High Score 2

High Score Episodes 4 to 6

Episode 4 “This is War”
Covers the “console wars” of Sega’s aggressive push to outsell Nintendo in the United States via the Sega Genesis with Sonic the Hedgehog and John Madden Football. Featured interviews include Tom Kalinske, CEO of Sega of America; Hirokazu Yasuhara, gameplay designer of Sonic; Naoto Ohshima, character artist for Sonic. Trip Hawkins, founder of Electronic Arts; Joe Ybarra, producer of John Madden Football; and Gordon Bellamy, developer for the Madden NFL series.

Episode 5 “Fight!”
Covers the creation of fighting games including Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat. It covers the controversy that Mortal Kombat and Night Trap generated that led to the 1993 Congressional hearings that pushed for the creation of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB).

Interviews include Akira Nishitani and Akira Yasuda, designers of Street Fighter II; John Tobias, co-creator of the Mortal Kombat series. Jim Riley, creator of Night Trap.

Episode 6 “Level Up”
Covers the transition from 2D to 3D computer graphics in 1993 by both Nintendo on consoles with Star Fox, and Doom by id Software.
Interviews include John Romero, creator of Doom; Dylan Cuthbert and Giles Goddard, who helped to create Star Fox; and a final retrospective by Nolan Bushnell on the development of Pong from Spacewar!

Nolan Bushnell – Atari Founder

 

High Score 1

High Score is a Netflix documentary series created by France Costrel covering the computer games industry.


Episode 1 – Boon & Bust
Covers the early growth of arcade games and home video game consoles in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

It includes Pong, Space Invaders and Pac-Man. Also interviews with Nolan Bushnell, of Atari and Howard Scott Warshaw, the developer of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, reputedly one of the worst games of all time.

Episode 2 “Comeback Kid”

Covers the introduction of Nintendo into America after the 1983 crash through the arcade game Donkey Kong and the Nintendo

Featured interviews include Hirokazu Tanaka, music composer for several Nintendo games.  Gail Tilden, Nintendo of America marketing director that helped to market the NES and Nintendo Power. John Kirby, the lawyer who represented Nintendo in Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd.


Episode 3 “Role Players”
By far the most interesting of the series. This covers the creation of adventure and role-playing games from their primarily computer-based roots with text-adventures like Colossal Cave Adventure, to graphical adventures like Mystery House and the Ultima series.
Featured interviews include Roberta and Ken Williams Richard Garriott,

Mulan 2020

Mulan is a 2020 American action drama film produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is a live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1998 animated film of the same name, based on the Chinese folklore “The Ballad of Mulan”.

The film stars Yifei Liu in the title role, alongside Donnie Yen, Tzi Ma, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Ron Yuan, Gong Li, and Jet Li in supporting roles.

It is directed by Niki Caro, with screenplay by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Lauren Hynek, and Elizabeth Martin.


Overall, not as good as the animated version. This lacks the cute sidekick and the caricatures that an animated film can incorporate. And it has no songs.

It’s going for an epic look. And the NZ/Chinese landscapes do it justice. There are some great fight sequences and impressive horse riding. But Mulan herself has little empathy for most of the film. It’s not until the ending when she re-unites with her family that there is any emotional payoff for her journey.

Wide Wall

Beyond the Wide Wall
(Epic Fallacy #2)
by Michael James Ploof (2017)

The Champions of the Dragon have survived the darklings, bandits, flocks of harpies, cyclopes, and have finally reached the Wide Wall—now the hard part begins.

Now the plot departs from a lot of the books being parodied. It’s not clear where this is going, but the characters established earlier help. It also helps that the pace doesn’t show down.

 

Dragon Champion

Champions of the Dragon
(Epic Fallacy #1)
by Michael James Ploof (2017)

Murland Kadabra has always dreamed of becoming a great wizard. However the young apprentice has yet to successfully cast a single spell. But when the Most High Wizard Kazimir chooses him to be one of the five Champions of the Dragon, Murland’s life changes forever.


This was sold a comic fantasy. But it’s not that funny. It has a minimal wry sense of humour. This manifests mainly in the character names and situations. Many of them being direct rip-off from other books. An it soon becomes apparent that the who story is a variation of ‘Lord of the Rings’.

