REVIEW: THE TOYS THAT MADE US – SEASON 3

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Featuring

Vanilla Ice (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Kevin Smith (Clerks)
Rob Paulsen (G.I. Joe: The Movie)
Walter Jones (Power Rangers)
David Yost (Power Rangers)
Tara Strong (Batjman: The Killing Joke)

image-assetNetflix’s documentary series The Toys That Made Us is basically the ultimate nostalgia trip for kids from the ’80s and ’90s. The first two seasons offered a pleasurable look back at some of the defining toy lines of decades past and the often rocky road those franchises took from conception to ultimately arriving on the shelves. Season 3 does very little to break the mold, but it does prove there’s still plenty of life left in this formula. With the first two seasons having exhausted most of the more obvious choices of toy lines (Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Barbie, etc.) Season 3 is able to dig a little deeper and explore some less predictable candidates. There’s really only one gaping hole being filled in this batch (that being Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), with the other three episodes venturing down a slightly more esoteric path (My Little Pony, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and pro-wrestling figures).
MV5BMTI4MDY4NzgyNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMzkzNDA3._V1_By now, viewers should know exactly what to expect from the series. Each episode traces the rise of a major toy empire, and, following its creation, the initial hurdles in bringing those toys to market and the meteoric rise and eventual fall of a commercial juggernaut. Along the way, the series features interviews with many of the executives and toy designers involved in the process, along with a handful of actors from the relevant tie-in TV shows. The greatest strength of The Toys That Made Us is how it makes these stories so digestible and entertaining. To borrow a term often used in the series, the subject matter isn’t necessarily that “toyetic.” Talking heads and static images of outdated plastic action figures don’t make for a very dynamic series. While there is archival footage of classic toy commercials and news broadcasts, most of that tends to be of very poor quality.MLM8sogiTtZgz9KCad4bWMBut the series makes the most of that limited material. The rapid-fire editing and the strong sense of humor help punch up what otherwise could be very dry retrospectives on old toys. The series frequently cuts between one interviewee and another, creating a silly sort of banter as competing historical accounts come into conflict. As we’ve seen in past episodes like the Masters of the Universe installment, there’s often sharp disagreement as to who truly deserves to be credited with the creation of these characters. This season has a lot of fun with those disagreements. It also frequently slips in amusing callbacks to past episodes, as we’re starting to see stories intertwine and familiar faces pop up more and more.MV5BMjAxODAxOTczNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTgyMzU0NQ@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_Again, the worst that can be said for Season 3 is that it does very little to break out of the mold established in earlier episodes. The stories being told tend to follow a very familiar trajectory. Most episodes focus a majority of their time on the creation phase and the blockbuster sellout phase, leaving little room to really explore the sad decline of these toy lines or the efforts to regroup and reboot them for modern audiences. That’s especially frustrating in the My Little Pony episode. While it does explore the genesis of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and the fascinating “Brony” phenomenon, there’s only so much room left by the time the episode reaches that point. Very rarely does a Netflix series leave me wishing the episode run-times were longer, but this is a rare exception.MV5BMTYzNTg0NDQ3Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjYyMzU0NQ@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode may well be the biggest example yet of the series trying to cram too much material into a 40-ish minute documentary. It’s an engrossing episode, to be sure, especially given how heavily TMNT creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird are involved. Anyone even mildly interested in that particular franchise will surely get a kick out of learning the humble origins of that franchise and seeing Eastman and Laird mend fences on-camera after growing apart in the early ’00s. That said, there’s just so much ground to cover here in terms of the origin of the Turtles, the Turtle Mania phenomenon, and the various efforts to reinvigorate the franchise over the years. TMNT could have easily filled an entire four-episode season on its own, and it’s almost a shame creator Brian Volk-Weiss didn’t go in that direction. Dedicated seasons may still be an angle worth considering down the line, especially as the series slowly exhausts the A-List names.Toys-that-made-us-season-3-10Power Rangers fans may find that particular episode slightly frustrating in that it tends to downplay the toys themselves in favor of the TV series. But to its credit, that episode seems to recognize where the truly interesting story is to be found. Unlike many of these properties, the Power Rangers toys are an extension of the TV series, not the other way around. And it’s quite the journey learning about the long, uphill battle in convincing American TV networks to air a show full of dubbed Japanese sentai scenes and outlandish robots. The wrestling episode is the one Season 3 installment which does manage to veer off the beaten path somewhat. That may simply be because the story behind those toys is less straightforward and harder to squeeze into that standard “rise and fall and return” formula. It’s a complicated web of competing toy manufacturers and rival pro wrestling leagues, creating a saga of success and betrayal and heartbreak that winds up evoking the theatrical melodrama of wrestling itself.00.-TMNTThe Toys That Made Us continues to be a must-watch for anyone who hoarded action figures or dolls as a child and wants to relive that childhood fun. Season 3 sheds light on four more major properties and their respective rises and falls. Only one of these episodes does much to venture outside the series’ carefully honed formula, and the relatively short length can sometimes be constraining. Still, the series manages to celebrate these childhood favorites with wit and energy.

