Wing Chun Movies

Descendants of Wing Chun

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I actually couldn’t remember seeing this movie even though I knew I had and had made note of it in my journal. But it’s a fairly forgettable film that doesn’t really stand out when one watches lots of Kung fu films. The thing with the ‘Descendants of Wing Chun’ is that it’s fairly “form style” Kung Fu, which is all fine as I like that kind of movie too but when you think about movies such as ‘Ip Man’ & ‘The Grandmaster’ you can see the minimalist side of Wing Chun in them, not big wide forms that something like Shaolin Kung Fu has. So whilst there is Wing Chun in this movie it’s not recognizably Wing Chun and makes the form look somewhat generic in an already formulaic Kung Fu film. (1978)

Warriors Two

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Personally I didn’t enjoy this as much as ‘The Prodigal Son’ even though both films feature Wing Chun and are directed by Sammo Hung. It’s a little bit more of a physical comedy but if you love Kung fu training scenes then this will be a treat. It’s highly ranked among kung fu film fans but I felt it was something of a let down after everything I’ve seen. (1978)

Incredible Kung Fu Master 肥龍功夫精 aka The Kung Fu Master aka They Call Me Phat Dragon (UK title)

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Wow. What an unexpectedly good movie. Sometimes watching so many Kung Fu movies can almost feel like a chore and a lot of films can seem overtly bland with the only promising point being some of the fight scenes. But this is great, funny, entertaining, each character has something to do and a lot of the action and fights are inventive. No doubt this has something to do with Sammo Hung. There are some nuggets of Kung Fu wisdom too sprinkled throughout.
I would compare it to something from the era of the ‘Drunken Master’ and just as entertaining. While the Wing Chun martial art is not the focus of this movie it does play a part in the story.

The running time is about 90 minutes but I dare say there might be some cutting involved here and a slightly longer version exists out there somewhere with further plot developments. In any case this a solid movie well worth your time.

Interestingly, Joe Cheung Tung Cho who directed and wrote this also directed and wrote the far less entertaining ‘Kung Fu Wing Chun’. (1979)

The Prodigal Son

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The story is of a young man who is convinced he is a great Martial Artist but in truth it is only because his father pays off fighters to lose against his son. One night while he tries to defend his friends against a Wing Chun practitioner he gets his ass kicked and realizes he isn’t the man he thought he was. He asks the man who defeated him to teach him Wing Chun and later both men have to take on deadly Manchu assassins.

The Wing Chun in this film is a little more operatic and quite different to modern Wing Chun films but it does introduce the style in a funny manner as Sammo Hung’s character Wong Wah-bo teaches his daughter Wing Chun and we learn where things like the Wing Chun stance come from. It’s placed no. 54 on Time Out’s list of Top 100 Hong Kong films and one of the top 100 “films to see” by the Hong Kong film archive. (1981)

Stranger from Shaolin AKA A Fight Between Flying Tigers AKA Wing Chun Warriors AKA The Formidable Lady From Shaolin  AKA  Fist Of Flying Tiger
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This is a weird one. It feels like two films chopped into one. The first part of the film has a young girl going into hiding at the Shaolin temple after her family is killed by Manchus. Since the temple is only for men she pretends to be a man, although this disguise doesn’t go over so well at the temple as she leaves half the men there confused about their sexuality. The girl starts to secretly learn Kung Fu slowly as she prepares herself to avenge her family.

The second part of the film has her going off on her own and meets a female master who teaches her Wing Chun. This part of the movie seems to ignore the first part.

The final fight is most confusing of all as it actually seems to change seasons in the same scene. Now call me cynical but I don’t think this was for artistic purposes that later went on to inspire ‘House of Daggers’. It basically looks like the film makers stopped one day and came back another day after is snowed. Worse still, one of the three heroic characters suddenly disappears midway through the fight only to appear at the very end as the heroes walk off and the credits roll. I’m guessing the character gets killed and the final shot of him is taken from an earlier scene in the film. Whatever.
I can’t really recommend this film. Sure some scenes like the training are interesting and we do see Wing Chun, but it’s a bit of a mess. This is not actually a Hong Kong movie. It’s a Korean martial arts film. (1981)

Wing Chun

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Staring Michelle Yeoh, has no Wing Chun in it at all. This is more about the Character Wing Chun but as a real Wing Chun movie you’ll be wasting your time. It’s more for fans of Street Fighter or people who enjoy their Kung Fu movies with heavy doses of wire work in fight scenes. It’s directed and choreographed by Yuen Woo-ping and is somewhat entertaining if you have an afternoon to burn. Fairly silly. (1994)

