Steven Universe is one of those cult hit cartoon network animated shows that resonate with its viewers about love, friendship and being themselves. It does have a positive overall message about the show and comes from a place of compassion.
With many fans of the show, the DVD for season 2 is out at different stores such as Barnes and Noble and Walmart as well as online. This season also has the key feature of having a Garnet key chain within the set. The going price on this, at least online, is retailing for approximately $26.00 with tax. That is a good amount of money for a show, though with a lot of episodes, only has a run time that is just a little over four hours. Can we find a way to justify spending that kind of money on a TV show with not too long of an overall run time? Is quality outranking quantity? Let’s find out.
Most TV shows that even have 13 episodes of thirty minute run time have a longer run time. I know that they do cram a lot of plot and happenings in each episode and can milk out 12 minute episodes so quickly but, that is a very short overall season run time for that kind of money. I do appreciate the plot and story but that run-time feels more to be desired for over twenty dollars. Considering the first season had so many more episodes, season two didn’t have as many episodes.
Inside the DVD box, you get a Garnet key chain. That is a nice little thing to have. It’s very cushy and you see Garnet’s three eyes open staring blank at you. It’s a little nice trinket to throw into a DVD that seems to have been made decently. It looks like a mini pillow that goes on your keys. My question is what fan of the show will knowingly put this on their key chain and walk around with it in pride and have it being almost a distraction. If you do put a lot of stuff on your key chain with mini pops and other cushy items and trinkets, this will fit in with your collection. If you only have bare minimum key chain and are willing to spice it up, it will add some nice pink and some blue to the normality of your keys.
Besides the short run time and the bonus item in the DVD set, one thing people love about these sets are the special features. I love going through TV show special features and seeing some deleted scenes or behind the scenes or seeing some of the voice actors rehearsing some lines. This has something cool added on disc two of the DVD. They have Animatics. They have a selection of seven episodes from the season that has the storyboard, with some animated motions alongside the audio tracks. I think its cool seeing the sketching and how the fluidity comes from the storyboard to what seems to be the final product.
Watching it with the audio track is very similar to some old school comic book TV show like how Hannah Barbera did their animation or even better when Marvel made their 1966 Incredible Hulk cartoon. It was just a lot of stills with some basic motion. The Animatics are cool to see how it goes from sketch to the final product and is definitely fun. The one suggestion is maybe using other episodes from a different season than season two. I don’t know how many people would watch the final product of the episode and then go see the Animatics of the episode. I think it would be nice to throw some season two and then maybe some season 1 episode just to show something different that we didn’t just watch prior. Besides that nitpick, it is cool seeing the Animatics as the bonus feature.
So, overall, after listing the pros and cons of the DVD, would I recommend people to go out and purchase it? Well, overall, I’d say no. Over 26 dollars for a DVD doesn’t seem like a lot for a TV show, but, with the run time of only four hours, it does leave more for the audience member to get more bang for the buck. The key chain is nice and is cushy, but that doesn’t make much of a difference to me.
Finally, the Animatics are a lot of fun to see the process from storyboard animation to how you know how the final product will look, it is sadly been leaked on the internet and there are other ways of seeing them. As a whole, it is cool but its one of those features that people can live without and doesn’t really add much to the experience that is Steven Universe. The main problem with dropping the money is most people have some video streaming capabilities at home whether through Hulu or Amazon Prime. Steven Universe is on Hulu and episodes of Steven Universe are also on Amazon prime for purchase.
If you do not have Hulu or Amazon and are a big fan of the show, I cannot fault people for spending their money on what they want but I think with what is being presented in the DVD and the lack of wow from the free item and some special features, the money is too hefty and there are plenty of other movies and TV shows for a cheaper price that will get you just as much enjoyment and have some more bonus items and features on the discs. But, if you must have the season on disc, just wait until it goes down in price just to justify the expense to enjoyment factor.
