Monday, May 22, 2017

Is Everything Political?


Normally I try to keep topics like religion and politics out of my reviews, but I felt somewhat compelled to tackle this subject after ABC cancelled its successful sitcom Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen. When most programs on television, be it the basic letter stations or the major networks on cable and satellite TV, want to get politics involved, they typically go for pushing the "liberal agenda." Last Man Standing, ABC's big boost to Tim Allen's career, did the opposite by having Allen make jokes that came with him venting his conservative views, especially during the first five seasons when Barack Obama was still the President of the United States. After Trump's win, the political jabs seemed to be shrinking, and some think this may have been part of the show's cancellation. Others say it's because of the conservative views being pushed in a "#NotMyPresident" era that the show needed to be canned, so we didn't have to hear Tim Allen continue to talk about how Hollywood is like 1930's Germany. To me, I think it's a combination of there not being much left for Allen to mock, Disney trying to silence voices of dissent (Look up PewDiePie and ESPN scandals), and the show just needing to admit it may be time to end since the two younger daughters are getting older, something that affected another Tim Allen sitcom once on ABC, Home Improvement.

Oh, wait, we were supposed to be tackling a bigger question here. Since the past election, Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump, have we hit a point where everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, has become political? The answer, sadly, is yes. Between Disney dropping stars and shows, YouTube algorithms blocking channels that dared to question the norms being pushed, and a need to persuade people that there are 76 genders and man has caused the climate to change, everything has become political, from the shows we watch to the classes we study.


No, you didn't read that header wrong. As Bill Nye, the man we called "The Science Guy," has said "Science is political." Which is apparent given what his new show Bill Nye Saves the World teaches. Science has typically been viewed as the pursuit of truth, but nowadays if you are questioning the "truth" that has been found in modern science, you're a science denier! Here's an example, in classic Bill Nye, he spoke about how chromosomes contained all the information to make a person and that the probability of being a boy or girl was one-in-two, not one-in-76 nor one-in-pansexual-gender-fluidity. However, with Bill Nye Saves the World, gender is said to be on a spectrum, making the social justice push for non-binary gender seem true despite there being no evidence in actual science. Huh, and here I thought even an actor with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering would understand basic biology and not give in to Tumblr logic.


This one gets crazy because there are so many examples of how the entertainment industry has become super political to the point that it isn't funny, it's annoying. If you make an anti-Obama, anti-Sanders, or anti-Clinton joke, you're pushing cancellation. If you are a successful entertainer, you better be careful when it comes to what you say or your agency may drop you and you're out of work for a long time. For the former, Tim Allen's Last Man Standing gets cancelled for pushing the boundaries of taking jabs at Democrats or leftist culture. For the latter, Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg got dropped by YouTube's partner company, Disney owned Maker Studios for making jabs at the media and making controversial jokes. In addition to Kjellberg, Jon "JonTron" Jafari was also facing backlash from YouTube for his stances on illegal immigration and social justice, which he expressed both on Twitter and in an archived stream with Sargon of Akkad. This resulted in Jafari seeing a cut in his revenue and a number of his videos being placed in the subscriber only Restricted Mode. Hollywood and YouTube are very progressive, which is why they choose to silence voices of dissent rather than allow everyone to speak their mind without fear of backlash. Me, I prefer to say what I want and what I believe, and I don't care what the consequences may be.


Difference of opinion should not lead to a person being fired from their job, a television program being cancelled, or any form of fallout. Factual evidence should not be replaced by feelings. So, why do we allow it? Because we believe feelings come first and if someone is offended by what someone else says, then the someone else should be jailed and shunned because "How dare they have a different opinion?" or "How dare they use facts to disprove my feelings?" Because we believe it's better to coddle and protect grown adults from the outside world, we let the special snowflakes of the Millennial generation believe that they are the most important people and that anyone else is wrong. Sorry, but I'd rather be on the wrong side of history by believing in laws, God, a right to self defense, two genders, heterosexual marriage, and the values of conservatism and capitalism, than be with the "everything is racist, everything is sexist, everything is homophobic" Bernie Sanders supporting socialists that are demanding the wrong form of change.

