An Unexpected Gift and a Patreon Page

Back when I intended to make video reviews, I set up a Patreon account. Most reviewers nowadays have them to help support themselves and continue to supply quality content while rewarding their fans. I had hoped that perhaps over time I might accumulate such a following.

But of course, things change.

When I switched to doing written reviews I forgot all about Patreon and left my outdated goals and perks to gather dust. I wasn’t going to make a career out of reviews, I was just doing it for fun. If I was going to ask for money, what could I have to offer in return?

Last night made me reconsider that.

Thanks to the spontaneous and generous donation of Amelia Jones, my bank account is slightly more secure and a movie of her choice, The Black Cauldron, was added to the Shelf. In conjunction with getting two long-awaited film reviews out within a week and considering what to do next, I decided to revamp my Patreon Page to reflect this blog. Support is totally optional, but much appreciated, and what you get in return reflects that – Shout-outs, more chances to vote, new countdowns, and the opportunity to see more of what you want Up On The Shelf! Please consider dropping by.

Meanwhile I’ve been working on a few movie reviews in my spare time. I should be in a place where by May voting will open up again, and once it is, you’ll know! Thanks for sticking with me this long, and once again be sure to visit my Patreon Page to see how you can be rewarded for supporting me!

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June/April Review: Muppet Treasure Island (1996)

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“Hoist the sails and sing –
Sailing for adventure on the big blue wet thing!”

– Best. Lyrics. Ever.

Before I start I have a confession to make. The reason why it took as long as it did to get this review out largely has to do with what I was going through at the time with my then-boyfriend. He adored the Muppets and got me to love and appreciate them again after years of seeing them as only kiddie stuff or nightmare fuel (those gdamned martians…) I envisioned this review as a meaningful discussion between two fans who have differing viewpoints on this film (I love it, he hated it for his own pigheaded reasons). Unfortunately by that point things between us were rapidly falling apart. Our relationship was already a sinking ship, something that took me longer than it should have to figure out, but some much needed soul-searching on top of the most recent bout of drama made me realize that I needed to bail out as fast as possible. After enduring seven long years of emotional abuse, cutting all ties with the man I believed I had a future with was one of the hardest things I ever done. I needed to let go of the dreams I thought we once shared, learn who I was without him overshadowing every opinion and action I made, and step away from a number of things that I associated with him. This review was one of them.

On the plus side, going back to doing it solo means I have nobody apart from the comments section to answer to, explain what I already know back to me, tell me what I think is wrong, or throw a tantrum and go pout in the corner for twenty minutes when I don’t agree with them.

In other words, suck it, you lying manipulative walking meatloaf lover. Your thoughts don’t mean jack shit here or anywhere else.

Getting back to the topic at hand, The Muppet Movie is arguably my favorite of the Muppet films, but the one that I watched the most growing up which often comes close to dethroning it? That would be Muppet Treasure Island. I’m not alone in that regard as many a 90’s kids waxing nostalgic on the internet will tell you how awesome and hilarious it is. Some have even gone as far to say it’s the best adaptation of Treasure Island (I can’t comment on that since the only versions I’ve seen are this and Treasure Planet, both of which are coincidentally made by Disney).

Still, all childhood nostalgia aside, does it still hold up? Yes, though I have noticed a growing opposition to that in recent years. Most of the arguments amount to, “It doesn’t match the charm of the original films or Muppet Christmas Carol. THAT was a better book adaptation with Muppets” with one or two more quibbles thrown in that I’ll address later. While it is pretty obvious that the films were straying a bit from the usual Jim Henson formula by that point, I still think it captures most of the humor and heart the Muppets are known for, and takes a few more risks as well. It follows the success of the formula utilized a few years prior in The Muppets’ Christmas Carol – telling a classic story with a well-known human actor playing the lead/villain role – and it feels like a natural continuation of that idea instead of a retread.

