Meet our hero Galavant:

Look into my beautiful eyes. Did I mention I sing too?

Look into my beautiful eyes. Did I mention I sing too?

Suave, debonair, a hero to all in the medieval world he inhabits.

He also sings.
As does everyone else on this show, hilariously.

The show is basically your typical ‘hero goes and saves woman he loves from evil tyrannical king’ scenario that’s been done a million times before, and in a medieval setting no less, which has somehow been done even more times. The catch is that the show is self-aware. The characters are parodies of the stereotypes typical to the story. Galavant is, yes, a womanizing hero of yore, but he’s also aware of how ridiculous the entire story is. Referential jabs are made at the story at the viewer’s pleasure. The damsel in distress here, is neither a damsel nor in distress, as she is even more villainous than the effeminate tyrannical king (who’s not very good at being evil.) The show takes all these ‘norms’ the genre has and turns them on their head by somehow being pretty modern. While Galavant himself may be a bit of a bore sometimes, the show is strengthened by the presence of well-written side characters all with their own goals (or no goals and constantly complaining about it in a meta-narrative).

I have to say I was very skeptical coming into the show. I am, not a fan of musicals, unless they’re Broadway. TV musicals were always hyper-realized and over the top for me, but the use here is clever and the lyrics, in addition to the music is just spot on. You will laugh. You’ll also find yourself humming to some of these songs long after you’re finished watching them.

Clocking in at only 8 episodes for the first season (and the new season just started and is getting 10 episodes), it’s easy to recommend this show to anyone who’s even remotely a fan of the medieval sub genre.

Plus, you get to watch this with your family and not glance away awkwardly like you do when you’re watching Game of Thrones. Winter may be coming to the Galavant universe, but you can be sure they’ll be dancing and making fun of themselves until it does.

I can wear a crown, and totally not worry about getting poisoned or having my head chopped off.

I can wear a crown, and totally not worry about getting poisoned or having my head chopped off.

 

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Reviews

Problem With Marvel Movies

marvel

As a self-professed comic book dork,(I’d use the word geek, but I feel dork conveys an adequate amount of truth no other word can replace) I shouldn’t even be mentioning the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a negative light, let alone write an entire article discussing the flaws its already started showing and no doubt, will display further. However, I am also an honest man who feels you deserve to know the truth, one comic dork to a regular citizen of society. Here goes:

The problem with the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that it’s unsustainable.

Did you just call me unsustainable?

Did you just call me unsustainable?

Blasphemy, I know, but it’s also true. First, let me discuss what the Marvel Cinematic Universe is to those of you who’ve been sleeping under a rock (or to the DC fanboys that refuse to watch anything Marvel until Man of Steel vs Batman blows their minds away and newsflash, it won’t). The MCU is the shared universe that serves as the setting to all the Marvel movies post-Iron Man, the TV shows (both Agents of SHIELD and the excellent Netflix shows Daredevil and Jessica Jones, which you all need to see). The shared universe setting, at first, is amazing. Little references litter the movies and the shows and they reward a longstanding viewer. We’ve all stayed till after the credits of each movie, hoping to see a reference to either another movie, or a cameo appearance by another character. It’s great. It’s exciting. Viewers are finally understanding what grips comic book readers; the consequences at the end of each movie or show MATTER. You’re able to invest more in the characters because you know you’re going to see the aftermath and the result of whatever potential world-ending disaster they had to go through. Plus it’s fun, at first. People had marathons before watching the first Avengers, and those marathons got longer before the second Avengers movie, but then what? Let’s suppose the MCU lasts another 15 years for instance (which is entirely possible given the ridiculous amount of planning that goes into sustaining the universe, not to mention the massive amounts of cash each movie is bringing to the table). Are we expected to watch 20 films to get the full experience of Avengers 6? Sure, the rabid fan’s going to do that, but that’s because the rabid fan doesn’t do things like see the sun, mingle with human beings and such. By the time we get to Avengers 6, the continuity will be so well established and convoluted; it’ll be harder for the writers to make a single watchable experience that doesn’t require you to have watched 5 Captain America movies, 6 Thors and 3 Spider-Mans.

Who's Thanos? Raccoons with rockets? What madness is this?

Who’s Thanos? Raccoons with rockets? What madness is this?

