Friday, 24 October 2014

More Tales of the City

More Tales of the CityMore Tales of the City
Armistead Maupin
" The divinely human comedy that began with Tales of the City rolls recklessly along as Michael Tolliver pursues his favourite gynaecologist, Mona Ramsey uncovers her roots in a desert whorehouse, and Mary Ann Singleton finds love at sea with the amnesiac of her dreams."

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

OZ Portal

Wizard of Oz Portal
The Wizard of Oz is one of the best loved series of all time, L. Frank Baum's series of whimsical novels have spawned multiple films, books, plays, toys, and more. Pretty much any type of media you can imagine has been graced with a trip to the land of Oz and here at tales from iDEATH we're huge fans. So, follow the links below to view individual reviews of Dorothy and friends' adventures.

L. Frank Baum novels

more coming soon...

Other Books

more coming soon...

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Babe: the life of Oliver Hardy

Babe: the life of Oliver Hardy
Babe: the life of Oliver Hardy
John McCabe
"This fascinating biography traces the life and times of one of the best-loved film comics of all time. Through a frustrating childhood to worldwide renown as half of the greatest comedy team in history of Hollywood."

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Soul Music

Soul Music
Soul Music
Terry Pratchett

Yes. There's a Death in the family.
It's hard to grow up normally when Grandfather rides a white horse and wields a scythe - especially when you have to take over the family business, and everyone mistakes you for the Tooth Fairy.
And especially when you have to face the new and addictive music that has entered Discworld.
It's lawless. It changes people. It's called Music With Rocks In. It's got a beat and you can dance to it, but...It's alive. And it won't fade away.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Sonic X Finale

Sonic X
Sonic X
Part 16 - Episodes #76 - 78

Ep 76: The Light in the Darkness
   The battle rages on as the gang battle to stop the birth of the new Metarex homeworld.

   This episode is pretty much just one huge fight and, while it may be suitably epic, it really does nothing for me. This episode just seemed to drag on endlessly and nothing’s really accomplished until the last couple of minutes. This whole thing could have been condensed down to a few extra minutes at the end of the last ep or the beginning of the next….meh…

Ep 77: A Fearless Friend
   The final phase of the Metarex begins as their planet begins to suck the life force from every being in the galaxy, covering every planet in dense forest.


      The epic finale to the battle sees Sonic and Shadow transform into their Super forms and hold back the powers of the Metarex planet, they’re unable to penetrate its forefield however. Cosmo realises that she alone can break through and does so, sealing herself away within the planet, keeping Dark Oak at bay.
   The task then falls to Tails, to fire Super Sonic and Super Shadow from the ship’s power canon, destroying the Metarex planet, but also killing Cosmo.

   This episode is a huge point of contention within the Sonic fanbase. When dubbing the original episodes into English, 4Kids made changes to many episodes. For the most part, these are minor, the occasional gun is airbrushed out, as is the odd trickle of blood. A line or two would be changed every now and then. The tones of some scenes might end up being altered a little, but never too badly in my opinion.


   This final scene however, where Tails is forced to kill Cosmo, is absolutely butchered in the English dub. In the original Japanese, it’s a heart wrenching scene as Tails bawls his eyes out and slams his head into his computer terminal, refusing to kill her. The music played is sombre and heightens the mood. It’s an epic, emotional scene that carries some real impact.
    In the dub, while Tails still has a hard time pulling the trigger, the scene is terribly watered down. There’s no tears, the head slam is cut and the music is changed to make the scene more action oriented. It’s a real shame because the original is arguable the best moment in the entire series, here, it’s a joke.

   This terrible edit aside however, this episode still carries some real weight, just nowhere near that of the original.

Ep 78: So Long Sonic
   Shadow uses Chaos Control to destroy the Metarex homeworld and peace is restored to the universe.

The end

   While this episode is little more than wrapping up the final threads of the story, I really enjoyed it. Shadow does his thing and disappears along with the Metarex planet, Cosmo says her final goodbyes to Tails from beyond the grave and the gang return home to Sonic’s world.
   It was great to see everyone back in their home environment again and while it’s a pretty cheesy happy ending, it’s still a nice thing to see.

   One pretty weird thing is how Chris gets back to Earth. Eggman builds a small ship for him, invites him to use it but tells him there’s only three minutes left until the link between their two worlds severs forever.
   Chris just accepts the ride and jets off for home without saying goodbye to anyone, not even Sonic. It seems like an odd choice to have Eggman be the one to see him leave and even though he does see Sonic out of the window of the ship it seems a real shame to not give the two friends one last scene together.

   Overall, it’s a pretty standard finale. There’s no real surprises of cliff hangers, all’s well that ends well. But that’s fine. Given the abrupt and incomplete finales for the previous three series, it’s nice to see a Sonic cartoon that has a proper conclusion. It’s a good one.


   …and that’s it. Like I said in my intro to this series of reviews, Sonic X is a show that really divides the audience and it’s easy to see why. The show has some genuinely awesome moments, but is heavily bogged down by inconsistent art, an unlikable main character in Chris Thorndyke and far too many filler episodes.

Sonic X cast

   That said though, when this show’s good, it’s really good. The art and animation may be dreadful at times, but when the right team’s on the job it can lead to some of the coolest representations of these characters across any medium.
   The Sonic Adventure & Sonic Adventure 2 adaptations, along with the final few episodes of the Metarex saga are highly enjoyable and lend themselves to some really epic scenes and great character moments. Had the show’s creators chosen to cut down on the episode count and focus more on these types of stories instead of the pointless filler episodes with dull side characters and robot of the week storylines, Sonic X could have been a really awesome show.

