Thursday, February 25, 2016

shorts SHORT Review: John Henry

John Henry

Disney Short
Directed by Mark Henn
Written by Broose Johnson, Tim Hodge, Shirtley Pierce
Art Direction by Robert Ty Stanton (not to be confused with Bob Stanton)
Music by Stephen James Taylor, Gary Hines and Billy Steele, Performance by Sounds of Blackness

I initially saw clips of this short from Tumblr, it was exciting to see that Disney made a new traditionally animated short in 2015, weird that it was late in the year. Then I was disappointed that I was wrong, this new Disney Animation was more then Ten Years Old. Though I did a little more research and found that the animation was made in 1999 that's seventeen years (well 16 from 2015) and it took another three years to come to the public's eye. From my knowledge the short wasn't exposed till the 2002 Direct-to-DVD that pretty much was hidden away in the Disney Vault. One day I'd love to raid that vault for it's hidden secrets. I'm the worst thief since I don't try to make a buck off the pilfered treasures, I just want to swim in the multitudes of media that haven't seen the light of day for decades. Anyhow, I'll work on my personal exploits later, for now let's enjoy this hidden short from the Mouse coffer.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Golden Child

I have a lot to say about this film, since it's one I grew up with and one that brought me over to the Sci-Fi side of media. This was one of three films that were always on TV, the first was Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Though this was a popular time for Eddie Murphy, he was a comedy star in the 80's into the 90's, but slowly he was falling from grace, staring in films that weren't reflective of his humor. Despite his ups and downs in media he's been a figure of talent and comedic competence throughout his career, inspiring other comedians and parody. So let's jump into the film that got me interested in the actor and the genre that gives me joy.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Deadpool Rating

There's a lot of controversy over the Deadpool movie's rating, now this isn't a new thing. We're gonna cut into a bit of history. In the year, 2002-2004 it's about this time, since it was on the Deadpool open forums that Ryan Renolds was interested in the character and was open to the idea of being Wade Wilson. Back in the day he wanted to be in the film and fought for some good scripts, everyone was in agreement that it had to be a R film, but that's not happen to Superhero movies at this point (especially with the big two). A friend of mine brought up the topic of distribution would be more limited, since R movies are hard to pitch,  new franchises are a gamble. Though this was more than Ten years ago, where there wasn't many Image Comic creations in feature films (which Rob Lifield was a founding member). It was too weird to have a "kid's film" with adult themes, superheroes (even fifteen years ago) weren't adult films, even though Tales From the Crypt, Dark Knight Returns, and The Mask comics were incredible dark, though their films being without the very adult themes. Since like most adaptions things need to be stated and certain things need to be focused on for the entertainment of the audience. The focus has to be generated to the overarching idea, like Batman regaining the City of Gotham, the silliness of The Mask's punishment toward villains (or those he sees as villains), and the violent stories that the Keeper of the Crypt tells without much moral contemplation.
Though Blade came out in 1998 with a R rating, but was marketed as being a horror film, not superhero movie, even though Blade's source material is comics. My first meeting with the vampire hunter was on the Spider-Man Animated Series, but they still targeted the audience of the movie toward an older age group. Here's a total surprise, The Mask film was a complete left turn, it's not even close to the comic, it's like they made a movie based on a simple description of the character. Though the film came out well and the Animated series was wonderful, but nothing like the comic series other than the cartoon antics and green mask. It was a PG-13 movie, meaning it glazed over the heavier conversations and just focused on the comedy, it was one of the worst adaptions I've seen, though I'm still trying to finish the Fantastic Four movie, yeah the 1994 flick. Still the cinematic version of The Mask is one of my favorite movies, but Guardians of the Galaxy is the best not to character good movie. What I'm getting at is, the movie doesn't always have to be pure source material, since it's encompassing years of material. Though it does have to take on the spirit of the source material for it to be acceptable not only to fans, but to new fans, so the source material can be purchasable and not disappointing.

