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Batman: Soul of the Dragon (2021)
A dissapointment, but still an okay and occasionally fun timewaster
As many reviewers have already pointed out, despite being in the title, Batman is hardly in the film and is not the main character, Richard Dragon (voiced by Mark Dacascos) is. For some background, I am a huge fan of both Batman and Martial Arts films (mainly those starring JCVD, Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Early Steven Seagal, Sammo Hung and of course, Bruce Lee) and was thrilled to hear the news of a Martial Arts-themed Batman film in the making. I was legitimately excited for this but was left underwhelmed, but not completely unsatisfied.
As said before, Batman/Bruce Wayne is not the main character, but a supporting one. The story actually revolves around Richard Dragon, whose race was changed from a read-haired White man in the comics to an East Asian man whose appearance is nearly identical Bruce Lee. This movie is really quite heavy on the Bruce Lee references, which there is nothing wrong with as pretty much every martial arts film since the 70s has at least one nod to him. However in this movie, they REALLY lay it on thick. The plot and aesthetic of the film is heavily influenced by the movie Enter the Dragon. The character of Richard Dragon, as mentioned before, was redesigned to more emulate Bruce Lee. His character makes so many references to Bruce Lee throughout such as making the exact same poses, wearing the exact same clothes and making the same sounds that one must wonder "Why didn't they just make him Bruce Lee in the first place?". The Bruce Lee references are so heavy and obvious that they honestly feel less like emulation and more like outright imitation. On top of that, the very last shot of the movie is Batman doing a "Bring it on" hand gesture just like Bruce Lee did in his films, again laying it on thick. The animation, apart from the action scenes, can be noticeably stiff at times showing the movie suffered from a limited budget.
While the movie was disappointing, the fight scenes were still well choreographed and the movie still managed to be genuinely fun at times. If you are still interested, you can still give it a watch. there are definitely worse ways to spend 80 minutes, just don't expect it to be centered on Batman.
TAWOG's "A Pal for Gary"
As a 20-year old, I have no shame in saying I love The Amazing World of Gumball despite my age. The shows writing is great, the jokes and references are often clever and the characters, even in such a surreal universe, are relatable. Gumball and Darwin genuinely feel like real kids. That being said, when I was finished watching, I was shocked out how awful this episode was. This is the first episode of the entire show I actually HATED. Before this, I never came across an episode t I disliked. At worst. I didn't care for a select few. This episode completely shattered that record. This episode is very much (as stated in the title) Gumball's "A Pal for Gary".
A Pal for Gary, if you didn't know, is the most infamous and hated episode of Spongebob Squarepants. In the much-hated episode (I would say *Spoilers*, but you don't want to waste your time with it, trust me) Spongebob buying a new pet so Gary can have a friend when Spongebob is at work. This pet, however turns out the be a monster and Gary continuously warns Spongebob, but Spongebob is completely oblivious. At the end, when the new pet morphs in the a horrific monster tries to eat Gary, Spongebob, seeing all this, yells AT GARY. The creature then attacks Spongebob and Gary saves him, but Spongebob still blames and punishes GARY. This episode is very much the same. This episode starts with Anais being born and Gumball and Darwin welcoming her with open arms, but it then turns out newborn Anais is evil and then tries the ruin Gumball and Darwin's life by framing them, placing deadly traps and trying to get Nicole and Richard to turn on them. Gumball and Darwin then try to fight back by trapping Anais in a box and give her a good scare to teach her a lesson. Anais, however, doesn't fall for it but the boys believe she is in the trap. When the box is the picked up by a garbage truck and taken to the dump, Gumball and Darwin chase immediately to save their sister, nearly being killed numerous times in the processing plants machinery. when they save the box, they find Anais isn't in and are then worried she might have been killed. Anais then shows up the push them in a pit of molten iron, but they instead run to hug and smother her, happy she is alive. Anais then tries to say her first word and it then to be revealed to be "Gumball did it" and it revealed Nicole and Richard are behind them and the screen turns to black. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT??? Firstly, newborn Anais being evil and wanting to kill her brothers comes completely out of nowhere. Anais and her brothers have their fights, but it was never so tense that they would physically harm each other. Secondly, Gumball and Darwin were acting reasonably throughout the episode. They welcomed their new sister with open arms and she then does nothing but cause them harm. When they tried to fight back, they weren't going too far and were just trying to give her a good scare, and when they think she is in real danger, they risk their lives to save her. BUT EVIL ANAIS WINS AT THE END, GETTING NO SUCH COMEUPPANCE FOR HER BEHAVIOR, AND GUMBALL AND DARWIN GET PUNISHED FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON. Just like A Pal for Gary, it reward evil and punishes the innocent. I am completely dumbfounded that the writers of such a great show could create an episode this eye-gouging horrendious!
A word of advice to any writers to a cartoon: If you are reading this (probably not, but if you do come across my review), STOP PUNISHING INNOCENT CHARACTERS AND REWARDING THE VILLAINS FOR NO REASON, IT'S NOT FUNNY, IT'S CRUEL