Joy Ride Is An Extremely Raunchy And Hilarious Comedy
Joy Ride is an extremely raunchy and hilarious comedy that takes the mantle of ensemble risky
comedies that at times, leave your mouth on the floor. Joy Ride focuses on two best friends
Audrey and Lolo (Ashley Sullivan and Sherry Cola) end up getting roped up into a trip to Asia,
they end up on gals pal cross-continent trek to find Audrey’s long lost birth mother so she
doesn’t lose a huge business deal.
The chemistry in this movie is superb. Every character has their moment to shine and there’s
rarely a scene where you don’t get a belly laugh. I was shocked at how crazy and bold this
movie got, continually pushing the line to get a laugh. The movie does a good job of getting to
the point and getting to the scenes that really make you chuckle. There are some editing choices where the story flies by some stuff, and it feels a little incomplete, but never at the expense of really enjoying being around for the journey.
I thought that this was a sleeper for this year and certainly a movie worth watching with your
friends some weekend. It’s great to throw on if you want a laugh and really just enjoy some
great actors riffing off each other. The focus on culture was a nice touch and really elevated the movie to another level. While I would say if you’re easily offended, this movie is not for you – if you’re looking for a no holds barred comedy, Joy Ride is a trip worth taking.
Who Doesn’t Want To Wear The Ninja Suit Of Snake-Eyes Or Dress Like The Mandalorian?
Hasbro has had their pulse app out for a while now. It allows for access to items to buy, preorder, and a look into future projects and releases. It also allows for a very cool thing most nerds (a group of which I am a proud card-carrying member) have always wanted, the ability to make yourself into an action figure. I’ve contemplated making one for a time but, I finally got my chance to get my hands on one at Comic-Con this year. Now, of course, I had to wait in line as it was a pretty sought-after item. Who doesn’t want to have themselves wear the ninja suit of Snake-Eyes or dressed like a Mandalorian? I was approached by one of the booth staff as I was showing my nephew all the cool ways we could get him his own MIles Morales action figure with his face (as he’s a massive fan) and invited to take a seat and scan our faces into the Hasbro Pulse app with the help of their awesome team and make this dream a reality. My wife was with us, so of course she got in on the fun too. We scanned our faces in and it was very simple and quick. Then we all selected our figures to add our heads to. We all chose Power Rangers(Me as the Black Ranger, my wife chose the pink ranger and the nephew got the red ranger). Then we were told that we needed to wait about 4-6 weeks and we’d have our custom action figure team in our hands. This was a major part of our Comic-Con adventure and definitely, a memory my wife and nephew won’t forget (as it was both of their first Con ever). Thank you to Hasbro for being so generous(also getting me brownie points that home) and I highly suggest checking out Hasbro Pulse and all the cool stuff it has to offer.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter: Double-knock on wood!
Adapted and written largely from the Captain’s Log chapter of Bram Stoker’s magnum opus Dracula, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the story of Dracula’s journey by ship from Carpathia to London, and what happened to her crew in the interim.
So here we are in Bulgaria, middle of 1897, and Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) of the Russian schooner Demeter is here to take on some strange cargo from some unknown client and transport it to Carfax Abbey in London. In need of some extra hands, the Captain sends out his capable Second Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) to scout for some, and initially the roving black doctor and aspiring philosopher Clemens (Corey Hawkins) is passed over in favor of more work-roughened men. The adorable cabin boy of the Demeter, Toby (Woody Norman), narrowly misses being crushed by the mysterious dragon-marked crates being loaded onto the ship, saved by Clemens himself and switched out with the superstitious sailors running from the Demeter like they had been poisoned by the sign of Dracul. And now, armed with some nine or so crewmen, Doc Clemens, and Captain Eliot himself, the twenty-four strange what looks like coffins adorned with dragon signs brought mostly safely aboard, the Demeter can make for open water and the Hell that awaits them there.
The duty of showing Clemens around the ship falls to a cheerful Toby, who proudly shows him the living areas, the Captain’s quarters, the very-large cargo hold, the galley and kitchen where the overly-devout Joseph (Jon Jon Briones) cooks the crews meals, the various above decks, even the sails, and the rigging are all at least touched on, and the livestock pens that Toby himself is in charge of, including the handsome good-boy doggy Huckleberry, or just Huck. We the audience get a very clear feeling of what it’s like to actually be aboard the Demeter, just how large she really is, and what living on a ship for months at sea is really like, the reality and practicality and the dangers of it.