Ip Man

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This Ip Man and it’s Sequel Ip Man 2 both got the jump on Wong Kar Wai’s long awaited ‘Grandmaster’ and kicked off the interest in the character of Ip Man, Bruce Lee’s Wing Chun Teacher. Released back in 2008 the film revolves around Ip Man and his time in Foshan and mainly focuses on the Japanese invasion of 1937 which greatly affects him and his family. Ip Man finds himself taking on Japanese soldiers in matches in order to win food and trains people around him to defend themselves better against the japanese army.

The first Ip Man film is an entertaining Martial Arts action movie that turns the man into an action hero for modern audiences. It is something of a flag waving piece of film making and there are some clear historical inaccuracies which can be overlooked due to the nature of the film. (2008)

Ip Man 2

Ip Man 2 has the character return for more heroics this time in Hong Kong.
While Ip Man tries to open his own Wing Chun school he is challenged by local martial artists and faces hardships under corrupt Hong Kong police officers. His biggest challenge is from an over the top, pantomime like British Boxer that brutally beats up chinese opponents in the boxing Ring.

Well…. While the first part of ‘Ip Man 2’ has an original story the second part is basically ‘Rocky IV’ right down to the “if we can change, then you can change” speech at the end.

Ip Man 2 is an entertaining action film but again the patriotic overload and flag waving against western oppression is something that seems to be bordering on propaganda. It is intent on smashing viewers over the head with the message that foreigners are bad when they give us characters so ridiculous as the British Boxer. (2010)

The Legend Is Born: Ip Man

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This film is something a bit more fun even though it continues to milk the cash cow.
It doesn’t match Donnie Yen’s Ip Man films when it comes to action and depends on wire work in some places giving it a slightly more unreal feel. It does have some cool moments like when the young Ip Man takes on Ip Chun (Ip Man’s real life son) and gets the crap beaten out of him.
Ultimately it’s a forgettable film but does try to keep the action at level that does not bore. (2010)

Kung Fu Wing Chun

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Very run of the mill. Tonally all over the place, part romantic comedy, part bloody action towards the end, the two aren’t fused well together but rather divided into beginning,  middle and end. The final scenes are taken right out of the end of Donnie Yen’s ‘Ip Man’; replace little Bruce Lee with little Ip and you got it. The Kung Fu action itself looks overly choreographed in some sections. You don’t really feel the characters are fighting or hurting each other all that much. As for the training scenes it tries to impart the philosophy of Wing Chun but doesn’t demonstrate the philosophy in effect as other, smarter Kung Fu movies have.
Worth a miss. (2010)

The Grandmaster

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The quintessential Wing Chun movie based on years of research and training among the actors. It is in my opinion the best of the bunch.

Full review here

Ip Man: The Final Fight

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First let me say that Anthony Wong is the MAN. Any film with Anthony Wong is a must watch for me like any Michael Caine film is a must watch for me. Good or bad I want to see it!
When I read that Wong was going to be playing Ip Man I was pretty surprised but well excited about the news. Apparently Wong agreed to do this film while he was drunk and had no prior experience in Wing Chun before this. This time Ip Man has to deal with Triad gangs and basically that’s it. There is not much else going on in the film.

Anthony Wong plays Ip Man as mild mannered, wise and….old. I like his portrayal. He does have the air of a Kung Fu Master in his later years compared to the more youthful Donnie Yen and Tony Leung.
Eric Tsang is in this movie too playing a Martial arts master and he and Wong both get into a creative fight that does more to explain Ip Man’s philosophy than most of Donnie Yen’s films. Here Ip Man isn’t an action hero but a man out to do the right thing.