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November/April Review: The Prince of Egypt (1998)

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“I have seen the oppression of my people in Egypt, and I have heard their cry […] And so unto Pharaoh, I shall send…you.”
– The Burning Bush

Over two years ago I talked about Dreamworks and their unfortunate habit of leaning on the Shrek-style bandwagon (which they themselves have to blame for creating in the first place) and how every once in a while it’s balanced out by a work of jaw-dropping animation and drama that pushes the boundaries of film in a way only Pixar, Disney, and the occasional Don Bluth film have succeeded. It’s been like this since Dreamworks’ inception. “The Prince of Egypt”, today’s film, was the second animated film released after their first, “Antz”, a fairly obvious attempt to copy Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life”, premiered that same year. Ask animation buffs which is the better film and you’ll immediately be directed to this one. It’s unusual that an animation studio that just got off the ground would try something like a musical remake of “The Ten Commandments”, but hey, some ideas can sound silly on paper and yet blow everyone away in practice. “The Prince of Egypt” is without a doubt one of those films. Fostered by both Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg, directed by Brenda Chapman, with songs by Stephen Schwartz of Wicked and Pippin fame and music by pre-BWOOOOOMP-obsessed Hans Zimmer, it’s a movie that at times even manages to bring the great Cecil B. Demille epic to its knees.

Now unlike certain people who shall remain nameless, I have a deep respect for those of different cultures and religions. While this movie is based on a sacred text to many, it is in no way a direct take on said text, and any jokes I make toward the holy figures depicted are not a rip on the figures themselves, just the characters as they are in the movie. The movie opens with a similar disclaimer in case you’re worried they’ll be insensitive to anyone (frankly I think the filmmakers were more terrified of offending anyone religious than any audience member who went to see this).

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In other words, “Just repeat to yourselves ‘It’s just a film, I should really just relax.'”

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April Updates

Hi, all! I wanted to post this yesterday, but considering the date I didn’t want to risk sounding untruthful. As it stands March has been a pretty busy month for me. First, after months of planning and work I finally got my own website off the ground. I’ve never been good with trying to make actual sites (I had to drop out and re-take my mandated online design course in college with a different professor because I was so lost) but with some encouragement from a friend I gave Wix a chance and, at the risk of sounding like a tool, it made the process easy, exciting, and even fun. Now you can see all the artwork I have to offer for illustration, graphic design and even caricatures right here. I recommend you check it out!

Next, I took a big step forward for my illustration career and self-esteem by submitting a rough version of one of the children’s books I’ve created (called a book dummy for those not in the business) for a chance to win some exposure and a decent-sized grant. I’ve been pretty shy about entering this kind of event before because the fear of being judged and losing is a particularly crippling one when it comes to my artwork; while I have no idea whether or not I’ll win, I feel proud of myself for going ahead with this and making something I can call my own. No matter the outcome, I now have something to show for my hard work and knowledge of how to put together a fun and colorful book for kids.

Though my art comes first, I want to assure you all that I’ve still been working on reviews intermittently in my free time. As of this post, my thoughts on The Prince of Egypt are 75% done, and I’ve just about reached the halfway point with Muppet Treasure Island. With any luck at least one of them will be up before the end of April. Thank you for sticking with me so far, and enjoy the nice spring weather we’ve been having!

Oscars 2018 Reaction!

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Hello all! I know I said I’d be on a break, but having just finished watching the results of this years Oscars ceremony (I had to record it because the folks didn’t want to watch it this year, but the new DVR we installed was a butt and stopped at the last half-hour so I had find clips of the winners on Youtube well after they won), I had to share my off-the-cuff thoughts on the winners, losers, and everything in between.

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Gravity Falls Review: “Weirdmageddon Part 3: Take Back The Falls” (S2E20)

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“There, that’s the last bit of unicorn hair we need.”

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“Bravo, Ms. Shelf! How on earth were you able to acquire such a rarity?”

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“Well, it wasn’t easy. Those unicorns really took what I said about them in “The Last Mabelcorn” to heart. Apologies were in order…and I had to promise I’d seriously consider reviewing a certain magical equine series once this mess is wrapped up.”

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“If we make this out alive, I’m gonna have SO much fun ripping into Flurry Heart.”

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“We’ll worry about who’s reviewing what when the time comes. There’s just one more thing.”

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“The deal I technically made with Bill granted me near anonymity with my reviews; no photos, no talking to a camera. Barely anyone out there knows what I really look like. If we defeat him, the deal ends, and I’m exposed.”