Everyone more or less settles in for a hopefully uneventful voyage, taking mess around the common table and exchanging ideas or aspirations for when they arrive in London early thanks to the fair winds, and receive a handsome bonus for their troubles. But that involves being alive and making it to London to spend said bonus and pay, and the coffin crates spilling dark soil from the motherland and disgorging all sorts of other nasty secrets, have some serious plans to the contrary.
First, it’s the livestock, innocent and shrieking in their locked pens as a monster takes great furious bites out of their necks, and of course, the creature just straight up ruins poor doggy Huck. Then there’s the fully grown girl that gets dislodged from an open coffin-crate, covered in bite scars and as pale as death, she eventually starts interacting and talking after several blood transfusions from Doc Clemens, Toby learns her name is Anna (Aisling Franciosi). And then, as the weather turns foul and the winds begin to be a serious problem, the attacks turn toward the remaining humans onboard the Demeter.
Most people these days are familiar with Dracula, that gorgeous cunning vampire Elder who can supposedly transform into a bat or a wolf, seducing women to voluntarily offer up their veins like an unholy sacrament, a being at once beautiful and powerful, but also horrific and murderous if given half a heartbeat to smell your blood. This is not Dracula.
Instead, the creature that hunts the humans occupying the Demeter is an absolute monster, not a single human feature left to it, barely even recognizable as humanoid-shaped, instead boasting not just full-length bat wings but an entire exo-skin of bat membranes that can be used for feeding, a mouth full of needle-like teeth akin to a predator of the deepest darkest parts of the ocean, those yellowed Nosferatu eyes that will not tolerate light in any way, and of course giant pointy bat-ears. This is a thing, a grotesque straight from the depths of Hell, and no amount of glamor magic can make this Dracula (Javier Botet) seem like anything other than what he, is – a parasitic demon who only wants your blood. There is no reasoning with it, no trapping it, not even really any talking to it (kinda hard to talk when your throat has been ripped out), and, like the much more frightening Dracula stories of old, no amount of pure faith behind a symbol does anything other than give false hope.
Coming face to face with an actual abomination does different things to different people. The formerly delightfully foul-mouthed Abrams (Chris Walley) dissolves into a blubbering mess; poor Larsen (Martin Furulund) didn’t even get to see his own death coming; and it turns out Olgaren (Stefan Kapicic) wants to live so badly, he’ll suffer becoming a blank-eyed Renfield if that’s what it takes. All of Cook Joseph’s purported pure faith didn’t stop him from trying to take the coward’s way out and didn’t save him anyway when the sound of unnatural bat wings descended on him. I find that kind of irony delicious. Dear Anna, resigned to her fate to be eternal food for the horror that terrorized her village, nevertheless wants to try and save whoever is left of the Demeter with her own sacrifice, and there aren’t many. Wojchek of course wants to kill Dracula, but for all his logic and solid practical nature, has no experience whatsoever with this sort of thing, and sure doesn’t want to sacrifice the Demeter, the beloved ship he called home that was promised to him by Captain Eliot himself, in order to destroy that demon. Even poor sweet Toby isn’t safe from the creature’s clutches, and what happens to the cabin boy of the Demeter is what finally sends Captain Eliot over the blooming edge. And who could blame him? For this sort of thing to happen during the last voyage of such a proud, solid ship as the Demeter, is some serious bullsh*t.
To leave such a film open for a potential sequel, especially when called the last voyage of something, was a pretty hefty ask, and somehow the filmmakers managed it. I personally think a different version of Van Helsing, the infamous vampire hunter, teaming up with a certain black doctor who nurses a serious grudge against Dracula, could be a kickass sequel. Until then, experience the doomed final journey of the Demeter and her poor crew in all it’s bloodstained glory, in theaters now!