Big Hero 6: The Nerdy Science Version of Teen Titans? o_O

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I just saw Big Hero 6 in theaters yesterday. It’s been out for a while now, but it’s still being shown in first run theaters, which just goes to show how popular it has been. It has good reason to be popular, too, because it is easily one of the best movies I have seen in theaters in a long time, maybe since Last Stand with Arnold Schwarzenegger beginning of 2013. It easily blew away the other movie I saw in theaters that day, Taken 3, which has just come out but got bad reviews and already is attracting only a small audience in theaters just days after it came out.

Big Hero 6 is about a young kid, who surprisingly is participating in shady robot fighting, not the typical premise for a kids movie. His older brother gets him on the right path, though, by taking him to college. The kid at first doesn’t want to go, but soon realizes that his older brother’s cool friends are worth spending time in college with. Predictably, the older brother who is one of the most likable characters in the movie gets killed off and sets up a revenge vendetta for the main character. This has been done many times before in animation such as Black Cat and Trigun.

It does take us from what I thought the movie was going to be about, a comedy with a balloon robot in it, to something drastically different that I did not expect. A team of the science people is set up and they each get science based powers based off of real science ideas and not the magical science in Full Metal Alchemist. This is legitimate science, even if it is drastically over done for the sake of the movie. I doubt that these science ideas could actually be used to fight crime with, but we go with it none the less because this is an animated kids’ movie whose creativity should not be shot down for the sake of realism.

There are six characters in the team. Five people and one robot. The robot we see at the beginning of the movie is absent for the rest of the movie as attention moves away from the combat robot to the medical robot. The leader is the main character. We also have a biker chick who takes over as the older sister of the main protagonist when the protagonist’s older brother gets killed off. She is easily the strongest character of the four friends. The other three friends are all kind of the same, a bunch of quirky goofballs. ┬áIt would’ve been nice to see those other three characters get better developed, but my favorite characters were the ones with the most screen time anyway, so it’s O.K.

Time for a comparison. As the movie progressed I became more and more aware of the fact that each of these five characters seemed an awful lot like the Teen Titans, characters from one of my absolute favorite TV shows when I was a kid back in the day. The leader is obsessed with catching the main villain and even willing to go to the dark side to bring the villain down. He goes too far even for his friends sometimes. The leader of course is Robin.

The biker chick is quiet and sarcastic but independent, clearly the Raven character. Even their hair color is the same. The ditzy, bubbly girl with the purse that somehow switches between uber nerd and valley girl is Starfire. The black guy who is always flipping out about something and is obsessed with his tools is Cyborg. He even has his weapons mounted on his arms, only this time instead of an arm cannon it’s a couple of arm swords. Finally we have the comic relief mascot who isn’t nearly as great as Beast Boy was, but the similarity is definitely there.

The two teams are so incredibly similar, particularly when the Big Hero 6 team becomes super heroes. I even thought they were similar before the Big Hero 6 team becomes super heros, but once they became heroes, too, I knew for sure that I was on to something. One reason for this could be, I did not realize this at the time but upon closer research later on because this movie really did both entertain and interest me a ton, that the Big Hero 6 team is not an original Disney creation. This team was yet another typical team of young super heroes owned by Marvel and then the comics were turned into a movie.

Another factor to take into account is this team was originally “owned by Marvel”. Marvel’s movies for the Avengers are great, but one thing you have to take into account is how many times both DC and Marvel have ripped off each other’s ideas. I have a suspicion that this Big Hero 6 team was based off of the Teen Titans, used by Marvel in some of its comics and then landed to my complete surprise into the popular Big Hero 6 movie we have in theaters today. Regardless of influence, though, this really is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time and deserves a solid five out of five stars. It is good to be a nerd these days… and it’s about sweet damn time!

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My Conjectures on the Hobbit Book, Animated Movie and Newer Movies

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I just started reading the Hobbit book again last night to get ready for the upcoming final installment of the movie series and half a dozen things became apparent to me all at the same time. First JRR Tolkien spends a lot of time describing things. Like the first six pages are all description and background. Second JRR Tolkien writes really long chapters. The first chapter is twenty seven flipping pages. Clearly, somebody has never heard of an editor.

I also realized several things about the movies Peter Jackson has been making. First his movies should not be three parts. Second the extra stuff he added in weakens the original story. The side story with the necromancer should get back in the Silmarillion where it belongs. Third I realized for the first time ever my biggest issue with the Hobbit movies. Many people complain about the movies being three parts and having unnecessary extra padding, but I think what really kills the movies is not mentioned by most people.

