Monday, November 13, 2006

Classic Bite Commentary: November 13th, 2006

(2018 Update: Replaced an older post with an even older Bite commentary.)

After a month's hiatus (unless you want to count the "lost" post also up today), The Bite is back and so am I apparently, although it doesn't really seem like I left. I really don't have much to add to the proceedings today, but chances are I'll shoot back with a second commentary within a couple of weeks.

Now if you've been following the Blog, you noticed more posts than usual this year. This is due to the fact that I wanna hit 400 posts before the end of the year and get to 500 as fast as possible. As a result, more has been said and certain Blog posts may make their way here (albeit a bit expanded as time has passed).

Just started on my Christmas hunting for the year. The sooner I buy everything, the happier I'll be. Especially when the shops begin to fill up towards the holiday period.

In 2004, I stated in a blog post that Power Rangers Dino Thunder's finale was an okay ending to a good run.

In 2005, I expressed my utter relief and happiness that the crapload known as Power Rangers SPD is finally over.

In 2006, I can't comment on Mystic Force's finale because I haven't seen it. In fact, I can honestly tell you that I have yet to see one single episode of the recent Ranger offering. Outside of a brief glance at a fight scene signalling the end of an episode, I haven't sat down and watched an episode of the series to really judge it. Of course, some would say that by not watching it, I'm already sending a strong message concerning the product.

Mystic Force didn't get a viewer in me for two reasons.

First off, the previous Power Rangers offering, SPD, was such a huge pile of shit that it had essentially wiped out any interest in seeing what the current creative team has to offer in subsequent series. And while general talk about these particular series has been more favorable than before, it still isn't enough to get me back into the fold... and the truly sad part was that there wasn't one time when I wanted to go out of the way to catch an airing. Contrast this to Ninja Storm: while I didn't care for that series because of the overall tone, it did have some interesting stories that drew me in, even if it didn't keep me around for the long run. Mystic Force didn't offer anything to reel me in at any point and thus I ignored it promptly.

The other reason why Mystic Force failed to interest me is because all the stories in that series was nothing more than rehashes of its Japanese counterpart, Magiranger. Yes, the same can be said for SPD being a near-carbon copy of Dekaranger, but I can honestly... wait a minute, I gave up on SPD for that very reason among other things. Because it's a rehash of a previous show, it signifies that no actual effort is shown in making the show enjoyable or original. There's no actual heart being put into the show; it seems more like a paint-by-numbers affair. I couldn't stand that sort of treatment for one show; two shows in a row following that route is a nightmare.

It's generally too bad that a sour taste of an executive producer's first attempt at a Power Rangers show has prevented me from giving this show a fair shake. Maybe some day, I'll rent some of the DVDs or catch some of the reruns and judge the show on its own merits, not based on my feelings for its predecessor. Unfortunately, the stench that is SPD will stick with me for a while.

I'm hoping that the next incarnation turns out to be better and, considering the 15th anniversary of the Power Rangers franchise is coming, I'm hoping something really special will be done.

In the meantime, I'll ignore the previous crappy shows that have infected the airwaves and stick with old episodes on tape as well as the fanfics... the only entertaining aspects left in Power Rangers as far as I'm concerned.

The Dungeon Siege flick looks interesting in spite of its director's past history regarding video game adaptations. Considering I've yet to sample any of his previous works (and not because people say they're horrible flicks - mostly because they simply don't interest me), I can't judge whether it's going to be a good film or a flop. I'll wait until it comes out on DVD, but if interest is good enough, I'll probably go ahead and pay for the overpriced tickets to see this film.

I mean, you have to feel for Uwe Boll. The guy is just doing what he loves to do and is getting criticized for it... sometimes unfairly. Now I've never seen any of the guy's flicks, so I'm not going to judge them. That might be something entirely different from someone who has never seen a movie but decides to bash a Boll flick because it's the cool thing to do. Now don't start labeling me a defender of the mighty Boll, because like I said, I never seen his flicks and I can't judge them by their own merits.