One of the major problems is with the Deadpool marketing, yes it's immature, though that's the point of the character. It's your classic early 90's action flick with some late 70's comedy, this kind of insanity is gonna make this movie amazing. Though this is why it's so tempting for those that are teens (and pre-teens), since this was me during my years as a young adult. Nothing screams "Watch me!" louder than a parody character that's canon. One who can literally do anything within the world that they were created in and no one bats an eye. This is a Writer's dream character (or Cartoonist's) since this is a ton of freedom. Censorship is a topic for another day, though implications are high in most Deadpool comics (whether it happens or not, it's hard to say even the character doesn't know). This is great since comedy in literary media have different timing and needs, film is a visual media that has a broader audience, so the amount that one can show in film is limited with certain ratings. So a titular character running around with deadly weapons that are within our reality that are applied and executed in the most effective way, especially with the more modern version of the Merc with a Mouth. Yeah it's not gonna be anything less than a mature rating, for all of Wade's media appearances.

Enough with my opinions, what I'm grasping at is people crying for the Deadpool movie being PG don't know the core being. Wade Wilson was originally a Villain, a hired knock around flavor of the week that entertained fans enough that he made multiple returns. My favorite run of his was the first mini-series where Mister Tolliver died and left a weapon that would be the ultimate conflict disputer. This was the best way to show Wade's moral differences in his character, so after the second mini-series and a few more cameos in and out of X-books he finally became an Anti-Hero. They did this a lot with villains in the 80's and 90's, Venom and the Flash's Rogues, they needed to make them more all-ages applicable to audiences. For Deadpool it stuck well, with Venom it flip flops too often, the Rogues it's hard to say which ones and what generation, though it never held. And fans have talked about this bizarre thought of making the Deadpool movie's rating lower, even to the point of making relevance through memes.

Unicorns are keys to a lot of different worlds and symbols of joy defined by diverse minds.
 Watch the Deadpool Movie (February 12, 2016) and see what Unicorns represent to Wade Wilson.
(Yes, this is a Disney joke, you should watch Star Vs. the Forces of Evil.)

Speaking of, I love this one meme that's going around saying "Have you even read Deadpool?" the first appearance has him being chopped up and sent back to his employer in a box. In his first series he kills a lot of people, even throws Black Tom Cassidy off a plane as the Juggernaut swan dives after him. Then there's the weird, somewhat abusive relationship between him and Copycat, it's mutual abuse, but still it's pretty bad, something a PG film won't get. And finally in the longest Deadpool series, from the 90's (it's the fourth issue and) he's impaled himself and the Hulk. Even if you don't read there was the film Hulk Vs... series that stared Wolverine which had Deadpool in it (I've reviewed earlier, here). He gets his arm lobbed up by said Canadian pal and tries to put them back together, after shooting said friend in the face. In general the weapons he uses make the film PG, till discharged, then it becomes PG-13, if people die there's an amount before it's R, same with bad language.

Honestly, this Deadpool movie should be NC-17 and 3 hours, but I'm a fan, even of the multiple personality yellow boxes, I want to see everything that the character does. Though I know there's a limit to a good time, where it's over stayed it's welcome. Sometimes over saturation isn't great. Marvel is trying to start a novel for every superhero they have, it's a good idea, since a lot more can be said and imagined within a mass market paperback. Here's a counterpoint, have you read "Paws"? I feel like the writer is rambling and not really trying to create the character in the literary world, it might be good, but I couldn't get past the first few pages of him talking about nothing. No jokes, no thoughts about what he's doing or how he can save himself from the fall, and I'm not even going to say that's Deadpool's thought process, since it's obvious that the writer was told the character just talks non-stop. There's puppies, but it wasn't the Deadpool I knew, not even in the spirit of the character. It felt like this was the first time the writer saw Deadpool let alone read any of the comics beyond Mark Brooks' run. Personally I like Fabian Nicieza, he created the character (I know who else had part in it, I'll give Rob Lifield credit for my favorite character, but I'm making a writing point, not design) and knew the direction he wanted this funny man to go. Wade Wilson is a beautiful monster, a fella that has more than a two dimensional personality. Some people try to write him as a kid's show joker, some write him as a violent loony, if the writer knows anything about different type of comedy Deadpool is Black Humor, Dark Jokes. Though in recent interpretations he's gone a little more toward the immature, but this isn't out of the spirit of the character. That's the fun of things since Wade would switch between a serious note here and there, but jump back into a gag to lighten the mood.

