Tag Archives: community

Capsule Reviews: Television and Movies (Legend of Korra, Babalas, etc.) Animation | Anime | Live-Action | My Reviews 23 APR 2014

I don’t really feel like typing up reviews any more, and in truth, I haven’t been doing so for a while. However, I do like coming back every couple of years to see if my thoughts on a particular movie or television show has subsequently changed (like how I found Love Hina hilarious the first time I watched it and then atrocious the subsequent time I tried to rewatch it), hence this quick capsule reviews.

The Legend of Korra [Season 2] (2013)

The second season, Book Two: Spirits, is set six months after the events of the first season, with Korra learning that restless spirits called Dark Spirits have been terrorizing the south seas. Feeling that she can not learn to calm the Dark Spirits through Tenzin, Korra turns to her uncle Unalaq, the Northern Water Tribe chief, for guidance. However, as civil war among the Water Tribe branches erupts from the Northern Tribe’s forced occupancy, Korra learns that the exile of her father Tonraq was arranged by Unalaq who is using her to achieve his own agenda. Which now means that Korra and her comrades will have to unite once more in order to put a stop to whatever it is that Unalaq is putting in motion!

As with the first season, I absolutely loved this second helping of the Legend of Korra. Fantastic animation and backdrops complement an intricately woven story that carries the right amounts of drama, action and of course humour when necessary. It’s a great blend of elements that then combines well with a fantastic voice cast and soundtrack, making for a very polished, and very enjoyable animated television show.

avatar the legend of korra backdrop

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)

When time travel allows a past wrong to be righted for The Flash and his family, the ripples of the event prove disastrous as a fractured, alternate reality now exists where a Justice League never formed, and even Superman is nowhere to be found. Teaming with a grittier, more violent Dark Knight and Cyborg, Flash races to restore the continuity of his original timeline while this new world is ravaged by a fierce war between Wonder Woman’s Amazons and Aquaman’s Atlanteans.

Another hit addition to the DC Original Animated Movie stable, The Flashpoint Paradox is a slick and polished animated film with high production values, featuring a great story (loads of action, surprise character reveals, and plenty of drama), an excellent score and fantastic voice acting. I thoroughly enjoyed this animated outing and will definitely watch it again in the near future.

Community [Season 5] (2014)

Jeff Winger and most of the old study group find themselves back at Greendale, after failing to have made the cut in the real world following their graduation. Now on the committee to save Greendale from the various problems that always seem to land at its doorstep, the gang is at again as if they had never left… (though with one or two new faces thrown into the mix, mind you)

So the good news is that Dan Harmon is back. The bad news is that Community should probably not have returned after the third season. They continue to do the same thing over and over again, this time with a slightly tweaked cast, and to be honest, the humour is now very much stale. There is only so much that you can rely on meta-humor and pop culture references in order to make your show funny, and unfortunately this limit feels as very much as it has long since been reached. It’s a pity really to watch this show fizzle out just as much as it has. (Sigh, and to think I absolutely adored the first two seasons of it…)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine [Season 1] (2013)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a comedy television series set in New York, telling the story of a group of detectives in the Nine-Nine Precinct. With a new, by the book, Captain to please, these detectives should probably get themselves back into line – though to be fair, that’s not really how they do things in this particular precinct…

Definitely one of our favourite comedy television shows to sit down to at the moment, the acting team of Andy Samberg, Terry Crews, Andre Braugher, Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio and Chelsea Peretti do a fantastic job of bringing to life some very funny scripts, and with some clever writing and decent plotting to boot, it is no wonder that Chantelle and I can’t wait for the second season to come rolling in!

brooklyn nine-nine backdrop

Man of Steel (2013)

A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.