I like Bilbo, I like Gandalf and I love seeing Legolas back in circulation again, but none of the dwarves are likable in my opinion. When I realized this last night I was stunned because I had never thought of it before, but I knew it was so flipping true. Somehow Peter Jackson who did such a terrific job with Gimli’s character, could not make any of the dwarves from the Hobbit likable. They’re not all curmudgeonly and some of them are set up to be likable or even funny, but each of them comes off as flat. Maybe it’s because they’re not portrayed by an all star cast such as Sean Bean and Orlando Bloom.

You could blame JRR Tolkien for not developing his dwarves at all in the Hobbit therefore not giving Peter Jackson a whole lot to work with, which would be true, but I now come to my final conclusion from yesterday evening while reading the first chapter of the Hobbit. I think that due to the three problems I have already pointed out with Jackson’s treatment of the Hobbit that I like the animated Hobbit movie more than the newer ones. The animated hobbit is one concise movie, has very little extra content, mostly sticks true to the book, has likable characters and is the movie I think of and see in my mind while reading the book.

New Website

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A friend of mine has just made a new website called Go Fund Me. You can make donations to his website. He got the idea for the website from an episode of South Park called Go Fund Yourself. You can be featured in the website, if you email the website at FilmSauceCompany@gmail.com.

The website has many features such as reviews and ratings for new movies. You can also contribute your own ratings and reviews for these things on the website. The webnsite mentions upcoming movies and TV shows and has other features such as links to trailers, clips and games.

Apparently, you can also contribute opinions on the website itself and its format. The original background color of the website was a psychedelic mixture of blue, red and green. However, some people contributed advice on changing the background to a simple light green color to make it less lurid. You can still see the original background color in the profile picture.

If you want to be part of a website that values your opinions and allows you to  interact with the website itself, then contact the website with the contact information listed above or make a donation as soon as you would like.

Top Twenty Favorite 1970s and 1980s Rock and Metal Bands

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First off I would like to say that I have had many best of lists when it comes to music over the years because those lists are always changing and I already did a top twenty favorite music groups list a little more than a year ago, but this list is a little more focused than that one was and greatly updated in my opinion, so this isn’t really a definitive list so much as the newest one available from me.

20. Foreigner: A 1970s arena rock band with four decent albums during the late 1970s and 1980s. They also had cross over appeal, which is rare for a music group, with success during both the 1970s and 1980s.

19. Billy Squier: A 1980s arena rock music performer with one great album called Don’t Say No that featured such great songs as In the Dark and one of my favorite songs ever because it’s angsty and brooding but carries with it a ray of hope, Lonely Is the Night.

18. Eddie Money: Definitely one of the nicest guys in music. He used to be a cop at a police academy until he decided to be an arena rock music performer instead with such great songs as I Think I’m In Love featured in a comical, vampire filled music video.

17. .38 Special: Another 1980s arena rock group but with some southern influences thrown in giving them a nice countryish feel, which is great for taking road trips through Illinois. They’re my favorite southern rock group and are based off of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

16. Bryan Adams: A 1980s pop rock artist representing Canada. Bryan Adams had one great album called Reckless, which featured such great songs as the double entendre Summer of 69 and another one of my favorite songs ever, Run To You.

15. Living Colour: An African American heavy metal group from the 1980s with some powerful guitar work. Their first album is one of my favorite albums in all of music with such great songs as Cult of Personality, I Want To Know and Desperate People.

14. Styx: A 1970s progressive rock band with three great albums, Grand Illusion, Pieces of Eight and my favorite concept album, Paradise Theater. Styx has many great rock and roll anthems but beneath the surface they have some really artistic prog rock, too.

13. Pat Benatar: My second favorite female music performer in all of rock. My favorite female music performers were always the ones who could hold their own when it came to rocking and having a hard edged persona, but she also has the benefit of good vocals.

12. Joan Jett: My favorite woman in all of rock. She is similar to Pat Benatar, but has some of the most passion for music out of any music performer as shown by her song called I Love Rock and Roll. She also doesn’t care what people think of her either.

11. Billy Idol: A punk rock and new wave artist from the 1980s with many different styles of music, each of which works pretty well. His punk rock provides a nice angst while his new wave music provides some nice music to run or dance to.

10. Boston: Boston’s later music was kind of weak in my opinion, but their first album has some of the most nostalgic songs for me. More Than a Feeling takes me right back to my teenage years in high school and Long Time is one of my favorite lengthy songs.