   As it stands though, it’s a mixed bag. There’s a hell of a lot wrong with it, but the good stuff does a lot to redress the balance. While I’m not a fan of the show I’ll happily return too the Adventure arc every now and again and I’d recommend you at least give the show a watch before you write it off.
   Although I had a bit of a hard time making through some of the episodes to write these reviews, I’m still glad I watched it.

Big the Cat

    If nothing else….at least you can say Big the Cat was in the show. Big makes everything better.

Bonus: Sonic X pilot

   The original pilot animation for Sonic X shows a very different show from the one we got.
   The show is set on Sonic’s homeworld, as evidenced by the other anthro animal characters seen in the backgrounds and one shot where a robot bursts through a café. The style is also a little different, the robots are much cuter, more friendly looking as opposed to the large mechs Eggman uses in the final show, Sonic’s animation seems a little more cartoony too.
   The most notable difference however, is the lack of Chris Thorndyke. He’s nowhere to be seen, a fact that many people jumped on with glee when the pilot first came to light.

   It’s hard to say if these changes would have made the show any better or not. Personally I don’t think they’d have done much to tackle the main problems with the show, those being the poor animation, poor writing and high filler content. Chris can be annoying yes, but he’s not the main reason the show is such a slog to get through.
   I will say though that I much prefer the art style for the robots and I’d have probably enjoyed the Sonic’s planet/mobius/whatever-you-wanna-call-it setting over the Earth setting we got in the final show.

   In the end though, it doesn’t matter, for better or worse, we ended up with the show we got and the ideas from the pilot (aside from the few clips that survived as part of the show’s intro) were buried forever.
   It’s still an interesting tidbit however, and worth a watch, just to see what might have been. 

Sonic says

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Sonic X Part 15 - Episdoes #71 - 75

Sonic X
Sonic X
Part 15 - Episdoes #71 - 75

Ep 71: Hedgehog Hunt
   Sonic and the gang find themselves stranded on an alien planet but come across the Chaotix who have opened a café there.

   A pretty fun episode which sees the gang team up with the Chaotix again to rebuild their ship. Eggman also appears, hunting for Sonic under the watchful eye of the Metarex, however, in the end it turns out that Eggman is on Sonic’s side when he disguises his own ship as Sonic’s allowing Sonic to escape.

   As always, the Chaotix steal every episode they’re in. The seedy bar they open up when they fail to make their way home is great. Packed with shady characters and bellowing with sleazy tunes, it’s a bar ripped directly from a noir film. It’s just awesome.
   This is a fun episode.

Ep 72: Zelkova Strikes Back
   Yellow Zelkova returns….and the episode is just as interesting as the last one he was in…

Naked Metarex

   Yeah, it’s another fight episode, not much else to say about it. The battle is at least more interesting than Zelkova’s previous effort and there are a couple tense moments. The end of the battle sees Zelkova’s armour break off to reveal…well…I don’t even really know what it is…it’s a thing…but it’s a pretty creepy moment.
   Overall though, it’s another bland, episodic entry that you could easily ignore…

Ep 73: The Cosmo Conspiracy
   Shadow and Rouge sneak aboard Sonic’s ship and attempt to kidnap Cosmo.

   I enjoyed this one a lot. The battle that the gang have across the ship remains interesting throughout, the art and animation are high quality and it’s entertaining throughout.
   It’s nice to see the lengths Tails will go to to protect Cosmo, it really shows how much he cares for her.

Tails and Cosmo

   The episode also casts aspersions on Cosmo’s character when it is revealed that Dark Oak has been using her all along and she’s a spy for the Metarex, codenamed White Seed. It’s an awesome twist, one that I genuinely didn’t see coming. It sets up an  awesome cliff hanger.

Ep 74: Eye Spy
   Still reeling from the revelation that Cosmo has been spying for the Metarex, the gang land on a planet to regroup, but soon learn it’s Cosmo’s destroyed homeworld.

   Wow, what an episode. Cosmo’s arc throughout it is great as she struggles to come to terms with the idea that the Metarex have been using her without her knowledge.
   We also get a pretty in-depth back story on the origins of the Metarex. When Amy and rouge stumble upon an ancient recoreding, we learn that the Metarex were once part or Cosmo’s race and that after an Alien invasion, her homeworld was destroyed. A small group refused to leave the planet with the rest of the species and crystallised the planet egg, turning themselves into the Metarex.
   We also learn that Cosmo’s race (or at least the males of the species) can turn into giant dinosaurs… that’s awesome…

   Cosmo decides she wants to leave but Tails and the gag won’t let her and vow to stand by her side no matter what. It’s a heartwarming end to what is a very heavy hitting episode with some great reveals. It’s an awesome episode and helps set the scene for the final battle when we learn that the Metarex have finally found all seven chaos emeralds and are ready to complete their plan.

Ep 75: Agent of Mischief
   The Metarex launch their final plan to rebuild their homeworld. Sonic and the gang turn up to take them down once and for all.


   This one starts off pretty dull but definitely picks up towards the end. The Metarex gather at the centre of the galaxy where, once every thousand years, a planet egg crosses over from another dimension. The egg combines with the power of the seven emeralds, turns the remaining Metarex into a gigantic, three headed dragon that looks like Kind Ghidorah and rebuilds the planet.
    It’s an awesome build up for the final  stage of the show and, while the episode starts slow, it leaves you desperate to find out what happens next. 

Sonic says