It is always a bad sign when you are forced to watch a movie over two sittings, and then fall asleep during both sessions. Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel is unfortunately a prime example of a comic book movie that just fails to have any real substance, in fact, making it par for the course when it comes to live action Superman films of recent years. Although the visuals and action sequences are stunning, the character development is non existent and thus one’s emotional attachment to the story is just not where it should be. It is a polished production to be sure, but I just didn’t like it, and the fact that they did a very un-Superman-like thing at the end did just enough for me to simply not have enjoyed the experience. Quite a pity really.

DC Super Villains Superman: Worlds At War! (2013)

This is a compilation disc pulling together episodes from Superman: The Animated Series (10 stories), plus 3 Superman-centric episodes of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. Everything is Darkseid and Apokolips based, meaning that naturally there is no surprise as to the flavour of the villain of the day for all the various stories.

Nevertheless, it is a good trip down memory lane if you haven’t seen any of the classic DC animated universe stuff for a long time, and pleasingly the quality of the story telling remains right up there. That said, chances of you not having seen this material before is pretty slim, and if by chance you haven’t in fact seen these before, then honestly you’d be better off purchasing the series DVD releases instead, because obviously they give more variety in the stories being told. Still, I did enjoy seeing these again…

Tiger & Bunny [Season 1] (2011)

In a futuristic city, people born with super abilities train to be Heroes, sponsored do-gooders that protect the city and fight crime for points, all in front of a cheering television audience. One of the older heroes, old fashioned, clumsy but with a will of steel, Wild Tiger is about to be assigned a brand new partner – the calculating and efficient Barnaby Brooks Jr. The thing is, Barnaby Brooks Jr. brings somewhat of a history with him – and its a mystery which both he and the old man will have to work together on in order to solve!

This is a difficult one. I’m a bit off anime these days, but I have to admit that overall I really did enjoy this show, despite its sometime over the top goofiness and silliness that at times threatened to derail the seriousness and drama of the story being told. The animation is a good blend of traditional and CG, and the action sequences are well choreographed, particularly the various fight scenes. However, the character models are sometimes a little too goofy for my liking. It’s an action ability-powered hero story at the heart of it all, and as such, delivers on the points that it is expected to, thus making for a watchable and relatively fun show at the end of the day. That said, I can’t ever see myself re-watching it any time in the near future…

tiger and bunny backdrop

Babalas (2013)

An events co-ordination company executive goes in search of the nostalgic Boet and Swaer from the old Castrol ads to lure them to a big gala event at Emperor’s Palace. What follows is a road trip of misadventure, fueled of course by copious amounts of alcohol – the good old fashioned South African way!

I hate to say it, but the trailer for this movie is what reeled me in – I definitely thought it could be funny and a bit of a trip down memory lane to see a movie revolving around old South African television adverts that used to air when I was growing up. Sadly, that was not the case, and this time around, the trailer is by far better than the movie itself. It’s not very funny, Jack Parow is really not an actor, and in short, I should probably just have picked up a Hollywood blockbuster instead. Still, I did rather enjoy the very cool South African soundtrack that accompanied this rather limp script…

Moving Pictures Update: Community | Fanie Fourie’s Lobola Live-Action | My Reviews 01 OCT 2013

In an incredible show of not wanting to do too much blog post writing, I’ve seen it fit to do a quick round up of some of the entertainment that’s managed to worm itself into my limited free time as of late.

Community (2009-2013)

Community is an American television comedy series created by Dan Harmon that premiered on September 17, 2009 on NBC. The series follows a group of students at a community college in the fictional locale of Greendale, Colorado. The series heavily uses meta-humor and pop culture references, often parodying film and television clichés and tropes.

Community is set at Greendale Community College, and opens with Jeff, a suspended lawyer, inviting a former political activist named Britta to a fictional Spanish study group in order to seduce her. However, Britta invites Abed, another member of the Spanish class, along to thwart Jeff’s plans, Abed in turn invites four more members of the Spanish class (Troy, Annie, Shirley and Pierce), and the study group becomes real. Despite their varying ages, backgrounds, and personalities, the group grows together, and everyone eventually develops a close relationship with each other. The group, as an entity, is fairly self-centered, only interacting in passing with other members of the student body, and even then mostly because of competitions, arguments, or feuds.

