Reviews Comments: Great when great, awkward when bad
Great when great, awkward when bad
It's hard to explain how I feel about the Kickassia saga, because when the series WORKS, it works very well. When it doesn't, it's somewhat awkward to watch. I will say this review is somewhat skewed towards the times it DIDN'T work, because they are more numerous. Plus, I'm limited to 400 words, which is painful for me. The first anniversary special had a cast generally consisting of the more popular reviewers. In contrast, Kickassia feels populated with the lesser-known reviewers or characters. I have no proof of this, but I suspect that when many of the popular reviewers were unable to attend for this one, they had to 'make up the balance' with some of the more less-known reviewers. I would argue that this was a mistake; spending precious time on scenes with less-known reviewers rather than allocating that time to reviewers the audience knows and enjoys. It should come to little surprise that these lesser-known reviewers are more character-based, and wacky-character based at that. Remember when I said that Kickassia can become awkward? Seeing someone with a marker-drawn six pack running in the desert really isn't funny. It's awkward to watch, because someone did that. Seeing a man with a camo-mask and a supersoaker pistol running around? Awkward to watch, not funny. Paradoxically, the Cinema Snob (a newer contributer to the site) nearly single-handedly carries Kickassia. He doesn't play a wacky character with props or gimmicks. He's a normal man, played generally straight, without a major gimmick or blatant joke. There's also the issue with setting. Even if the idea of invading a micro-nation is funny, the setting itself lends itself to locations where the cast and crew don't have a lot of control over the environment. As such, lighting is spotty, the outside environment was unpredictable and physically dangerous, and scenes obviously had to be acted in such a way that prevented violation of the available space. I'm running short on words, so I can't talk a lot about what DID work (Spoony's transformation into Insano is truely one of the best things I've seen, bar none), but know this: ultimately, Kickassia does many things well, but tried to do so much in one sitting that it wound up diluting those good moments in much-more-common Moments Of Lesser Quality. Keep things simple. The Brawl proved that, in spades.
I agree with most of your points, and I do believe this is a fair review given the word limit we have (Grrrr). But I do believe that focusing on some of the smaller reviewers was good thing, Cinema Snob, Sage, the Spoony One, and NC were awesome and showed off a lot of legit acting skills. Some of the others may have been...iffy, but I think that without them it would've been missing a lot of the chaotic charm that made this series work. I didn't enjoy some gags, but that doesn't mean they were bad, I don't like Santa Christ, so that was annoying I like Lord Kat, but this wasn't a chance to show off his actually decent sense of humor, Film Brain was awful, but it worked, you were supposed to hate the annoying little bastard. N Chick and Linkara were overused for stars of their caliber, Phelous continues to impress, and has definitely improved beyond "exasperated guy with corny jokes", Angry Joe and Benzaie hit the sweet spot of use, not over or underusing their gimmicks. Marz Gurl was almost a waste, though her presence, as well as Jew Wario (Who didn't impress), Paw (Who really did) and the Game Hero's guys were basically filler, though that's okay, because Red Shirts were needed, even if it was just for background. I must give severe props to Cinema Snob for shooting up to my top three favorite reviewers with this performance. I used to think Sage was boring as fuck, and he still is during his actual reviews, but his comedic style is expertly done. Spoony and N.Bison were phenomenal (like usual) and without them this would've tanked, I honestly believe that Hollywood needs to pick these guys up, they're loads better then most of the comedic actors that keep churning out crap year after year, and do it with less time, budget, crew, and prestige then the worst of Hollywood. All in all, whether it worked or not, this was a good thing for the site, they should try to do more ambitious and creative things, they'll be producing their quality reviews, but allowing them to experiment is probably good for their souls, and for their income, I didn't love it completely, but I hope they try something like this again. ...and my all to long rambling is done.
