Friday, September 28, 2012

Top 11 Nostalgia Critic Reviews -- 6. Titanic Animated Movies

Number 6 -- Titanic Animated Movies


(Seriously, MaroBot's a great CG artist. He even made the set pieces and exteriors for Linkara's spaceship!)

Titanic: The Legend Goes On
Release Date: September 15, 2000
Posting Date: March 24, 2009
The Legend of Titanic
Release Date: April 17, 1999
Posting Date: May 17, 2011

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Top 11 Nostalgia Critic Reviews -- 7. The Haunting

Number 07 -- The Haunting

(Seriously, check out MaroBot's DeviantArt! He's also a brilliant CGI artist!)

Director: Jan de Bont
Lili Taylor, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Liam Neeson
Release Date: July 23, 1999
Posting Date: October 11, 2011

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Top 11 Nostalgia Critic Reviews -- 8. Tom and Jerry: The Movie

Number 08 -- Tom and Jerry: The Movie


Director: Phil Roman
Richard Kind, Dana Hill, Anndi McAfee
Release Date: July 30, 1993
Posting Date: September 1, 2008

Top 11 Nostalgia Critic Reviews -- 9. Kazaam

Number 09 -- Kazaam


Director: Paul Michael Glaser
Shaquille O'Neal, Francis Capra, Marshall Manesh
Release Date: July 17, 1996
Posting Date: October 06, 2008

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Top 11 Nostalgia Critic Reviews -- 10. Junior

Number 10 -- Junior

(Check out artist MaroBot's DeviantArt for more NC title cards!)

Director: Ivan Reitman
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, Emma Thompson
Release Date: November 23, 1994
Posting Date: January 12, 2010

Top 11 Nostalgia Critic Reviews -- 11. Saved By the Bell and Full House

Number 11 -- Saved By The Bell and Full House

(Full House title card by MaroBot. Check out his DeviantArt page for more NC title cards!)

Release Years: 1989-1993 (SBTB); 1987-1995 (Full House)
Networks: NBC (SBTB); ABC (Full House)
Posting Dates: August 25, 2008 (SBTB); May 26, 2009 (Full House)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Top 11 Nostalgia Critic Reviews -- Criteria and Index

When compiling this list of the best Nostalgia Critic reviews, I set a few points of criteria by which I would make my judgements. This is also evident in the Honorable Mentions section.

Read More after the jump.

Top 11 Nostalgia Critic Reviews -- Honorable Mentions

Before I bring out the Top 11 Nostalgia Critic Reviews, I would like to go over a few honorable mentions. I will admit, the shortlist for this countdown had about 75 reviews on it. If that sounds like an outrageous sum for such a small, cult Internet show, that's because it kinda is, I'm not gonna lie. Still, it was hard to choose the best reviews for this list, because there were a few common traits to all of them, all with the same positive vibes.

And so, beyond the Top 11, here we have some of the reviews I enjoyed the most.

Revolution -- A Review of the New NBC Drama

Revolution premieres tonight, September 17, 2012 at 10/9c on NBC


In recent years, the television drama has seen a real rise in quality and substance, the standards for series all around reaching new heights. This success started off with premium cable networks offering more substantial, more elaborate shows as a perk to subscribers. They would only grow in popularity and run a long time, and even eventually influence the more freely-available networks like basic cable and even the once-mighty broadcasters. One subgenre that benefited in particular from this boom was the post-apocalyptic setting, often containing survivalist themes. As far as recent examples go, the trend can be traced back to Jericho, which aired on CBS in 2006 and followed a small farming community in Kansas, cut off from society by a crippling terrorist attack and trying desperately to hang on by itself. Since then, more successful examples of this genre have popped up on cable. Chief among them is The Walking Dead, AMC's intense zombie apocalypse smash hit, and the Steven Spielberg-produced Falling Skies, a show on TNT just past its second season about a band of rebels fighting invading aliens. And now, NBC throws its hat into the ring with Revolution, from producer J.J. Abrams.

Revolution is set fifteen years after the world is thrown into turmoil by a mass blackout. In this inexplicable event, all forms of energy cease to function, and it's more than just all the power going out at once. Nothing works, not batteries, cars stall dead on the road, airplanes fall from the sky. In the setting proper, we're left with sprawling ruins all over the globe covered in dominating plant life, as depicted in Life After People. We follow Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos), who was a little girl when the lights went out and now dreams of exploring the world outside her neighborhood, which looks like a small agrarian development over an old suburb. But one day, the local warlords come in, kill her father and take her brother, Danny (Graham Rogers) prisoner. This propels her to start on a journey to find him, first going to the ruins of Chicago to meet her tough, hermit-like uncle Miles (Billy Burke, the dad from Twilight).

All the promos you've seen NBC throw around for Revolution (considering the network's woes, it shouldn't be so surprising that a lot of energy goes there to generate a lot of substantial material) look to make a great first impression. If you look into the archives of this blog, you will find that the initial trailer for this show as soon as it was picked up this past May made me very excited. I could easily relate to a show that suggested that we are a little too closely connected to our electronics, because I thought it was a good point and still do. In fact, producer Abrams suggested that one of the major conflicts on this show is said to be the debate of whether or not the power should ever come back on. We even have a promo of Charlie, out protagonist saying that she doesn't think it should, stating that "When the world lost power, I found mine." I'm not sure if I can go that far, but I won't deny Abrams words either, saying that we may need to get away from it all.

