Review: Kim Possible (TV, 2002 – 2007)

February 20th, 2013

Editor’s Note: This review is up a day late. It’s the first review I’ve done in a long time, and the first TV show I’ve ever reviewed. In other words, I don’t know much of what I’m doing! Lateness won’t happen again in the near future. :-)

I’m not one to review (or even watch) TV shows, but Kim Possible has earned a special place in my heart, and it’s my civic duty to tell you about it.

For the uninitiated, Kim Possible is a Disney cartoon that ran from 2002 to 2007, with two movies (A Sitch In Time and So The Drama) mixed in. The show and movies follow Kim Possible (voiced by Christy Romano), her sidekick Ron Stoppable (Will Friedle), and his naked mole rat, Rufus (Nancy Cartwright), as they save the world from an array of villains. Did I mention that they’re in high school? The theme song Call Me, Beep Me by Christina Milian is catchier than it has any right to be, and at 22 years old I love everything about the cartoon.

(For the non-believers, Kim Possible has a supporting voice cast of names which you might recognize, including but not limited to: Patrick Warburton, Gary Cole, and even Patton Oswalt. Believe it or not a bit of care was put into this show’s four-season run.)

Kim Possible is a normal teenage girl — captain of the cheerleading team, mostly straight-A student, awkward around cute boys, etc. — except for the fact that she saves the world regularly. With the unexplained ability to go from high school to anywhere in the world and back in a matter of minutes, she manages her schedule pretty well. Honestly, this show is very feminist and the writers deserve a lot of credit for making the lead character someone who girls should look up to; not just a hero, but a (mostly) straight-A hero.

Ron Stoppable — again, Kim Possible’s sidekick — is my favorite protagonist by far. He’s a socially awkward “loser” who doesn’t let anything deter him. Despite being in his mid-teens, he trick-or-treats without a second thought because it’s fun and he gets free candy. He wins talent shows despite having little-to-no talent other than his confidence. Ron Stoppable is the archetype we should strive to be; honest not just to the people around us but also to ourselves. His naked mole rat is also the coolest pet to ever grace a screen, so there’s that too!

The primary antagonist is Dr. Drakken (John DiMaggio), a mad scientist bent on conquering the world with his glowing green sidekick Shego (Nicole Sullivan). While his schemes don’t always (read: ever) go un-foiled, “Doctor D.” can rock the mic like no other when the situation calls for it. Other as-unsuccessful villains do recur, however, including (but as always, not limited to): a Monkey Kung-Fu master, a billionaire in search of a hobby with his son, and — I’m not making this up — a Scottish golfer who golfs with exploding golf balls.

My favorite villain is that aforementioned Monkey Kung-Fu master, Lord Monty Fiske (Tom Kane), AKA “Monkey Fist”. He’s witty, sarcastic, has a great monkey-esque evil laugh, and is bloody British. Also, I like monkeys and we kind of share a name — “Monty” is my given nickname — so I can relate to the guy on some level. Without any desire for world domination and only out for personal gain Monkey Fist is one of the most level-headed villains in the series. He is also the arch enemy of Ron Stoppable, which makes his presence so much more entertaining.

If you’re one of the people who doesn’t watch kids’ cartoons strictly because society tells you it’s unacceptable, you’re doing humanity a disservice by not being who you are! I don’t follow societal norms and I turned out alright, didn’t I? (Don’t answer that.) Embrace your inner kid and tell the monotone adults to shove off!

If you like fun, witty Disney kids’ cartoons — even if you don’t want to admit it — check out Kim Possible. It’s a fantastic affair and I’m proud that it’s the first thing I feature on this blog’s return.

All of the Kim Possible episodes and the movies are available on YouTube, although you’ll have to search for the episodes by name since a lot of accounts don’t list the episodes in the right order. I’ve found “Deaconu GG-Marius” to be pretty reliable, but tap or click here for the correct episode listings. Have fun!

Picture This! Has Moved Back!

February 14th, 2013

Well, basically.

Assuming that you’re a new reader, this post has a bit of history that you might be interested in.

