Archive for May, 2008

The Orphanage: GHOSTS ATE MY BABY

May 26, 2008

Where's my mandolin?

Me and The Orphanage… we’ve had an interesting ride together. It’s not often a movie takes me on a rollercoaster of opposite emotions and thoughts, but this horror movie managed to do it. I originally saw it back in January when it was in limited release in theaters. I plopped myself down one weeknight because of the positive press and cheap ticket prices. While I started warming up to the movie, part of the way through I began getting more and more disenfranchised and annoyed by the movie’s message. Then the climax happened and it completely changed my opinion. What kind of movie can DO that to me?

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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Whatever

May 22, 2008

I went into the new Indiana Jones with zero expectations and still came out disappointed. The Mummy is better, The Mummy Returns is better – and those are rip-offs! Murdering insects that crawl into the bad guy’s mouth? Check. A greedy dope of a man who tries to grab up as much treasure as he can when the temple’s falling apart? Yuh-huh. An adventuring bickering family jumping around jungles and trudging through temples? Oh yeah. How does Stephen Sommers have Steven Spielberg beat at his own game? Shit, even the names are similar. The dopey treasure-stealing man, played by Beowulf himself Ray Winstone, says near the end of the movie something to the effect of “What a stupid legend. A waste of my time.” Brother, you took the words right out of my mouth.

Of all the stories, of all the titles, of all the ideas George Lucas and Steven Spielberg could’ve used they decide on The Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls, a plodding yarn about ancient aliens with psychic powers and the Russians want their skulls or their spaceship and Area 51 shows up and the Ark makes a cameo and John Hurt is some crazy guy and Marion Ravenwood shows up somehow and Shia LeBeouf leads an army of monkeys as he swings through vines or whatever. Remember the Star Wars prequels? Okay, same fucking thing happened to Indiana Jones.

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(grumplet) Youth Without Youth: Film Without Coherence

May 18, 2008

Ohhhh boy. I decided to watch Francis Ford Coppola’s latest release, Youth Without Youth. That’s right, Francis Ford Coppola. The same guy that directed The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. He hasn’t done a movie in about a decade (do we count Supernova?) and he’s now able to release self-financed films that cater to no one but his own desires. Which, as it turns out, is a scary, scary thing.

ROSES

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Performance Review – Moonlight Mile: One Giant Leap Backwards for Gender Stereotypes

May 12, 2008

One of my favorite manga in the world is PLANETES, a down-to-earth, poignant, heartwarming series dealing with the issues of space travel in the near future. It ended too soon, but got adapted into an anime series. I was ecstatic and downloaded a fansub as soon as I found out. Ohhh, man. It didn’t capture the feeling of PLANETES at ALL. And what sucked even more was that people were eating it up with a spoon. And unfortunately there hasn’t been much else in anime since then to tackle the same sci-fi subject since. I was recently reminded that the anime adaptation of Moonlight Mile, which tackles a similar subject matter, was being released in the U.S. I decided to cross my fingers and Netflix the first volume, hoping that Moonlight Mile could recapture the same sense of wonder of space and the human spirit that the original PLANETES did.

(Note: Because of the nature of the content of this series and review, there’ll be some slightly more risqué screenshots than usual below. Be advised!)

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Speed Racer: GoGoGo!

May 10, 2008

Speed Racer. Speed RACER. SPEED RACER!!!!

SHINY

So I’ve been both looking forward to and dreading this movie. The first big budget Hollywood anime adaptation? (The Guyver with Mark Hamill does NOT count.) The zany Wachowski Bros.? There are so many ways this movie could and should fuck up. I paid my $12 to see it in IMAX (if I’m gonna fail, I’m gonna fail BIG) and plunked myself down 45 minutes early to make sure I got a decent seat. Turns out that even at a 9:45pm showing a ton of little kids show up with their parents. I gripped the armrests anxiously the whole time, my knuckles turning white as the kaleidoscopic opening credits began. Would the Wachowskis fuck up anime adaptations for the mainstream?

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No More Heroes: Head for the Garden of Madness!

May 5, 2008

No idea what the title means, really

Remember Killer7, that Gamecube game that no one bought and even fewer people appreciated? Well the kooky mastermind behind that, SUDA51 (he’s too cool for normal nomenclature!), released a new game for the Wii a few months ago. And guess what? It actually sold better! Hooray! But it tanked in Japan. Boo.

But I suppose that doesn’t matter. I bought it! I was one of the crazies that thought Killer7 was a flawed breath of fresh air and couldn’t wait to see what ingenious new gimmicks SUDA51 had up his sleeve on the Wii, a system full of ingenious gimmicks. Plus there was that absolutely batshit insane trailer that helped pique my curiosity.

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Solid – Iron Man

May 2, 2008

I didn’t go into Iron Man with the fanatic excitement reserved for A-listers Batman and Spider-Man but the combined talent of self-effacing Robert Downey Jr., massive-jawed Jeff Bridges and actually-kind-of-likable Gwyneth Paltrow – and a ton of anime-inspired machinery – left me excited for the inevitable sequels. Terrence Howard, who plays Army guy James Rhodes, turns to one of Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey) humanoid inventions, ponders a second and breathes “Next time, baby.” Not so much a wink as a goddamn heraldic promise. Expect War Machine! Expect new villains and heroes! Expect more of the respectful treatment director Jon Favreau gave to this character and world, an unusually more grown-up Marvel universe than perhaps we’re used to.

Yo how's everyboy doing

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