Unfortunately the end of the film has a scene that shows Bruce Lee in a bit of a negative light, basically as someone who is concerned more with fame and publicity than the true meaning of martial arts. I find this scene somewhat ironic given that there have been six Ip Man films in less than 8 years at the time of writing this and ‘Ip Man: The Final Fight’ is a film that didn’t really need to be made. (2013)

Ip Man 3

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Bruce Lee is in this. He appears at the beginning of the movie and beats the sh*t out of a cigarette (no i’m not ****in kidding) he pops up briefly one more time in the movie but beyond that it’s all we get.
After seeing him show up at the end of Ip Man 1 & 2 as a boy looking for lessons we finally see him return as a young man to seek training from Ip man. Instead of delivering on a long awaited promise of it’s predecessors ‘Ip Man 3’ is rather Bruce Less than Bruce Lee. Maybe this has something to do with Bruce Lee’s estate refusing to allow his image be used as a CGI enhancement on Kwok-Kwan Chan’s face (although Johnny Walker Commercials seem perfectly fine……)

The rest of Ip Man 3 is effortlessly bland in all respects. Even having Mike Tyson show up to take on Ip Man doesn’t save the film for the fight scene is simply a demonstration of western boxing and chinese boxing against each other. We don’t actually see a remotely realistic fight. While it is interesting it could have been so much more.

So hurray, no more Ip Man films but wait there might be a 4th one on the way. Will Lassie show up in the next one? Will Bruce Lee finally be trained by Ip Man? I really don’t care.

This is just my opinion but it seems to be that the Ip Man boom of recent years is pushing the Bruce Lee legend aside and embracing the Ip Man one. Bruce Lee is being pockmarked as the man who left the east to embrace the west while Ip Man stayed in his native land to fight injustice. I could be wrong but I just get feeling that Ip man is shown as one of Hong Kong’s and China’s own whilst Bruce Lee isn’t really the big deal he was once made out to be. The media always has a large role to play in these things with the backing of the power behind it. Regardless, you can’t argue that these films would have ever got made if it wasn’t for Bruce Lee to begin with. (2015)

The Final Master aka The Master

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Having this movie Directed by the man who co-wrote ‘The Grandmaster’ did raise my expectations for this movie but unfortunately it falls pretty flat. It starts promising with a simple premise of a Wing chun practitioner’s desire to open his own school by defeating the other 8 schools in the city of Tian Jian. Unfortunately this simple plot gets muddled by Kung Fu politics, long dolling scenes of long winded dialogue that does little to move the plot along and characters that show no growth.

As for the fighting style it focuses heavily on the Wing Chun sword form and hardly any fist form which helps the film differentiate itself from other wing chun movies but I kept hoping for a bit of fist action from the film.

‘The Final Master’ is clearly trying to stand out on it’s own and it is somewhere on the verge of that. It might have been the next Crouching Tiger, a film that grabbed the attention of foreign audiences  but unfortunately it gets bogged down in talk. Haofeng Xu is obviously a director to keep an eye on but I hope future films of his are allowed to breath without the waffle. (2015)

 

Favorite Wing Chun Movie Quote:Some people like chicken, others like fish, others prefer vegetable and bean curd. I like it all as long as it’s edible, I can eat anything, I don’t care, that’s why i’m so fat.” – Fei Chai

 

If you liked this post check out these other blog posts

Flying Guillotine Movies

One-Armed Swordsman Movies

Zatoichi Movies

Pai Mei Movies

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Ghostbusters (2016)

xvUdBJks5ju6PF7MCH7Jck-650-80Ghostbusters 2016 is a disappointing remake/re-imagining/reboot of the 1984 film and the franchise that was built on the success of the original. Unfortunately the film isn’t different enough to be a spectacular failure nor is it close enough to the original to be a lame remake. Instead it falls into an area of blandness that neither soars nor falls.

I didn’t hate it. I did laugh during parts of it and my general impression upon leaving the theater was that it wasn’t bad but nowhere near where it needs to be with all the baggage that comes with kick starting a franchise again. Ultimately it’s frustrating to think that after 30 plus years this is the best they can come up with. The film starts and finishes strongly but everything in between seems to be coasting. There’s little in terms of script and leaves the heavy carrying to the improvisation of the cast. Unfortunately it’s not humor that I find funny. It’s not the gross out type of humor I was expecting from the trailer, thankfully that goes about as far as vagina farts, but it is just kind of senseless banter and play acting that any group of people might get up to on a Saturday night after work. It worked in the 1984 film because Bill Murray is a genius and was the only one who overtly let loose on the material while Ramis and Aykroyd played their rolls a little more tightly with the ab libs and Hudson played the straight man.

