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Kung Fu Panda 2

Everybody was kung fu fighting, those cats (and other animals) were fast as lightning.

Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Po (Jack Black), Monkey (Jackie Chain) and Viper (Lucy Liu) as prisoners of Lord Shen (Gary Oldman) - from Kung Fu Panda 2
 

I have noticed that what were supposed to be brief points being made about whatever I've watched/played/read have been getting longer and longer, and taking up more of my time as a result.


So, starting today, I'm going to try and get back to boiling things down to their essential points only, which should save me time and make it easier for anyone reading to completely understand my points.

 

MOVIES

- I've watched Kung Fu Panda 2 a few times now, but still wanted to watch it again before writing about it to make sure I wasn't getting anything confused between the movies.


- Everything looks a little bit sharper, a little bit more refined than the first movie, which might be expected as technology advances but is worthy of praise all the same.


- I'm also a huge fan of how the movie switches between 2D animation for flashbacks and 3D for 'present day', with one particularly emotional scene being shown twice, once in each style.


- All of the returning performers also sound more comfortable in their roles, which really helps sell the increased bond between Po (Jack Black) and the other members of the Jade Temple.


- A special word though for Gary Oldman as Lord Shen, who is just as gifted and chameleonic a voice actor as he is a physical performer apparently.


- How Shen ties into Po's backstory is also pretty great and doesn't feel like the tenuous links other movies sometimes create to link heroes and villains together.


- The trauma inflicted on Po by Shen does make it a slightly darker story than the first film, with some moments that might not be suitable for very young children.


- Saying that, there's still plenty of humour to be found as you'd expect from this series, from physical comedy, to character interactions and even during the many action sequences.


- I have to say that I don't think these first two Kung Fu Panda movies have gotten the credit they deserve for being pretty great martial arts action movies.


- Yes, they're animated comedies starring anthropomorphic animals, but 99% of the content in these films could very easily be switched to live-action movies with real people.


- Needless to say, I really enjoyed watching Kung Fu Panda 2 and consider it a very marginal step up on its predecessor, although both are definite recommends. [9/10]


GAMES

- No new games finished yet, although I have just cleared the main story of Mass Effect 2 again and am now going through some side missions remaining, including the "Arrival" DLC.


- Not helping with the backlog is my downloading of Vampire Survivors, which remains an excellent game.


TV

- Thanks to my holiday, no further progress has been made on The West Wing, although that will change now that I'm getting back up to speed with things.

 

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