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April 29th, 2016

Movie Review - Ratchet and Clank

Starring: James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Jim Ward, Rosario Dawson, Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Dean Redman, Armin Shimerman, Sylvester Stallone, Alessandro Juliani and more.

Directed by: Kevin Munroe and Jericca Cleland Written by: T.J. Fixman, Kevin Munroe, and Gerry Swallow Cinematography by: Anthony Di Ninno Music by: Evan Wise

Premise: Ratchet has admired the Galactic Rangers since he was little. So when a chance pops up to try and join during a recruitment campaign in his backwater world, he's eager to go. His carefree past, however, proves a giant stumbling block. At least until he makes the unexpected acquaintance of a small defective robot he calls Clank. Suddenly, Ratchet finds himself dumped in the path of one of the biggest threats to the Galaxy and another chance at his dream. (Rated PG)

Review:

1.Voice Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Loads of great voice talents for this one. Loved Paul Giamatti as Chairman Drek - so ruthless and so dense. Heh heh. Armin Shimerman brought some nice lunacy into evil Dr. Nefarious. Sylvester Stallone was too fun as Victor Von Ion. Rosario Dawson did great as Elaris - just a touch of manic in there for flavor. Jim Ward, James Arnold Taylor, and David Kaye meshed quite nicely together as our three principal characters!

2. Artwork/Animation - Total Thumbs Up: We saw the film in 3D - CGI always converts quite nicely to the medium. They had some cool 3D moments and used it to good effect. The space shots were lovely! The 3D also made for some fast moves down a narrow canyon.

The animation was quite detailed and came across very well. Ratchet's fur looked fluffy and soft while Captain Qwark looked as superficial as his personality. :P Elaris' horns/hair were very reminiscent of Galaxy Quest. :)

Some lovely color palettes used to good effect especially for subtext. Blues and Greens were for good, reds and oranges for bad. This placed Ratchet somewhat in the middle before joining the Rangers, which was rather apt with his tendency to get into trouble.

3. Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: The Ratchet and Clank film is based on a PlayStation game from 2003 (and has had several sequel games). As such, the film is filled with tons of lovely snark. They even do a countdown at the beginning to the evil speech. :P

Several themes are used/explored in the film - belonging, responsibility, big dreams, that friendship runs both ways, as well as the fickleness of fame and addiction to it. Best of all, the little biases that can cause so much harm to others.

The plot is pretty straight forward with a few small surprises and lots of subtext and snark. They even make fun of the Wilhelm scream. lol. Chairman Drek was both brilliant and dense - and his minions are social media fools! lol. Dr. Nefarious is so insane he actually made mad science work! (Loved the Sheep-i-nator!)

A couple of items are a little far fetched (rust takes time guys!), but it is enough fun it's easily overlooked.

Once the film shows the voice actors names at the end, there's a bit more (and more snark) then one last bit after all the credits. Well worth it. Heh heh.

Conclusion: Ratchet and Clank is a fun ride full of snark and cute little moments. The lovely animation made the cool gadgets, guns, spaceships and space look awesome.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Novels


JEWEL OF THE GODS

(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!


Excerpt:
"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."





INNER DEMONS

(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!


Excerpt:
The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."



THE PRICE OF MERCY

(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Excerpt:

Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.




CROSS-EYED DRAGON TROUBLES
(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”

Excerpt:

“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.



WILLING SACRIFICE
(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”

Excerpt:

Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”



IN THE SERVICE OF SAMURAI
(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”

Excerpt:

Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.



VASSAL OF EL
(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”

Excerpt:

Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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