It’s unsustainable and there’s nothing they can do about it. They can’t cop out and make the movies less referential to each other. That deprives the fans whom have been there from Day 1. They can’t disconnect the universe either because it’s already far too late for that. The comic books have a neat fix for this, but in no way can it apply to the movies. Basically, they reboot the entire universe in the comic books. A world-ending disaster happens resulting in the destruction of the old ‘multiverse’ and the birth of a new one, and the entire origins of characters are revised or edited somehow which eventually provides a jumping stone for new readers. The DC universe (Superman-Batman-Wonder Woman) is especially guilty of this, having rebooted their own universe multiple times over the last few years, but that just can’t translate as effectively onto the movie/TV medium.

You can tell that Marvel’s worried about it too. That’s why they’ve divided their movies into Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 so far. The plan, essentially, is that you only need to watch the movies of that phase together to understand the eventual Avengers movie that’ll eventually serve as the conclusion of that phase. It doesn’t work though, and even if it does, it’s a ploy that cheapens their own character development (that has been pretty terrific so far).

But Ahmed, you’ll say, I follow these things and the Internet clearly states that DVD sales of older movies shoot to the sky when the newer movie is a mere months away. Surely, that indicates, that people are willing to put the time and effort to waste away hours of their life watching fictional characters in intricate costumes battle it out for Infinity crystals!

To that I say, they’re gems, not crystals, and yes, but for how long?

Get your very own infinity gauntlet at DAMAS outlets now

Get your very own infinity gauntlet at DAMAS outlets now

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Mouse & Controller, Reviews

Ruining Your Life Has Never Been So Much Fun, Adam Ruins Everything Season 1; A quick review

How do I keep my hair standing like that you ask? Gel, lots and lots of gel.

We all have that friend who just loves spoiling movies for us. No matter how many times we scream and shout “SPOILERS”, his or her personal joy emanating from having ruined something for you is just too much to pass up. Enter “Adam Ruins Everything”; this show doesn’t ruin movies for you, but ruins everything you perceive about life in general, causing you to, yes, maybe scream expletives at the screen, but also come out of the episode having learnt something new and informative.

The premise of the show is simple. Adam Conover, who had previously worked at CollegeHumor.com as both a writer and an actor, invades the life of regular citizens informing them that everything they thought about a certain topic was in fact, horribly wrong. Through the course of the season he deals with and discusses things like charity, airport security, hygiene, nutrition and even the notion of death itself. In the first episode for instance, he breaks the spirit of a man trying to buy an engagement ring for his fiancée by telling him how it’s all one big scam dating back dozens of years ago. Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “Ahmed, I don’t want to hear someone argue facts all day long. I prefer living in eternal ignorance.”

Not true. After the first episode I guarantee you will be hooked. His approach to dealing with the situations are always funny, maybe not hilarious, but chuckle-worthy in the least. The show is ridiculously informative. As he says in his show, he likes to show his work, so throughout the episode, any studies or papers he might discuss pop up on the screen with links for further reading in case you want to be even more annoying.

There is an element of continuity to the show as well, as the characters Adam tends to annoy are recurring and some callbacks are made to previous episodes. This doesn’t make it necessary at all to watch them in order though, which in this day and age, is a blessing. It just adds to the element satisfying the inner geek in people that watch the show regularly.

Summarizing, Adam Ruins Everything is a great and informative show, educating the masses with humorous factual quips rather than dull and dreary information dumps on the viewer. It helps that Adam has great delivery and truly shines as that annoying friend you have that always makes you feel like a worthless human being. The only difference here is that Adam isn’t going to ruin the new Star Wars movie for you, which by the way, you all need to see, like now.

Go to Bahrain…Watch it…Now.

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Mouse & Controller, Reviews, TV Show Review

TV Show Review: Jessica Jones Season 1

Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

Yet again Marvel proves its deal with Netflix was a lucrative one as once again, this show (based on a comic) just blows it out of the water. Not only is it a great ‘superhero’ show that stays grounded in a harsh and gritty reality, already introduced to us back in Daredevil, but goes well and beyond what might be considered ‘acceptable’ for a superhero show.

Photo Credit: vulture.com

Photo Credit: vulture.com

The show takes place in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, after the events of the first Avengers movie, referred to cryptically as the Incident. Jessica Jones is a down on her luck super-powered private investigator. She’s brash, she’s offensive; she’s everything a hero isn’t. Gone are the notions of altruistic heroism of Captain America, or even the cocky but heartful mindset of Iron Man. Jessica lives each day with only the money in her pocket and enough ambition to survive the day. The antagonist of the show is someone from Jessica’s past who’s an emotionally and physically abusive psychopath with powers as well. I’m trying to stray from explaining too much because I really do feel that the less you know about this show; the more entertaining the plot will feel, complete with multiple twists and turns.