As for the cast of the 2016 movie I didn’t know any of these actresses besides Kristen Wig. I thought more well known female leads might have helped the movie a little more as Saturday Night live is not a show broadcast all over the world. Wig does a fairly good job of carrying the film, she is the heart of the Ghostbusters in this film but unfortunately her role gets pushed to the side a little by the antics of the rest of the cast.
Melissa McCarthy is fairly good in this and plays well against Wig, I would have liked to have seen more of their relationship. I thought they could be the Ray and Peter of the film.
Kate McKinnon, i’m sorry to say just didn’t work. The most interesting character visually with callbacks to Egon from the Real Ghostbusters series, I had higher hopes for this character but all she does here is act goofy, not funny. It embarrassing in the way Tommy Lee Jones was embarrassing in Batman Forever. I just kept thinking what the hell is she doing? She’s the annoying kid in school who won’t leave you alone after you said “hello” to them.
Leslie Jones was excellent. The funniest of the group, the one who sold the movie. Even in the second trailer I was laughing at her scenes. Chris Hemsworth is excellent although does play it a bit too dumb to be believable at times.

The main villain Rowan has been criticized as a weak villain but I didn’t think so. Since this film is introducing us to a new cast and origin story it doesn’t need a villain that could be scene stealing. I found him one dimensional but I thought it interesting that he is a human villain bringing ghosts into the world instead of a usual Ghost baddie. He does become a ghost baddie in the end and it’s kind of cool to see.

As for the art and design of the film I thought the effects are just ok. I expected better for the budget it had. The ghosts look good but they have that damn neon blue look to them that is way too prevalent in the world and movie visuals.
The design of Ecto-1 is a very nice update to the series. The proton packs are not bad though a little clunky and now they’re all actiony used as whips and ropes. The proton puncher? thingy is a bit stupid. I think just keep it simple, proton packs and traps and leave the proton punchers to Kenner toys.

When this film was first announced I thought it sounded lame because it was based on the premise that changing the genders of the cast would somehow make it funnier. Instead of developing a strong story with strong female leads the director of Ghostbusters 2016 seems to have just tried to capitalize on the popularity of a brand and “wing it”. It’s a shame because I was really hoping Ghostbusters would launch a new era in Ghostbusting films.

Favorite Quote: “my pants are toast“- Ed Junior

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X-Men Apocalypse

I don’t quite get the lassitude this film has received from fans and critics. The general consensus seems to be that it’s a good movie but has little heart with vast amounts of meaningless destruction on a grand scale. This attitude may have begun when the first images of Apocalypse appeared on the web which reminded a lot of people of Ivan Oooze from the first power rangers movie. The trailer did little to raise the excitement in fans too. I guess after blowing the wade with Days of Future Past it’s difficult to one up.

Before I get into mu review I have to say I was less than impressed with the look of Apocalypse. This is Apocalypse, he should be bigger, more alien like, more threatening, I thought he should have been a CGI creation like Ultron or that Thanos guy in order to fully realize the character.
I was also less than impressed and unexcited by the trailer.
The movie however is great. I enjoyed the heck out of it and found it funny in places. I should put more faith in Singer and his X-Men movies. I can see now where he was going with Apocalypse. He wanted to make a character of him rather than just have him as a villain. While he doesn’t exactly succeed and find the right balance between apocalypse’s motivation and pure evilness he does create a character that can challenge the X-Men on a human level as well as a superhuman one.

As for the level of destruction, I can kind of get it. This is Apocalypse after all. The Thanos/Darkside of the X-Men universe. The most powerful and dangerous mutant ever. Why not destroy a city or two in this movie to convey that? Considering we have starships flying into cities, radioactive lizards using them as playgrounds and Superman not giving a crap either way why should this be even seen as a fault of the film? It’s almost a given these days to raise the bar to insane destruction to entertain.

Unlike the other X-Men films though this doesn’t have a clear message. It’s not discussing diversity or racism under the veil of mutants. Instead we get scenes and imagery depicting the horrors humanity is capable of. The main focus (in between the action) is on the characters and their personal journeys. At this point though i’m getting pretty tired of Raven’s journey, the character has kind of bottomed out and bounces back and forth between wanting to help and wanting to show her true blue self. I expect any future film with Raven will explore the same journey again, leaving the x-men and coming back into the fold to save the day as a team.

Again the highlight of the film is Quicksilver. Loved it. Was hilarious.
The whole movie is worth your hard earned cash and worth a watch on the big screen if you can catch it there. It’s not bad, it is enjoyable, you won’t leave the theater feeling annoyed or shaking your head. These movies, with the exception of ‘The Last Stand’ have always left me with a smile on my face as I walked out of the theater. There are a lot more stories to be told with these characters.

When the hell is Bryan Singer going to direct a Star Trek movie? I think X-Men being morally similar to Star Trek shows what he could bring to a Star Trek film or show.