9. Aerosmith: They had a consistently good career during both the 1970s and 1980s with many classic albums and singles. Their 1970s music was not really my favorite style of music, but they’re one of the longest rocking groups around.

8. ZZ Top: Some groups such as Kiss are all gimmicks and no substance in my opinion, but ZZ Top is an unusual group where if you took away the beards, music videos and car you would actually realize that, my gosh, they are truly talented music performers.

7. Bon Jovi: Many people criticize Bon Jovi and for good reason because his later music kind of sucks, but his first three albums with singles such as Runaway and You Give Love a Bad Name are some of my favorite albums in all of music, even 7800 Fahrenheit.

6. Motley Crue: Motley Crue are another group that was sometimes more popular for their antics than their music, but they are actually talented and made some of the greatest albums during the 1980s despite their outlandish image.

5. Def Leppard: On the opposite side of the coin from Motley Crue in the 1980s glam metal movement we have Def Leppard who always seemed to be upbeat, fun and nice guys except when they made their Slang album, which is one of my favorites of theirs.

4. Guns and Roses: With one of my favorite albums of all time as their debut, one of my favorite guitarists and my favorite song, Paradise City, Guns and Roses have lots to offer. Both of their Use Your Illusion albums were diverse and creative as well.

3. Ozzy Osbourne: Ozzy Osbourne is not only the lead vocalist for one of the greatest heavy metal bands but also has a knack of picking really good guitarists such as Randy Rhoades, Jake E. Lee and Zakk Wylde. I never even bother to think of Gus G., though.

2. Van Halen: Van Halen had a career that has been good pretty much from beginning to end and have one of my favorite guitarists, Eddie Van Halen. I think their newest album was great and when I saw them on tour I thought they were good then, too.

1. Bad Company: A 1970s arena rock group that in my opinion was so much more than many of the other groups that fell into their category of music. Their first five albums are still some of my absolute favorite albums in all of rock and roll.

Top Twelve Favorite Songs From the Now That’s What I Call Music Album Series

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I am primarily a rock and roll fan, but way back during the end of high school and beginning of college I listened to contemporary pop instead including the first couple dozen Now That’s What I Call Music albums with all of the big contemporary pop hits on them. I then moved on to a heavy focus in classic rock and roll instead, but over the last several years there’s been a dozen pop songs from the Now series that I still enjoy pretty regularly.

Here are the half dozen songs from that album series that after all of these years have remained with me including such big name groups as Black Eyed Peas, Nickelback, Fall Out Boy and Lenny Kravitz, who despite being more of a classic rocker somehow made it onto the album series as well.

I am not including songs by groups of mine that I already consider my favorites such as Aerosmith with Jaded and Just Push Play, Bon Jovi with Everyday and It’s My Life, U2 with Beautiful Day and Vertigo, Moby with We Are All Made of Stars and Saliva with Always. I decided to push myself creatively on this list by mentioning songs by artists that only have a couple singles I actually like instead.

12. Honky Tonk Badonkadonk by Trace Adkins: This might be the only country song in all of my music that I actually listen to regularly, and it’s not a great representation of country I must admit, but it’s such a terrible song I think it’s hilarious. The whole song has this guy singing in a very southern drawl about a woman’s badonkadonk. It’s a complete parody or satire of country music, but I think it works.

11. Shut Up and Drive by Rihanna: I love songs about travel and movement such as Moving On or Run With the Pack by Bad Company, and I think Rihanna adds some pretty sexy appeal to this driving song similar to Trampled Under Foot by Led Zeppelin in the way that it compares a car to getting it on.

10. I Think I’m Paranoid by Garbage: This might be the only grunge song in all of my music that I actually listen to regularly because I’m not a big fan of grunge either, but it’s a very interesting song I think similar to something Ozzy Osbourne would make such as Paranoid.

9. Beat It by Fall Out Boy: Most of the time I will hear a cover of a classic song such as a cover of the Stroke by Billy Squier, which was featured during the movie trailer for Expendables 3, kind of a strange song choice to begin with but whatever, and get upset that a modern pop artist with seemingly no talent would ruin a classic but sometimes such as Kanye West’s cover of Stronger by Daft Punk I think that the cover works really well. This is one of those times because I think that Fall Out Boy despite lacking the guitar ability of Eddie Van Halen makes a really rocking cover of this old classic by Michael Jackson.

8. Dance Dance by Fall Out Boy: Fall Out Boy made a couple of just simple fun rockers and I think that this is probably their best one.

