Creative Commons license icon

reviews

Review: 'Rukus'

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

The 2000s were not an easy time for those who were furry or gay. The mainstream media was still hyper-focused on the sexual aspects of fandom expression in a freak-show style of coverage, instead of the overall complexity of the community. The ability to marry individuals of the same sex was still not federally recognized in the United States and wouldn’t be until the early 2010s. It was in that era that one furry artist named Rukus took their own life at the end of 2008.

Now, just over a decade later, someone who knew this artist on a personal level has finished a documentary covering the life of their lost friend and their interlude with fandom. That director, Brett Hanover, contacted me and gave me the opportunity to view a screening of the film.

The show releases on Vimeo and their own website today and can be viewed there. You can choose to watch before I go over the details and review below. Though the review may help understand some of the nuances of the film.
Rukus

The Haunting of Hog-Town

An interesting new comic from Oni Press we found out about through Previews: Ghost Hog by Joey Weiser. “A new graphic novel from the Eisner Award-nominated creator of Mermin that deftly navigates loss, vengeance, and acceptance! Truff is the ghost of a young boar, fueled by fury towards the hunter who shot her down. She has a lot to learn about her new afterlife, and thankfully the forest spirits Claude and Stanley are there to guide her! However, they soon find that her parents, along with their fellow animal villagers, have been kidnapped by the malicious mountain demon Mava! Truff wants to help, but… the hunter is finally within her grasp, and if she lets him go, she may never get her revenge!” Check out the detailed review over at Comics Beat.


image c. 2019 Oni Press

Review: 'Aggretsuko', season 2

Your rating: None Average: 3 (7 votes)

Aggrestsuko, season 2 Aggretsuko has launched its second season on Netflix. The first season won an Ursa Major, and the show has become a hit among the fandom with its theme of worklife in the modern era. Will the second season be able to retain its title?

In short, I personally found the second season to be a bit tamer than the first as far as content goes. The red panda, Retsuko, seems to have adapted more to her stresses in life and the duality of her underlying rage seems to have been numbed a bit. When she did do a scream-fest, it seemed more forced and circumstantial than prepared and thought out. It also looks to be that the season focuses on the social obligations outside the workplace this season. Items such as friendship, family, and the future of Retsuko’s life outside of work seem to be the focus of her stresses.

Given this, those that like the first season may have differing feelings of the direction of this one. My thoughts are a bit complicated. I think the first season was far punchier and excellently paced, whereas the second had good moments but also some questionable decisions on character usage.

Spoilers ahead.

Review: 'The Lion King' 2019

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (14 votes)

thelionking.jpg"Be prepared!"
- Boy Scout motto

"No, hold on. Sorry, that's The Lion King."
- Doctor Who, "The Christmas Invasion"

The Lion King is a 2019 movie directed by Jon Favreau. It is a faithful adaptation of the 1994 animated movie of the same name, using cutting edge, realistic CGI animation to create it's cast consisting entirely of talking animals.

The original version is considered a classic of animation; this movie follows the original closely enough that most of its positive attributes are contained. There is enough deviation from the original that those familiar may get something new from the experience. Like most adaptations, most viewers will find the "original" is preferable, however.

So, that's the review, okay, bye!

Review: SLoP 2: SLoPpy Seconds

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (9 votes)

gidget-5c746a080706b-1.jpgLook, the best joke in the first Secret Life of Pets is that if you do the trendy thing of acronym-ing it's title, it becomes SLoP, which is funny because it's true.

Honestly, I can't even say I remember the first movie very well. I did see it. I mostly recall that I didn't really like it that much. So, as you can probably deduce, I wasn't entirely looking forward to the sequel. The trailers also prominently featured coprophagia, so that wasn't helping anything.

But about those trailers— if you take out the inter-titles and the music, you just watched that scene in the movie. That's exactly how it's cut in the movie. All of the trailers are like that. They're just scenes from the movie. The movie is cut like a trailer.

And the weirdest thing about this movie is that, somehow, despite being just scenes from the movie, this is a case of bad trailers being way worse than the actual movie. This is a very weird movie.

'Detective Pikachu' becomes the first widely-released "fresh" video game adaptation in Rotten Tomatoes' history

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (9 votes)

No well-reviewed film adaptation of a video game has ever achieved a combined positive review score of 60%, the threshold needed to count as "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes. Until now.