Until the next review, have a nice day!
-Napoleon Jonamite

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Skipping Some 2017 Movie Releases

2017 is already almost a quarter of the way done, and we have had some pretty hyped up movies, while others are just... Eh... Regardless, we all have those movies that we choose to skip seeing despite the hype. Is it because of a fear of a poor adaptation? Not having much understanding of what the film will be about? No real interest in the film based on either content or premise? There are a number of reasons for some. Me? Well, let me list off a few of my skips for 2017 and you'll get the details there.

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Let's start it off with this one. Based on the original Japanese animated film and anime franchise, Ghost in the Shell stars Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg, and a rather hot one too. From what I understand, this movie is looking to serve as an adaptation of the original movie.

Why am I skipping this one? Let's start off with the fact that none of my reasons have anything to do with the outrage over the "white washing" of the leading cyborg lady. My main reason for skipping this movie is a weak understanding of the lore of the Ghost in the Shell franchise. I had only seen the original movie once, and I had some difficulty understanding the lore. What is a "ghost" in this movie's case? How does one pull off "mind hacking"? This lore seems way deeper than I think even Leonardo Dicaprio is willing to go. Inception joke aside, without much understanding of the basic lore, I'd feel pretty lost while trying to watch Johannson kick butt and attempt to see how faithful the adaptation would be. Sorry folks, but this wannabe Otaku is skipping Ghost in the Shell's western live-action adaptation.

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Wait, Napoleon Jonamite is skipping a Disney movie? It's true. Disney is continuing its current trend of making their animated classics into live action films. Starring Emma Watson as Belle, Disney is hoping to bring that same magic we got in animated form when we were kids to the big screen in a live action musical.

Why am I skipping this one? Let's face it, we've all grown up with the original animated movie. It's a timeless Disney animated classic that deserves to be in our film collections even to this day. The big problem comes with Disney trying to outdo itself and hope for another moneymaking remake. Reviews came in fairly mixed from critics and viewers alike. Comments came in from Doug Walker and Steven Crowder about the music being auto-tuned, new songs adapted from the Broadway show to lackluster results, bad CGI that ruined the experience, etc. Crowder's producer "Not Gay" Jared Monroe also commented on some of the casting choices not working out, citing Ewan McGregor's accent "changed like, seven times." While the LeFou "gayness" was overplayed in terms of the controversy, it wasn't the best direction for the character. Crowder noted that the social commentary could've been more like "I really admire this man." "Are you secretly gay?" "No." Personally, I think there are some things you just can't adapt to live action, and Beauty and the Beast is one of them.

Power Rangers

If you're familiar with any generation of Power Rangers, you should have no problem understanding the premise of this movie. If you aren't, let me give you the bare basics. An ultimate evil arrives on Earth to conquer it, a mysterious force for good calls for a group of young heroes to fight this ultimate evil by going through a monster-of-the-week until season's end.

Why am I skipping this? Let's start with what we've seen in terms of the things we watched as kids being revived as a potential film franchise. Transformers has a great box office financial record yet has received mixed reviews that lean toward negative. GI Joe fell off the map recently, blame Channing Tatum and Dwayne Johnson looking into better projects. Power Rangers moving to the big screen by reviving its early years may not work well considering the number of changes made and its aesthetics looking like Transformers 4. Add in the fact that I never really grew up with Power Rangers, and you have a genuine lack of interest in this potentially overhyped reboot.

There are still plenty of movies releasing in 2017 that I'm genuinely interested in seeing, but that may need to be another blog entry for another day.

Until the next review, have a nice day!
-Napoleon Jonamite

Monday, June 6, 2016

My Little... Millennial?

Okay, call this a weird subject, but let's take a little look into the most recent episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. That episode being the eleventh episode of the sixth season, Flutter Brutter.

Episode Synopsis

The episode revolves around Fluttershy's little brother Zephyr Breeze returning home after a failed venture into the world of mane styling, the pony version of hair styling. Zephyr's appearance of having a five o'clock shadow and a "stallion bun" makes him a pretty obvious representation of most millennials, but we'll get into that later. Zephyr plays the role of master manipulator as he moves back in with Mom and Dad despite Fluttershy's objections. A little later in the episode, Zephyr does leave the nest to find a new place to stay, and it unfortunately is Fluttershy's place. Fluttershy tells Zephyr he can stay under one condition, that he finds a job.