7. American Woman by Lenny Kravitz: There are a couple of covers on this list and this is one of them, this time a cover of a song by the Guess Who.

6. Where Are We Running? by Lenny Kravitz: An energetic rocker by one of the best contemporary music artists in my opinion.

5. Hero by Chad Kroeger and Josey Scott: I know many people who both lambast Nickelback and the Toby Maguire Spiderman movies, so this seems like a strange choice, but I actually think that this is one of the few times Chad Kroeger made something that sounds inspirational and deep.

4. Rockstar by Nickelback: I know many people who dislike this song particularly by Nickelback, but I think that it is a great description of the self centered rock and roll life style.

3. Let’s Get It Started by the Black Eyed Peas: This is the only song I still listen to by the immensely popular group called Black Eyed Peas, but in my opinion of all the music that came out when I was a teenager and high schooler during the middle to late 2000s, this is its ultimate party anthem and is definitive of the music we had when I grew up.

2. Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz: Lenny Kravitz manages to make an interesting, trippy song this time around that’s been featured in at least one airline commercial.

1. Dig In by Lenny Kravitz: This song was a grower for me. When I first heard some songs by Lenny Kravitz I was much more of a fan of Fly Away and American Woman than I was of this one, but when I heard it during the end credits of The Return spring of 2012 with some people on my dorm hall, this became the most nostalgic song from the entire Now That’s What I Call Music series and also in my opinion the best.

New Album Review: World On Fire by Slash and the Conspirators

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Kind of sounds like a band name for certain of my friends and I, although that could go for lots of young people, which is what makes the band name so great.

Just a little information for you novices out there, Slash was the lead guitarist for Guns and Roses until Axl Rose forced the band to split apart and everybody went their separate directions. He made two albums with Velvet Revolver before that small footnote of a band was also over and Slash started his solo career. He made an album with a wide variety of different vocalists and the most interesting collaboration was with Fergie, but he then continued making music with Myles Kennedy as his only vocalist. He made one album in spring of 2012 that is my favorite album still of the new decade called Apocalyptic Love and had a concert in my area that I attended summer of 2013.

This month the highly productive Slash and his Conspirators came out with another album called World On Fire. We could tell from the first single released with the same name as the album that it was going to be another straight forward guitar rock album from Slash, but it was a surprise to many of us when we found out that there would be seventeen songs on the new album, the same length as Are You Experienced from the guitarist every other guitarist including Slash probably has some inspiration from. This makes the album difficult to go through and to differentiate the songs, so I had to do several listens the full way through and a week of thought before being able to make my own review.

World On Fire has a fast guitar riff and really leads this album out of the starting gate. Shadow Life is an interesting song because it’s about making the most out of yourself instead of just being content to be a shadow, similar in message to one of my favorite songs from their previous album, Standing In the Sun. Automatic Overdrive is one of the catchiest songs because of the chorus. Wicked Stone starts off with a countryish, foot stomping guitar intro and then rolls right into a heavy guitar rocker.

Thirty Years To Life is exactly how the title would make you feel it would sound like. It starts off with a gnarly, bluesy guitar intro worthy of George Thorogood and then rolls into a heavy story song about somebody who gets in trouble after living on the edge. Bent To Fly has some technical guitar work from Slash, but is one of the softer songs on the album with acoustic guitar. Some songs on this album have kind of a feel similar to Ozzy’s solo career in my opinion. Stone Blind starts off with an Ozzyish guitar intro and then starts swinging and grooving. Too Far Gone has a choppy, start and stop guitar riff that reminds me of Cult of Personality by Living Colour, another song I’m sure many guitarists find inspiration from.

Beneath the Savage Sun is a long, but rocking song. Withered Delilah sounds like something that would show up on Appetite For Destruction with its screwy, rocking feel. Battleground, despite the interesting title, is the longest song on the album and never seems to really go anywhere for me. Dirty Girl is a nice sleazy song similar to Rocket Queen or Beautiful Dangerous. It has a very bluesy riff.

Iris of the Storm sounds kind of like We Will Roam from the previous album. It’s probably the closest in sound to any song on the previous album and almost sounds like a rewrite. However, I loved the interesting, out of this world, brooding feel of We Will Roam from their previous album and this is an engaging song as well, yet another song similar to Bent To Fly that doesn’t rock so much as show off the guitar abilities of Slash in a more technical way.