But putting aside general perceptions of these movies, the problem for the most part is that there isn't anything about these movies that keenly interests me. Case in point would be House of the Dead. Now I've played some of the arcade games, but not enough to be a fan or be bothered to watch the movie. Contrast this to Resident Evil; despite not having played any of the games at the time and despite not being much of a horror freak, I saw the movie and was impressed by it.

Now did the negative reviews have something to do with my steering clear of Boll's movies? Of course not, but they didn't help to attract me either. So I'll definitely give this Dungeon Siege flick a chance... whether it be on DVD or in theatres.

I mean, come on. Can't be worse than Super Mario Brothers: The Movie.

Speaking of which, let's talk some sports-entertainment.

It'll be interesting to see what TNA can pull off with their upcoming 2-hour primetime debut. For those who don't know, TNA will start airing shows around 9 p.m. on Spike TV. It's certainly a step in the right direction, but now they need to do well enough to increase from their usual one-hour shows to the full two-hour shows. Two hours allows them more breathing room and allows them to showcase more talent and what they can do. Most importantly, if TNA felt like it, they can also book longer main events, something that just isn't possible with their current one-hour program. Here's hoping that TNA gets some decent ratings and that their primetime timeslot will lead to bigger and better things. The sooner they're on par WWE, the better both companies will get with the smell of true competition in the air.

Due to dwindling house show performances, ECW is being paired up with Smackdown house shows. In addition, the main event for the first non-One Night Stand ECW PPV will be an Elimination Chamber match. But it's not just an Elimination Chamber match... it's an EXTREME Elimination Chamber match. Goes to show that they're close to giving up on making this a unique brand; just earlier in October there had been reports that they're going to swap the blocky ECW logo with the usual WWE logo, making it official (as if it wasn't already obvious by the same shitty booking tactics as RAW or Smackdown) that it is indeed a WWE brand. Normally, I'd be bothered by this, but I have already given up on ECW so whatever they do now... I really don't give a shit.

So much for ECW, I suppose. With their own house shows gone, their TV show always being taped when it can  conveniently fit into a RAW or Smackdown taping, and most of the major talent either gone or on their way out, ECW is slowing becoming a sinking ship. Unfortunately, rather than attempting to fix the problem, the brain trust at WWE have apparently decided to cut corners wherever they can. Bringing in an Elimination Chamber to an ECW PPV is the ultimate desperation act since the specialty match loses its identity as an exclusive to RAW. The good news for Vince is that he has succeeded in making ECW seem like a WWE brand even if it looks a little different, but the bad news is that nobody cares because it is another hackneyed WWE show with hardcore wrestlers that are out of their element. ECW was about hardcore wrestling, whether it be weapons or styles of wrestling not seen before. While this new ECW can't be what was, it had the chance to be something different... the chance to gain a new fanbase. But like the WCW Invasion angle in 2001, Vincent Kennedy McMahon dropped the ball... yet again.

On a further ECW note, on Canadian Boxing Day (do Americans celebrate Boxing day by any chance?), there'll be a clip show claiming to be the "Best of ECW". All I got to say is good luck finding any "Best of" caliber material from the current show to fill an hour. They'd be lucking to find anything that can fit into a minute.

Speaking of barely fitting a minute, enjoy the Lita-Mickie James feud while it lasts. Because chances are it'll be the last great feud with actual women's wrestling before it de-evolves back into nothing more than an offnote joke. While it has been a joke for quite some time now since they replaced actual wrestlers with these Diva Search doofuses (who aren't even that hot), you at least had talents such as Trish Stratus who not only looked good but could actually wrestle... and do it well... and she had only started about six years ago. Now Trish is gone, Lita is seemingly on her way out, and then it'll be just the former Alexis Laree and Victoria if she remembers that she used to have some skill. Unfortunately, neither one of them can carry a division of Diva Search losers to anything more than a 1-star match... and that's assuming they don't fluff the match with some stupid stip like Bra and Panties. If I wanted to see women strip, I'd watch porn where it's done well.

And yes, I know there are a couple of women who aren't Diva Search refugees, but the simple truth is that Torrie Wilson doesn't really do much more than they, so what's the point?

I've had it. There's other stuff I want to say, but that last topic has really irked me. I'll need a couple weeks to get my head together... so see you in two weeks.

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