comment #2622 Phrederic 24th May 10
>> The first anniversary special had a cast generally consisting of the more popular reviewers. In contrast, Kickassia feels populated with the lesser-known reviewers or characters. I have no proof of this, but I suspect that when many of the popular reviewers were unable to attend for this one, they had to 'make up the balance' with some of the more less-known reviewers. You do realize this is so rude it defies description? The special was done by people who took time out of their own lives to fly to Nevada and participate, it wasn't like the organizers thought, "Oh, well, AVGN can't make it. I know! Let's bring in the people no one seems to care about!" You're saying that these people aren't "good enough" to be there, because you personally are not a fan of them. Yeah, there are some contributors I like more than others, but that shouldn't be a huge factor for an anniverary video which is basically a giant thank-you to all the followers of the site, no matter who it is they are there for. I know you wanted to focus on more negative, and word limits made it so you couldn't talk about the stuff that was good, but thinking someone decided to "balance it out" instead of getting anyone who was willing to join is horribly close-minded.
comment #3270 mokyn 6th Jul 10
"spending precious time on scenes with less-known reviewers rather than allocating that time to reviewers the audience knows and enjoys." I for one found a love for Film Brain through watching Kickassia. :/
comment #3434 Fortooate 17th Jul 10
I have to point out that the notion about guys running around with silly costumes and accessories was painful to watch makes absolutely no sense to me. It was supposed to be beyond silly, and while every costume managed to be funny, it was exactly the most over the top ones that did. It's pretty obvious to me they didn't take themselves too seriously and just had fun being goofy.
comment #3795 220.127.116.11 8th Aug 10
- "Paradoxically, the Cinema Snob (a newer contributer to the site) nearly single-handedly carries Kickassia. He doesn't play a wacky character with props or gimmicks. He's a normal man, played generally straight, without a major gimmick or blatant joke."
- I agree, he was good. I've since been keeping up with some of his videos, as he has a good deadpan style. Angry Joe was also funny to watch.
- Dr. Insano — I liked the drama surrounding the transformation; however, once he hit the scene, after all the hype, all he engaged in was a fist-fight and some force-lightning. The title card indicated that the place would briefly become Insania, but that never came to pass.
- @ mokyn "You do realize this is so rude it defies description? The special was done by people who took time out of their own lives to fly to Nevada and participate, it wasn't like the organizers thought, 'Oh, well, AVGN can't make it. I know! Let's bring in the people no one seems to care about!' "
- Far from being rude beyond the descriptive capacity of the English language, the reviewer's criticism is very valid. I personally wasn't aware of the absence of any big names, but this could just be my lack of familiarity with the Channel Awesome crew. (Also, Rolfe does appear, just not as the AVGN but rather as Board James, so your example is a bit off.) The criticism is valid because 1) the conspicuous absence of certain actors one would otherwise like to see <i>is</i> a valid complaint, 2) it's a bit much to expect us to care about/understand the individual character traits of all these small-name reviewers right from the get-go, and 3) those participating in the event, far from doing it out of the simple kindness of their hearts, will undoubtedly benefit from the experience in gaining new viewers to their individual series via their spotlight in Kickassia.
- Also, were the actors paid for their participation, or do all proceeds go into Walker and Michaud's pockets? If they were paid, then your whole "took time out of their lives" argument doesn't hold because, well, they were paid. People don't graciously take time out of their lives to go to work, they perform a service and are duly compensated. "Taking time out of your life" would more correctly refer to something like devoting your weekend to helping a friend move, not to having a badass time in the desert and being paid to do it. If they weren't paid, then perhaps they were exploited, which isn't the reviewer's fault.
comment #3814 depaderico 9th Aug 10 (edited by: depaderico)
@depaderico I'm fairly certain that they were paid for their time, but most if not all of them have other commitments in their lives which would need to be put on hold for a 4-day shoot (plus travel time). I know that The Nostalgia Chick is in grad school, and the others most likely work other jobs as well. Getting the time off can be problematic, as they learned with BFF Nella during the Suburban Knights shoot.
comment #11207 Hyrin 2nd Nov 11
Late but adding onto Hyrin's point, these people are basically a family, they want to spend time together. They've said it themselves and show it well. This year for example, after Suburban Knights was finished, their missing each other was all over Twitter.
comment #11238 emeriin 5th Nov 11
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