With 158 of 242 reviews from professional movie critics at least somewhat positive, the first live action Pokémon movie, Detective Pikachu, has managed to squeak into the "good" side of the Tomato-meter with a score of 65%. Its average critical rating is lower, at 5.97 out of 10 - not every critic assigns a movie rating. However, its Audience Rating is much higher at 83%! (Although the Audience Score is notoriously vulnerable to "review bombing", Detective Pikachu was never likely to be deliberately targeted.)

Review: Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Your rating: None Average: 4 (6 votes)

My first encounter with Pokémon was when I borrowed a friend's copy of Pokémon Red for the Gameboy. I chose squirtle as my starter pokémon and I remember lying awake, wanting my own copy of the game so badly that I could feel it. Pokémon: The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back hadn't been released yet, so this was in 1999 at the latest. For at least twenty years since then, Pokémon has been a part of my life.

Although I never did get a copy of the first Pokémon game, I did get Pokémon Silver, collected the trading cards, watched the anime, memorised the pokérap, saw the films and played many of the spin-off games. But Pokémon's influence was far broader than all that; it gave me a world of creatures and possibilities to imagine. I took to writing Pokémon fanfiction which, in turn, led me to the furry fandom. Pokémon has literally helped create the person I am today, so it was disappointing when I felt myself drifting away from it.

Endgame

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (6 votes)

endgamerocket.jpg"Oh, I'm definitely putting copyrighted Avengers music in this."
- Ceeday, "Heres The MF Endgame"

"I am Iron Man."
- Black Sabbath, "Iron Man"

As I'm writing this, Avengers: Endgame has made $2,272,706,419 in theaters around the world, according to Box Office Mojo, making it currently the second highest grossing movie in cinematic history, with the number one spot well within it's sights. It only has approximately half a million dollars to go to take that spot, and that's a lot of money, but it's been out only one full week.

Whether it ends it's theatrical run first or second, one thing is certain. A review on a small news-site (with readers in the high double digits!) catering to a niche demographic will not be the deciding factor. There is no world where I write a rave review that sends everyone back to the theater, nor is there a world where I so utterly critically destroy this movie that theaters empty like, well, like what happened at the end of the last Avengers movie. Of course, the real reason to review this movie is because I reviewed the last one, and I reviewed that one because it's got a talking raccoon in it, and the coming possibility that the biggest movie ever might soon feature an anthro character is something that should be noted on a furry site.

SPOILER ALERT: The Russo brothers say I can spoil the movie now, but don't worry, I won't. However, if you haven't seen Avengers: Infinity War and want to see it unspoiled, hold off on hitting read more.

Review of AshCoyote's Fandom documentary - Season 1

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (11 votes)

Ash.jpgA free to view documentary series, edited by Eric Risher and directed by Ash Kreis, was released on Kreis's Youtube channel AshCoyote. Her channel covers nonfiction topics of the furry fandom, while also doing streams of games of furry interest. Funnily since that’s the same kind of content my own channel covers it may seem strange that I’d want to promote their work, however in the non-fiction business it is important to encourage more sharing of information than less. Plus her production value is much higher.

Today we’re going to go over these seven videos. If you like these, then it you should consider throwing a few dollars toward their GoFundMe campaign to produce a full length picture about the fandom they plan on doing. It has 13 days left and is all or nothing, so they have to hit at least $20,000 to get any funding from the campaign. As of writing they don't have much more to go to reach that goal with over $18,000 raised at time of publication.

Furry camps - My experience at World Wild Fur Camp

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (19 votes)

Spring is in the air and the snow is melting. Gone are the seasons where furs bundle up in their homes, and here are the days where they come out to frolic in the sunshine. But perhaps instead of going to a big city to a stuffy hotel, you may be interested to know that there are other fur gathering styles that are becoming a bigger staple in the furry fandom.

The fur camps are gatherings that take place in parks and other such outdoor facilities that put emphasis on connecting the fur with a bit more of the rural wilds than the urban jungles. Camp Feral!, which takes place in Algonquin leads the pack with estimates of around up to 200 guests. Today I go over my first experiences with one of these cons, and how they differ from their hotel-bound cousins: World Wild Fur Camp, which took at a YMCA camp just north of Cincinnati Ohio in the fall of 2018.

