Trollhunters Part 1 Review by Eugene Alejandro

In Memory of Anton Yelchin (1989-2016)

Before I start my review of Trollhunters Part 1, I really want to clarify that I have not read the show is adapted from. So this review for Trollhunters Part 1 will only be me reviewing it as just a show. I also want to mention that Trollhunters Part 1 is a Netflix Original Show, so the only way you can watch it is by subscribing to Netflix. With all that said, on to the review.

Trollhunters Part 1 is an animated series from Dreamworks, and is created by Guillermo del Toro. The plot is about a young boy named Jim (voiced by Anton Yelchin) who is chosen to be the very first human “Trollhunter” a task that has protect good Trolls against evil Trolls. There is much more to the story than what I just said, but I don’t wanna say it because that would just be me spoiling the entire show (which is that I don’t want to do).

For a show that is 26 episodes long, it mangages to work very well with that pace thanks to the wonderful and clever writing it has. When it has be serious, it works. When it’s trying to be light-hearted in some moments, it works as well. Top it all off with a cast of characters that are very well-written, and well-developed.

The animation is really spectacular and solid, and surprisingly looks a little bit theatrical (must be because a lot of money was put into the animation). The animation regarding the character’s movements is also very well done and helps the characters look alive. The backgrounds are also great to look at.

The voice acting in Trollhunters Part 1 is very good and it helps the characters feel very alive. Anton Yelchin also did a very good job in voicing a 15-16 year old male character as he sounds very confincing as a character of those ages. The rest of the voice actors also do well with their performances.

I WILL NOT spoil how the entire show ends, but let me just say it the ending really does demand that Part 2 get made already.

As a show, Trollhunters Part 1 succeeds in being both entertaining for children and adults, and I easily recommend it to anyone who is currently subscribed to Netflix.

I give Trollhunters Part 1 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.

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Gears and Bones Volume 1 Review by Eugene Alejandro

Gears and Bones is a fantasy comic published by Guardian Knight Comics, created by Apple De La Fuente, written by Andrew P. Anderson, and illustrated by Osvaldo Montpeller (with colors by West Hartman and Tony Galvan). Gears and Bones Volume 1 collects issues #1-3 of the original comic book.

The plot of Gears and Bones Volume 1 is that a humanoid rabbit named Bone is out for revenge after his lover died. However, he is a wanted criminal and this makes his quest for vengeance very difficult. While the story does move at a very quick pace (Volume 1 does collect only three issues, so it’s a short read), there are a lot of great twists, and foreshadowing that gets introduced, and definitely make the reader interested in wanting to pick up the next volume.

 Gears and Bones by Apple De La Fuente doesn’t offer anything new to the fantasy genre, but is still veryinteresting thanks to how it is executed.  Andrew P. Anderson’s writing makes the characters likable and interesting, and adds a lot of creativity to the world presented in the story. There are definitely a lot of great ideas that I hope get fleshed out in the second volume.

Osvaldo Montpeller’s artwork is absolutely outstanding, and perfectly fits the tone of the story. Each character is drawn in their own unique way, the backgrounds look very nice, and the single splash page panels show just how intense the plot is. The wonderful artwork is also helped by well-detailed coloring by West Hartman and Tony Galvan.

The only flaw I saw in Gears and Bones Volume 1 is that because it only collects 3 issues, it’s too short of a story, and the cliffhanger is way too predictable. It was however entertaining enough for me to want to pick up Volume 2 when it comes out.

So in conclusion, Gears and Bones Volume 1 is a very fun, well-written, and well-illustrated fantasy storythat I recommend comic book readers of all ages go and pick up.

I give Gears and Bones Volume 1 4/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.

Kill 6 Billion Demons Book One Review by Eugene Alejandro

Disclaimer: This is a review of Image Comic’s print release of Kill 6 Billion Demons Book One. The review for this book (as well as the reviews for future books) are not of the original web comic versions.

Kill 6 Billion Demons is about a post-grad teenage girl named Allison Ruth who ends up being taken to a mysterious strange world along with her boyfriend. She and her boyfriend end up getting separated from each other, and it’s now up to Allison to find her boyfriend with the help of her new strange looking allies she meets while in the bizarre world of Throne (Allison also ends getting imbued with an ancient power while she ends being sent to Throne).