Favorite Quote: “I feel a great swell of pity for the poor soul that comes to my school looking for trouble.”  Charles Xavier

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

HarryPotterBookPA_468x678It’s not the best in the series and for the first time I actually felt this book was a step backwards. After blowing the wad of mysteries in the previous book Rowling seemed to have trouble tying everything up and concluding things in this final book. The frustration seems to be reflected in the characters themselves whom also spend a large portion of the book hanging around in their tent not knowing what the frick to do

How Rowling writes herself out of these situations is also less than impressive, bordering on the author claiming the power of deus ex machina and dropping her characters in large pots of luck and fortune such as happening to overhear a conversation from fellow wizards and goblins outside their tent despite the fact that they regularly moved around the country and tried to find quiet hiding places, yet they are stumbled upon unknowingly by characters who let drop key pieces of information.

This kind of logic is again used when Harry hears noise outside the tent, goes to explore and finds sword of gryffindor(the precise item he needs to destroy a horcrux) lying under ice in the forest. While the latter of these is explained towards the end there is still a feeling that these kind of instances are unimaginative ways of writing one out of a tight corner. One might hope for something a little more after the brilliance of ideas that JK Rowling has demonstrated in the past.

Anyway once these plot points are brushed over things finally get moving and it does become the satisfying conclusion you want it to be as it becomes a race against Voldemort to get the last Horcruxes.

Poor Dumbledore gets dragged through the mud in this book and again it’s the same theme as the other books where Harry thinks Dumbledore has betrayed him in some way, kept him in the dark until Dumbledore himself explains everything to him and it’s like “why did I make a big deal of that in my mind to begin with?” kind of thing for Harry. Here though it does seem like Dumbledore is an imperfect person for the first time, as adults we rarely understand what’s going on in kids minds and as kids we don’t understand adults until we get closer to been an adult ourselves. Dumbledore pretty much admits all his faults and reminds harry that “shit happens and we sometimes screw up” even if you’re a great Wizard.

As for the mysteries behind Harry’s powers, survival and magic there is a ton of exposition towards the end in the chapter King’s Cross Station. So much so that it boggles the mind and the actual truth is far more complex and difficult to discern than it really needed to be.

So after 6 years of reading these books I’m ahead of schedule on how I planned to read them which was one per year. I don’t regret picking them up and it has been fun to see what all the fuss was about after being something of a massive skeptic as to how good books about a boy wizard could be. While they aren’t the greatest thing since slice bread they are very entertaining and represent a large chunk of the reading culture  of today. I think I still prefer the ‘Lord of the Rings’ to this in terms of fantasy fiction. There were times where I just wanted the story to move a bit faster.

The only bad thing about reading the Harry Potter books is that they’ll ruin the movies for you. You’ll never look at the movies in the same way again. To me it feels like the movies are just on fast forward now and I’m left unsatisfied and wondering why they didn’t try to be more different and do there own thing. As for comparisons to the Deathly Hallows book I remember that it was with those Deathly Hallow movies that made me decide to jump into the books. There’s a lot of stuff that I was confused about with the movies, where did the mirror come from, what was the deal with the wand at the end, the Horcruxes. Well the books explain it all and now I’m on the other side of the door wondering what the big deal is and all these things are simple to understand. Dumbledore’s past is completely ignored in the movie though which is also another reason why I wanted to read the books. His relationship with  Grindelwald, a dark wizard who was as deadly as Voldemort and the events surrounding Dumbledore’s sister. There could be a whole other book series if these characters were explored more.

While I don’t want to compare a book to it’s movie I do get the feeling the film makers oneuped Rowling this time by working around the holes she wrote herself into and seeing the end game as a destination rather than a journey. Being a 2 parter film it makes for more digestible viewing yet can still seem somewhat confusing to those who aren’t au fait with the books.

So that’s that book series done. But as I write this a new book of the Play ‘Harry Potter and The Cursed Child’ has come out and ‘Fantastic Beasts’ will be in cinema’s later in the year. It seems my journey in the wizarding world continues.

How I’d rank the books.

The Order of the Phoenix

The Philosophers Stone

The Half-Blood Prince

The Deathly Hallows

The Goblet of Fire

The Prisoner of Azkaban

The Chamber of Secrets

Favorite Quote:That which Voldemort does not value, he takes no trouble to comprehend. Of house-elves and children’s tales, of love, loyalty, and innocence, Voldemort knows and understands nothing. Nothing. That they all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth he has never grasped. ”  Dumbledore

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10 years

So it’s 10 years since I started writing this blog which started at the film journal blog ran by digitalfix before I moved it here to wordpress about 3 years ago.  Here are some highlights and lows of the past 10 years.

