All posts by Weltall

Manga Pulse 359: A I H K Z O

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Are we back on schedule yet? Maybe we need a Manga Mussolini to help us get the episodes released on time. Or maybe it’d go just as bad as the Duce and not actually fix anything but we could claim it victory when it gets sorted out naturally.

Tim reviews Aiki. It’s a fighting manga where our main character is some sort of master martial artist. He gets recruited to help train a girl at a school where people fight for control of the school, as only happen within anime/manga. They attempt to bribe him with sex, not titillation but actual boning. It’s amazing to see a character who wants to screw not be chastised by other characters for being a “pervert”. It earns itself a Crackers for breaking some of the more obnoxious tropes.

Weltall then revisits Hatsukoi Zombie. Though it scored low last time, something compelled him to keep going. It turns out that it improves quite a bit with character development. The story also develops as it’s revealed that the idealized ghost loves actually interfere with the real world and people. With those factors in play it gets a brand new rating, climbing up to Crackers.

Popcorn Pulse 63: Roller Balls

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You might remember on the last Popcorn Pulse were we did a movie where a talented actor tackles a script with semi-philosophical ideas in a bleak future. Someone looked at that and said “I like the movie, but what if we took all that shit out and kept the sport?” Thus we were given the remake, Rollerball [2002], wherein a bland actor stands in for James Caan and Jean Reno is wasted like a condom dispenser in Utah. It takes place in modern day and it’s only takeaway message is the director should be kept away from a smart phones for fear exposure to a camera will cause him to remake something else.

Tim then talks about a Spanish film, Fermat’s Room[2007]. This seems to end up on a lot of lists along with Saw and The Exam. It’s about four mathematicians who end up trapped in a room because they get invited to dinner far out in the woods and are told to leave their cellphones behind. This only works because, presumably, Spain doesn’t import horror films. If they did, they’d know meeting someone you’ve never met in the woods and leaving your only means of communication is a surefire way to become cannibal soup stock.

Weltall then takes a moment to talk up the Armored Skeptic channel on Youtube. He’s a skeptic who tackles all sorts of varied subjects from flat Earthers to hippies without hesitation and applies logic to it. He’s also Canadian and pronounces process like the beginning of professional and the latter part of excess which we find unreasonably humorous.

Manga Pulse 358: Zombie Boner

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Like a negligent father with weekend visitation rights, we get around to manga this week. Tim talks about Hajime no Ippo which is yet another sports manga. To boot, this one is about boxing and draws some comparisons, initially, to Green Boy. It differs quite a bit in that it has training methods that came from rejected Naruto chapters. This drops it down to a Crackers, held from a lower score by the characters.

Weltall then gets into Hatsukoi Zombie. Which the English title should be Ghost of Boners Past. Our protagonist is the usual neglected manga waif who was, in theory, born to two parents and not torn from the thigh of Zeus. After getting hit in the head with a baseball, he can see the idealized version of love that himself and his classmates have. His happens to be a shapely girl of his childhood crush who happens to transfer to his school and be a boy. It is saved form the flames by a few moments of humor, earning a Borders.

Popcorn Pulse 62: Das Ball

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Let’s take a little trip back in time. Back when people were groovy, mustaches were bushy and we took a chance on Abba. That’s right, we’re back in the seventies and reviewing Rollerball(1975). This is probably a movie you’ve never heard of except to mock the panned remake from the early two thousands.

This is a shame because it’s a big idea science fiction film. This is not without its shortcomings of course. Being as it’s a “dystopian” future, everything is mega-corporations. Also, there aren’t countries because of this. James Caan at least gives it his all as he fights back doing the one thing he can, play Rollerball.

Weltall then talks about Battle Los Angeles[2011]. It’s the Aaron Eckart vehicle where aliens invade earth for water. For some reason, it reads more like a military recruiting tape than a movie about an alien invasion. Everyone not in a uniform dies horribly and even some of those that are. Oh, and Michelle Rodriguez survives because of course she does.

Tim then talks about Das Boot(1981). It’s more of a miniseries than a movie about a German U-Boat crew. It’s hard to imagine that a film maker would try and succeed in getting an audience to sympathize with German soldiers during World War II. That this succeeds so well is no small miracle.

Manga Pulse 357: Nani Fury

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The phrase light novel conjurers up awful images around here at Manga Pulse. While we normally stick to mangas, we haven’t been above reading translated novels for review. This usually ends in headaches as they’re poorly plotted and translated with less than three quarters ass but more than one third. Continue reading Manga Pulse 357: Nani Fury

Popcorn Pulse 61: Excellent Primer

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Did you know we’ve done a number of time travel movies? Tim alone has gone through a suite of movies about people tooling around the fourth dimension like it’s an afternoon drive. So we thought it appropriate to do a themed episode revolving around the Doc Browns and their respective Martys.