Now I’m not a particularly big television series watcher, but I was looking for something to replace The Big Bang Theory (TBBT) after finally having had my fill of it (as with anything, you can eventually have too much of a good thing which of course is a bad thing). As it turned out Community was the next pick and I have to say, I’m thrilled that I discovered this little gem, it being a genuinely amusing and often hilarious show – in other words making it a more than worthy replacement for TBBT.

The casting on this is perfect and the clever writing makes for some truly absurd, but truly loveable and funny sequences, thus easily making this one of my favourite comedy shows of the moment.

That said, while the first two seasons were awesome beyond compare, by the time Community rolls into it’s third season, a lot of the humour spark is gone, most of it falling into the been there, done that already arena, not to mention a style change that introduces heavier drama elements into the show, which although makes the series more meaningful in the stories being told, does distract somewhat from a lot of the silliness which made it so enjoyable in its early days.

Nevertheless, I have to say, I truly enjoyed this one, and definitely recommend it if you are looking for some pretty decent laughs!

community television series

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_(TV_series)

Fanie Fourie’s Lobola (2013)

A down on his luck, custom car build artist, Fanie Fourie (A proper Afrikaaner who is currently running his ‘car art gallery’ out of his Mom’s garage), also happens to be not so great on the love side of things. However, on a dare he manages to get Zulu girl Dinky Magubane to agree to attend his flamboyant brother’s wedding with him, the end result being a budding romance that crosses cultural lines despite the fact that some of those lines really don’t want to be crossed.

And then there is the whole problem of a pesky ex-boyfriend and a little tradition called ‘Lobola’…

Chantelle and I felt like picking up something lighthearted and South African, and pleasingly Fanie Fourie’s Lobola ticks all of those boxes. It’s a charming and fun romance that plays on all the usual cultural differences comedy tropes, but does so in a fresh and enjoyable way. Eduan van Jaarsveldt slips easily in his loveable role as poor old Fanie Fouries, while Zethu Dhlomo pulls off a very competent and radiant Dinky Magubane.

The film is slickly produced, is a great advertisement for South African filmmaking, and makes for a great date night movie if you are looking for some feel good, romantic entertainment.

(Oh, and never mind the hilarious custom build cars, Chris Chameleon is an absolute hoot in this uncharacteristically goofy role he finds himself playing in for a change!)

fanie fouries lobola movie

Related Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2181941/

What is a Hell Ban? General Nonsense 26 JUL 2011

Annoyingly, you always get people who just want to cause trouble and create unpleasantness in a community just for the fun of it. You know them, the guys in online games who run around and kill people on their own team, the people who constantly post inappropriate comments on a forum or news article – basically we’ve all encountered these miserable idiots at some or other point in our online adventures.

So how does a community manager get rid of them? Well the traditional method has always been the almighty ban hammer, which outright kicks a user account off a particular service. However, this is almost always a waste of time, as the banned user simply creates a new account and logs in via a different IP.

So how about a more subtle way of achieving this then?

One of the main methods of doing this is known as “hell banning”, basically creating a scenario whereby the affected user becomes invisible to the rest of the community, but most importantly, isn’t aware that he is now nothing more than a ghost in the system! He continues to make trouble, or rather thinks that he is continuing to stir, while the rest of us go on enjoying our experience none the wiser to his actions, because outside of him, no one else can see his interactions with the community!

Brilliant!

A complimentary method to the one mentioned above is sometimes referred to as a slow ban, basically downgrading the load time or connection speeds of the targeted bad user, thus giving them a negative perception that the service is running too slow to use, and which hopefully will then entice them to shuffle off and look for new pastures to haunt.

And there you have it, two new methods of getting rid of that pesky fly in your ointment. And as an aside, always remember the golden rule: don’t feed the trolls! :)