The best way I can describe Kill 6 Billion Demons Book One is that while it is very strange and bizarre, it is one of the most amazing and creative comics I have ever read thanks to its brilliant writing and outstanding artwork by its creator Tom Parkinson-Morgan.

Kill 6 Billion Demons Book One does a very good job at setting up all the characters, the setting the story takes place in, and the series’s tone. The story in Kill 6 Billion Demons Book One also moves at a fast pace, but never to the point where it feels very rushed. These aspects of the writing in Kill 6 Billion Demons prove that Tom Parkinson-Morgan is a very gifted writer (as well as a very gifted creator).

Tom’s artwork in Kill 6 Billion Demons is some of the greatest artwork I’ve ever seen in a creator-owned and independent comic. The characters have very unique and original designs to them, and the backgrounds have such amazing detail for the reader to see. The coloring also helps show how good the art is as it fits the style of the art very well.

I want to talk about the lettering in Kill 6 Billion Demons for just a bit. Kill 6 Billion Demon’s lettering is very unique as each characters dialogue has his and her own way of how the letters for their dialogue look in order to show how different they speak (which helps the reader understand how each character is different from the other very well).

In conclusion, Tom Parkinson-Morgan’s Kill 6 Billion Demons is without a doubt one of the greatest, most original, and very creative comic books of all time, and Book One of it is the best place to start reading it. Please spend your time and money on this amazing work of comic book literature.

I give Kill 6 Billion Demons Book One 5/5 Stars, and 2 Thumbs Up.

Monster Hunt Review by Eugene Alejandro

Disclaimer: I watched the movie on Netflix which only has the Chinese language version with English subtitles. That means that this review will not be of the English Dub.

Directed by Dreamworks animator Raman Hui, Monster Hunt is a live action Chinese major motion picture with the monsters in the movie being CGI (Computer-Generated-Image), and is the second highest grossing Chinese film of all time (the film that currently took the spot of the highest grossing Chinese film of all time is Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid).

The plot of Monster Hunt is about a world in which Humans and Monsters co-existed together until the humans decided to get rid of the Monsters, and banish them into a land separate from the Human land. In the Monster Land, a civil war breaks out because the current king of the Monsters was killed and overthrown. The monster queen of the previous king flees the monster land while being pregnant along with her bodyguards because the new king believes that the child will overthrow him, and unite the humans and monsters again. The queen and her bodyguards escape to the human land, but two humans named Song Tianyin, and Hua Xiaolan end up getting involved in the situation, and now must protect the new future king of the monster race.

The best way that I can describe Monster Hunt is that it’s one of the cutest and weirdest movies I’ve ever seen that is no way horrible, but average at best.

Since this film is notable for its CGI monsters, I want to talk about the designs of the monsters and the quality of the CGI they have. The effects used to make the monsters come to life in this movie are done well as the quality of the CGI makes them look like they exist in the real world thanks to the texturing on them being solid, and the movement animation on them is also great with them running very fast, climbing, jumping, and some of them even doing martial arts techniques. The designs of the monsters however, is a mixed bag to me. To elaborate what I mean by saying that, is that while the designs aren’t horrible (in fact, some of them are very creative) some of the monster’s appearances do look like they were copied and pasted from other monster designs in the film (meaning that some monsters look too similar to others with only a few differences). In general, the special effects in Monster Hunt are decent enough to belong in a theatrically released film.

The directing and writing in Monster Hunt does have its moments of good storytelling, character development, and mixing humor into some serious moments well, but in my opinion, I found the story about the monsters to be superior to that of the humans because while I didn’t hate that the movie focused on the humans, I still preferred if the film was more about the monsters as their storyline was superior in my opinion.

There are three songs in the movie (two play during the film, while one plays at the credits), and I’ll say that I did enjoy listening to them as they are sung very well. While one of them is a random musical number, it’s still entertaining no less.

I mentioned earlier that this movie is weird. I want to clarify that by saying that there only some weird moments in the film that exist for comedy, but for what they are, they do not contradict that film’s overall tone. I also found that for a family film, some of the weird humor is a little bit adult, but not offensive.

The physical acting and voice acting is really good as all the actors give solid performances to their characters, and you can tell that they are having fun with their roles. The English subtitles that are provided by Netflix (which is where I saw the film), are worked into the movie very well, and don’t look cheap and/or rushed.

Since this is a martial arts film, I obviously have to talk about the martial arts in it. The martial arts scenes in Monster Hunt are very creative, and pulled-off well thanks to how the movie’s directed. If you are a fan of martial arts cinema, then you will like this movie as it has a lot of fun martial arts moments in it.

