Guest Author · Movie · Review · TV Show

Dubbed vs Subbed, The Foreign Film Dilemma

I’ve watched a fair number of foreign films and TV shows in my life, particularly anime. These days which anime I watch mostly depends on what’s on Hulu and Netflix, and almost all of it is subtitled. Sometimes its ideal for the show or movie, other times I find myself wishing it had been dubbed over. This leads to the question: which is better?

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Either way, the tentacles remain.

In general, there is no answer between the two. The best option, of course, is to be able speak the movie or show’s original language, though this isn’t a reality for an American audience. Since the majority of foreign films and TV shows I watch are from China and Japan, I will be focusing on works from those countries with one important exception from American cinema which I’ll get to later.

My first exposure to a foreign movie was probably the Godzilla franchise, of which my favorite installment is Godzilla: Final Wars. I’ve tried watching this same movie both subbed and dubbed, and I vastly prefer the dubbed version as is the case for all Godzilla movies I’ve seen. So dubbed is better, right? Not so fast, because I’ve also seen both versions of Kung Fu Hustle, and the jokes are MUCH funnier in the subbed version. OK, maybe subbed is better for comedies and dubbed is better for action movies? No again, as from what I’ve heard Pokemon: The First Movie was deeper and more interesting subtitled compared to the dubbed version I saw (which was borderline infantile in its dialogue). Continue reading “Dubbed vs Subbed, The Foreign Film Dilemma”

Announcement · Ideas · Movie · Series · TV Show · Wedding

Schedule Announcement!

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We are still going strong since my First Post on February 10th with the ambitious goal of posting 2-4 times a week!*

Thank you for the positive response on my Engagement & Wedding Series idea! Me and my Guest Author (or more like co-author at this point) have come up with a schedule that we hope you will enjoy! We’ve even made alliterations so that it’s easy to remember. If you check the TOP MENU, I’ve also added quick links so you can pull up all of the posts under our featured categories. Don’t forget to check out my Rating Rubric page too where you’ll get an idea for how I determine how to rate items.

Mark your calendar folks:

Continue reading “Schedule Announcement!”

Guest Author · Review · TV Show

The OA – Take it Off Your Netflix Queue

So far all of my posts have been of films and series that I like, so it’s time to shake things up a bit.

The OA is a series on Netflix which consists of eight episodes, with only one season having aired so far. The plot revolves around a woman named Prairie/The OA (Brit Marling) who reappears after having been missing for seven years. At the time she disappeared she was blind, but now can see since coming back. Throughout the season she tells a story to five random people about how she became blind, how her life changed as a result, and what happened over the last 7 years to help her regain her sight.

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Are you my mummy?

Mild spoilers from the first two episodes follow.

First, the positives. All of the actors (with one exception) range from competent to excellent in their roles, with my two favorites being Phyllis Smith as the schoolteacher Elizabeth and Jason Isaacs as Hap, a doctor running experiments.

Smith’s character has an extremely sympathetic and effective character arc throughout the season and I wish that she had been the protagonist, maybe someone who had been through Prairie’s story in the past and it came back to haunt her. Her sadness and hope to make circumstances better for her and those close to her stands out throughout the season.

Isaacs brought a charisma, intelligence, and ruthlessness tempered with slight Continue reading “The OA – Take it Off Your Netflix Queue”

Guest Author · Product · Review · Series · TV Show

Super Mario Bros Z (Exactly What it Sounds Like)

Full disclosure: I once donated money to the Patreon page of this series to help fund an episode. Now that that’s out of the way…

Ever wanted to see a Sonic and Mario crossover cartoon series? Officially, we probably never will due to licensing issues. Unofficially, a lot of fans have made a lot of series with this premise. The one that continues to stand out, however, is Super Mario Bros Z by Mark Haynes (AKA Alvin-Earthworm).

In 2006 on Newgrounds.com Haynes released the first episode of this series. It was okay with 2 main draws. The first was the crossover of the two franchises with the arrival of Metal Sonic in the Mushroom Kingdom. The second was the humor from poking fun at the formula seen in the Mario games.

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Who told you I want to kidnap Peach?

The next episode was significantly better and showed what Haynes could do with fight scenes. Both the humor and action improved as the series went on, with the final episode having a fast-paced, creative, and hilarious battle against Bowser’s army. Unfortunately, it ended in a cliffhanger which was never resolved. Years later the series has now been rebooted, which I think is a mistake. Yes, the animation has gotten even better with the newest episode, but I’d rather have seen that quality go into finishing the story that fans have wanted to see for a decade.

The work that was put into this series is astounding, especially when you consider that it wasn’t made by an animation studio but instead by some very dedicated fans who, at least at first, probably weren’t getting paid. Production time for each episode could take months due to the effort necessary to make the animation work, as well as writing the script and dialogue for the characters.

Haynes is clearly a knowledgeable fan of Sonic, Mario, and Dragon Ball Z as elements from all three franchises are present throughout the series. Sonic and Shadow’s personalities are tweaked enough to make them more closely resemble Goku and Vegeta, respectively. The chaos emeralds are a stand-in for the dragon balls, though a lot of fans have pointed out that this is the intention of the Sonic series anyways. The fighting abilities of all the characters are more fast-paced using techniques from all three series and even a little bit from Super Smash Bros. A fan of any one of these series, or better yet a fan of all three, can enjoy all the references and how the environment and characters are combined to make new possibilities for storytelling.

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CALL ME VEGETA ONE MORE TIME!

Continue reading “Super Mario Bros Z (Exactly What it Sounds Like)”