Our joint review is Primer[2004]. It’s a very small and independent film which focuses on a couple of engineers copying some stolen blueprints. They accidentally discover that it’s also a time travel device and begin to exploit it. Things are very slow paced so don’t expect timequakes and planes being kidnapped for genetic material.

Weltall then goes over Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure(1989). It’s Keanu Reeves and some poor bastard playing high school stoners who are about to fail a history class and not graduate. As this will ruin the future, George Carlin gets sent back in time via a time traveling phone booth to let them hop about so they can give a passing report. If it sounds crazy, that’s because cocaine was plentiful in the eighties.

Tim then talks about The Philadelphia Experiment(1984). It is probably one of the few movies based on an urban legend of the same name. We highly encourage you to read the wiki on the urban legend even if you never view the movie. Long story short, some guys from the early forties end up in modern day(the eighties). Things happen for seemingly no reason and they end up kidnapping Officer Lewis from RoboCop. You know, the wacky adventures of time travelers.

Manga Pulse 356: Gun Wag

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Sometimes the inspiration for finding a manga comes in the form of an email. Either a helpful listener who wants to share something they love or someone who wants to watch us suffer will make a suggestion. Other times we’ll simply hit the random button and hope to hell that whatever it lands on isn’t jam packed with tentacles and pictures of roses opening which symbolize the loss of virginity for the robot monster piloted by a twelve year old. Continue reading Manga Pulse 356: Gun Wag

Popcorn Pulse 60: Dark Edge

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This week is another one of choices. Whereas Tim put forth Brainscan prior, he offered something a little more palatable for Weltall. This might be due to him having something truly awful waiting in the wings that he swears is good or “fun” or whatever other garbage reasons he comes up to justify his purchase of a ten ent copy of “Hell Comes to Frogtown”.

To that end, we talk about The Edge(1997). Some of the casting alone were an enticement. It stars Anthony Hopkins as a billionare who travels to Alaska. Alec Baldwin, yes the good Baldwin, is a photographer who’s tailing Hopkins wife. Things happen and they end up in the woods being hunted by a bear. It’s a lot of fun for anyone who like wilderness survival films and felt The Grey ended on too much of a downer.

Tim then talks about Project Almanac[2015], It’s a time travel movie which came out and was probably forgotten a month after. It’s shot in the found footage style that’s obnoxious, senseless, and half assedly explained. There are some hilarious moments like them claiming the only place they can find hydrogen is at the school. It’s almost a remake of The Butterfly Effect with some technobabble thrown in.

Weltall then talks about The Dark Knight Rises[2012]. In short, it makes no sense. A lot of characters run around doing things either because the plot demands they do it or Gotham has complementary lobotomies handed out every Friday. This sparks a bit of a discussion between the two which drags out til the close of the show.

Manga Pulse 355: Narak Academia

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What do we have for you this show? Going by the name, we have a bit of manga for a change. Rather than all that crochet advise we’re known to give. It remains Tokyopop free though we hear stirring from the dark chasm the Levy occupies. Perhaps one day it will emerge, having toiled hard on the resurrection potion. Continue reading Manga Pulse 355: Narak Academia

Popcorn Pulse 59: Screaming at Midnight

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Given how Tim seems to pick movies that drive Weltall insane, he offered Weltalla choice. Unfortunately, he failed to exercise this option before the show loomed large. This left Tim with the autonomy of choice. Naturally he picked something from the nineties that was probably dredged from the bottom of a dollar bin and previously viewed.

The joint discussion, once it begins, is Screamers(1995). It’s a very similar plot to that of Avatar mized with Red Faction. There’s a valuable mineral on some planet or moon which the earth wants. Some of the local miners revolt and start a war. The earth coporation governement decides robot that can kill the locals is the best solution. The movie starts when something goes terribly wrong, of course.

Tim then briefly talks about Midnight Run(1988). It features Robert De Niro before his tough guy persona became the punchline in Ben Stiller comedies. He is taked with recovering Charle Grodin who skipped out on bail. Robert has to take Charles from Los Angeles to New York within a week while trying to keep him away from the FBI, the mob and other bounty hunters. He doesn’t manage much to say about it, other than it’s a good flick, blaming time.

Weltall then talks about a Youtube channel, Frank Howarth. Tim rolls his eyes which prompts Weltall to argue that Tim seems stuck on movies. With that out of the way, the content of the channel, named after the creator, is mostly woodworking with insane tools on projects most people will never accomplish. While there are more than a few channels and shows like this, the presentation and effot Frank puts into his videos is astounding. He turns a large majority of his project into a stop motion film and the scope of effort involved is often mind boggling and an experience well woth the price of admission.