 

REVIEW: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES II: THE SECRET OF THE OOZE

CAST

Paige Turco (The Stepfather)
David Warner (Black Death)
Ernie Reyes Jr. (Red Sonja)
François Chau (Lost)
Kevin Nash (The Punisher)
Vanilla Ice (The New Guy)
Toshishiro Obata (Demolition Man)
Michael McConnohie (Naruto)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Kevin Clash (Sesame Street)
Raymond Serra (Bolero)
Robbie Rist (The Brady Bunch)
Adam Carl (The Monster Squad)
Brian Tochi (Space Academy)
Laurie Faso (Summer Student)
Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight)

A young pizza delivery boy named Keno inadvertently encounters burglars on his route and tries to stop them. Seeing him as a witness, the burglars attack Keno, who proves to be an expert martial artist, but he is soon overwhelmed before the arrival of the Ninja Turtles. They vanish after rescuing Keno, tying up the burglars, and taking the pizza he was delivering, leaving money to pay for it.
Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2 the secret of the oozeLeonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo and Raphael, along with their master Splinter, are living with April O’Neil while they look for a new place to live following the events of their last adventure. Splinter wants to remain in the shadows, while Raphael thinks they should live out in the open. At a junkyard where the remnants of The Foot and Shredder’s second-in-command Tatsu are hiding out, they are met by their master, who has been disfigured by his previous defeat but did not die as they thought. April interviews Professor Jordan Perry of Techno Global Research Industries (TGRI) about a possible toxic waste leak. He assures her that everything is fine, but at the same time their scientists discover dandelions which have been mutated by the contaminant. Freddy, a spy for the Foot posing as April’s cameraman, discovers this and reports it to his master, who decides to have Perry interrogated. Back at April’s apartment, Splinter reveals to her and the turtles that TGRI was responsible for their mutation more than fifteen years prior, and they too decide to talk to him. The Foot gets to Perry first and kidnaps him, salvaging the last vial canister of ooze in the process. The turtles attempt to get the canister back, but ultimately fail. Afterward, Keno gets into April’s apartment under the guise of delivering pizza and discovers Splinter and the turtles.
Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2 the secret of the oozeAt the Shredder’s hideout, Perry is forced into using the remaining ooze on a wolf and a snapping turtle, which mutate into Tokka and Rahzar. With the imminent threat to April’s safety by the Foot, the turtles start to actively look for a new home. After an argument with Leo, Raph breaks off from the group, while Mikey, who soon discovers an abandoned subway station, deems it a perfect hideout. Raph and Keno defy Splinter’s orders and implant Keno into the Foot Clan to find their hideout. However, they are caught and Raph is captured, while Keno escapes to warn the others. When they come, they are ambushed by Shredder and the Foot; Splinter saves the group, but leaves as they face Tokka and Rahzar, who prove too strong to defeat. Donny finds Perry and the five of them make a tactical retreat. Once back in their hideout, Perry explains that the creation of the ooze was an accident, disheartening Donatello, who saw a higher purpose for their existence.
Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2 the secret of the oozeShredder unleashes Tokka and Rahzar into a nearby neighborhood to cause damages. The next day, Freddy sends a message to April that Tokka and Rahzar will be released into Central Park if the Turtles don’t meet the Foot Clan at the construction site. Perry develops an antidote to the mutations and when they confront the two, Leo and Mikey trick Tokka and Rahzar into eating it. They discover the trick and brutally attack, throwing Raph into a public dance club. A big fight ensues among hundreds of witnesses and eventually the turtles turn Tokka and Rahzar into their natural state, while Vanilla Ice improvises the “Ninja Rap”. Shredder attacks, threatening a citizen with a final vial of ooze, but Keno intervenes and the turtles overload an amplifier, causing Shredder to be blasted out onto the docks behind the club. They follow and discover that Shredder had drunk the last vial, becoming a “Super Shredder” who begins to destroy the support structure holding the dock up. Not caring about his own life, Shredder attempts to kill the turtles by collapsing the dock on top of them, but the group escapes the collapse and surface in time to witness Shredder’s last breath.
Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2 the secret of the oozeIn a press release, April reads a note from Perry, thanking the turtles for saving him, and when they return home, they deny being seen by the humans, but Splinter holds up the evening’s newspaper on which they are plastered across the cover. He then orders the four of them to do flips as punishment, chanting the theme song they were dancing to at the club “Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go!” exclaiming he made another funny as the scene freezes.Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2 the secret of the oozeThe second movie was lighter in tone to the first, it may not be as good as the first, but i liked it, I liked the introduction of the new mutants, it is a shame that super shredder is only on screen for a short time as it would of been nice to see him more.

