Film/Mini-Series Review: Over the Garden Wall

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Since this past year, I’ve been slacking off on watching various shows/movies.  Sounds kinda funny considering I’m all about reviewing movies and shows too, right?  Needless to say, I’ve been catching up on tons of content I’ve missed for a while; whether that be through video release or the divine gift to the masses that some people refer to as “Netflix”.  Among those things was a charming animated dark faerie tale called “Over the Garden Wall.”  This mini-series/movie (either works, depending on who you ask) involves two boys lost in a strange otherworld full of anachronistic people, horrible creatures, and some really catchy music numbers.

It’s not exactly easy to nail down what Over the Garden Wall is.  Is it comical or dramatic?  Is it merely an homage to the works of yesteryear or the expectation of tomorrow?  Is it a tongue-in-cheek folktale or something right out of The Twilight Zone?  And this doesn’t even cover a lot of the mini-series’ countless mysteries that countless fans are still trying to figure out.  That combined with the questions above, people are still coming back for more.  From a small cult hit to a recognized Emmy winning masterpiece, it’s likely one that will endure for a while yet.  But this begs the question, why?  Well, I’ll certainly do my best to try to figure it out!

NOTE:  This review contains heavy spoilers.  While this mini-series has been out for almost a year and was recently released on DVD, you have been warned.

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The Doc Speaks: My Top 10 Favorite Sci-Fi/Horror series intros

Admittedly, this came up after watching a recent editorial done by Nostalgia Critic on what he thought were the 11 best television intro sequences.  To some extent, I was in agreement with quite a few of them, since you’d think opinions are likely to overlap or connect in one way or another.  Back on topic, that list embodied what he felt best prepared the audience for the show ahead or helped to establish the general mood.  Or at the very least, got them excited for the rest of the 22/46 or so minute time slot.  Genre fiction works in particular inject that sense of ambiance and expectation within the intro, so that way viewers can get immersed into the world as soon as the show truly begins.  So with that, here are 10 of my personal favorite openings to sci-fi and horror themed TV shows!

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My Top 10 Favorite X-Files Episodes

The Truth is Out There

While I had originally planned to do a review this week, a bit of news had changed that.  Just recently, Fox Media had confirmed rumors and speculation about a new X-Files series.  While Carter had both planned to make another movie after the lackluster 2008 film, “I Want to Believe”, there hadn’t been much news outside of fan speculation.  Fast Forward a couple years and the series was officially continued through the limited-series of comic books aptly named “Season 10”.  But even then, this was more so a gift to the fans rather than continuing the ongoing series.  That said, we have at least 6 new episodes of the television show to look forward to.  However, I’m not here to focus on the upcoming series so much as look back at the classic series.  Or rather, I’m here to look at ten of my favorite episodes!  Some are amazing, some have been panned by critics, and some are just wonderfully weird.  As you’d expect, there is probably an amount of overlap with what other fans have said.  But hey, there’s plenty of episodes worth remembering by a large group of people.  One more thing!  While I tried to avoid a lot of spoilers, there are still quite a few ahead, so take heed if you haven’t finished the series yet.  More after the jump.

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The Doc Speaks: Let’s Play the Let’s Play Game

A couple months ago, that silly South Park finale with popular youtube personality, “Pewdiepie” got me thinking about some things.  And no, this isn’t some elaborate shitposting thread dedicated to “how Youtube users like Pewdiepie are polluting the site” or whatever.  To be honest, I don’t really care about Pewdiepie or others like him.  Now, I’m sure Felix and whatever other popular examples out there are fine people and I hold no grudges against them.    But, today I’m here to ponder about what makes these videos so enjoyable.  More jumbled thoughts and random rambling after the jump!

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TV Review – American Horror Story: Freakshow

AHS Freakshow

Author’s Note: After a turbulent week, it’s good to be back! Despite all the chaos that’s been happening, expect everything to be back on track.

Every season, the FX anthology series, “American Horror Story” delivers fresh takes on various tropes within horror mythology. Most of these are conveyed as deconstructions or sometimes even playing cliches and conventions straight, sometimes to fantastic effect!  In previous seasons, we explored haunted houses, corrupt asylums, and a survivalist witch’s coven.  This previous season took a look at that the classic notion of the freak show, with a wide assortment of classic carnival motifs thrown in for good measure too. Throughout the season, we followed the swan song of Elsa Mars’ Cabinet of Curiosities; a dying freak show that’s among one of the last of its kind. The public has pretty much moved on from that sort of act (as a line the finale helps to reinforce) as attention is brought to the freaks through all sorts of diabolic mayhem and murder! In some senses of the term, diabolic is oddly appropriate! Given AHS’ reputation with previous seasons, how much better did Freakshow fare? First, it’s time to raise the curtains and start the show!
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TV Review – Doctor Who series 8 Finale – Dark Water/Death in Heaven

Mistress
There were so many pictures to choose from, but I didn’t want to spoil the episode BEFORE the review began, now did I?

