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  #1    
Old October 4th, 2011, 09:49 AM
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Mr Cat Dog
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Hey everyone! Sorry about the delay - busy, busy weekend, Monday and Tuesday - but welcome to the Culture & Media October Review Contest. You can't see me now, but this animated gif of Kermit the Frog illustrates my feelings as of now:



It's fitting that the above clip is from an episode of The Muppet Show, as the theme of this review contest is TELEVISION. As before, the writer of the best review will get a shiny new emblem (as well as a Supporter Tier), and those who participate will also get a participatory emblem (but no Supporter Tier, unfortunately). If you've already received a participatory emblem from the June Review Contest and wish to enter again, you probably won't get another emblem... but I can be persuaded to make steal an image from Google Images if enough people pester me to do so.

Essentially, the only rule with regards to what you can submit is that your submission must be a single episode of a television series. Things like TV-movies do NOT count, although episodes from mini-series and double episodes of TV shows DO count, so long as you are reviewing the episode and not the series itself. (If in doubt, PM me and I'll tell you if it's acceptable.) Any type of TV - apart from the aforementioned TV movie - is acceptable, whether it be drama, comedy, reality, variety, or anything else. You can review an episode of Mad Men or RuPaul's Drag Race if you want to: the choice is yours!

Below are the guidelines that I have shamelessly copied from the last review contest and edited slightly:
  1. Anyone can enter. Yay!
  2. All reviews should be written in English.
  3. Please spell-check your work and make sure your grammar is good.
  4. Post your entries in THIS THREAD. If you want to change it before the deadline, then just edit your post rather than making a new one.
  5. Reviews should be more than 500 words, but less than 1,500 words. (Good reviews aren’t short, but they’re often concise.) THIS WILL BE ENFORCED!
  6. This is a REVIEW contest, not a RECAP contest: a little bit of plot summary is nice and often necessary to get the reader acquainted with the show in question, but good reviews are analytical and not solely reliant on describing events; yours should be too.
  7. Use paragraphs and avoid using extraneous formatting like underlining/bolding unless you think it is really justified.
  8. Bits of extraneous information (pictures, a final rating, credits etc.) are not necessary but, if used well, can enhance your review. Think before using them, though… in particular, think about how your formatting will look on different forum styles.
  9. Proofread your work before submitting it, and don’t be afraid to sleep on it before finally clicking ‘Reply’.
  10. The contest will end at midnight GMT+1 on Saturday 29th October 2011! Winners will hopefully be announced by the end of the month.
  11. The judges will be Mr Cat Dog and Vendak. Again... no bribing!
If you want some guidance on what your review should look like - especially for structural tips - the following places offer very good TV criticism. They aren't the only way to do this, but they're very good: The A.V. Club | What's Alan Watching | Cultural Learnings

If you have any questions, feel free to PM/VM me or reply in this thread. So, without further ado: happy reviewing, everyone! (And here's Kermit one more time)


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Last edited by Mr Cat Dog; October 4th, 2011 at 09:59 AM.
  #2    
Old October 24th, 2011, 01:12 PM
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The Author
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A Good Man Goes To War

In the mid-series finale of Doctor Who, nothing goes quite as one would expect. There's so many questions answered, but these only lead to even deeper questions.

At the beginning of the episode, we start out in the thick of everything. Much like the episode "The Big Bang" at the end of series 5, we are constantly trying to keep up with a fast-paced, confusing storyline that throw us all over trying to make sense of what's going on and what's going to happen next. Gaining allies and old friends to fight those against him, the Doctor rises higher than ever before, but only to fall an even greater distance. The episode mainly takes place on Demon's Run, a base populated by Anglican Marines and beings know as the Headless Monks, who are allied together to win once and for all against the Doctor, whom strikes fear into their hearts. However, one confusing bit of the episode that I personally find to be annoying was that we never learn the reason these people are against the Doctor. I guess we just have to learn to accept that they just are, no questions asked.