But aside from that, we also get the images of a great-looking show. Another executive producer is our pilot's director Jon Faverau, the Iron Man director who I think might be the best actor-turned-director working. We get an intense opening sequence of all the power going off in the opening scene of the pilot, showing real reactions of people observing the world essentially coming to a halt. It all goes from two kids desensitized by bright flashing images off a TV and a smartphone to the chilling image of airplanes stalling midair and falling into fiery explosions. Equally as frightful is the last image on the TV, showing Bugs Bunny looking like he's trapped in a close-up shot as the image sputters around and flickers off. And the world of ruin is also great-looking. I already mentioned the History Channel's Life After People, but the same inspiration could also be found in Alan Weisman's The World Without Us. The first montage of this world promises great atmosphere as a benefit of the time-jump from the initial cataclysm, in the suitable nomadic setting and premise the show will offer. The only problem I have is in the wardrobe. Everyone's clothes look like their in good shape, and are surprisingly well-tailored. This is a world where all governments and economies failed, right? There is no Kohl's or Target to get these clothes from, much less factories to make them. It really is a nitpick and the show shouldn't be judged completely on it, but I felt like bringing it up.

But this world, covered in vegetation that is eating through all remains of the city, isn't the only one we'll see. I will admit, I initially thought that we were skipping a lot of potentially interesting stuff by jumping ahead fifteen years to the main setting. To my pleasant surprise, the pilot offered a few flashbacks to immediately after the initial blackout. An article in Entertainment Weekly also shows a picture promising to see how the family of our main heroes copes in the brave new world without power. I'm not saying either time period is better than the other. But, the initial narration talking about the inferred holocaust almost felt like a cheat, like they were leaving out some real juicy stories. Now though, I can say that the potential of this show is double the size you would expect, offering the potential for great survivalist themes on two accounts. The first being about people hoping to get by on limited resources, having just been sapped completely in a single fell swoop. And the other being a war zone where the survivors of the last fifteen years constantly pick up their arms and ward off any direct threat, like from that militia.

And finally, let's compare and contrast for a minute. Both Jericho and Falling Skies started off showcasing characters trying to survive in what seemed like a dead world, Falling Skies with some sense of a direct threat. Both shows however, would find direct conflict in their second seasons. The Walking Dead only sounds like it could be about direct conflict, given the presence of zombies. But you can argue that zombies aren't that exciting to watch as villains, and the greatest strengths of that show come to light in other ways as a real display of survivalist action and suspense. So far, all of these shows have really raised the bar for this genre, and Revolution has a long climb to make. But, while we do have one big, direct source of conflict hanging over the show, the potential for some serious survivalist overtones still hangs high. With any luck, it'll hit a strong chord both in storytelling and with audiences.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Top 11 Nostalgia Critic Reviews Intro -- A Saulte

It all happened so fast. There were hints dropped months in advance, and the evidence seemed to have piled up like crazy. And yet, this big shift feels like it happened at the drop of a hat.

It was over so abruptly.

Indeed, internet comedian and film reviewer Doug Walker has just announced that he is not going to do any more Nostalgia Critic videos. This announcement comes on the heels of the conclusion of To Boldly Flee, the eight-part special celebrating the fourth anniversary of the website.
From my personal perspective, the first hint at this revelation was the initial teaser for the special released back in June, around the same time Spoony's departure from the site was announced. I had my suspicions when the next Nostalgia Critic was for the Digimon movie, a crossover with anime critic JesuOtaku. Doug made it clear that the cartoon was far outside of the span of his childhood and that he didn't want to review it (even though it wasn't on his "Top 11 Nostalgia Critics I'll Never Do" video), and this was evident as far back as the April  2008 review of Pokemon: The First Movie. If anything felt like crossing an item off a figurative bucket list, that review hit the nail on the head. Several reviews in the following weeks seemed to have followed suit, especially with all the crossovers that cropped up (and there were plenty in the year so far as well).

Still, I just shrugged those feelings off. But then came the Scooby-Doo movie review with its feelings of finality, in homage to the Star Trek: The Next Generation finale. And even then, I didn't really fall back into such suspicions until To Boldly Flee ended.

As he said, Doug intends to move on to new projects. Based on the footage of his new studio, they look to be more ambitious than he's ever been in his videos. As someone who's been watching the Nostalgia Critic since his humble YouTube beginnings and never missed an episode, I look forward to this new venture. But with this chapter coming to a close, I feel like I should follow suit with what Doug has planned for the immediate future and reflect on what was, through-and-through simply a fun ride.

Over the next few days, I intend to post commentaries on my absolute favorite Nostalgia Critic reviews. First off, I'll post a list of honorable mentions, going over some of the great, memorable and very funny reviews that only barely made the final cut. And then, I start on my list of the Top 11 Nostalgia Critic Reviews.

Keep watching this space!