Thursday, 29 August 2013

TV: Adventure Time With Finn and Jake

Tantrum has never been shy about our love of animation. From The Lion at Edinburgh Film Festival to Despicable Me 2, there's something about animation which appeals to us on a number of levels.

Some of you might have already watched Adventure Time With Finn and Jake, while for others it might be something which has been merely an edge of consciousness thing. Either way, here are five of reasons you should sit down and watch from the beginning.

1. Not Just For Kids

A lot of the time, we're guilty of seeing animation and thinking that it's not really 'appropriate' for an adult. Well, Adventure Time is proof that that just isn't the case. Instead, the show has a whole host of well handled, simply worded messages for adults too. Dealing with everything from death to sexuality, the show manages to be entertaining and meaningful without slipping into preachy - something which many apparently 'mature' shows struggle to manage.

2. Jake the Dog and Finn the Human

Our main characters - and while it might not seem that groundbreaking, a boy and his dog as the leads, we think Adventure Time has managed a spin on the old cliche. Finn isn't just a human, he really is 'the' human; the last of his kind. Think Doctor Who, only with more ass kicking, less angst, but the same amount of running. Plus, with Jake being the little (or big, depending on whether he's stretched out or not) ball of yellow sass that he is, things are never boring.

3. The Female Characters

How often do you see strong female cartoon characters? Especially in a show whose primary premise is the rescue of princesses? Well, this is a first for us at least; and it works. Princess Bubblegum is the queen supreme, giving the orders and working on her own science projects, Marceline the Vampire is an ass kicking mystery, and Lumpy Space Princess has survived being homeless and estranged from her family with... well, if not with good grace, at least with a great degree of fortitude. More characters like these please, TV shows.

4. Songs Galore

Having spent the past week of work singing the inexplicable-out-of-context 'Daddy, Why Did You Eat My Fries', we can attest to the fact that the songs in the show are addictive. There's not a big production made of them - and generally, no one sings without good reason to. This isn't Glee, people.

5. All The Cool Kids Are Doing It

Okay, so it's not a legitimate reason, but it's true. We're all about individuality, but Adventure Time's cult following is well-earned. This time, follow the crowd. You can thank us later.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Iron Man 3: The Infamous Gag Reel

Let's face it - when Marvel releases a gag reel, you know you're going to be in for a good time. The Avengers reel washed waves of hilarity over the internet, and while the Iron Man 3 one is only thirty or so seconds long, it's far from disappointing.

Tantrum's highlight has to be the immortal question, 'What kind of crappy suit is this?', although Robert Downey Jr's reaction to the instant classic 'We always cover the ass' is more akin to a fifteen year old than someone pushing fifty. Well, that's part of his charm after all.

Released as one of the blu-ray extras, there is also set to be a behind the scenes on Thor 2 and an Agent Carter (of Captain America fame) short. Marvel, for all you tease us, you do spoil us sometimes.

All in all, it's half a minute of hilarity which succeeds in simply making us more impatient for the release on September 9.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Much Ado About Nothing

You wait for ages for a Shakespeare adaptation, then two come along at once - isn't that what they always say? No? Well, we've been waiting patiently since the 1993 film for an update, and within the past two years we've had two fantastic ones.

David Tennant and Catherine Tate's stint as Benedick and Beatrice was met with critical acclaim, the pair's chemistry from Doctor Who just as prevalent in their stage performance as it ever was on screen. Made available by Digital Theatre, legions of disappointed fans were able to experience the show as it was intended to be performed.

While the stage adaptation was modernised, it wasn't done to quite the same extent as the latest adaptation to hit our screens. Joss Whedon (of Avengers Assemble and Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog fame) recorded his own version with a group of friends at his own house, and the result is something intimate and compelling. 

Filmed entirely in black and white, the film follows the play's dialogue with an updated setting. Star turns from Clark Gregg (as Leonato) and Nathan Fillion (as Dogberry) are backed up by an extremely talented ensemble. Special mention has to go to Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof as Beatrice and Benedict respectively - arguably the two most important characters in any version of the play.

A superb play, excellently performed, and you get to flaunt your cultured credentials afterwards - what more could you want?