Somewhere over 1.5 years ago I announced that Picture This! was “moving” from Blogger to WordPress.com under a new name, (slightly) unkommon. In reality it was less of a move than a new beginning, which was sparked because Picture This! Reviews — a movie review blog — had become a hybrid film/tech blog, and its name no longer fit. I dropped the “Reviews” part from the name, but it still didn’t work in my eyes.

ptrevs.net was kept around as an archive, and unkommon.net was born. It would stay that way more than 1.5 years, as I explored a flurry of ideas on (slightly) unkommon with a flurry of successes and not-successes.

And so we turn to today.

As of this post, Picture This! on Blogger ceases to exist. Picture This! Reviews is and will remain on WordPress.org for the foreseeable future. It will feature movie reviews/news by me (or a guest occasionally) every Tuesday and Thursday, at least initially while I craft a new schedule.

For the uninitiated: WordPress.com is different than WordPress.org — WordPress.com is a free blogging service which grants limited controls, while WordPress.org gives me complete freedom to do as I wish, although I have to pay for my own server.

Going forward Picture This! Reviews and (slightly) unkommon will be active side-by-side. Instead of having one blog which has multiple directions, I now have two focused (and in some ways, niche) blogs. In addition, I also have Seizure Prone (my webcomic which I’m soon taking off of hiatus), other blogs I’m a contributor to, other work, and school. I’m officially a pretty busy guy.

But I’m confident that this busyness will work out for the best in the end.

As an aside, this transition was painful. You’d think that, in 2013, transitioning from one blogging platform to another and one server to another would be easy. You’ve got a 24 hour wait here, a 48 hour wait there, GoDaddy being irritating, and other issues. I don’t recommend going through this, although if it’s something you’re thinking about, talk to me and I’ll help you navigate.

P.S. You’ll find that probably the first half of my entries here open links in new windows. I don’t do that anymore, no worries.

Relevant Links

My other blog & webcomic:
(slightly) unkommon
Seizure Prone

Other blogs I’m signed onto:
Unity Bond
Screen Invasion

Random stuff:
Processing (generative design coding language I’m learning)
The Saylor Foundation (the “college” I’m attending)

Credit where credit is due:
Azeem Azeez (the genius behind the template that I’m using for Picture This! Reviews and (slightly) unkommon)

Picture This! Has Moved!

July 18th, 2011

Well, it’s been fun. There’s been ups, there’s been downs, and there’s been a lot of stuff in-between. But things have changed so much since I first started Picture This!, back when it was Picture This! Reviews. It’s time to move on, away from Blogger and to WordPress. Different name, different URL, different platform.

I hope you like (slightly) unkommon, my new sophomore blog. It’s better in almost every way, and while the template I use is pre-designed, I put a ton of thought into everything about the site, and I think of it as my own. I could describe every change made, but I think I’d rather you stumble upon things yourself by touring the new site.

As for what will happen to PTRevs.net. I understand the importance of archives, and with that in mind, this blog will stick around. I will pay for the URL as long as I am able to, and if there comes a year where I can’t, this blog will continue to live on as www.picturethisreviews.blogspot.com. The entries aren’t going anywhere.

Again, it’s been fun, and this blog has been a good learning experience. But it’s time to move to WordPress.

Thanks for everything and I hope you continue to read my material on (slightly) unkommon! 😀

Again, here’s the link.

Cheers,
-Montana

By the way, things came up and I couldn’t write that HP7p2 review. In short, it was pretty good, but not great. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, I highly recommend it, however.

Moving on Monday

July 16th, 2011

I know I promised a film entry for today, but this is important. Beginning Monday, PTRevs.net will be an archive. Be sure to check back Monday morning for all details.

Review for HP7p1 tomorrow.

Eliminating e-mail: Can I Do It?

July 14th, 2011

Edit: Is this tech week or what? Film entry on Friday. Promise.

e-mail is headache inducing, and I think a whole lot of people can attest to that. Waking up every morning, snatching my iPhone or iPad to check every e-mail I received overnight, is a miserable start to every day. Recently, however, MG Siegler wrote a piece at TechCrunch that shares my sentiments.

