Posts Tagged ‘animation’

Further proof (as if we needed any)…

Thu ,23/11/2017

that Jim Henson remains one of the most creative and cool people who ever lived….

From Boing Boing:
Watch the pitch reel for Jim Henson’s cyberpunk muppets TV series

candybowl

Shin Godzilla!

Sat ,12/08/2017

So, in response to the big success of Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla film (discussed earlier here) – the original Godzilla film company – Toho – decided to do yet another Gz film of their own. The result: Shin Godzilla, which just came out on DVD and Blu-Ray this month.

Funimation, god love ’em, actually did a limited release of this movie in theaters last year(?) – and I went, but like an old loser, fell asleep midway through the movie so missed most of it – doh! So I’ve been waiting for it to come out on DVD so I can actually watch the whole thing through.

My take: mixed feelings. So on the one hand, the special effects are definitely in the top tier of any of the Toho Godzilla films – especially when the earlier mutant version of Gz is waddling through down (there is no other way to describe it) and crushing boats, rivers, trains and buildings – very, very realistic looking, even if Gz doesn’t look very dangerous at that point – yet.

But then on his second run of destruction through town, the battle is a bit too drawn out (timewise) even if a bit too abbreviated (battle-wise). You see, the filmmakers are obviously putting in a lot of human commentary on Japan’s current political situation – the first half hour of the movie if not a bit more is spent spoofing meeting, after meeting, after meeting, at the govt level and how they are ‘paralyzed by process’, even when faced with a giant mutant nuclear-fired monster is about to stomp their country into oblivion.

While this setup is funny at parts, it drags on a bit too much – bring on the monster!

My other minor/major gripes are two – Godzilla himself looks like he’s wearing a weird chest-jutting haltertop underneath his skin when he finally assumes the role he was born to do – his upper body is just weird looking. His skin looks much closer to General Tsao’s Chicken than the usual scaly, rubbery mutant we know and love, and most egregious – his roar is severely muted, if you hear it at all.

This last was largely my big gripe for the Gareth Edwards film, likely because he probably couldn’t license the sound, but Toho OWNS that roar – hel-lo?

Also, as you see in many Gz movies, they play up the ‘sympathy’ angle more than a bit – especially when the military is (literally) dropping buildings on him left and right. In the older movies when this happens, he really gets pissed off – and to some degree that happens here, but we never really see the big ‘rage moment’ that happens at least once or twice in the older movies. Disappointing – I wanted to see more destruction!

The actors are good otherwise, although the ‘americans’ mostly appear off camera with pretty stilted dialogue. And the notion of a Japanese-American woman becoming President by her 40th bday is fine by me, bring it!

So I think in the end the movie is definitely worth watching but a bit too long and not enough Godzilla. I think on balance still my fave movie is Godzilla 2000 – easily the scariest looking Gz in any of the movies, definitely among the most badass, especially at the end.

Other voices:
Rotten Tomatoes
Metacritic

candybowl

RIP, Caped Crusader…..

Sun ,11/06/2017

Adam West, TV’s Batman in the ’60s, Dies at 88

RIP Adam West: Hollywood Remembers Beloved Batman: ‘One of My First Heroes’

candybowl

Oh….Jack…!

Sun ,23/04/2017

well worth the wait! But was only able to see the first 3 episodes….hopefully goes on all summer!

candybowl

So….AWESOME!!

Sun ,12/02/2017

made my day. Thank you Genndy!!!

candybowl

The Legend of Korra.

Sat ,21/01/2017

Finished this animated series a few nights ago. I have to say, this was overall a very good series. There were a few minor flaws, but for the most part it was very good on character development, creating real conflicts in and around the variety of personalities they present, and not being above injecting humor throughout, but not in a completely ‘kids’ way (Superfriends, i’m talking to YOU).

To me, there are essentially 3 kinds of animated shows.

1) Those that are pure, straight kids entertainment – i would throw in nearly all early cartoons in this realm (Mickey Mouse, Tom & Jerry, most of Flintstones, most of Hanna-Barbera’s other output, most of Bugs Bunny and his era, and of course Speed Racer), most the 70s Saturday am stuff I grew up on, SpongeBob, etc.;

2) Animation that masks itself as kids stuff but tries to also play to adults either directly or indirectly, sometimes even as a smirky way to increase viewership – I’d put nearly all Pixar’s output in this realm, even though a few of their movies of late have really lowered the bar (anything with *cars* in them comes to mind); a lot of modern anime is also here; and more ‘serious’ stuff like Samurai Jack, TRON:Uprising, etc.

