Thursday, March 24, 2016

Wikia's Annoying Advertising

  If you lived during the late 90s into the early 2000s then you probably remember pop up ads. Those things were annoying. If you were lucky enough during your web travels to click on website that didn't manage to attack you left and right with 2 billion pop up ads. Pop up ads have seemed to have gone the way of the dinosaur in recent years. They're still out there but they rarely pop up. Ba dum tss.
  All joking aside here. If you have ever heard of a little webzone called Wikipedia, than you probably heard of it's bastard for profit cousin, Wikia. You see Wikia is used for more specific Wikis such as ones for the DC Animated Universe, Star Wars, and Hot Wheels cars, and the Muppets. However since these are considered for the die hard fans they also come at a price, annoying advertising methods.
  Owners of these Wiki's have no control over the content of the ads placed on their site and how many ads will be on the pages. Wikia uses Autoplay ads which are Adobe Flash based. The amount of the Autoplay ads that are placed on these Wikis is too damn high. Have you ever heard the rule of thumb about embedding YouTube videos on forums? The rule of thumb is to not embed  too many videos since it can crash the page or site due to an overload. This leads to my next argument about Wikia's advertising.
  All of these autoplay ads working at once slows down the time it takes the site to load and it makes your web browser freeze up and become unresponsive for a few minutes or seconds. Not to mention that there is no way to mute some of the ads. Yep that's right these ads sometimes have sound. It's just like those talking pictures they said would never catch on. Sometimes I'm reading a Wikia article and somehow I hear a muffled voice that I don't know where it is coming from since I am not multitasking watching a YouTube video responding to a forum on Monday nights. Sometimes you don't even expect any ads with sounds and then they get you off guard.
  They'll give you a freaking heart attack. I swear that if someone ever gets a massive heart attack from being startled from an Autoplay banner advertisement, the advertiser or Wikia should be held legally responsible.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Weird Jungle Book Adaptation

  Many years ago, I remember going over to my nephews house and watching an obscure The Jungle Book VHS tape. My oldest nephew is 1 year younger than me by the way. Anyway I vaguely remember this VHS tape but I only remembered fragments of it. I remembered a Seaplane and a baby wandering through the jungle and getting his clothes torn on a branch. So I saw that new trailer for the Live Action adaptation of Disney's The Jungle Book and immediately had a flashback of this obscure VHS tape.
  So last night I decided to put this to rest. I immediately had a case of the late night Google's. So after a half hour of searching for this VHS Tape, I came across an obscure Anime called  Jungle Book Sh┼Źnen Mowgli. Now this series came out in 1989 and lasted until 1990 and had 52 episodes. Now this series was released on VHS in individual episodes which makes sense since I remember the VHS tape I watched with my Nephew was only the first episode and we never saw part 2. So I decided to check out the first episode on YouTube and it all came back to me. It had the Seaplane like I remembered and had the baby getting his clothes ripped off on  a branch. Yep this was it. I could bet my change jar on it.