Avalon has a countryish feel again and a heavy beat. The Dissident keeps things down to earth with a ballad being sung at the beginning by an old lady. It sounds like Grandma’s Theme from John Mellencamp but then rolls into one of the most engaging songs yet on the album with a chorus that will both entertain and get stuck in your head. You can tell Myles Kennedy is a good vocalist when he uses a cliche chorus such as “Whoah!” and makes it actually sound fresh and exciting. Safari Inn is a good instrumental song similar to Watch This from Slash’s very first solo album but the guitar sounds more like something Jake E. Lee would do for the Badlands. The album finishes on a midtempo, ominous note similar to Bad Company with another one of their weaker songs in my opinion called the Unholy, which stretches on forever and does rock at parts but certainly is not Anastasia.

This album is full of straight forward, fast guitar rockers similar to Right Next Door To Hell or Perfect Crime. Some songs explore other areas such as the long but meandering Battleground and Unholy. The best songs on the album are catchy, upbeat and entertaining such as Wicked Stone and The Dissident. Also, the album has many songs with interesting titles. You can tell it tries to be more than just a pop album by not making too many song titles that could easily be tied back to romance.

Top Ten Favorite TV Shows: #6 Justice League (Unlimited)

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Every episode of Justice League has ridiculous action. There’s lots of punching and using of powers to save people and stop the villains. The series also has some great characters. I am not a big fan of the original seven, which is why I like Unlimited so much more than the original series. Six characters stand out in my mind as the best ones.

The Question is an interesting, intelligent hero with his conspiracy theories. He’s humorous, too, with some of the ideas he has, which leads to a nice combination of intrigue and humor. Booster Gold is probably the most comical character in the series. His partner named Skeet is entertaining as well. Vigilante is probably the coolest character in the series because he is a cowboy with dual six guns voiced by Nathan Fillion.

There are also some pretty good female characters in Justice League. Huntress makes for a great partner of the Question who is attractive, strong and confident but some how puts up with all of Questions’ quirkinesses. Stargirl was interesting because she always dealt with being in Supergirl’s shadow but I liked her more out of the two. Cheetah was my favorite villain in the series. I don’t whether it was because she was a furry or had a hint of redemption to her character.

The music for this show was dramatic and the opening theme song with the guitar riffing and display of different characters in the show was epic.

Top Ten Favorite TV Shows: #7 Hawaii Five:O (Original Version)

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This show features what some people consider to be the best theme song of all time. The rest of the sound track is pretty good, too, with a lot of horns, but also some very interesting, trippy synthesizer work when crime is occurring. Every episode has some good action in it. A lot of people get killed, lots of shooting occurs and there are a good number of fist fights. Anybody who likes violence and action will probably find something to like in this show. Also, the stories are good. There are some over laying story arches, but many episodes have their own individual plot and unlike some shows you don’t have to avidly watch this show in chronological order to understand it. Many episodes feature a clever, realistic idea similar to MASH, only featuring police instead of doctors.

Top Ten Favorite TV Shows: #8 Spongebob Squarepants

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This is a departure from the previous two entries on the list and a show that might surprise some people. I remember watching this show through out all of high school and finding this show absolutely hilarious. It’s also probably one of the most creative shows I have ever seen. The idea of having a sponge live in a pineapple under the sea is worthy of a Jim Morrison sized acid trip or a really good cartoon show. I’m also looking forward to the movie they have coming out next year. It’s supposed to have both Slash and Antonio Banderas in it, so I hope it’s good.

Top Ten Favorite TV Shows: #9 Burst Angel

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The main reason for liking this show a lot is the main character, Jo. I’ve definitely talked about how much I’ve liked this character before, and if you know me personally you would also know I can never stop thinking or talking about how epic I think this character is. They’re just the quintessential tomboy of anime, putting two of my favorite things together.

The sound track is great. I actually own it on hard copy and sometimes play it on the radio of my truck. It ranges from guitar to synth and includes many other things such as western and piano. The anime is very well drawn, even if the later episodes were a little rushed on the animation, which led to all of the women in the show who were usually portrayed in a positive way having bigger and bigger breasts to maintain their target audience’s attention until Jo wasn’t even flat anymore.

There is lots of gun blazing action in every episode and it moves along at a fast pace. While other animes such as Bleach liked to pussy foot around with talking and power ups, Burst Angel just cut straight to the chase. There was lots of good humor from Meg who has quite the attitude. Also, the setting was incredibly interesting to me. Putting the anime in a cyberpunk setting, which is what the world looks like more and more today really conveys an interesting atmosphere.