After all that I have said, Monster Hunt is a decent enough Chinese martial arts flick that I can recommend watching out of curiosity as it does have it’s good moments, and was clearly made with love and passion with good special effects and a solid story, but is in my honest opinion, an average movie.

I give Monster Hunt 3/5 Stars.

Hero Quest: The Movie Review by Eugene Alejandro

Hero Quest: The Movie (also called A Warriors Tail, and Savva. Heart of the Warrior) is a Russian animated movie released around the years 2015 and 2016, and has the voice acting talents of Milla Jovovich, Whoopi Goldberg, Sharon Stone, Jim Cummings, Joe Pesci, Geoffrey Cantor, Jason Harris, and Will Chase (at least for the English Dub of the movie which I am reviewing).

The story of Hero Quest is about a young boy named Savva who must save his mother and village from being sold as slaves to the Monkeys from beasts called Hyenas. On his journey, he meets the last white wolf named Angee, a baron type character named FAFL (who is cursed to have a mosquito on his shoulder all the time), a pink lemur-like creature named Puffy, and the daughter of a shaman named Nanty. Together, they all set out to find a magician for each of their own reasons, but must fight their way through the monkeys lead by the three-headed Mom JoZee.

Since I am reviewing an animated movie from Russia that was translated into English, I do want to talk about the quality of the English dubbing first. The English Dub in Hero Quest (for the most part) is really good thanks to the talented cast starring in it. Milla Jovovich especially did a great job providing the voice for the character of Savva who is male as she really does sound convincing as a male character. Whoopi Goldberg also did a good job voicing the character of Mom JoZee as she was able to combine the characters humorous and evil personalities together very well. The rest of the cast also do a solid job, except for Sharon Stone as Puffy. I say this because while she didn’t do a horrible voice acting job, it was still a weak performance because she didn’t even sound recognizable, and the voice she gave to the character was just annoying to me (the character in general is also annoying).

The movie’s computer animation is really solid. The backgrounds, some of the character designs, the movements are all done very well, and the lip-syncing animation for the English Dub perfectly matches what the characters are saying. I don’t want to spoil the movie, but a Dragon does show up in it, and the design of it as well the quality of it’s animation and how it moves is spectacular. There are some moments however when the animation isn’t all that good. For the most part, the human characters look a bit cartoonish for the film’s tone, and that’s pretty much the only weak part of the animation for me.

The movie’s music and soundtrack is another thing that I can praise to an extant in this movie as it instruments used to make the music are handled very well and help with the movies tone, and the two songs that play during the movie are sung great. The only part of the music and soundtrack that I didn’t like was the ending credits song. The ending credits song is a mix of pop and rap (at least of what I heard of it) which I found to be out of place for the movie. I know it’s just a credits song, but I still wanted to talk about it.

Now for the part of the movie that I didn’t like, and that is how the story flows sometimes. To elaborate, there are parts of the plot and feel very rushed, and sometimes whenever it would change to another scene, it would do it by fading to black as if it was a made-for-television movie that would go to commercial. The story itself isn’t horrible, but I felt that it needed to have been told a little bit better. Also, some scenes in the movie feel completely pointless and random (which doesn’t help the story at all).

After all that I have said about Hero Quest: The Movie, it is a harmless mediocre computer-animated fantasy movie that does have a solid cast who give good voice acting performances (except for Sharon Stone), decent looking animation, and good enough music and soundtrack score, and an average fantasy plot with some writing issues that aren’t too bad, but are still noticeable.

I give Hero Quest: The Movie 3/5 Stars.

King: The Graphic Novel Review by Eugene Alejandro

Created by Joshua Hale Fialkov (the writer), Bernard Chang (the penciler and inker), and Marcelo Maiolo (the colorist), and published by Amazon’s comic book publishing imprint Jet City Comics, King is about a character literally named King who believes that he is the last human on Earth as the world he is currently living in is a post-apocalyptic mess inhabited by many strange animal-human hybrids, a religious robot cult, and many other weird looking people and animals. He is given a mission to look for and retrieve “The Life Seed”, only to discover there is much more to his mission than expected and realized.