Movie review: 'How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World'

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (12 votes)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) is the latest film in the HTTYD series, the first of which came out in 2010 and was followed by a second film in 2014. Now, after a four-and-a-half-year gap, we have a third one, presumably (?) the last, but even if DreamWorks decides to keep the film franchise going, The Hidden World feels like the completion of a trilogy, all of which have involved Dean DeBlois as screenwriter and director.

I'm going to try and avoid major spoilers, so I'll summarize the plot points introduced in the early part of the film. I won't be linking to trailers, because they give away some of the locations and scene gags that are better kept a surprise. I watched a 2D screening, and I haven't kept up with any of the franchise spinoffs or shorts. I'm not a fan of most of the dragon designs or of several secondary characters, but regardless, I've happily enjoyed Hiccup and Toothless' adventures together.

Review: Dust: An Elysian Tail

Your rating: None Average: 4 (22 votes)

DUST1.jpgI may be a little late to the party, considering Dust was released in 2012 and nominated for an Ursa Major, but Dust was on sale on Steam late last year and I took the opportunity to get it (Dust is 75% off on GOG.com until 29 January). One positive aspect of Dust is that it works on Windows, Mac and Linux, so I did not have any trouble even though I recently switched over to using Linux exclusively.

Plot

Dust is set in a world populated with various anthropomorphic characters. General Gaius has been leading a crusade to purge the world of Moonbloods, which appear to be primarily reptilian whereas most of the characters seem more mammalian. I don't recall any real reason ever being provided as to what led to the conflict with the Moonbloods and the genocide.

As Dust, you wake up with no knowledge of who you are and are soon discovered by a magical, talking sword, named Ahrah, and its guardian, the adorable Nimbat named Fidget. Ahrah clearly knows something but refuses to tell you and you start to explore the world to discover who you are and what is happening.

Review: 'Spider-Mans'

Your rating: None Average: 2.9 (7 votes)

spidermanintothespiderverse.jpgPerhaps it was me, but I sensed a smidgen of negativity towards my review of Avengers: Infinity War. Like, just featuring Rocket Raccoon on the poster (he's in there somewhere, I'm sure) just wasn't enough for some of you. To be fair, if Infinity War ends up winning the Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture, as billion dollar box office blockbusters from Disney are known to do, well, that would be both bad and also probably completely my fault, so preemptive apologies if it does!

Now I'm reviewing another Marvel movie with a supporting character who's totally furry, but that's about it. In this case, it's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and that character is Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham (voiced by John Mulaney), an anthropomorphic spider (bitten by a radioactive pig, see). On one hand, despite being a part of a much larger cast, I feel Rocket got a slightly bigger role in his movie. He has his own subplot with a bit of an arc to it, while Peter Porker is basically just another member of the team; the movie's focus is on other teammates.

On the other hand, Spider-Ham is part of a much smaller ensemble, so though his role is smaller, his screentime is bigger, and though the movie focuses more on the three versions of Spider-Man that are the most "normal" (Miles Morales, Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy) rather than the "gimmicky" characters (Spider-Man Noir, Peni Parker and Spider-Ham), Spider-Ham gets the most attention of that trio, being the last of the three to leave and the one who gets the stand-out action beat (as well as being just a scene-stealer in general).

And on the gripping hand, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is just a way better movie than Avengers: Infinity War.

Game review: 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'

Your rating: None Average: 3 (6 votes)

ssbultimate.jpg

Like the Pokémon games, the Super Smash Bros. series has had many releases, adding a few bells and whistles as well as a handful of new characters every console generation or so. Also like the Pokémon games, the new releases have a solid enough base that they're still almost always worth checking out. And also also like the Pokémon games, the Super Smash Bros. series has Pokémon in it.

This Is Life presented Furries as a wholesome coping mechanism, and that's fine

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (22 votes)

Journalist Lisa Ling sits on a bed, surrounded by fursuit heads.Our fandom had been waiting for a Sunday night to watch CNN, a moment of truth.

A year earlier, Anthro Northwest sprung a surprise documentary film crew onto its attendees. It immediately caused an uproar online. There was much debate and drama around it, and then things were silent.

The film crew belonged to Lisa Ling and her new flagship show for CNN, This is Life with Lisa Ling. An episodic documentary program to highlight some of the oddities in our humble society. I, like many furs I'm sure, had never heard of the show nor seen it. It felt like we were in for another nasty media portrayal.

Closer to the airdate, we discovered that our subculture was going to be the show's season finale. Pressure's on, right?