I'm sure that most of us are expecting to see an epic storyline come to life when watching this episode. If so, you may be slightly disappointed. Although the battle between the Doctor and his apparent adversaries does produce a feeling of an epic war scene, we are still stuck wondering what the heck is going on, trying to catch up as the Doctor and his allies risk their life for Melody Pond, Amy and Rory's new daughter. Obviously, the reasonings behind this battle could be explained a little more.


Even though "A Good Man Goes To War" was filled with constant suspense (and confusion), there is still a high amount of comic relief. I found this as a good thing, because otherwise the episode may have been a complete disappointment. As always, we have the Eleventh Doctor's famous line "Bowties are cool", as well as some newer funnier lines that will leave you laughing without a doubt!


Once you reach the end of the episode, everything finally starts to make sense. For example, we learn at last the truth about River Song, as well as the regenerating girl seen towards the end of the episode "Day of the Moon". But of course, these answers only arouse more questions. "What will become of River Song?" and "Where is Melody Pond?" are questions that will naturally flow through our minds as we watch the end of this episode.


Well, that pretty much wraps it up. As I'm sure most Whovians know by now, Doctor who returned with "Let's Kill Hitler" back in September. But enjoy what you can because we will see no more of the Doctor until Autumn 2012.


STORY: 8½/10 ₧
ACTING: 10/10 ₧
OVERALL: 9¼/10

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Last edited by The Author; October 27th, 2011 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Making things look snazzier
  #3    
Old October 26th, 2011, 04:09 AM
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vaporeon7
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Porky Pig's Feat
by vaporeon7

In Porky Pig’s last black and white cartoon, he and Daffy Duck find themselves trying to skip paying their hotel bill.

In the beginning of the cartoon Porky Pig is left looking at the atrocious hotel bill that he and Daffy racked up. Meanwhile, Daffy is in the elevator, gambling, in order to get the money to pay the hotel receptionist. However upon losing, he and Porky try and escape paying the bill through all sorts of antics. Porky Pig’s Feat was one of the best, if not the best cartoon Frank Tashlin directed for Warner Bros.

The cartoon uses plenty of the expected humor from all Looney Tunes shows. However, unlike most, it is not just all slapstick comedy. Such as how Porky and Daffy were charged for everything, including air and two days worth of sunshine. Another example of humor is shown through how the receptionist is portrayed. A monocle-wearing, fat dog made an excellent nemesis for the two. This stereotypical portrayal of a wealthy person, added to the humor of the show, it even made him seem more sinister. The slapstick comedy was excellent, showing exaggerated, normally fatal falls and collisions. Porky Pig’s Feat was also filled with great gags that any age group would not be able to restrain from laughing at.

The drawing and animation quality and style had a modern feel to them, which was not apparent in most other Looney Tunes cartoons of the time. The quality of the cartoon is amazing for something in black and white and its simple, but effective backdrops make the main focuses even more attractive and impressive.

Porky Pig’s Feat uses catchy music that fitted their scenes perfectly, with the sound effects adding making the gags go from funny, to hilarious. It uses catchy tunes throughout the show that one just can’t help humming to. Porky Pig’s Feat was the first cartoon to use the music 'Powerhouse'. Powerhouse is an iconic piece of music and has been used in over forty other Warner Bros. cartoons since.

The cartoon is not without its flaws however. The scene of the hotel receptionist falling down the stairs, though funny at first, becomes repetitive and dull quickly. This gag swiftly becomes annoying through its nearly thirty seconds of ‘Ows’ and falling down stairs. Not only is it unnecessary, but unrealistic, even for cartoon standards.

The cartoon also has a cameo appearance towards the end, which was extremely funny conclusion to the show. Porky Pig’s Feat is available on Volume 3 of Looney Tunes Golden Collection. It is a Looney Tunes cartoon that should not be missed and can appeal to any audience. I would recommend this cartoon to any fan of slapstick comedy and cartoons. I rate Porky Pig’s Feat 9/10 stars for its excellent animation in both black and white and in colour, Mel Blanc’s amazing vocalizations and for it’s quick paced humor which will keep the audience entertained throughout the entire cartoon. It is certainly a cartoon worth watching.