In my opinion, King is the comic book equivalent of the 2015 short film Kung Fury in regards to its tone because King’s story is very fun with a lot of good humor, ridiculous ideas that work, and a good balance of comedy, fantasy, and sci-fi for a post-apocalyptic story that are all mixed together well thanks to Joshua Hale Fialkov’s awesome writing. For the story that is only 5 issues long (the King Graphic Novel is a collection of the 5 issues of the same name), all the characters major and minor are all very likeable and memorable, and each one has a very unique and creative design to them (another thanks to that goes to the great writing by Joshua Hale Fialkov).

Bernard Chang’s artwork is a joy to the eyes because all the characters and backgrounds are illustrated with huge amounts of great detail, they all appear very creative, unique, and original, and a lot of the scenes that involve action are also fun to look at as Bernard Chang’s artwork is the perfect fit for a story like this. The animals are also impressive to look at thanks to his art.

The coloring by Marcelo Maiolo is some of the greatest comic book coloring I have ever seen. The colors are very vibrant, clear, and match perfectly with Bernard Chang’s pencils and inks. Marcelo Mailo’s coloring is also a very good example of how colors can affect the artwork (and make it look good).

The only nitpick that I have with King (and I do mean the only nitpick) is that it’s too short of a story (with it only being 5 issues). I really loved the universe that it presented, and I hope more stories set in it happen as it’s very creative, new, and unique for comic book storytelling that also has a good sense of humor.

Joshua Hale Fialkov, Bernard Chang, and Marcelo Maiolo have accomplished what a comic book creative team should always do and that is create a new story set in a very fascinating universe with awesome characters, awesome writing, awesome artwork, and awesome colors that not only grace the post-apocalyptic genre, but the rest of the genres it has, and I’ll even go as far as to say that because of all that, it deserves all the Eisner Awards it can possibly earn.

I give King 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.

Warcraft Movie Review by Eugene Alejandro

After many years, an official major motion picture adaptation of the popular Warcraft franchise from Blizzard Entertainment has been made this year that is directed and co-written by Duncan Jones (of MOON and Source Code fame).

I will admit that I have never played any of the Warcraft games, and also read any of its lore, but from seeing the trailers for the movie adaptation of it, it did get me interested in wanting to watch it. Even though I was hearing some negative reviews for the film before it hit theaters, I was still interested in seeing it, and to my surprise (against the negative reviews I heard), the movie is a very enjoyable and entertaining fantasy action movie.

I’m not going to say that this movie is a masterpiece in the fantasy genre like the Lord of The Rings movies, The Dark Crystal, the first Neverending Story film, and even the fantasy films that Studio Ghibli has made and released, but I will say that the movie is very miss-understood by some critics as the Warcraft movie is a good example of how to make a very good movie based on a video game property (no offense to those critic’s opinions on it).

The biggest and noticeable achievement the Warcraft movie has is its special effects, and its production values. This movie really does look like a 160 Million Dollar budgeted film as it looks very well-made with the setting truly feeling like a typical fantasy world, and the buildings and landscapes are also really well-done. The practical and computer effects are also really amazing as the Orcs look very real, and the graphics used to make them move and speak is of professional quality (one Orc character is an actress in make-up, and the make-up for her is great as well). The armor that some of the characters wear, and other computer made effects are also another accomplishment the film has done.

The story and writing in this movie has a lot of surprising parallels to already existing stories, but they are incorporated very well and work thus making the movie’s story fun.

The acting is also solid. My favorite performance is the voice acting by Daniel Yu as Gul’dan (an Orc mage, and the antagonist in the Warcraft film). His voice fits the character because he did a fantastic job at portraying the character’s sinister personality with a deep accent, and it also works well as an Ork accent in general. The rest of the cast also turned in good performances.

Ramin Djawadi’s music is some of the best music I’ve ever heard. The music has an epic and triumphant tone to it that works well with the movie’s story.

Since I saw this movie in IMAX 3D, I can totally say that the 3D is great in this film as it does work a lot and helps the movie feel like something even better (the special effects also look good to look at in 3D as well).

The only flaw I have with this movie is that to me, it felt way too simple of a fantasy story with some parts being predictable, and while the movie has a decent ending, it’s pretty much a desperate sequel set-up (hopefully a sequel does get made).

If you are a fan of the Warcraft franchise, I recommend giving the Warcraft movie a watch as the makers of the movie obviously cared about adapting the property into an entertaining movie, and it’s nice to see the property finally get made into a movie.

I give the Warcraft movie 2 Thumbs Up, and 4/5 Stars