jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
1. Life doesn't give you seat belts (but they're a good idea anyway)
2. Everyone loves lobster thermidor.
3. Octogenarians can be superheroes too.
4. Orphans gotta stick together.
5. Sometimes "I hate you" is the nicest thing to say.

Overall it's not quite as good as the LEGO Movie, but that's only because they opted to ease back from the Joke-Every-Ten-Seconds format to actually try for some emotional depth. Which leads to...

6. Out of SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS of screen adaptations of Batman, this is the only one where he ACTUALLY DEALS WITH HIS DAMNED PROBLEMS
jeriendhal: (WTF)
Specifically Hopps/Wesker shipping fanart.

No I'm not linking to the art. Give me some credit for taste.
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
The Martian, by Andy Weir: In this debut novel by the creator of the webcomic Casey And Andy, potty mouthed astronaut Mark Watney finds himself the only living soul on Mars (aside from some fortuitous potatoes), after a chain of events force the rest of his landing team to abandon him for dead when a massive dust storm interrupts their mission.

Review: This manages to be a rarity, a rock hard science fiction novel that's also gripping and with good characters. Almost all the science checks out and Mark is a fun guy to listen to as he bitches and MacGuyver's his own survival, trying to stay alive for the four years until the next mission can reach him.

Highly Recommended.


Big Hero 6: Fourteen year old genius inventor Hiro Hameda must find out who a mysterious man in a Kabuki mask is who is menacing his hometown of San Frantokyo, with the help an inflatable medical robot built by his late brother Tadashi, and the local "Nerd Lab" at a nearby university.

Review: From a silly premise this Anime Meets Marvel/Disney/Pixar is surprisingly deep, with the grief of a loved one's loss driving Hiro and the villain into questionable actions. The members of the "Nerd LAb" are less well developed, but once I realized Disney was deliberately doing their own version of an anime Super Sentai "Science Team" I got into it.

And good lord the set designers went whacko creating this crossover between Tokyo and San Francisco.

Recommended.
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
The old Star Blazers themre redone using clips from the remake series of Yamato

jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
Given it's been about forty years since the demise of Star Trek: The Animated Series, and the recent success of the Star Trek film reboot, is there any particular reason why Paramount hasn't expanded one of their most successful franchises into animation again, even as made for DVD movies?
jeriendhal: (Grumpy)
Stop motion pioneer Ray Harryhausen has died today at age 92.

These days, in an era where even the crappiest movie can have dazzling CGI special effects, it's hard to understand how amazing RH's carefully crafted, mostly one man stop motion effects must have appeared when they first came to the screen. After Star Wars premiered, his era of stop-motion essentially ended, though full stop motion features from Nick Park and others would still have a niche in entertainment.

The first of his films I was ever aware of was sadly the last he worked on, Clash of the Titans. When I got older and his catalog became available on DVD I started seeking out the others. These days, my favorites are probably The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, the first for its sense of high adventure, the latter for its almost perfect distillation of 50's ear pulp sci-fi tropes.

What are yours?
jeriendhal: (Ears)
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Nelvana's 1979 22 minute epic Intergalactic Thanksgiving (Please Don't Eat the Planet). Proof once again that Canada really, really hates its neighbor down south (or they really hate their own Thanksgiving holiday).

jeriendhal: (Whatever)
This has been bugging me this afternoon for no particular reason. I have a memory of an animated special that I saw one Thanksgiving Day afternoon waaaaaaay back in the late 70's or early eighties (more likely the former). My brain wants to say it was on one of the Big Three networks, but they would have had football on, so it's more likely to have been the counter-programming WDCA Channel 20 always showed (which usually involved playing an animated version of Return to Oz for some reason). For life of me I can't remember the name of the special or the plot, but I do remember:

1. It involved settlers heading out to another planet in rocket powered covered wagons.

2. There was a line in the opening song that referred to "That mess we left behind." which makes me inclined to think there was an eco-friendly message in the show, which would make sense for the time period (remember when being ecology-minded was non political?)

I remember absolutely nothing else about this show, except that it existed, and I only saw it once.
jeriendhal: (Muppets)
No, you probably don't know who he is, but if you ever heard a familiar young boy's voice in a cartoon, he was the one you were listening to. Here's a classic example.

jeriendhal: (Grumpy)
Is there any chance it'll go back? [/snark]
jeriendhal: (Mayhem)
Summary: In the wake of Arkham Asylum's destruction after the Joker's attempted takeover, an aging section of Gotham City has been walled off for Arkham's former residents and the prisoners of Blackgate Prison. Now three gangs fight for control of the city under the direction of The Penguin, Two Face and a deathly ill Joker, who is suffering from the poisonous effects of the Titan overdose he experienced at the end of the last game.

