REVIEW: X-MEN: THE ANIMATED SERIES – SEASON 1-5

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CAST

Cedric Smith (Mutant X)
Norm Spencer (Rescue Heroes)
Catherine Disher (The Good Witch)
Cathal J. Dodd (Goosebumps)
Iona Morris (Robotech)
Alison Sealy-Smith (This Is Wonderland)
Chris Potter (The Waiting Game)
Tony Daniels (Yin Yang Yo!)
Alyson Court (Elvis Meets Nixon)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

John Colicos (Battlestar Galactica)
Jeremy Ratchford (Cold Case)
Lawrence Bayne (Highlander: TAS)
Barry Flatman (Odyssey 5)
Richard Epcar (Power Rangers)
David Hemblen (Earth: Final Conflict)
Don Francks (La Femme Nikita)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Len Carlson (Swamp Thing: TAS)
Susan Roman (The Racoons)
Dennis Akiyama (Pxiels)
Nigel Bennett (Andromeda)
Maurice Dean Wint (Robocop: Prime Directives)
Philip Akin (Highlander: The Series)

 

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I recently watched through the entire 90’s x-men Animated Series for the first time. So does the show hold up for someone who didn’t watch it when it first aired? Is it still a good show? Overall, the show is really good. It was also revolutionary as it was one of the first animated TV shows to have a continuing storyline throughout the first few seasons.

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Rather than creating exclusively new story lines, the show based most of its episodes on well known events from the comics. Stuff like the ultra-famous dark phoenix saga all the way to a modified version of Days of Future Past that included the time traveling mutant Bishop. Most of the episodes changed details here and there to keep thing simple, but the basic premise remains the same.

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The animation is a mixed bag. On the one hand, still shots look very good for a 90s cartoon. Both characters and environments are finely detailed and even facial expressions are usually well done. On the other hand, it doesn’t look too good in motion. The frame-rate is often choppy and at times characters in the background are just standing still. There are occasional continuity errors as well, like characters swapping outfits between shots (the episode titled “Nightcrawler” comes to mind).

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Characters are generally portrayed well in the TV show. The main team consists of Professor X, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine, Beast, Storm, Gambit, Rogue, and Jubilee. Professor X, Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast and Gambit are all portrayed well in the show. I found some of their voice actors were a little off-putting at first, but as I watched they grew on me. Rogue probably has the best voice acting of the bunch.

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I wasn’t quite as fond with the portrayal of Storm or Jubilee however. Storm was alright, but having her constantly talk about what she was commanding the weather to do is annoying at times. Does she have to verbally command the wind every time she blasts enemies with it? I get that she’s a bit of a showoff and that’s part of her charm, but still.

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The show has a great spotlight of different villains as well. It features everyone from mega villains like Magneto, Mr. Sinister, and Apocalypse to smaller villains like Vertigo, the Juggernaut, and even the Brood. The show even mentions the Juggernaut’s relationship to Xavier (they’re step brothers). Mr. Sinister in particular is very well portrayed in the series, and we even get an origins episode in season five (heavily modified of course).

If you have any interest in the X-men and want to try out the comics, this is a decent show for finding out some of the franchises back-story. It’s rarely as good as the original stories it’s based on, but it’s easier to find and for the most part, it’s an easy watch.

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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: GO

CAST

Katie Holmes (Batman Begins)
Sarah Polley (Mr. Nobody)
Scott Wolf (V)
Jay Mohr (Small Soldiers)
Timothy Olyphant (Hitman)
Suzanne Krull (Mousehunt)
Desmond Askew (Roswell)
William Fichtner (The Dark Knight)
Taye Diggs (Chicago)
Breckin Meyer (Garfield)
Melissa McCarthy (The Boss)

Told from three perspectives, a story of a bunch of young Californians trying to get some cash, do and deal some drugs, score money and sex in Las Vegas, and generally experience the rush of life

This movie is absolutely brilliant. Take one eighteen-year old,sulky, skint supermarket cashier named Ronna, thrown in a stoner friend-Mannie, a concerned friend-Claire, an angry drug dealer, some chewable aspirin and a drugs bust and you have the first story.

She faces the choice of either being evicted or dealing drugs to get some money- but everything seems to go wrong. This is undoubtedly the best of the three mini-tales. A. Katie Holmes’ Claire is just a badass.  Timothy Olyphant is suitably scary, funny and horny as drug dealer Todd.

The second story revolves around Simon, an English guy going for a weekend in Vegas with some mates. This story involves group sex, tantric sexuality, a strip joint, a sexy red car, a car chase and Simon running through the hotel butt naked. Simon is the daft stoner who is always getting himself and his friends into bother and he succeeds big time, managing to piss off half Las Vegas in the space of a few hours! This story will having you crying with laughter and falling off your seat with anticipation. Simon is lovable and dorky, and you can’t help laughing at his stupid remarks and antics.

The third story revolves around Adam and Zack, a pair of gay actors who try to bust Ronna in order to get out of a charge themselves. However the cop they are working for, Burke, keeps hitting on them for some reason. They whinge and bitch at each other for a while and then they get involved in a ‘little accident’. This story is the least active but it makes up for it in the amusement stakes. Jay Mohr (Zack) and Scott Wolf (Adam)

Go is confusing the first time you watch it, the second time around, it rocks. Throw in a brilliant soundtrack, a bunch of charismatic characters and a real ‘culty’ feel and you have a totally unmissable independent movie.