Monday, February 29, 2016

Review: Avengers Assemble "The Arsenal"

Before I can talk about this episode in depth, it's only fair that I make a few things clear first.

Though certain parts of the internet make it sound like the Man of Action team began writing Avengers Assemble with absolutely no prior experience working with the Avengers, that's not exactly true. Man of Action worked on several episodes of the second season of the fan-favorite series Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Some of their episodes are generally considered to be okay, even pretty great. Others... not so much. Most notably, "Powerless!" The only episode of EMH that was never aired during the show's initial run.

And as I've mentioned many times before, Man of Action went on to give us Avengers Assemble. And while they didn't write every episode single-handedly, they have a writing credit on each and every episode of the first season.

When Season 2 rolled around, Man of Action got promoted to producers in what I can only imagine was an application of "the Dilbert Principle."

Essentially, the Dilbert Principle states that the competent employees are rarely promoted, because their actual skills are too valuable to lose. Meaning that the people who aren't as good at their job get promoted in order to remove them from the jobs where their lack of skills can actually do damage.

So while Man of Action still got to make executive decisions regarding the overall show and story, Marvel brought in some former EMH writers (many of whom had already been working on the show) to write the individual episodes, free of Man of Action's... "help."

Now, I've been implying something this entire time, so I'm going to address the big question.

Is Man of Action responsible for the sub-par quality of the first season?

Well... not entirely.

As I've mentioned before, Jeph Loeb was brought in during the second season of EMH to give the show a much-derided retool into being simpler and less story arc-oriented, a trend that continued into Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble, and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. So certainly, there's blame to go around.

But even so... well, let's just say that I don't think it's a coincidence that Avengers Assemble got better once Man of Action got promoted away from the business of writing each episode.

And with that out of the way, let's see if this episode's writers (EMH veterans and frequent collaborators Kevin Burke and Chris "Doc" Wyatt) were able to... well, to put it bluntly, fix the show.

Recap: Avengers Assemble "The Arsenal"

I was watching the Captain America special on ABC before the second season premiere of Agent Carter. For some reason, they mentioned that Avengers Assemble was going into it's fourth season.

So at the very least, I know that I won't be done with this show any time soon.
At the time of this writing, only two seasons have aired, so I can only assume that they've started planning out the fourth season already. Which means that even if Season 3 sucks, it looks like there will be another on the way. Or maybe Jeph Loeb simply can't count.

But for now, it's time to worry about Season 2 of Avengers Assemble, which takes place after last season set  up some dangling plot threads for us.

And now for something completely different.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The NewtCave Returns!

Yes, you read that right.

Putting the pictures back into my blog posts is going to take at least a week, what with my terrible internet speed.

As such, I've decided to press on and continue to post as regular from this point on while spending the next few weeks slowly, but surely, putting all those lovely pics back where they belong.

See you Monday, when I begin my look at Avengers Assemble, Season 2!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Site News: Blog Pictures

First of all, yes, I am aware that all the images in this blog are having existence issues.

This is because yadda yadda, switching photo hosts, et cetera.

Technical difficulties.

Unfortunately, the NewtCave will be going on hiatus until I can get this sorted. But never fear, I do plan on returning as soon as this kerfuffle is un-kerfuffled. Even if I have to download and re-upload each photo individually.

Dang it, I knew deciding to cover Teen Titans GO! would have karmic ramifications!

2/16 Update: I am currently in the process of organizing the first batch of my old pictures. Will keep you updated.

2/22 Update: The pictures are ready to go. Ideally, they should all be back by the end of the week. However, I am currently assisting my high school theatre teacher with the Spring play for the next couple days, so... Well, we'll see how soon things get back to normal.

I'm aiming to have a new Recap up next Monday (the 29th). Certainly no later than March 7th, but that's a worst case scenario.

I've got a little something special planned for March, so that'll be my little way of apologizing for the continual hiccups.

2/23 Update: Having tested the re-uploading of one of my pictures, I can safely say that the rest coming back is only a matter of time. All I need now is a solid chunk of time to upload them and manually re-insert them into blog posts.

2/25 Update: Done assisting with the Spring play. Inclement weather (oh, hooray, another obstacle) is making my internet lag, but the pictures should all be uploaded by the end of today. Re-inserting them into each and every blog post begins tomorrow.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Today's Post Will be in the Afternoon

I accidentally hit "delete" instead of "publish." I can re-post it based on the original document file, but I'm simply exhausted.

Sorry for the delay; expect the recap and review sometime before 3 PM.

(Edit: it is currently 2:42 PM. I am working to get the recap and review finished right now. I apologize for the continued delay.)

(Second edit: Well, looks like the Recap and Review go up tomorrow. Guess who spent the day helping out his man-flu-ridden dad?)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Recap/Review: Marvel One-Shot: "Agent Carter"

The Marvel One-Shots never exactly got people clamoring for more.

And why would they? They were just cute little short films included on the Blu-Rays, meaning that if you only had the DVD, or only watched the movies in theatres, you were out of luck. And even if you had access to these funny little short films, you might not have watched them. And even then… they were nothing special.