Bute despite this, it is well written and fast paced. So it works as an epic fantasy story. And it does lead to the next book.

 

 

BH6 1.8-11

Big Hero 6 Episodes 1.8 to 1.11

1.8 “Failure Mode”
Hiro is assigned a project by Granville that involves creating a structure that could withstand an earthquake, but fails and is humiliated. Globby returns with the intent of stealing a painting called “City Rises”. The Big Hero 6 stop him at every turn, until Globby accidentally discovers that he can transform himself into any matter. It’s beginning to look like Globby is the nemesis of the series that needs to be defeated.

1.9 “Aunt Cass Goes Out”
Hiro, concerned about Cass finding out about his place in Big Hero 6, decides to set her up on a date with no success. Krei and Cass end up meeting and decide to go out, much to Hiro’s consternation.

1.10 “The Impatient Patient”
The high octane black ops group, the Mad Jacks, attempt to steal a chip recently bought by Krei. Hiro and Baymax arrive to rescue him, but Hiro suddenly becomes sick.

1.11 “Mr. Sparkles Loses His Sparkle”
Cass teaches Mochi to slow clap which quickly goes viral upsetting game show host Mr. Sparkles who quickly begins losing his audience. Meanwhile, Hiro tries to invent a new system for Big Hero 6 that will deliver their suits by air.


At this point I lost interest. There is little of a long plot threat and each episode just resets the characters to their default settings. And it always seems that flying Robot Baymax is there to get characters out of no-win situations. It just seems to be more aimed at candy coated children.

BH6 1.4-7

Big Hero 6 Episodes 1.4 to 1.7

1.4 “Big Roommates 2”
A criminal named Dibs steals Honey’s chem-purse. He soon discovers Hiro’s microbot neurotransmitter, and tries to steal it too. An accident with both devices transforms him into a glob monster, later dubbed Globby, and he begins to upset San Fransokyo.

1.5 “Fred’s Bro-Tillion”
Fred is worried about his upcoming Bro-Tillion due to past mishaps involving his mother and billionaire rival Beverly Samantha “Binky” Mole whom Mrs. Frederickson keeps trying to impress.

1.6 “Food Fight”
Cass finds herself at an underground cooking competition against her mean idol Bolton Gramercy and wins, taking his knives in the process, becoming addicted to the competition.

1.7 “Muirahara Woods”
Go Go heads off for some alone time which bothers Hiro, so he, Fred and Baymax decide to follow her. They discover that she goes to the Muirahara Woods to go bird watching, but they end up getting lost when all their technology begins to malfunction.

BH6 1.1-3

The Shorts:
The first six shorts star Baymax interacting with a different character in every episode. Every short starts with Baymax saying “Hello, I am Baymax” with some variables such as his outfit.

The second series of shorts, titled “Baymax Dreams”, features a cat getting up to mischief.

These are quick (less than 2 minutes) with a single idea. Without the context of the film or TV series they don’t amount to much.

1.1-2 “Baymax Returns”
This follows the events of Big Hero 6, but backtracks slightly to re-tell the story of Hiro discovering Baymax’s personality chip and re-building his skeleton. The team is established, and in these two episodes a (possibly) new villain is established.

1.3 “Issue 188”
Professor Granville sets Hiro up with Karmi, a student studying biology. Karmi despises Hiro for replacing her as the youngest student to join SFIT, yet ironically, she has a crush on Hiro’s alter ego which she somehow cannot seem to recognize. Big Hero 6 take on Barb and Juniper, known the duo High Voltage.

 

Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 is a 2014 film produced by Walt Disney. Loosely based on the superhero team of the same name by Marvel Comics, the film is the 54th Disney animated feature film.

Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, the film tells the story of Hiro Hamada, a young robotics prodigy who forms a superhero team to combat a masked villain.

The film features the voices of Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, Alan Tudyk, James Cromwell and Maya Rudolph.

Couldn’t recall if I had seen this one in the cinema. Another big fun action/adventure. The best thing about it that it gives the ‘villain’ real motivation and purpose. And the guy set up as the baddie gets a surprising ending. Goo to see that Disney is getting away from the easy good vs evil trope and putting some grey in the characters.

The film is followed by short videos and a TV series comprising two seasons of 25 x 23 minute episodes. With a third series starting 21 Sept 2020.