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“Well, it can’t be as bad as all that, can it? It’d be nice to have a face to go along with these reviews you’ve been faithfully inscribing these past three years.”

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“I know, Baron. But what if I disappoint people with how I look? Or what if a recruiter or an important company person looking for someone to do the kind of work I want to do recognizes me here, and my writing turns them away from hiring me?”

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“It’s as you just said; we’ll deal with it when the time comes. Don’t you want to be free of this tiny plastic prison William has sequestered you in?”

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“I…yeah, I do. One way or another, Bill’s going down. And I for one can’t think of a better day to deliver his geometric ass on a platter to him.”

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“And what exactly is so special about today, if I may ask?”


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Hello again, fleshbags! It turns out the Olympics are really boring, especially once they get into that “ain’t world peace and cooperation great” baloney. So I figured on today, the two year anniversary of my ultimate triumph, I’ll take a look back and revisit my moments of glory as your universe fell on to its knees and accepted me as its true lord and master for all eternity.

What? You don’t remember it going down that way? Someone needs to get their head checked, heh heh heh.

ALLOW ME.

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Gravity Falls Reviews: “Weirdmageddon Part 2 – Escape From Reality”

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“Boss, aren’t you gonna continue reviewing the rest of Weirdmageddon?”

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“Pfft, why review something I already lived, Eight-Ball? Besides, the Olympics are on. I’ve got a bet with Pyronica to see which team crashes and burns the most.”

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“But what if someone else gets to it first, like that Shelf reviewer?”

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“Oh don’t worry, freak. Mabel’s bubble was one of the most diabolical things I ever concocted, and the episode surrounding it is no different for any reviewer…especially her…”


 

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“Argh! The key to stopping Bill is right there, I can feel it! I just wish I had something more to go on than his narcissistic ramblings.”

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“Perhaps looking at the next episode in the lineup might help?”

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“Well, Bill’s barely in that one, but all right. Can’t think of anything particularly useful I can do at the moment anyway.”

Continuing from the previous episode, Soos, Wendy and Dipper enter the bubble Bill has imprisoned Mabel in –

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“Uh, not to harp on continuity, but don’t you usually do a “Previously on Gravity Falls” before each recap?”

Previously on Gravity Falls: Bill has merged his dimension with ours, it’s the endtimes, Dipper’s got to find and rescue Mabel so they can figure out what to do next, blah blah blah.
Go here to catch up on Gravity Falls from the beginning.

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“How insightful.”

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“You’re not the one writing the review without looking over your shoulder for Bill every five minutes, Cynicism.”

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Gravity Falls Reviews: Weirdmageddon Part 1 (S2E18) (As Translated by Up On the Shelf)

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“Ms. Shelf, thank heavens we found you! Are you all right?”

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“Well seeing as how I’ve spent the past few weeks trapped inside a vinyl figure forced to watch as a being of infinite nightmares wreaks havoc on my blog, I gotta say Baron, things could be better.”

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“Good to hear. Now all we have to worry about is how to get rid of Triangle Man without him turning our heads into jelly.”

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“True, though I have a feeling Bill would be more dangerously creative than just old-fashioned jello-fication. Actually, the more I think about it, why would Bill attempt another takeover in a fashion similar to his first? I mean, apart from ultimate power and domination it makes no sense, not even for a being like him.”

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“Perhaps his most recent ramblings could give us some insight. Unfortunately I’ve attempted to translate it from Greek, Russian, Latin, and even French, and the answers have still eluded me.”

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“Lemme take a look…”

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“If my guess is correct, that’s not another language. It’s a code! All we’d have to do is run it through a translator and we’re golden!”

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“Think you could do the honors? Not everyone’s got the patience or time on their hands that you have.”

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*sigh* “Nice to know that Weirdmageddon hasn’t changed you either, Cynicism.”


What? You never watch Gravity Falls before? HAHAHAHA what a loser!

Previously on Gravity Falls: I, the glorious and now three-dimensional Bill Cipher cleverly manipulated a bunch of dumb humans into releasing me from my pitiful Nightmare Realm into their dimension! Yesterday Gravity Falls, today this blog, tomorrow the cosmos!

