Sunday, February 26, 2012

Heroes of the North Oscar Night

It's Oscar night! And I couldn't care any less!

Except that it's good set up to give a few props to the folks behind the Heroes of the North web series. I've been enjoying these for a while, checking in periodically.

They currently have 16 episodes up (of 20) in season one but we'll only be looking over the first 15 since they combine to create the first three storylines; Origins, Recruitment and Madame Doom.

I don't think they require much more introduction than what is offered up on their website, other than to point that the order changed at some point so we're working with the one offered up on this page now.

So much like the Oscars unload their less popular awards "off camera", let's get some of the feedback out in quick bullet point form.

  • The French guys, the NFLQ, are hilarious. :)

  • The music is cool throughout, but seemed particularly effective in episode seven as 8-Ball runs a gauntlet to whup on a prick named Baxter. From the moody "build up" at 5:10 to the fight scene against Steel Tiger, the tunes complement the visuals very well.

  • I have no idea how difficult it is to produce, but Fleur de Lys' lightning effect is done quite well.

Now then, on to the "big" awards (by comparison only). Of course, this is all personal opinion and done for kicks.

Best actor: 8-Ball (Anderson Bradshaw)

Bradshaw does his best work in his character's origin story, episode three, as he's being offered the gig. His changes in facial expression (from about 2:30 to 2:38), when he's told about having killed a police officer, stand out. He's also entertaining in his back-and-forth with Nordik in episode seven when he feels he's doing all the heavy lifting.

Honourable mention to Black Terror (John Fallon) for his intensity. When he walks into a scene, you know an ass is about to be kicked with authority.

Best actress: Masquerade (Pia Metni)

Metni accomplishes an awful lot with just a raised eyebrow. She does a terrific job in episode 13 of first showing curiosity and disdain at Madame Doom's operation, then concern over Black Terror potentially being loose nearby. I'd hazard a guess that she has the deepest acting background and/or experience of any of the cast members. Edit: Her bio here seems to bear that out.

Honourable mention to Anne-Marie Losique as the previously-mentioned Madame Doom who is very entertaining as a cold, shallow, volatile fashionista. She's funny while still being frightening because of the suddenness and extremes of her losses of composure. Also to the young lady playing the teenage version of Nordik for getting everything across without dialogue.

Best episode: Canadian Shield
This is actually kind of tough. Most of what I enjoy is included in episodes seven and 13. But overall, I enjoyed episode six best. Perhaps ironically, I believe it's actually the first video they shot so let's be clear that I don't mean to indirectly suggest that work quality has decreased since. But six's battle scene is well executed and it ends on a obviously-significant cliffhanger. The aged video effect is a nice touch, and the scene of Shield running, firing his gun and blocking bullets at about 2:45 is quite cool. The episode mixes a lot of interesting components quite well.

This is a fun series and the enthusiasm shown by the folks involved is contagious. And we haven't even seen (in episodes) several of the characters that they promote, like Hornet, Acadia and Pacifica. They clearly have plenty more stories to tell and their use of multiple formats with which to tell them (diaries, magazine covers and photo albums as examples) is another entertaining aspect. They're obviously having a good time doing this and as such, I find them easy to get behind. More power to the HotN and see you at the Ottawa Comicon in May.

No comments:

Post a Comment