Fluttershy sets Zephyr up with a few jobs, working for Rarity by dying fabric, and for Twilight cleaning all the windows in the castle. How well does this work out? Zephyr does jack crap, and has Rarity's cat Opalescence "dye the fabric" and having Spike "teach him how to properly clean those windows." Can you say "Lazy-flank motherbucker?"

Fluttershy gives up on Zephyr after he quits his new job working for Rainbow Dash at Wonderbolts Training Camp, and big sister kicks her quitter brother out. A little later Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash spot Zephyr living in the middle of the woods admitting his failures, and Fluttershy has an idea on how to help Zephyr out, by giving him the help and motivation he needs to try again and complete his mane styling training. The episode ends on Zephyr coming back in graduation garb talking about his accomplishments, and how it helped to actually do all the work needed.

Zephyr the Millennial Pegasus

As stated earlier, one can't help but draw the conclusion that Zephyr is a typical millennial based upon physical characteristics and certain statuses. When we are first introduced to Zephyr, he's seen sporting the equivalent of a man bun and five o'clock shadow, has no job, failed out of his mane styling classes, and living with Mom and Dad as a freeloader. How does this resonate with the millennials that are part of the brony community? Probably not very well, but there hasn't been enough evidence on Tumblr to support this.

The last time there was a "stereotype" of some kind in Friendship is Magic, it was during the season 5 episode "Brotherhooves Social" with Big Mac in a dress pretending to be a female pony to participate in the Sisterhooves Social with Applebloom. I put stereotype in quotations there because there was an unnecessary controversy spun out of a classic animation trope, and that controversy was that Big Mac was being viewed by some as a crude misrepresentation or mockery of transgenders. I'd give my thoughts on that argument, but let's just keep politics out of this blog.

If the man bun sporting millennials, or at least the jobless freeloading millennials, get upset over this episode, then I think they may have missed the point of this episode. It's trying to actually help even the older members of the viewing audience get up and try again by actually putting in the work necessary to achieve their dreams, even if it means taking up a not-so-glamorous job to help them get there. It's rare to see a children's cartoon create a message that can work on a much more universal level than in previous episodes, but for Friendship is Magic this episode could be that kick in the pants we need to change the way millennials think about how to accomplish their life goals and find the job that they love, rather than demanding handouts ala Bernie Sanders (Only political joke I'll throw in here).

Until the next review, have a nice day!
-Napoleon Jonamite

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Videos, Hiatus, and Grief

Well, it's been a while again. Sorry for not updating the blog in forever. This one is an update on things going on with the YouTube channel, future uploads, and a hiatus based on grief and other family issues.

With regards to the channel, I've had some issues with uploads and the wonderful "Where's the Fair Use" situation. I've had to switch my original uploads of my first three reviews to private because of a potential loss that would've been dealt to me by Universal Music Group. When I made a copyright appeal to UMG, they decided to issue a takedown notice on the video I chose to test the appeal with. This forced me to switch the original uploads to private and create reupload versions of the first three reviews I had ever done.

Along with that, I've been in the middle of another copyright claim battle on the My Little Pony review, this time from Sony Music Entertainment because they have the distribution rights to the soundtracks, which they didn't have at the time I worked on the review.

I do have a couple of videos in the works, but it will be a while before they do get uploaded. One review I actually moved up from a proposed Fall release.

I'm also uploading future reviews to DailyMotion while facing these YouTube issues. I will release the reviews to YouTube a week after I upload to DailyMotion.

Now for a subject no YouTuber ever wants to discuss, hiatus. After I released the Senran Kagura review in March, I was waiting for the right time to start recording again. While I had plenty of content recorded for a review I wanted to have done this summer, I had to place editing on hold for quite some time due to a major family emergency. Around the end of April, we had an emergency call come in about my brother-in-law collapsing in his home and being rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately he passed away during the attempts to get his heart started again. This forced me to enter into a hiatus that would then lead to pushing a project up to being the next review to be released this summer. This video will be dedicated to him, even if he had no influence on my videos. There will be an "In loving memory" card placed at the end of the video, something I never thought I would ever include in any of my videos. The grief has been rough, and I'm still not 100% back to my old self, but I know that he would want me to return to working on the things I love.

