Gravity Falls Review: "Roadside Attraction" (Season 2, Episode 16)

Airdate: September 21st, 2015

Synopsis: The Mystery Shack gang (bar Wendy, plus Candy and Grenda) go on an RV trip to sabotage competing tourist traps. While on the trip, Dipper tries to get over Wendy by “honing his craft” on other girls. (And no, he doesn’t use the “mesmer-stare”, thankfully.) This does not bode well when Candy confesses that she’s developed a crush on the geek… and only gets worse when Stan gets kidnapped by a giant spider who led him on… that he tried to lead on.

Review (SPOILERS): Back in February, “Northwest Mansion Novella” aired. Given that there was something resembling ample notice regarding the controversy (i.e. the promo containing the two relatively close together), I was able to post an editorial regarding the somewhat controversial ship, and comment on the episode’s effectiveness as a launcher afterward. In the former, I made a comment regarding the fact that Candy and Dipper (or CanDip) had no traction, and didn’t seem to have chemistry… mainly because none of the writers really put the two together outside of quick gags.

Here, CanDip is set sail… in an episode that, in deep contrast to “Northwest Mansion Whozawhatzit”, is a deeply lighthearted episode… and far less consequential to the overall plot. In fact, I think it’s the episode most separable from canon since “Boss Mabel”. Continue reading

A Note on October Posts

While I don’t expect any major changes to the frequency of updates (yes, I am aware that I went almost two weeks without posting something), I should bring up now that, because I have a few papers to write over the next few weeks, don’t be surprise if my next update doesn’t come until the middle of October.

Next month, though, I fully intend to review “Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future”, get to “Bart the Mother” and “Treehouse of Horror IX”, and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Also, if I find the time, I might post reviews of “Together Breakfast” and “Frybo”.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Movie Review: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Will driving down Lombardi Street help? (Image from fanpop.com, via Google Images, made by Bob Peak.)

Premiere: November 26th, 1986

Synopsis: Coming off their refreshing, life-renewing trip to Vulcan, the Enterprise crew – uh, the Bounty crew – begin their long trip back to Earth, where they will face a court-martial, and risk a long jail sentence. Unfortunately, Earth is intercepted by a probe (yet again) that threatens the planet with disasters of biblical proportions. Interpreting the signals as whale sounds, the crew realize that the probe’s calling out for other whales… which, since the whales are dead, is kinda hard to do.

Therefore, using scientific mumbo-jumbo, they go around the sun and wind up in 1986 San Francisco. There, Spock and Kirk talk to Dr. Gillian Taylor (Catherine Hicks), a marine biologist at the Cetacean Institute in Marin County, to try the hell to gain access to two damn whales; Uhura and Chekov look for the nuclear wessels in Alameda, causing a bit of a mess-up with security; and Scotty, Bones, and Sulu try to create a tank, all the while messing with modern minds with their medicine and lack of keyboards.

Review: In short, this movie is TMP, as written by the creators of Captain Planet. If it was actually pretty good.

In long, this is often cited as a fan favorite, up there with Wrath of Khan, First Contact, and Trek 09 as the fan favorite. The Voyage Home was the most commercially successful Trek film, and many have argued that it was due to it’s more casual tone – that nobody really needed a deep knowledge of Trek history to get into it.

Does it still hold up, however?

Actually, it still does. Continue reading

Gravity Falls Review: "The Last Mabelcorn" (Season 2, Episode 15)

Warning: neither moment nor episode are as lighthearted as this picture makes them out to be.

Airdate: September 7th, 2015

Synopsis: Tortured by a nightmare of Bill Cipher, Ford asks that Mabel go and find a unicorn, so that he can use its locks to help build a force field. Alongside Wendy, Candy, and Grenda, Mabel actually manages to stumble across a unicorn village. The unicorn nearest the front gate declares that she will give her hair to the one “pure of heart”. Mabel doesn’t necessarily fit that, though. Cue emotional crisis!!!!

Meanwhile, Ford and Dipper use a machine to try and encrypt their minds, in an attempt to protect themselves from mindjacking via Bill. What happens is… weird, to say the very least.

Review (MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD – READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION)Always! I wanna be with you! And make believe with you! And live in harmony, harmony! Oh, yeah!

Uh, sorry about that. Curse you, Andy and Vince!

Anyway… unicorns. Those mystical magical horses are among the most used fictional animals in fantasy works. Their powers, their pointy horns, their hybrid of grace and power all contribute to the unicorn’s staying power in the fantasy canon. I believe that the unicorn itself gained it’s most recent spike in popularity with the use of Twilight Sparkle, one of the protagonists of the cult hit My Little Pony – Friendship is Magic. Many new “unicorns” have been used since then and have gained cult followings, such as recurring antagonist Pony Head from Star Vs. The Forces of Evil.

Naturally, Gravity Falls, being a part-fantasy show, needed to take it’s stab at it in one episode this season. And wow, was that a great episode. An awesome episode, in fact.

But how awesome was it? Continue reading

Another Brief Note About My Reviews

Just letting you know that I don’t think I’m going to be reviewing Steven Universe’s “Nightmare Hospital”, which airs tomorrow night. At least, not yet. I am trying to review the episodes in order, and I really think that reviewing the newest episode outright would just be a bit awkward.

I will watch it, however, and might make a note about the episode in an appropriate review, whether it be another SU review, a Gravity Falls review, etc.

Meanwhile, just a couple of notes about my other reviews:

  • Barring any last-minute changes, I think that the “Last Mabelcorn” review will go out tomorrow.
  • My review of Star Trek IV should be out by the end of the weekend.
  • I intend to review “Together Breakfast” sometime within the next week or two.
  • I might also get to “Bart the Mother”, thus allowing me more time to review “Treehouse of Horror IX” in October.

Steven Universe Review: "Cheeseburger Backpack" (Season 1A, Episode 3)

Now available in Vegetarian and Turkey styles.

Airdate: November 11th, 2013

Synopsis: The local mailman, Jamie, delivers Steven his package from “Wacky Sacks”. As the title of the episode suggests, it’s a backpack that’s shaped like a flippin’ cheeseburger. Good timing, too, since the Gems are about to go on a mission. You see, the Gems have to place a Moon Goddess Statue at the top of a Lunar Sea Spire soon, or else the whole thing will disintegrate. With Amethyst’s vote of confidence (under the pretense of “education”), the other Gems let Steven and his cheesy backpack come along with them.

Hilarity ensues.

Review (SPOILERS): We’re still in the early stages of Steven Universe, where characters hadn’t been too fleshed out yet, comedy was the centerpiece, and the animation was more likely to be off. This episode is a prime example of just how far this show’s quality shot up in a short time, yet from the other end.

That’s not to say it’s a bad episode – it’s just not one that seems like it has a whole lot going for it, at least in terms of “favorite episode” lists. However, it does have enough to make it a good third episode. Continue reading