Email is the absolute devil. And the only way to not be corrupted is to… run away. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Those words kicked me off. I’m going to work to quit using e-mail outright, and I hope to accomplish this goal as soon as possible, and hopefully sooner. It will be hard, but I think it can be done, and this is how I’m going to do it. So, let’s get social.

e-mail is obviously, at its core, a way to communicate with others. To replace it, you need to utilise services that allow you to communicate with others. And not one service encompasses as many areas as e-mail does, so to get rid of e-mail, I need to use a combination of services. For that, I’m putting my faith in Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Facebook

Facebook is an amazing way to communicate with friends and family, and since I started using it regularly two years ago, my e-mail usage with those people have been cut drastically. While there are some things about Facebook to hate – The chat feature which needs to die in a fire – This is an easy fallback away from e-mail. And with Facebook’s foray into mobile, it’s the best way to keep in contact with people close to you wherever you are. That said, with hundreds of millions of users, I don’t believe Facebook really needed an introduction. 😉

Twitter

Twitter is a neat network that a lot of people pretend to hate. Nevertheless, since I started using Twitter last year, my contact portfolio has grown tremendously. I’ve met some amazing people from across the world, who I wouldn’t have met if not for Twitter. And the great thing? I have no interest in e-mailing any of them. Twitter is great for general discussion, it’s extremely focused, and I cite Twitter as the best way to contact me. As with Facebook, Twitter has done a lot in the mobile space, which makes things easy if you have a smartphone. Give it a shot if you haven’t already.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the leap of faith in this scheme. Many business professionals communicate with each other via e-mail, which is a kink in my plan. Fortunately I’ve noticed a lot of business professionals create a profile on LinkedIn, and if this trend doesn’t stop, LinkedIn will be a great place for business associates to communicate. I’m just beginning to learn the ropes on this one, and I hope that at least most of the people I associate with going forward have, or will have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is also in the mobile space, but its iPhone app stinks.

So…

If I can properly utilise Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and I streamline it into my mobile life, I think I can abandon e-mail altogether the day I finish college. My success depends on if other people continue to use these services, which is kind of a downer. But if people really want to get in contact with me, they know how.

Living Without Flash, pt. II

July 12th, 2011

Be the change you want to see in the world.

-Mahatma Gandhi

A while back I wrote an entry on how to live without Flash installed on your Mac, and it remains relatively popular. The method I put forth includes keeping Google Chrome around to visit websites which absolutely require Flash, since Chrome has a self-contained version of the plugin. As of today, I’m taking back what I said. Don’t keep Chrome around, stick with Safari, and quit viewing Flash content altogether. Allow me to explain.

I don’t use my Mac very often because of my iOS devices. But every day I do, I notice myself reverting to Google Chrome once or twice. Every time I do, my Mac becomes a foldable grill, and the fans spin at full speed. Enough is enough. I’m quitting Flash for good, and I recommend you do the same, even if your problem isn’t as heated as mine.

If you want to see the web in HTML5, you have to start by showing content creators that you can’t see their content. Only then will content creators move away from Flash development, since they want you to see their content. Every lost viewer is an unaffordable loss, and your voice absolutely matters. If you continue reverting to Google Chrome to view Flash content, you’re letting them win. If you want to see the world change, you have to change first. It will be hard, it will be painful, but you have to do it.

And if an associate wants to show you something, but it’s in Flash, you can’t give in. If they really want you to see that content, they will deliver it to you in a standards-friendly format. They will kick and scream to no end, but this is what you say.

If you don’t like it, then tough titties you ass turd monkey fucker!

-Steve Coogan

Don’t stay behind because others don’t want to move forward, and you will win in the end.

Review: "Horrible Bosses"

July 10th, 2011

Summer Comedies tend to stink. That is not an opinion, it is a sad fact of life. Summertime is, unfortunately, when bodily fluids trend upwards in cinema, and not even the most sheltered individual is safe. While Horroble Bosses does invoke urinating on people and a toothbrush up the ass, it does it with finesse and the film as a whole is one of the funniest Comedies to hit theatres in a long time, and here are my thoughts.

