Rainbow Rocking in the Free World: “Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks” review

Who doesn’t love music? I know I do!

Most of my tastes in music are based on what I listened to as a kid, and I listened to a lot of different music as a kid; music from artists such as: The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Collective Soul, Wilson Phillips, David Bowie, Meat Loaf, Goo Goo Dolls, The Who, Megadeth, Elton John, Aerosmith, Duran Duran, Genesis, Blue, Santana, John Mellencamp, Ozzy Osborne, Sara Bareilles, Toto, Eurythmics, Fastball, Brian Adams, Def Leppard, Matchbox Twenty, Led Zepplin, Counting Crows, Sky, George Michael, Robbie Williams, R.E.M., Peter Gabriel, Nirvana, Backstreet Boys, Kenny Loggins, UB40, The Spice Girls, Skid Row, Billy Joel, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Blues Traveller, Rush, Seal, Tears for Fears, Mötley Crüe, Starship, Pink Floyd, Train, Rick Astley, Moist, The Tea Party, Metallica, Eric Clapton, Oasis, Journey, Sloan, Styx, Tom Petty, Michael Jackson, Barenaked Ladies, Bon Jovi, Bachman–Turner Overdrive, Sophie B. Hawkins, Van Halen, Sass Jordan, Rob Zombie, Bob Seger, Korn, Midnight Oil, Honeymoon Suite, and New Radicals… just to name a few.

And you’ll notice, with this breadth of musical exposure, I’ve listened to everything; virtually every genre under the sun with the exception of rap. And because of this, I like almost anything. Give me any new song from any new artist, and there’s a good chance I’ll like it, as long as it’s good.

Oh, I know what you’re going to say, ‘just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean it’s bad!’ And sure, I’d agree with that. Art tends to be judged subjectively, in a purely opinionated and emotional way. And those opinions and emotions tend to vary from person to person. What one person thinks is crap, could be the most beautiful thing in the world to another; and they’d both be right.

However, I think we can agree when a song is not very sophisticated or complex, or when the lyrics are cliché or nonsensical; and I think we can all agree that the worst criticism one can give to a work of art, is that it’s boring.

Case in point, I know a bit of guitar… a very little bit… basically, don’t ask me to sight-read sheet music, and don’t ask me to join a spontaneous jam session until you give me a chance to review the old blues scale. But I can certainly belt out a few power chords if the mood strikes me. And power chords, in case you didn’t know, are the simplest fucking chords in existence. You hit only two strings, and the finger positioning is always the same, just move it around the fret board. And I only bring this up because if someone as crap as I can successfully pull off a Nickelback song, that doesn’t speak well for Nickelback, does it?

Basically, I’m saying Nickelback is shit.

But if music is good, I like it. If it’s interesting, fun, complex, profound, emotional, or just really really catchy, I like it. You won’t see me sticking my nose up at soft pop, or reggae, or grunge or mainstream metal. I love them all! And I love it when people share my perspective. When I see others who feel the same way. Those who see all music as music. Not as the cornerstone of a major cultural movement, or the central bedrock of a personal identity. But just some nice sounds that one can love, or hate. Sounds that are fun to make, and fun to hear, and nothing more.

And that brings us to a fantastic celebration of music in the form of Technicolor humans forming a band.

Yes, it’s the sequel to 2013’s epic film of adventure and magic, Equestria Girls. Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks! Which is film about adventure, magic and music! Love the contrast. Continue reading


The Canine and the Frog: “To Paris With Zoe” review

The weird thing about romance in your typical, modern-day, Saturday morning cartoon, is that it’s not often portrayed on-screen.

This can be a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. In the case of some shows, like Littlest Pet Shop, or My Life as a Teenage Robot, our main cast is composed of teenagers. And generally, teenagers get involved in romance, whether they want to or not. Obviously this is not true in all cases. But I remember when I was in high school, around fifty per cent of all students were in some type of relationship. Not only that, even if you’re not in a relationship, at that time of your life you tend to want one. So in those shows, a lack of romantic sub-plots, would feel like they’re actively avoiding it for no reason.

On the other hand, having every episode feature that kinda thing would actually be… kinda sad. And it would get stomach churning pretty quickly. Imagine every episode featuring our main characters doing nothing but talking about the opposite sex. And even if it didn’t make you sick, there’s no way to make likeable characters out of that. If they’re girls, they’d come off as vapid stereotypes; and if they’re boys, they’d come off as slimy pickup-artists. Continue reading

Equestria Rising: “Equestria Girls” review

It’s been hard to remain excited about My Little Pony.

Since the third season wrapped up, which was over six months ago by the way, I haven’t really had much enthusiasm about the franchise. That last season made me think of a dying whale, screaming out its final cries as it struggled to stay alive, while being sucked down into the whirlpool of irrelevance.

Not that I’m happy about it, far from it. Seeing my favourite show go down the drain does not give me pleasure, in any way. It makes me sad. It makes me depressed. It makes me cling to the pun-laden cringe-inducing SheZow; and the highly superior, but less exciting, Littlest Pet Shop.

I love the show, and I hate to see it fall apart. But this was bound to happen. Eventually, all programs, with the possible exception of Seinfeld, run out of ideas. The writing staff starts to come up dry, and have to resort to reading off the list of ideas they previously thought were too shit to bother writing.

And that’s exactly how season three felt, even though it was only thirteen episodes long. It actually felt more like they were taking cues from fan fiction. Even the final episode felt like a shitty fan story, rather than a well-thought-out, professionally made script.

It’s the same complaint I levelled at one of the final Animorphs books, back in the day. I was a huge fan of that series, but the way they saved Marco’s mother felt so contrived, and so forced, it actually made me sick. I don’t know what else to say about it. And don’t get me started on the actual ending.

But I digress. Now thankfully, during season three, there were a few episodes I liked. Wonderbolts Academy was pretty good, despite Spitfire’s apparent recharacterization. And Magic Duel, and Just for Sidekicks rank among my favourite episodes of all time, even if Peewee went walkabout.

But sadly, I found the rest of the season to be lacking, and Magical Mystery Cure was the first episode that I actually hated. Which is a tall order, you have to admit.

So it should come as no surprise to anyone that, when I first heard of Equestria Girls, I was a bit skeptical. I didn’t want to be. I wanted to be ready to jump in with both feet, excited for the latest release; their theatrical debut. But I wasn’t. Instead, I was scared. I was afraid it would be exactly as terrible as I expected, and make me give up my bronydom, and all that comes with it.

Sad Fluttershy

I’m so glad to be proven wrong. Continue reading