REVIEW: THE NEW GUY

CAST

DJ Qualls (Road Trip)
Eddie Griffin (Undercover Brother)
Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling)
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Jerod Mixon (Old School)
Parry Shen (Better Luck Tomorrow)
Lyle Lovett (The Bridge)
Sunny Mabrey (Species III)
Geoffrey Lewis (Double Impact)
Charlie O’ Connell (Cruel Intentions)
Illeandra Douglas (Ghost World)
Henry Rollins (Wrong Turn 2)
Kurt Fuller (Midnight In Paris)
Julius Carry (Two Guys and a Girl)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
David Hasselhoff (Piranha 3DD)
Jerry O’Connell (Scream Queens
Vanilla Ice (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Kyle Gass (Elf)

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The film begins with prison inmate Luther speaking directly to the camera to an unseen individual, telling the story of Dizzy Gillespie Harrison, an 18-year-old nerdy high school senior. Dizzy is friends with Nora, Kirk, and Glen, who together started a funk rock band and are addicted to video games. They attend Rocky Creek High School, where Dizzy is picked on by basically everyone, especially star football player Barclay. This occurs before and after sex symbol Tina Osgood holds his hands, causing him to have an erection and ends up activating the trap where the jocks belittle him with no mercy. Dizzy’s white briefs were yanked from underneath his pants and placed around his head – revealing the erect penis in plain sight to nearly everyone instead of “covering it.” The school librarian would eventually “break” it after Dizzy refuses to “hand” over the “weapon” to her. Dizzy is misdiagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome; he is then placed on medication by the school counselor who advises his father to spend every moment possible with him. While at the mall’s food court, the heavily medicated Dizzy makes a fool of himself at a church revival and gets arrested.
Image result for the new guyIn jail, Dizzy meets Luther, who turns out to be a sympathetic ex-victim who makes it his goal to teach him how to be cool. In an attempt to wipe the slate clean, Dizzy gets himself expelled from his old high school, then undergoes a makeover with the help of the prison inmates and guards.[2] Changing his name to ‘Gil Harris’, he enrolls at East Highland High and makes an impression by being dropped off in a prison van in restraints (a reference to Con Air) and beating up the school bully, Connor.
The action has an intended effect, and head cheerleader Danielle welcomes the newcomer to school. Her friend Courtney invites Dizzy to a party and through a mishap, Dizzy gives Courtney the impression that he has rejected her. Using a photo given to him by the prison inmates and help from his old friends, Dizzy manages to escape the party with his reputation intact. Upon returning home, however, he finds his father has agreed to sell his house and quit work to supervise him, which results in the pair living in a trailer.
At the football game, Dizzy, referencing General Patton in the film, gives an impassioned speech to the team, who proceed to win their first game. He is soon enlisted by the coach and principal to plan the school’s homecoming dance, and becomes imbued with school spirit, shedding his bad boy image.However, Dizzy and Gil are fast becoming too big for one body. When Nora berates Dizzy for becoming the same person he once hated, he uses his newfound popularity to confront Connor. Dizzy and Danielle spur the students to reunite, and the lines dividing the different cliques are broken. With a new philosophy, the school football team begins to win games and bullying becomes a thing of the past. Reaching the state championship, where they play Rocky Creek, Dizzy’s antics on the sideline cost Rocky Creek the game, although Barclay recognizes his old punching bag. At school the next day, he attempts to beat up Dizzy, and is in turn attacked by the entire student body. After the attack, Connor helps up Barclay from the ground, telling him he wants to know what he knows (about Dizzy).
The homecoming dance, which Dizzy’s funk band is supposed to play, is crashed by the students of Rocky Creek. Barclay and Connor, who have joined forces to set a trap for Dizzy, play an embarrassing video of the librarian incident. However, Luther and the other inmates arrive to save Dizzy and tie up the two bullies. Nora admits longstanding feelings for Glen, and after Danielle reveals that she was also a nerd growing up and forgives him for hiding who he was they reconcile. uther ends the film, and the man he is talking to is revealed to be David Hasselhoff.
Image result for the new guyA Great Movie to watch if you want to feel good because you wont stop laughing.