“The Consultant” was just Jasper Sitwell and Phil Coulson talking in a diner, along with a reprise of the post-credits scene from The Incredible Hulk. Because they had used up most of the One-Shot budget on “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer.” Which was little more than a fight scene. “Item 47,” however, had a fairly large budget and told the tale of a post-Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. adventure that helped sell the idea of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to Marvel Entertainment’s higher-ups. And “Agent Carter” managed to top that by getting such a positive reaction that ABC essentially demanded a full series expansion.

So this Valentine’s Day, let’s take a look at the ongoing adventures of Captain America’s lost love with the One-Shot that made the impossible happen: A mainstream television network demanding a 1940’s-period-piece, comic book-based, action show with a female lead. Truly, Hell has frozen over and the world is approaching the End of Days. Oh, speaking of which....

Happy Apocalypse, everybody!
I was really hoping I could see the last episode of Gravity Falls before it all ended. Nope. The world's ending one lousy day early.

Ah, well. Let's get crackin' on the One-Shot, then.

C'est la vie.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Review: Gotham Girls, Season 2

Well, I've gotten through the second batch of ten episodes. One would hope that since the first batch, the creators have honed their skills and improved their product.

That is, one would hope. So let's take a look at Season 2 as a whole.

While we continue to wonder how this ever got a comic book spin-off.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Review: "Ghostbusters II"

So... I don't hate this movie. I know that might be surprising after I basically ranted for a week about all the myriad ways in which I hate this movie, but hear me out.

As I finalized each part of my Recap, I became increasingly aware of the fact that even though pretty much everything about it bugged me to pieces, I didn't hate it.

I was surprised, too.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Recap: "Ghostbusters II" Part 3: The New Age

And so, we're in the homestretch. If this movie's streak of reusing the first movie's formula continues, there's going to be a ghost rampage, our heroes will be freed because of said rampage, and the Ghostbusters will save the day, meet the cheering crowd, and the movie will end.

Spoiler Alert: All of that happens. Why do I even need to recap this in full again?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Recap: "Ghostbusters II" Part 2: Pollution and Resolution

Okay, I think I'm good now. It's a new day, I can come at this movie with a fresh perspective.

As I've said, every movie deserves a fair chance. And in the interest of fairness, I'm making myself give this movie four meaningful compliments before I continue recapping.

1: It really does feel good to see the Ghostbusters triumphantly return after busting the Scoleri Brothers.
2: The special effects still hold up, even after all this time. No small feat, what with the rushed production.
3: Despite her breakup with Peter Venkman, it's nice that Sigourney Weaver returned for the sequel instead of being replaced with a new character, as in the initial drafts. It wouldn't be a Ghostbusters film without her.
4: "We had part of a slinky. But I straightened it." I love that line.

And you know what? Now that the movie's gotten its setup out of the way, the meat of the movie is bound to be pretty good. So with a positive outlook, I'll be sinking my teeth into the next part of the movie.

That's right, ghost logo. I'm at inner peace.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Recap: "Ghostbusters II" Part 1: Auld Acquaintance

Before I review anything, I will always try give it a chance to stand on its own merits. Even if I completely hate something, I'll do my best to meet it on its own terms and re-evaluate it fairly.

This time, something odd happened. My opinion on this movie completely changed as I watched it.

I went into this movie thinking "It's not good, but it's not terrible." And now? Well, you'll just have to read and find out.

Don't worry, you'll probably figure out how I feel about this movie in no time.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Recap: "Ghostbusters 2" Intro

Well, it had to happen. After taking my look at the first film, how could I not take a look at the sequel?

A film that stands in infamy as an object lesson in why sequels suck. But... surely, it can't be as bad as people say, can it? I mean, it had the exact same people working on it! Then again... perhaps that was the problem. Let's take a look at the creative process, shall we?

It's not a good sign when the movie's logo is trying to escape its bonds.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sketchbook: Repoultrification

I already mentioned the story of Sir Charles the Chicken, who ended up sidetracking the story, as that player was wont to do. But it's time I told the story of exactly what happened.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Site News: February, 2016 Announcements

Not really much to announce, honestly.

I'll be covering Ghostbusters II, some of my usual Recaps, the usual.

Though I will be adding a new show for Saturdays; I'll be taking a quick break from Gotham Girls after I finish up its second season with a Review of the season as a whole (Sorry that it wasn't posted last week; I was housesitting at the last second).

And there will be a Valentine's Day special, don't y'all worry.

So... yeah. Nothing else to report, really. Which is a nice change of pace from my "The NewtCave is going on break/being scaled back" announcements.

Anyway, I hope to see you all there as I take a look at Ghostbusters II next week!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Review: Doctor Who "Aliens of London"/"World War Three"

You know, I'm just glad that Michael Grade had to make due with using "Warriors of the Deep" as an example of terrible Doctor Who. If this two-parter had aired as part of the Classic Series, then the BBC probably would have canceled the show sooner and resumed burning the master tapes of old episodes.

"Ah, if only."

Monday, February 1, 2016

Recap: Doctor Who "World War Three"

All right, I’ll admit it. "Aliens of London"… is not terrible. Don’t get me wrong, though. It’s awful. But it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen in Doctor Who. The story’s second part, "World War Three," has all the problems of the first one.

And more.

Previously on Doctor Who: Aliens faked an alien invasion. I swear, it makes sense in context.