Thursday, August 15, 2013

How Chris Gore taught me to be wary of critics

I really liked the new Lone Ranger movie. Despite the critics saying it was the worst film ever made. They said the same thing about John Carter a year ago. I enjoyed both movies as much as I did Joss Whedon's Avengers, they were all great fun.

Disney just launched a new Avengers show more closely based on the hit movie, after just canceling the last one they launched after one season.

I really enjoyed the first series, there were some original stories but it was largely based on the Avenger's comic history. It had a rotating roster and introduced characters like Vision, Black Panther and Wonderman in ways very loyal to the comics. Seriously, they introduced and ran with Hank Pym's many twists and turns from Ant Man to Yellow Jacket. As well as any long time Avengers fan could hope anyway, fitting all that history while going from before the team's origin to even a Skrull Secret Invasion, all in just one season. It was actually kind of impressive, even if the animation itself was pretty average. So much so, I was hoping for a second season, even when I heard the show was being replaced with another Avengers show, I hoped it would pick up where season one left off.

The new series feels more stable, I guess would be the word. With a set roster and characterizations directly from the Joss Whedon film. With the Falcon added in in anticipation of his appearance in the upcoming Captain America film, (Will they cancel this cartoon to start a new more accurate Falcon interpretation next year?).

But this isn't the first Marvel cartoon to have changed mid-stride before.

Back in the nineties there was a Marvel animation hour with half hour shows starring The Fantastic Four and Iron Man. Both had HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE first seasons, the FF show's art and stories were unwatchable and juvenile, and Iron Man wasn't much better. Obviously designed to sell toys.

Whoever produced the shows made drastic improvements in both the art and storytelling for the second seasons. The FF show was the most improved, many episodes with stories and art taken directly from old Kirby & Lee comics.  Even a multi-part INHUMANS SAGA! The shows opening was changed, and even the costumes changed, going from bright light blue to the dark blue in the comics at the time.

That second season of this show is great fun to watch, probably some of the best Marvel cartoons ever made. I would say season two was one of the best FF shows ever. But sadly most people will never see them. Unfortunately it's been released on DVD along with season one, OR hidden behind season one rather. All the packaging reflects the first season's horrible character designs. Every review I saw of the thing was awful, and obviously of the first season, with no mention not even the slightest of hints of the style change in the second season. I can't blame the critics, unless you know to skip the first season and go directly to disc three and four, why would you watch all four discs of dreck thinking it's all like that. I tried to point out to one reviewer, Chris Gore.


The guy claims to be a self-proclaimed "geek" on TV and he obviously had no idea the two seasons were different in any way, and when asked about it, he refused to acknowledge there was any quality changes. He said only a geek like me would even notice the difference, to which I pointed out....

1. Who do you think your review was for, who would be buying an FF DVD based on a review on Attack of the Show, if not for an 18-35 year old "geek" like me, looking for stuff "hidden" like this, right?

2. the writing and animation changes so significantly in season two, so much so if you can make the claim "only a geek like me would even notice the difference," it proves to me you didn't even watch any season two episodes. Which is when he admitted an assistant or an intern or something did the watching.

I could just as easily never saw any more episodes from the show and assumed the whole thing sucked and agreed with his review based on what i had seen, I would never have known the difference and it would not have changed my life any. But I thought reviewers were supposed to help you find the cool stuff and avoid the bad, this guy was more worried about being a brand name content provider for G4 tv, than making credible reviews. (Not that it really helped to keep G4 on the air).

I hadn't thought about that until recently,  thinking about reviews of John Carter or this summer's The Lone Ranger. According to reviewers, both were the worst films ever made. In a world that gave us Battle ship, Ghost Rider 2, Green Lantern and Cloud Atlas, that should mean something. But why should the reviewers bother to see something before hating it, why should they be any different than an internet troll.

For what it's worth, see The Lone Ranger on the big screen if you still can, rent John Carter and buy a copy of Fantastic Four The Complete 1994-95 Animated Television Series, JUST DON'T WATCH DISC 1 & 2, only watch disc 3 & 4. Trust me.

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