Series 8 has been a series of change, while having a lot of familiarity. On one hand, we witnessed the start of a new Doctor, a new personality, new sides to established characters, and new twists and turns. While some of these aspects of the current series have been better than others, I can safely say that the season hasn’t produced an absolute dud! That said, I’m still quite divided on the season finale, even more so than “Into the Forest of Fear” (which I’ll still declare as the low point of the season.) Now, was the two-parter good regardless of my uncertainly towards it? We’ll just have to take a trip through space and time to find out, now won’t we?

WARNING: This review contains spoilers on both episodes of the Series 8 Finale of Doctor Who.
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TV Review: Doctor Who – Deep Breath

Please pardon the lateness, I’ve been really excited to do a review of the Doctor Who season premiere, hence why things are posted a bit later than usual.

Deep breath
Deep Breath Poster by Timelockgraphics.

Back around Christmas 2013, we saw Matt Smith’s incarnation of the Doctor leave as tides of change returned once more. And with it, we saw a new face. At the end of the episode, we got a taste of the “12th Doctor” played by Peter Capaldi. While his “Attack Eyebrows” made a cameo in the special from a month prior to that, we didn’t know much about him. We’ve seen many trailers of the premier as well as teasers for his new wardrobe. (3 + 9 = 12!) But, it wasn’t as satisfying as finally sitting down and watching the count down to the new episode; a new adventure for a new doctor!
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The Doc Speaks: ADVENTURE TIME! My top 5 favorite (and least favorite) episodes

Finn And Jake

One could say we’re living in a new animation renaissance! Great new cartoons have breached the age old “Animation Age Ghetto” that lasted from the ’70s into the late ’00s… at least one could debate. One of the cartoons that I think broke the mold was Adventure Time! On the surface, it’s a goofy tale of a boy and his really weird dog. But really, there is so much more to the show than that!

Speaking of which, does that synopsis remind you of anything? Because it should! Adventure Time is basically “A Boy and His Dog” meets light-hearted faerie tale adventure. When the series first revealed to be after a supernaturally-driven nuclear apocalypse, I was stunned. The show had teased it everywhere! Nuclear bomb casings, leftovers of old society, you name it! It wasn’t until season two when they really exploited it beyond some cameo easter eggs, in my opinion. But, the show isn’t great for an awesome back story, it’s great for so much more. The awesome back story for the world is my excuse to write about Adventure Time during Nuclear Apocalypse month!

But, back on topic, Adventure Time is truly a unique show. The characters have developed in a lot of interesting directions over time. And dare I say, most of them have grown up a little from all the experiences they’ve come across. Now, I’m biased towards the character story driven episodes, as I feel they really pushed the show beyond goofball slapstick adventure. The show has made me laugh, cry, jump in fright, and even fume in rage. Sometimes, this happened all in the same episode! But no matter, Adventure Time has proven that it can display a wide variety of themes, emotions, and concepts.

So… Come along with me and the butterflies and bees. We can wander through the forest and do so as we please… Where was I? Oh yeah, my top (and bottom) Adventure Time episodes; in lists of 5 no less! Let’s take my warped opinions with a grain of salt and travel to the magical land of Ooo!

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Film Review: Witch Hunt (1994)

WITCH HUNT

A ways back, I covered an urban fantasy film called, “Cast a Deadly Spell”, which injected a post-War film noir aspect into the realms of modern fantasy. The sequel, “Witch Hunt” focuses on Cold War paranoia being represented by the abuse of magicks.

In the introduction, we’re given a TV newsreel of the world of L.A.! But, it’s not our L.A., as magic is everywhere in this atomic age fantasy. But, this decay in morality is too much for Senator Larson Crockett! His goal is to put an end to magic once and for all! Will he succeed? And of course, what insidious power is really at work here?
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Television Review: BBC’s Sherlock

Sherlock

Those who know me personally deal with the fact that I’m reluctant to try new things. But, after a bit of pushing, I gave the BBC adaptation of Sherlock a try. Sure, I could have focused on single episodes, but I wanted to write more about the series as a whole. So… what did I think? Find out after the jump!
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