After I get the next two videos done, I will officially enter into another hiatus as I wait for that moment when I can officially move out of my current residence. I won't go into details about my current living situation, but just know that I will return to videos sometime next year. This will allow me plenty of time to draft up more scripts to work with when the time comes to return.

Until the next review, have a nice day!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Please Rewind Napoleon: Where's the Fair Use?

It's something that many YouTube critics or entertainers are asking. The situation regarding YouTube's current copyright system scares a lot of users, and is currently making me want to not become a partner if this is the case. Oh, I think I am getting way ahead of myself here. Let's start off with the basics of the topic of Fair Use.

What is Fair Use?

Fair use is defined as a legal doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted materials without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, criticism, research, and parody. YouTube content creators like Nostalgia Critic, I Hate Everything, Anime America, and even Please Rewind Napoleon are examples of critical and commentary based fair use content, while TeamFourStar and "Weird Al" Yankovic are major examples of parody creators. Whether the release is YouTube or the open market, the content made with use of copyrighted material is protected because some form of transformation was made to what was being used.

Why Are We Talking About This?

Recently, some of the big YouTubers, Nostalgia Critic, I Hate Everything, and TeamFourStar to name a few, have been hit with copyright claims and strikes under the current copyright system being used by YouTube. Many companies or users claiming to "represent these companies" are placing these claims on the users mentioned stating that they own the content being used. With this, any money earned by the YouTuber through ad revenue goes to the copyright claimer, and a potential copyright strike is placed on the user's account.

TeamFourStar makes a parody of the anime series DragonBall Z, which has multiple owners in Funimation, Toei Animation and Fuji TV. The Nostalgia Critic creates critical content on various movies. The former channel was recently terminated due to a large amount of copyright claims made against them, despite their content falling under fair use, while the latter had monetization removed from their channel due to numerous claims made on many of his reviews. These users make their living through the content they produce, and with a lost income, they can't pay their bills or any sort of production crew they may have.

Sometimes, the company that makes these claims aren't even true owners of the content being claimed. Anime America, an anime review channel on YouTube, had many of their videos claimed by an Italian company that claimed to own some of the content that was seen in the video, which even included the users' avatars and commentaries in the videos. This sadly forced them to block their videos, including new uploads, from view in Italy until things get fixed.

How is Please Rewind Napoleon Affected?

Right now, Please Rewind Napoleon is a non-profit, non-YouTube-partnered review series, so it isn't affected at this time. However, this does make me nervous regardless of whether I choose to go into a partnership or not. Prior to my recent revival of the channel, I had claims placed on my earliest reviews. Universal Music Group claimed my videos because of the music used in my original intro, Billy Preston's "Nothing From Nothing." Time Warner claimed my Swat Kats review because Swat Kats was owned by their Cartoon Network Studios. And recently I had to dispute claims made by Viz Media on my Sailor Moon review and deleted joke idea, both of which used footage from the DiC and Cloverway dubs. I won against Viz's claims mostly in part of them not responding to the counter claim, but if I had those videos monetized, then I would've lost any money made during the claim dispute to Viz Media. As for my older videos, Universal made my videos unable to be seen in Germany or on certain platforms, and Warner is placing ads on the Swat Kats review to make money off of my video. I argued fair use to Warner, but lost the counter claim, luckily no strike was given to me. If this is what a creator of content that should be protected by fair use has to go through on a regular basis, why should I either consider a partnership or even create more reviews?

There are some major changes that YouTube needs to make to its current handling of copyright claims. Doug Walker, the man behind the Nostalgia Critic, has suggested that a side account be made for the funds that are being held/seized during a claim dispute, so that money goes to whoever wins the dispute. I'm sure there are other things they could do better, but I'm having a hard time figuring them out right now.