August Rush Review

  Where to begin on reviewing August Rush? Well this movie is a huge roller coaster of plot holes and Continuity errors and things that just don't make any sense. Now onto the review. The only reason I own August Rush is because Bonnie McKee is in it. Let's just get Bonnie McKee out of the way so I can focus on this review. This movie came out in 2007 and Bonnie McKee's debut album Trouble which was released 3 years prior wasn't selling well at all. So Bonnie McKee took an acting role as a girl named Lizzy.
Bonnie McKee as Lizzy
  Bonnie McKee's character in August Rush isn't a major character at all but more of a minor supporting character. I think that Bonnie McKee had less than 15 minutes of screen time in the whole movie. For her film debut she did an amazing job even though she had very few lines. One thing about her character Lizzy is that she doesn't have Bonnie's then signature bright orange Ombre hair that she used to have. They died her hair and covered up her stars tattoo on her right arm.
  In addition to Bonnie McKee being in this movie we have the late great Robin Williams in a supporting role as Wizard. Robin Williams character Wizard seems to be a rip off of Fagan from Oliver Twist but we'll get to more on that later in the review. Wizard is the antagonist in this film. I absolutely loved when Robin Williams would play creeps and villains. He would shock audiences doing these roles.
  Now here is the IMDB plot synopsis
A boy named Evan Taylor (Freddie Highmore) grows up an outcast in a home for boys, all the while believing that his parents are alive. He can hear music in everything: the light, the wind, the air. He believes that he can hear the music from his parents. He thinks that they always wanted him and would come and get him someday.
He meets a social service worker, Richard Jeffries (Terrence Howard), of the New York Child Services Department. Evan tells him he does not want to be adopted. Mr. Jeffries likes Evan and gives him his card. He wants Evan to confide in him if the need should ever arise.
Through a series of flashbacks, his parents are revealed to be named Lyla Novacek, (Keri Russell), a famous concert cellist, and Louis Connelly (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), an Irish guitarist and lead singer of a rock band. His parents met at the same party and spent the romantic night together. Due to Lyla's strict father, Lyla was unable to meet Louis where she'd agreed to and they parted, apparently never to see each other again.
From that one night together Lyla became pregnant with their child. Her father did not approve of this, he wanted Lyla to have a successful career without the obstacle of a child. After an argument with her father, Lyla ran out of a restaurant and was hit by a car. While in the hospital, she gave birth to a son. The last thing she was aware of was the nurses telling her that the baby's heartbeat was falling. She wakes. Her father tells her that her son died. Little did she know, her father forged her signature on the adoption papers. Her baby was fine. Both Louis and Lyla gave up their musical careers after losing each other, and neither was aware of their son's existence. This part of the movie makes no sense at some times. The flashbacks add detail but still the parents lives have some plot holes such as why is Lyla now a music teacher, and why did Louis choose the corporate life. Another criticism is how in the hell didn't Lyla know that her father gave her son up for adoption without her.
Evan has a very strong faith that if he could learn to play the music he will have a chance to be found by his parents. He believes that they will hear him. So he runs away to New York City. He meets Arthur, a boy who was playing the guitar on a street corner for money. He follows Arthur and is taken in by Maxwell Wallace, a.k.a. "Wizard" (Robin Williams), who houses various orphans and runaways, employing them to play music on the streets and taking a large cut of their tips. Evan immediately proves to be a musical child prodigy. Wizard enlists him and gives him the name "August Rush", convincing him he will be sent back to the orphanage if his real name is ever discovered. Wizard seems to be an obvious ripoff of Fagen from Oliver Twist but instead he isn't running a gang of pickpockets.
   When Lyla discovers that her son is alive when her father, knowing that he is dying, confesses what actually happened. Lyla immediately sets out to New York to look for her now 12-year-old son. Meanwhile, she begins playing the cello again, having been called back to the New York Philharmonic. At about the same time, Louis reconciles with his bandmates.
After a raid by the police, Evan takes refuge in a church, where he again impresses with his natural musical talent and is enrolled at the Juilliard School as "August Rush." He proves to be an excellent student, better than the college students there, and a work he composes is chosen to be performed by the New York Philharmonic in Central Park. Unfortunately, Wizard barges into the dress-rehearsal and, after Wizard threatens to reveal Evan's real name, Evan reluctantly follows him back to his life of performing music on the streets.
Meanwhile, Lyla has discovered her son's name and has decided to stay in New York while searching for him. While there, she decides to resume her cello career. She is then chosen to play in the same concert, which features Evan's piece (under the name "August Rush"). Louis, being mistakenly told that Lyla has left on her honeymoon, also returns to New York to resume playing with his former band. He has a chance meeting with Evan in Washington Square Park and they play music together, although neither knows who the other is.
The night of the concert, Evan finally chooses to run from Wizard in favor of performing at his concert. In the meantime, Louis races to the park when he sees Evan's pseudonym along with Lyla's name on a sign billing the concert. Evan conducts his piece, and at its conclusion, when he turns around to see Lyla and Louis standing hand in hand, he knows that he is reunited with his mother and father at last.This ending is a big middle finger to the audience. They could have made the ending more in depth instead of leaving it a cliffhanger. Why didn't they show Lyla and Louis running onstage and hugging their son? The ending made no sense at all. The ending was supposed to warm your heart but it didn't for me. It just made me angrier. They could have done much more for the ending and they got lazy with it. 
   In the long run, it can be enjoyable if you love music and love Robin Williams. This movie seems like a bad Lifetime original movie with a huge budget and a theatrical release. Plot holes include the flashbacks. My Biggest pet peeves were that they didn't explain whatever happened to Lizzy and Wizard. They just forgot about them for some reason. That angered me to no end. However it has a great film score by Mark Mancina. 

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