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Hey kids! It’s your old pal Bill Cipher, and I’m taking control of this blog now! Who wants to hear about how I began to conquer the universe?!

Having finally achieved physical form I introduce myself and my crew of interdimensional nightmares to my new fleshy subjects and tell them we’re calling the shots in this world now. Yet they make the big mistake of vowing to defy me; all except Preston Northwest, who for one welcomes his new triangular overlord and is more than happy to push other less rich lifeforms under the bus to save his own skin. Of course what he doesn’t know is that I recognize a professional ass kisser when I see one, and I reward him as such.

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I plan on doing the same thing to Trump when I come to collect on the deal we made back in ’16, except I’m switching his mouth with his ass to see if anyone can tell the difference!

With that loser out of the way, I begin decorating this normal little sad sack of an existence – stopping time, madness bubbles in the air, eyeball bats turning people into stone so they can make up my throne, and a giant pyramid in the sky to crash in. It’s the little things that make a place feel like home.

Now who wants to count how many satanic messages I’ve hidden in this special intro? First one to watch without blinking loses their soul!

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Meanwhile…

“Shelf! SHELF!!! Where is she…any luck, Baron?”

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“No, I was distracted by an old acquaintance who then inexplicably turned from a beautiful lady into a rotund winged fellow, and then into a strange mechanical man who told me to do something to his shining metal posterior which one doesn’t repeat in polite conversation.”

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“Yeesh, don’t envy you there. It’s hopeless. She vanished right after Bill arrived. You don’t think she ditched us, do you?”

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“Madam, you do your counterpart a disservice! She would never abandon us in this hour of need. Are quite sure you searched all the places where she can normally be found? If not then it’s unfortunately rather likely this Bill must have entrapped her so he could move forward with his nefarious plans.”

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“Geez, how many times do I have to tell you, I searched the entire house! Up and down, in and out, every nook and cranny! All I could find in her room was this Mabel figure right in front of her computer -“

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“…Ohhhhhhhh……”

TO BE CONTINUED…

JUDYLWB IDOOV UHYLHZV: ZHLUGPDJHGGRQ SDUW 1 (V2H18)

Zkdw? Brx qhyhu zdwfk JUDYLWB IDOOV ehiruh? KDKDKDKD zkdw d orvhu!

Suhylrxvob rq Judylwb Idoov: L, wkh jorulrxv dqg qrz wkuhh-glphqvlrqdo Eloo Flskhu fohyhuob pdqlsxodwhg d exqfk ri gxpe kxpdqv lqwr uhohdvlqj ph iurp pb slwlixo Qljkwpduh Uhdop lqwr wkhlu glphqvlrq! Bhvwhugdb Judylwb Idoov, wrgdb wklv eorj, wrpruurz wkh frvprv!

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Khb nlgv! Lw’v brxu rog sdo Eloo Flskhu, dqg L’p wdnlqj frqwuro ri wklv eorj qrz! Zkr zdqwv wr khdu derxw krz L ehjdq wr frqtxhu wkh xqlyhuvh?!

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L sodq rq grlqj wkh vdph wklqj wr Wuxps zkhq L frph wr froohfw rq wkh ghdo zh pdgh edfn lq ’16, hafhsw L’p vzlwfklqj klv prxwk zlwk klv dvv wr vhh li dqbrqh fdq whoo wkh gliihuhqfh!

Zlwk wkdw orvhu rxw ri wkh zdb, L ehjlq ghfrudwlqj wklv qrupdo olwwoh vdg vdfn ri dq halvwhqfh – vwrsslqj wlph, pdgqhvv exeeohv lq wkh dlu, hbhedoo edwv wxuqlqj shrsoh lqwr vwrqh vr wkhb fdq pdnh xs pb wkurqh, dqg d jldqw sbudplg lq wkh vnb wr fudvk lq. Lw’v wkh olwwoh wklqjv wkdw pdnh d sodfh ihho olnh krph.

Qrz zkr zdqwv wr frxqw krz pdqb vdwdqlf phvvdjhv L’yh klgghq lq wklv vshfldo lqwur? Iluvw rqh wr zdwfk zlwkrxw eolqnlqj orvhv wkhlu vrxo!

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