Until the next review, I have just one question. Where's the fair use? #WTFU

Monday, December 28, 2015

Videos Returned

Hey everyone!

Just so you guys know, I did return to video making as of July of 2015. The first new video I posted was a review from the list I made back when I first promised a return in 2014, the other was an unplanned review that I wanted to do for a while. I will occasionally do some posting here, but my main focus is going to be on the videos as I attempt to bring new life to Please Rewind Napoleon. Thanks everyone for your patience!

Until the next review, have a nice day!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

PowerPuff Reboot: Pre-Release Thoughts

Well, well, well, things are starting to look up here. When I first heard that Cartoon Network was rebooting the Powerpuff Girls, I admit that I was a bit more than concerned. Partly because after I saw the anniversary special I saw an underwhelming and ultimately disappointing return of the girls to our TV screens. While the original voice cast returned for the special, the art style and writing that we were familiar with did not join them. The lack of any involvement by series creator Craig McCracken certainly didn't help either, but this was pretty much something that couldn't be prevented after he walked away from the series after it ended in 2005.

Cartoon Network seems to be trying to redeem itself with this upcoming reboot and the recently released information regarding the cast, new art style and the new executive producer for the series. Without further ado, let's get to my thoughts on the upcoming release. I'd compare writing styles, but until the pilot of the reboot is released I can't do so.

Art Direction

The art for the 2014 special. Oh, God... *Vomit*
Well, let's start with what we had in 2014, which gave me great concerns that this would be used in the 2016 reboot. In mid-to-late 2013, we were given some sneak preview images of the art direction that upcoming special would take. The plan was to use CGI animation to create the special, and it went drastically far away from the classic art style the McCracken brought with his original vision when the series was first released in 1998. Some characters did retain their designs under this animation style, but the girls themselves and villain Mojo Jojo were drastically changed (See image above for the girls). Needless to say, this should have been the indicator that things would be changing, and not for the better, by the time the special itself was released.

The recently released art for the 2016 reboot. Now that's more like it.
June 9th, 2015, Cartoon Network released some images of the new art style for the reboot. This is what I was hoping for in the 2014 special, something that closely resembles the classic art direction of the original series. Nothing trying to be edgy, no crappy CGI work, just a classic 2-D art that will make classic fans happy.

Voice Cast

The new voices of the girls. Not sure about this one.
This is the hard part of the announcement for me to discuss. As I stated in my notes about the 2014 special, the original cast from the series reprised their roles. For the new series, the only one reprising their role is Tom Kenny, the voice of the Mayor of Townsville. Cartoon Network decided to cast Amanda Leighton of Pretty Little Liars fame as Blossom, newcomer Kristen Li will voice Bubbles, and TV movie actress Natalie Palamides will voice Buttercup. This is a bitter pill to swallow, reading that none of the original actresses are reprising their roles.

"I have NO ILL FEELINGS for the actresses in the new PPG," Tara Strong, the original voice of Bubbles, said on her Twitter on June 8th when she first heard of the new casting. "We were just beyond hurt we were NEVER asked..." We, meaning Tara and her co-stars Cathy Cavadini (Blossom) and Elizabeth Daily (Buttercup). It's a shame that we won't be hearing those same voices that made these characters memorable, but hopefully this new cast will surprise us. That or Leighton will make a "Pretty Little Liar" out of me. ...Okay, I'm just gonna shut up now.

Production Team

Right now, we don't know anything about the writing team for the upcoming reboot, but what we do know is that Nick Jennings, the man who has helped direct Adventure Time and Spongebob Squarepants, will be on board as the executive producer of the new PPG. Jennings has won an Emmy for his work on Adventure Time, which already gives me some hope for the series. If he can find the right staff to work with him on this series, we could have a more true to the original reboot than I had feared we wouldn't have.

Bottom Line

With this new information, I'm leaning a bit more towards the excited side of the spectrum than before any of this was released. While I am sad that Cavadini, Strong and Daily will not be reprising their titular roles, I do have good (ish) feelings about this new team. I'm also glad that they did at least go into imitating the original art style for the upcoming release instead of something that would make the 2014 special look brilliant. Let's hope this all holds up next year.

Until the next review, have a nice day!