3) Animation that obviously intends to be for adults directly – either because of certain subject matter (we really, really don’t have to go there, but sadly it exists) or because the show in the end is actually the same as a live-action show would be, but for whatever reason (set in the future, deals with fantasy, horror, unrealistic or science-fiction type stories and/or technology – even production cost) is an animated show.

I’m not going to count animation that is essentially glorified commercials for toys (TMNT, much of Transformers, and the list goes on) – not.

The Legend of Korra is squarely set in (2). While it’s effectively a sequel series to Avatar:The Last Airbender, it goes in its own way to try to entertain and teach at the same time – but despite the fact that there may be slightly *too* many crises throughout the four Books of the series, it never talks down to its audience, and I was pleasantly surprised time and again with the way it handled the characters and dialogue. And unlike many recent comic book movies or similar multiyear series – it really doesn’t have glaring plot holes that take the viewer out of the story due to simple logic failure. It’s definitely a long series (52 episodes) but in the end, it’s definitely worth it. I only wish other equally good or better series (TRON:Uprising and Sym-Bionic Titan) had received an equal level of network support and promotion (both only had one season). And the far quirkier earlier Invader Zim – same deal.

but watch it – you won’t be disappointed.

candybowl

yay!

Sat ,27/02/2016

Powerpuff Girls’ Reboot Coming in 2016

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Chiho Aoshima: Rebirth of the World

Tue ,06/10/2015

So I finally managed to go see this, the last day of Chiho Aoshima‘s exhibit at the Seattle Asian Art Museum this past Sunday. While it wasn’t a big exhibit – it was very, very cool. The highlight is the *huge* screened animation in the back auditorium – TAKAAMANOHARA. It’s so big you can’t see everything going on at the same time – you have to look back and forth, I suspect it would take many viewings to begin to keep it all straight. way cool! While the film below paints her as somewhat bleak in outlook, her art is intricate and amazing. Looking forward to her next exhibit in Seattle!

Other voices:
The Stranger
An earlier animation – “City Glow
A review of an earlier exhibit in Catalonia at the Fundacio Miro.

candybowl

Not bad….

Thu ,10/09/2015

A bit weak on plot, some quibbles with the firepower of the relative ships, and the closeups of the basestars look a bit too ‘Lego-y’ but otherwise not bad…. He really likes the ‘flip over flyby’ too – a bit overused, nearly every ship does one at some point or another in the video…stupid robots, you messed with the WRONG starships! Although truth be told, I bet the Defiant could take a couple base stars on its own… 🙂

candybowl

Jurassic World – Hmm.

Fri ,12/06/2015

Our company had a free screening of Jurassic World yesterday evening – interesting. It was harmless fun but for the money the studio likely spent, they could have worked far harder on the plot. The movie was well made but offers nothing new in light of three previous JP movies as well as the whole ‘dystopian theme park goes very wrong’ theme done first (and arguably best) by Westworld. Ironically, that movie was written and directed by a 31-year old Michael Crichton, the original author of Jurassic Park. Amusing.

Chris Pratt is the main ‘reluctant hero’ star, and while this movie is nothing to write home about, his career will not be hurt by it, either – he’s definitely the most interesting thing in the movie, despite the writers’ efforts to turn velicoraptors into CP’s trained posse. I’ve liked Vincent D’Onofrio since his Private Pyle days, but here he’s just a cheesy fat ham (in more ways than one). Most of the rest of the actors are unknowns or on their way up (Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan and BD Wong) – probably how you keep costs down with so much expensive, extensive CGI in nearly every scene.

I kept also thinking of Futureworld, the even lamer (than this JP sequel) Westworld sequel from the mid-70’s. It’s kinda sad how Hollywood just keeps betting that sequels will do more than trick people into movie theaters expecting the same magic as the first time. That’s only happened a FEW times, guys and you are paying these lazy writers WAY too much in the meantime!

other voices:
Seattle Times
Metacritic
Rotten Tomatoes

candybowl