Photo Credit: hitfix.com

Photo Credit: hitfix.com

This is not a show for your kids. Serious themes of PTSD, depression, rape and abortion are brought up, pushing the boundaries and proving that ‘comic book movies and TV shows’ can be mature experiences. Krysten Ritter (you’ll either know her as the crazy girlfriend from Breaking Bad or the crazy socialite from Don’t Trust the B— in Apt 23) gives a terrific performance as conflicted Jessica Jones. The show’s villain, Killgrave, is portrayed effortlessly by David Tenant (of Doctor Who fame). I was skeptical at first, because David Tenant just doesn’t seem to have the chops for acting out a psychopath villain obsessed with the lead character. I was so wrong, so very wrong. David Tenant is absolutely phenomenal as the main villain and quite possibly the best villain the Marvel Cinematic Universe has yet to offer (the list includes Loki and the recently great portrayal of Kingpin in Daredevil. Yes. He’s that good). There are moments during the show, where despite his deplorable and vile actions, you’ll find yourself sympathizing with his character, which ultimately raises all sorts of questions on whether or not you’re a vile and deplorable person yourself.

Photo Credit: ign.com

Photo Credit: ign.com

With its atmospheric film noir presence, Jessica Jones gives an alternate look into the world of superheroes and shows us that just because you might have super strength and a good heart, that doesn’t always lead to the best possible intended consequence. My only gripe with the series would probably be that the show slows down a bit near the middle, but it’s not really a negative thing because they put in the effort of developing even the side characters well, to provide you with enough of an emotional pull to care about what happens to them. Not to mention that it pays off at the end with an incredibly tense climax near the end of the show.

Photo Credit: forums.marvelheroes.com

Photo Credit: forums.marvelheroes.com

In short, Jessica Jones, is one of the best shows to come out this season. The female-focused characters and the noir genre provide a fresh take on a genre that might have been pigeonholed as being silly and preposterous. I personally can’t wait for what Marvel and Netflix have next in store for us.

Photo Credit: blurrdy.com

Photo Credit: blurrdy.com

BINGE WATCH IT NOW. SERIOUSLY! WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?

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Anime Series Review, Mouse & Controller, Reviews

Anime Series Review: One Punch Man

1

Move Over Naruto, Get Out of Town Luffy; There’s a New Hero in Town and He Will Destroy You Both.

Ever since the dawn of Japanese animation (or anime), we’ve been rooting for heroes that have the dream of being the very best and the strongest there is. Captain Majid and his dream of reaching the World Cup with his crazy animal-centric shots, Naruto and his path to becoming Hokage and Luffy and his quest to becoming Pirate King. The examples are endless and there’s a reason for that. They all belong to a genre of anime known as shōnen anime, which is basically that exact same template over and over again. You grow with a hero through hundreds of slow-paced episodes, watching him battle stronger enemy after stronger enemy until he becomes the strongest there is (or until you die of old age because some of these shows last for years and years).

2

Enter One-Punch Man, a fresh and new take on the shōnen genre. The premise is simple; our ridiculous looking hero Saitama lives in a world where disaster after catastrophe are regular occurrences in the fictional urban metropolis named City Z (don’t worry, there are Cities A-Y, you know because it makes total sense). He saves the day from everyday disasters, enemies, aliens, and mole people, just about anything the creators throw at him, except there’s one catch.

From the first 2 minutes of the show, he’s already the strongest there is. All it literally takes is one measly punch to end any encounter. His power levels are absolutely off the charts. Now this may seem like a risky move; we need to be able to sympathize with the protagonist or feel like there’s a chance that they must lose, in order to enjoy watching the battle. The best battles in One Piece and Naruto came when you weren’t sure if the hero was going to win or not. That sensation of “How the hell is he going to win this?” needs to be felt, for us to root for our heroes.

3

Nope. Not one bit.

Saitama is a hilarious character you can’t help but love. His melancholy over being overpowered is especially funny, as his heart’s just not in it anymore. The show subverts your expectations by literally making it clear that nothing in the fictional world of One Punch Man can even come close to providing a challenge for our depressed overpowered hero.

The first episode clearly indicates this by even parodying some of the major enemies from Dragonball Z and recent popular show Attack on Titan. The show is a breath of fresh air to the genre; successfully revitalizing an ancient tried-but-true formula and giving us an entirely new look at what happens to heroes after they’ve achieved ridiculous strength levels. At 12 episodes only (Don’t fret! A second season is definitely going to be on its way), One Punch Man is an EASY recommendation for anyone who is a fan of the shōnen genre.

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