The Batman Motion Picture Anthology 1989-1997

I like Batman.

Star Trek The Beginning

A script review of the unmade Star Trek film ‘Beginnings’ which was fun to write.

I Come With The Rain

This blog post got a ton of hits, particularly due to Josh Hartnett fans stumbling upon it. Thanks guys. Perhaps the most popular review I ever wrote.

Bullet In The Head

One of my all time favorite Hong Kong movies.

Top Science Fiction Movies

My favorite Sci-fi movies

To Live and Die in L.A.

You didn’t watch this yet?

Star Wars Saga Marathon Episode I-VI

With the new Trilogy in the making I’ll have to sit down again in future and watch all 9. Until then here is my one day sitting of the first 6.

A Trip To The Moon

Beautiful dreams.

Taxi Driver

Thor’s hammer couldn’t touch this.

Ring

The rise and

Sadako 3D 2

…fall of the Ring franchise

Great Martial Arts films

Flying Guillotine Movies

Zatoichi

The Grandmaster

 

Star Trek Into Darkness

Well I really liked it…..

Get Carter the Book
‘Get Carter’ the film

The book and movies

Flight

hungover days

Frankenstein

A monster I feel for.

Top Science fiction series

 

Thanks to anyone who read and suffered through some of the reviews I wrote. It’s mainly a blog to record my own opinions on film and remind myself what my impressions were.

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Ghostbusters: Get Real

Ghostbusters_Joe_QwebUnlike Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters I found this to be a far more satisfying comic to read. Things seem to gel together better between The Real Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters then they did with the turtles. The art is beautiful and the characters of the Real Ghostbusters are right out of the Cartoon. Please give us a continuing comic of these RGB characters. I loved it!

After reading this i’m a little more inclined to check out IDWs other Ghostbuster comics although it still seems to me that these Ghostbusters spend too much time at the firehouse talking things out rather than doing. As for fans of The Real Ghostbusters I would think this comic is a must read as it fits snugly into the continuity of the animated series although you don’t need to have watched the animated series nor read the IDW comics to enjoy this.

After reading Get Real I decided to catch up on some episodes of the animated series. You’ll see why yourselves. The Ghostbusters with the interesting hair are definitely a stable of nostalgia and fun.

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Enterprise: The First Adventure

Now, the untold story – Captain Kirk’s First Mission!

latestCompared to Star Trek Academy Collision Course and the 2009 film I felt this is a fairly satisfying first meeting between these classic characters. I say that a Star Trek fan who likes his continuity in large doses. I think the characters and their interactions in this book are what we expect and want from them. They are familiar, at times a bit too familiar with each other. Kirk and Spock’s relationship could have been a little rougher, their conflict remains fairly close to what we see from the first season of the original series onward. However, lesser known characters such as Janice Rand definitely benefit more with this type of novel due to their backgrounds been open for exploration.

The Sci-fi concepts in the book are interesting. I like the idea of the world ship and the power of it’s inhabitants that the crew of the Enterprise cannot yet fully comprehend.
The mixture of fun, adventure and danger are a little off balance. While on the one hand you have characters dealing with a first contact situation with a powerful and advanced species, on the other there are moments of minor squabbles among crew and circus performers during this first contact and then there is  large emphasis placed on if an Equiraptor (a horse with wings) will have enough room to fly around. Then you have the Klingons thrown into the mix and a situation that might lead to an interstellar war with them. The book suffers from not being able to focus on any of these situations. The strongest impression I was left with after reading was of the horse. I like horses but frankly that’s not the story i’m interested in here when I pick up a book about the Enterprise’s first Adventure.

My only other nitpicks are that the story doesn’t really go anywhere. It’s an exploration of the characters and where they’re all coming from in this part of their lives. Unlike the 2009 movie which brings the characters together through action and the looming threat in the distance ‘The First Adventure’ book develops and fills in the backgrounds of things only hinted at in the series and movies. That’s all fine and it does make for a must read but it would have been nice to see them a little bit more challenged.

Favorite Quote: Vulcans claim they control all their emotions in order to eliminate anger and violence, as if anger were the hardest thing to conquer. But it’s ridiculously simple compared to grief, compared to love.

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