In short, the character to the public is a fried taco joke, a bro of the comic world, just a walking meme looking for attention that will never be found. To people that have read the source material he's a person that has a lot of problems from the past (even in the reboot), not a brooding grim avenger, though still a man trying to leave the horrors of his mind and dive into the present, that's his escape. Escapism comes in many forms, some need to keep running, keep moving, not linger too long in thought, throwing their focus on the next adventure to stay away from the one pain that doesn't always heal right, the past. This is why the Deadpool movie needs a rating that fits the person that they're writing about. I hope that Tim Miller (Director), Jay Oliva (Storyboard), Rhett Reese (Co-Screenwriter), and Paul Wernick (Co-Screenwriter) do a great job, since this movie is one I've been waiting a decade for it's creation.

I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
Support the creator, check out more from your local Library and watch the movie.
If you want to stay up to date on our reviews, subscribe to this page.
Keep well and Stay well.

This was written before I saw the film, though edited after watching the movie.
Spoiler: they totally did an amazing job, just saw it on Friday at 1:30pm, beautiful, it had humor, visuals, and pacing that showed a lot of passion for the character and the ever growing franchise. :

Thursday, February 11, 2016

shorts SHORT Review: Thunder and Lightning

DC Nation: Thunder and Lightning

Character Designed, Written, and Directed by Lynell Forestall
Executive Produced by Sam Register
Produced by DC Entertainment
Production Company and Distributed by Warner Bros. Animation

Detective Comics saw that their animations were popular and finally decided to give the creative people of the animation world a chance. It was a great way for Warner Brothers to see what short got people interested in and if they should make more superhero shows. There's been a rising increase in superhero shows in production since the end of the DC Nation shorts. This has lead to successes and failures, though the majority of the media has been flourishing and exposing fans to more heroes.

Black Lightning goes way back with me, all the way to the Super Friends, Hannah-Barbera made a lasting impression on me and the characters in this series. Now he wasn't apart of the series till The All-New Super Friends Hour and even then he was a guest, but by the 80's he became a core member of the team as Black Vulcan. Black Vulcan was Black Lightning's name in the show, though it was confusing to why they renamed the character at the time. With a little research it seems there were disputes between the creator of the character (Tony Isabella) and DC, this is something that happens. New characters are made for Superhero shows if they don't match up with what is needed for the series. It was a great selection for the roaster, since he's proven himself as a hero and a protector of justice.

Ever since I saw Electro (Spider-Man Rogue) I wanted a Hero version of that character, then Static Shock came around. An awesome show about an electricity powered hero, I saw him in a different outfit and different media first. It was in a crossover that showed me Rocket and Superboy teaming up (in his leather jacket). That's the time that I started to look up more heroes and learn more about the DCU. DC Animation has always been a favorite of mine, so seeing Black Lighting in motion was an exciting venture into nostalgia, but also excitement in seeing the family adventures of the first DC African American Superhero.

Black Lightning has two daughters in this series, I know Thunder from the Outsiders comic, she was an interesting character that could change her density. She was a strong character though she mostly had her strength in her personality. A confident and take charge type of person, unfazed by the weird world of Superheroes. Anissa was the metaphorical glue of the Ousiders' team, keeping them together and strong, her Dad even popped in to see her at her best. Also she was an amazing "death from above" bomber, dropping her body's full weight on an aggressor. Lighting on the other hand I'm unfamiliar with, though I know her design well from Kingdom Come, she seems to have her Father's electricity manipulation power, though it's unclear if she has his Force Field generating ability.

In the Clothes Make the Hero, we see a cutout standee of the Black Vulcan, showing off the old attire of the Hannah-Barbera, though this wasn't the original costume, just the one that he's most known for having because of the 70's cartoon. Black Lightning's costume has always been a favorite of mine, it's a wonderful design and it's strong appearance make it powerful in the eyes of the wearer and his opponents, even the 1977 version.