★★★★★★★★★☆ 9/10 stars.

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Last edited by vaporeon7; October 26th, 2011 at 04:23 AM.
  #4    
Old October 27th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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Mystery Spot [S3 EP11]

Truality's review

While Sam and Dean explore a disappearance case, Dean is killed by a shot in the chest. The next morning, Sam is shocked to see his brother alive, and shortly after he comes to realize that he's been living the previous day again. Dean is soon killed once more, and Sam must now cope with a time loop while having Dean inevitably die over and over again. This is a great episode that while it strands a bit from the main plot-in order to lighten up the whole atmosphere of the show, is hilarious in its own way.

This concept of time loop has been previously used in TV shows, such as Charmed, X-Files, even Xena (warrior princess). However, it is always good to see a new version of it; this stuff just never gets old. The strong point of 'Mystery spot', however, is the diversity of emotions drawn from it. Throughout the episode, we come across a lot of moments that gracefully change a mood of laughter into one of sadness, and vice-versa. In addition, the repetitive atmosphere of the episode becomes completely elusive, as it takes only a slightly different path of the characters' moves to change the whole day's output. Dean's (Jensen Ackles) unconventional attitude spices things up, and is exactly what gives an otherwise daily routine a vivid amusement, one that highlights all those moments.

The episode carries on with the same tone for quite a while, expanding the list of Dean's unexpected (and often funny!) ways of death, and thus we are ready to see a switch in Sam's (Jared Padalecki) approach on the whole case. Most camera joints are often out of the ordinary here-and they change angles to avoid repetition, while the setup, layout and scenery seem unusually normal. The variety of reactions against the stagnant scene opening (it's Tuesday again!) is staggering. Feelings are vastly conveyed to a much more tragical tone, and that is where we reach the change of events. When we hit climax, however, there is still more to come; making yet another turn for the unexpected towards the viewer, the facts leave an impression of whether things will stay pernament or not. This episode doesn't end with a cliffhanger, naturally, but has an intriguing sequence of planned out events that bring out the happy and the sad memories of the whole series.

As much as I disdain it, though, 'Mystery Spot' has a few negative angles: the 'perpetrator', which is none other than the Trickster, mastermind behind realistic illusions. I believe that everyone wanted a different explanation, seeing as the sequence itself wasn't pinpointing anyone of the known villains. Another con of the episode is the way a sudden change in events unfolds... while unexpected, it wasn't thought out enough, at least it didn't follow the directed path the rest of the plot outline had. On the whole, though, these flaws are only perceptive and nothing 'big and bad'.

---

So far, so good. Jeremy Carver did a great job on this semi-filler, stand-alone episode of Supernatural, and on the show as a whole. I highly recommend it for people who enjoy the mix of horror, comedy and drama, all whipped in a crafty car and a daring duo. Therefore, a rating of 9/10 is in order. For the everlasting humor, classic references, and everlasting paranormal action. For the intensity of the moment and the relaxation in the long run. This is Supernatural.
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Last edited by Truality; October 27th, 2011 at 07:47 PM.
  #5    
Old October 29th, 2011, 03:01 PM
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Aaaaaaaaand, that's time! Thanks to all those who entered. Results should hopefully be announced by Monday, but it might be the beginning of November.
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  #6    
Old October 30th, 2011, 10:42 AM
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Mr Cat Dog
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Aaaaaaaand the results are in, and the winner of the C&M October Review Contest is... vaporeon7!

Congratulations to vappy. Commiserations to The Author and Truality. There was a lot of debate between myself and Vendak as to who should win, and it was relatively close, but there can only be one winner.

Emblems will be distributed ASAP, and I'll be PMming vappy about what he wants to do with his new Supporter tier.

I'll leave this open 'til tomorrow so people can see it, but thanks again to everyone who participated!
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