Awakens Trailer – 2

Nerds are foaming at the mouth:

EXPERT ANALYSIS BY BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER, THE NERDIEST OF THEM ALL

  • For the first time in over thirty years, Luke Skywalker and co are back on the big screen.
  • It is said that Leia has the force, which was never displayed in the films (though it makes sense)
  • Han and Chewie are back.  Han looks as good as a man in his 70s can.  Chewie has either found the fountain of youth or he dyes his fur.
  • Don’t those droids ever get updated with newer models?  I feel like I have to upgrade my phone every five minutes.
  • Harrison Ford – for the love of God, can you please stay away from the WWII planes?  Yes, we love you.  We’re glad you survived the crash.  But come on man, if you crash an antique plane (yeah yeah besides the obvious tragedy) do you realize what a bummer that would put on this awesome movie?  STAY AWAY FROM THE WWII PLANES!
  • Enormous crashed Star Destroyer!
  • Luke’s robot hand on R2D2’s head!
  • Darth Vader’s crushed helmet!
  • X-Wings!
  • Tie Fighters!

It looks great!  This Christmas…celebrate the birth of Christ and…yeah yeah yeah bring on STAR WARS!

Meanwhile, the first six films are available on digital download for the first time in forever.  Have you downloaded any of them yet?  Which one is your favorite?

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