The short is about 1 minute long, though is a wonderfully designed and animated feature. The daughters are different from their comic counterparts, though I do enjoy their take on the two siblings and single Dad. Thunder was defiantly close to the strong woman that becomes a core member of the Outsiders. The ending of the short shows how strong the hero is and how tough of a character he can be, though superman like throwing around his weight and less attacks with his powers, but still showing how effective he is as a hero against a heavy hitter like Doctor Polaris.

Lauren Montgomery was the storyboard artist for this short.
(She has a Blogspot and DeviantArt that's defunct)

In Under the Weather we see that the youngest daughter is feeling a bit sick. It's a classic single parent deal, since he needs to work, he gives his oldest daughter the role of parent. A great show of skill and strength from the Father as he delegates between his working life (battling the scum of the neighborhood) and family life. Showing that he's a force in the Superhero world and a caring Dad to his daughters. As our hero is flinged back to his home his littlest daughter sneezes a blast of lightning taking out the robotic threat. Jefferson Pierce smiles to the camera congratulating his daughter's winning battle.

Michael Goguen was the storyboard artist for this short.
(Can't find any social media connected to him, though if you can, post in the comments)

Tea Steeping is trying to relax after a hard day of keep Gom entertained.
The little automaton is (literally) full of energy when it comes to Supers.

I don't know Blair Underwood, that's a shame, since he was able to give a wonderful performance within 1 minute. I believed enough that he was Black Lightning, since his strong voice and heroic approach to this character was spot on. I hope that I see more from him and his work in the future.

Masasa Moyo, again is an actress that I don't know her body of work, though I've thumbed through her credits and I've been exposed to most of her employment. She preformed an excellent little sister and kept great energy for the 1 minute shorts. I'll keep a finer eye on her in the future, since I enjoy a lot of Canadian actors.

Then there's Cree Summer, I know this woman's voice in every form, since I've been following her career for awhile. She's been in just about every cartoon or TV show I've seen growing up. From Susie Carmichael to Freddie Brooks to Queen Kida to Foxxy Love to Numbuh 5, and that's just her diversity as an actor, she's a wonderful singer too. Within the shorts her performance and experience shows, embodying the role and showing great skill in her emotional range while keeping her voice confident as the oldest sister.

In short if you like fluid and beautifully designed animation, then this is for you, if you like strong characters, this is for you, if you like super short toons that are crafted as if they could become something longer than a minute and change, then you'll be watching these over and over.

Black History Month is an important time, not only for the past, but for the future. Celebrating and honoring those that should be remembered for their accomplishments and their achievements. Here at Cartoon Cyborg Cinema we give respect to this month and to everyone that's apart of Black history and Black Culture. This is a blog for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and the Weird, we'll be reviewing media of influential figures, fictional and real.

I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
Support the creator, check out more from your local Library and watch the shorts.
If you want to stay up to date on our reviews, subscribe to this page.
Keep well and Stay well.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Superheroes in movies from the past have flipped and flopped, it's hard to figure out if it will be good based on its material or if it's a parody of their genre (I'm looking at you Puma-Man!). With the recent production of films centralizing in the Superhero genre, it's not really a genre, though it's labeled as such because of the influx of hero flicks. Superhero films aren't new, the label is new, there's been fantastic heroes taking on eerie villains since the 30's with film serials. These features were fantastic, though made with children in mind, they were low budget and created with passion. There was a boom in the contemporary market with Superman 1978 and Batman 1989, then incursion of comics selling well. The 90's created a huge development and generation that wanted to see heroes and be super, be better, have a life greater than one's own. Though that's where it loses its heart, in the years to come and still coming strong, there will be superhero movies that don't have a voice or a need or a fanbase to have it made into a motion picture. This is one of those films that were generated and people hoped that it would be strong enough to stand on it's two feet. Will Smith is a great actor and an action comedy legend, this was a no brainer for anyone who's followed his career, though I think it's more the role's fault, since it felt like even the poster is unfinished.