Now, on a snowy night, Batman tries to discover what Arkham City's director, Dr. Hugo Strange is up to, while his sometimes love interest Cat Woman pursues an agenda of her own.

Darker and Edgier doesn't quite cover it )
jeriendhal: (Default)
Okay, it's actually the first animated adaptation of Tintin, a Belgian stop-motion film that was shown exactly once and then yanked before it got a proper release, to only be seen at the Herge museum.



Or if that's not odd enough for you, how about a live-action version of Tintin?



At this point I'd rather not hear any complaints about the quality of the latest Spielberg movie...
jeriendhal: (Default)
Summary: Intrepid boy reporter, Tintin, buys a model ship at a flea market and finds himself the target of nefarious gangsters on the search for a treasure lost for hundreds of years. On the way, he hooks up with the drunkard Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis), ancestor to the disgraced Sir Francis Haddock, who's ancient secret holds the key to The Secret of the Unicorn

Great Snakes, Snowy! We've been motion captured! )
jeriendhal: (Default)
Gacked from [livejournal.com profile] elfs

I can't imagine how scandalized those critics who were relieved to have something that was mild enough to not excite their kids would've been if they'd stopped for a second and realized what was actually going on. The very first rule of Scooby-Doo, the single premise that sits at the heart of their adventures, is that the world is full of grown-ups who lie to kids, and that it's up to those kids to figure out what those lies are and call them on it, even if there are other adults who believe those lies with every fiber of their being. And the way that you win isn't through supernatural powers, or even through fighting. The way that you win is by doing the most dangerous thing that any person being lied to by someone in power can do: You think.

-Chris Sims
jeriendhal: (Default)
Summer Wars:

"Please, tell me you didn't break the Internet."

Summary: Kenji, a certified eleventh grade math genius and junior administrator for OZ, a virtual Second Life type world where much of private and government administration is done these days, gets roped into going with his crush Sasuke to her family's big weekend birthday bash for her 90 year old grandmother. After meeting with her extended family at the ancient castle that's all that's left of their family wealth, he gets a mysterious math problem e-mailed to his cell phone. He manages to solve it, which unfortunately allows a virus-like AI called "Love Machine" to break through OZ's security and start taking control of millions of user accounts.

Review: This is what you get when a family drama meet Wargames and it works. The family in their castle is a microcosm for the greater virtual world of OZ and its community, both of them messy and complicated and difficult to organize, but when faced with a dire problem willing to put their shoulders together and come together to find a solution.

Mind you, there are a couple of points when you want to strangle a couple of Sasuke's family, especially the her uncle the cop, but every family has a guy like that.

Recommended.


Tokyo Godfathers

"The baby? A gift from God."

Summary: On Christmas Day in the slums of Tokyo, three homeless people, Gin, a bitter middle-aged man, Hana, an ex-drag queen and Miyuki, a sixteen year-old girl, find a baby abandoned in the garbage and go on a wandering quest through the streets to return her to her parents.

Review: Even for an anime, which tackle a wider variety of subjects than their more cautious Western counterparts, this is a pretty odd and very adult movie. Inspired by director John Ford's The Three Godfathers, Tokyo Godfathers takes a sharp look at Japan's homeless, and what makes them slip through the cracks of society to fall to the bottom, to be cold and hungry at best and randomly abused at worst, but mostly ignored.

That said, it's not a humorless movie. The drama is strong but so is the comedy as Gin, Hana and Muyuki bitch at each other even as they come together to search for the baby's parents. That and it is a Christmas movie, which gives the scriptwriters excuse to pile coincidence upon coincidence as the three conduct their search, justified by the time of year and their almost literal Mission From God. But the coincidences are (mostly) plausible, with only one outright miracle, besides the baby herself of course.

Recommended.
jeriendhal: (Dies!)
No, that above sentence doesn't parse for me either.

Nevertheless, Seth (Family Guy, American Dad) McFarlane is going to produce Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey for FOX television, billing it as a sequel to Carl Sagan's classic series.

Funny, I'm pretty the calendar says August 8th, not April 1st.
jeriendhal: (Default)
Here's a curiousity, a short pilot for a proposed update to "The Wacky Races" cartoon produced but never picked up by Cartoon Network. No Ant Hill Mob, alas.

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