Thursday, 21 September 2017

Text Review Roundup: It Isn't the Mane Thing About You"

Here we go with the usual batch of assessments written by those fine people who aren't obsessed with shoving everything they do on YouTube. It's good to see ArthurCrane back – actually, he did eventually post a moderately positive "Daring Done?" review, but it came much too late to make last week's TRR. To balance that, unfortunately, Batbrony hadn't posted a review at the time of going to press. A pretty good reception overall for this ep.

ArthurCrane – mostly positive ("while its logic issues are inescapable, the episode delivers big time on its central message")

Batbrony Reviews – no full review at time of posting, but this forum post suggests he generally liked it but was a bit iffy about the hair loss aspect.

Cuddlepug – negative (graded D+, though the PDF consists almost entirely of a long quote from 2012. Um.)

Derpy News – very positive (graded A; "here's Rarity to get every pony energized again.")

Louder Yay – very positive (four stars; "refreshing change of pace")

MLEEP Reviews – wildly positive (rated 10/10; "a truly fabulous episode ... I'm sure to come back to [this] many times in the future")

TheDragonWarlock – mostly positive (graded B+; "Zecora was just dumb in not labelling her potions [but this] does feel like it's recapturing some elements of the first few seasons")

The Southern Nerd – mostly positive ("The writers ... seem to understand that caring about your looks ... is not necessarily a bad thing [though] the ending confused a little")

The Super Mario Brony Blog – positive (four stars; "a breath of fresh air from Haber's previous iffy installments")

Thrond Media Pony Corner – moderately positive (rated 65%; "At worst, it's watchable and inoffensive, and at best it's as charming as anything else this season" [Thrond generally dislikes S7.])

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Ponyfic Roundup 173: Made in Scotland from Girders

Read it Later story count: 397 (-1)

Amazingly, I've found the time to read five stories this week. None of them are very long, but then I have Through the Well of Pirene and The Skyla Pseudonym to get through before I can start even thinking about that sort of thing. Under review are:

Only One Way to Know by ph00tbag
The Stolen Book by Monochromatic
What's Faster... Light or Sound? by Free Shavacado
A Short Story by Twilight Sparkle by Skywriter
Were We the Bad Guys? by CommisarAJ

★: 0 | ★★: 1 | ★★★: 3 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 0

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Movie: Sia video down, TV ads up

If you grabbed a copy of Sia's video to her song for My Little Pony: The Movie, you're lucky – as the Vimeo upload, which was tweeted by Jayson Thiessen at one point and so appeared to be authorised, has now been zapped by Hasbro for copyright infringement. It is a pretty spoilery video, so I wouldn't be surprised if they wanted to keep it under wraps until after the movie's release. A bit late to hide it away from people now, though, guys. :P

On the other side of the coin, Lionsgate's playlist for the film has now added three 30-second TV spots. These have a few short sections that haven't been seen anywhere else, though they don't give away such major plot points as the Sia video does/did. I won't spoil anything here, but one thing that's notable about all these is that the animation looks really good – and yes, the problems from the first trailer do seem to have been ironed out.

All in all, it's looking like movie will be a visual treat even if it isn't anything else. Obviously I'm hoping it will be more than that, but frankly with animation like this I'd happily pay for a cinema ticket even if all that happened was a scene of various ponies bustling around Ponyville's market area.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Episode review: S7E19: "It Isn't the Mane Thing About You"

I said I had something relating to HasCon I wanted to mention, so I'll do that now. I am distinctly iffy about the way VIP passholders got to enter a draw to pick an OC's colour, cutie mark etc for the DHX animators to feature in S8. No, it's not quite "We'll put your existing OC in the show" but it still feels uncomfortably like a rich kids' toy. I'd have been happier had this prize been auctioned off for the HasCon charity. (Was there one?)

Punk Rarity makes her entrance
So green is your colour now, eh?
Anyway, on to Saturday's episode. "It Isn't the Mane Thing About You" saw the return of Josh Haber to writing duties for the first time since the S6 finale, and not everyone was delighted when they saw his name on the title card. Personally, although he's not my favourite writer, I don't have all that much against him. Come with me past the break if you want a short waffle about this.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Bonus UK PonyCon tip: DON'T save your old £1 coins!

A very good point that's been brought up by a poster on the UK PonyCon forum is this: the old, round £1 coins cease to be legal tender after 15th October. That means you will not be able to spend them at the convention! Vendors are unlikely to accept them, so please don't try. If you've been saving up change, which is a good thing in itself, make sure any £1 coins you keep are only the new, 12-sided sort.

Until the cut-off point, you can still spend those old-style £1 coins in shops and so on, and you should be able to exchange them at your own bank. Each company will have its own rules, though, so you'll need to check locally. After the cut-off date, exchanging at your own bank will probably continue for a limited time, but this isn't like old banknotes (which can be exchanged indefinitely) so don't delay!

Friday, 15 September 2017

Tips for UK PonyCon-goers 7: Turn out the burnout

There's been a fair amount going on in the fandom recently, so I haven't got round to posting another of these. Time to rectify that.

Tip 7: Pace yourself – and take some breaks

A full weekend of solid ponying is actually quite a long time, especially if you stay from start to finish on both days. It's immensely tempting to spend the entire time active, especially given the con experience is like nothing else, but if you do you'll be asking for trouble. You really do need to avoid trying to run at 100% intensity all the time, otherwise your body's going to start complaining at you pretty fast.

Once you've registered and got your con pass round your neck, you're free to wander in and out of the venue as the mood takes you. The location this year is a bit less conducive than some to taking quick breaks, since it's a fair walk to anything of interest and much of the UWE campus will be off-limits to us. However, even a few moments out in the fresh air can work wonders. (Okay, freshish, given that it's by a busy main road!)

Food, which I'll cover more fully in a later tip, is also a useful way to break up your schedule. Yes, you can take your own in, but actually sitting down for lunch in the café or having a drink at the bar will give you a slight change of scene and a change of pace. After half an hour chatting gently to friends (old or new) you'll feel refreshed and ready to tackle your next session of connery.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Text Review Roundup: "Daring Done?"

Some good news this week: I've added a couple of text-based reviewers who were fixtures in these roundups a while back, MLEEP Reviews and the Super Mario Brony Blog. In both cases, they've been reviewing S7 before this point; they just didn't show up in my searches for whatever reason. Still, they're back now, and as long as they keep reviewing episodes they'll stay back! This gives us the fullest roster for some time. A huge range of opinions this week:

ArthurCrane – no review posted at time of writing

Batbrony Reviews – very negative ("just a very 'meh' episode ... one of the biggest disappointments the show's ever had ... so much unrealized potential")

Cuddlepug – a bit negative (graded C; "View this episode as a fanfiction and it's easier to stomach")

Derpy News – mildly positive (graded B; "enjoyable, but it suffers from predictability")

Louder Yay – mildly positive (three stars; "Enjoyable filler again? Yup.")

MLEEP Reviews – positive (rated 8.5/10; "may not be the best Daring Do episode…but it was still a pretty great adventure in building confidence")

TheDragonWarlock – mixed (graded B; "a good character arc for Daring [but] third act is where things take a dive")

The Southern Nerd – generally positive ("showed Daring Do facing the one foe few superheroes ever meet: consequences for the property damage they cause")

The Super Mario Brony Blog – extremely positive (five stars; "intriguing, yet masterfully executed story, wonderful and quirky characters ... spectacular action ... another great moral ... chapter of perfection")

Thrond Media Pony Corner – very negative (rated 35%; "the worst of the Daring Do episodes, and it's not even a contest")