As the story goes, Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) each have a boss that ruins their life (played by Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, and Jennifer Aniston respectively). So of course, in the spirit of Throw Momma from the Train, the only option is to kill each others’ bosses, under the advisement of Motherfucker Jones (Jamie Foxx). Things don’t follow exactly as planned and, per the usual, chaos ensues in 100 minutes of murder, sex, extortion, and drugs with an excellent cast at the helm. Horrible Bosses is very rated R, and you should see it immediately.

Beyond this, I’ve trashed and re-wrote so many things in the past six hours, I just have to say see it. There are only so many ways to express that sentiment better than by just saying it. If you’re in the mood for some laughs, see Horrible Bosses whenever you get the chance. And I’m sorry that this entry is up late, this is the second time in a week! Ahh!

What The Friday: Pokemon on iOS?

July 8th, 2011

…the Pokemon team plans to release an official iOS app in Japan. The app will be called Pokemon Say Tap? BW, and rather than a full Pokemon game, the app will be a rhythm title, where Pokemon cards appear on the screen and you have to tap them to a certain beat.

Reports TUAW. It should be noted that Pokemon Say Tap? BW will make its way to Android too, although due to fragmentation it is slated to only work on four Android devices as of this writing, according to the original source.

As another aside, Pokemon Say Tap? BW will be released only in Japanese markets, at least initially.

This is odd because, for the greater part of its lifetime, Nintendo has avoided playing in its competitors’ sandboxes. With that in mind, I wager that Pokemon Say Tap? BW will be a promotional campaign in disguise, and will serve its purpose well. Even then, however, promotional campaigns in a competitors’ domain is foreign to Nintendo, but it knows its strategies more than I do.

What should happen, is for Nintendo to partner with Apple and get its library of console games onto the Mac App Store, because both Apple and Nintendo could make a fortune off of that. But only if those two can play nicely together.

Hat tip to TUAW & Pokemon.co.jp

SEGA

July 7th, 2011

An update for the Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing app [iTunes link] recently showed up in the iOS App Store, which deserves some mention. The iPhone 3G is more than three years old, and it’s a forgotten device at Apple HQ. And developers, the good people that create apps for iOS devices, tend to ignore old hardware to take advantage of everything newer devices have to offer.

But I give enormous credit to SEGA. Look at this image. Not only is SEGA making apps that still work with old hardware, but they are optimising their apps for use on older hardware. This is a rarity, and a really good one. By optimising apps for use on low-powered devices, they run silky smooth on the latest and greatest. Additionally, it is beneficial to every person that uses older hardware.

20110706-112614.jpg

Credit where credit is due.

Short Review: "Brain Dead (2007)" (Available on DVD + Netflix)

July 5th, 2011

I don’t even know where to begin. Films are often so bad that they’re amusing, but rarely so bad as to be good. For much of Brain Dead, I strongly considered switching films for its entire duration, because it is that terrible. But this film is so terrible that it shoots the moon, and I was in awe at how entertaining it is. Brain Dead is the textbook example of “so bad it’s good”, and here are my thoughts.

This is no accident. No sir. There is every type of human deprevity and degredation in this room tonight. Atheists, fornicators, murderers–

–Lesbians.

As the story goes, two convicts (Joshua Benton & David Crane) take refuge in an abandoned cabin after escaping police custody. Out of pure coincidence, two hikers (Sarah Grant Brendecke & Michelle Tomlinson) join them… Followed by a reverand (Andy Forrest) & the girl God sent to relieve him of his throbbing (Cristina Tiberia). But that’s not all. As luck would have it, a sludge-like parasite from outer space that zombifies its victims, also manages to find its way to the (now not so) abandoned cabin. And into a girl’s vagina. Hoo boy.

Brain Dead is written terribly, is directed terribly, is acted terribly, and the special effects are done terribly. But with class, almost every woman in this film drops their top at some point, and at the most random of times. This is honestly so terrible that it’s worth a go. And as of this writing, it is available for streaming on Netflix, so if you have an account, give Brain Dead a shot.

Hat tip to writer Dale Gelineau & director Kevin Tenney for creating this glorious trainwreck.

[Sorry this is late, I took the 4th of July off. Regular entries resume tomorrow.]