Unfortunately, Star Driver is an anime series that is not worth a full essay. No, the best summary is, “Modestly entertaining, but ultimately disappointing.” I expected more from the writer of Revolutionary Girl Utena. Instead I got a slight retread in terms of high school students dueling in some sacred space with the future of humanity at stake but lacking in the surrealism that made Utena a true standout among other shows of its time. Read the rest of this entry
It’s starting to seem like Joss Whedon and company are going for shock value with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics. Last year they revealed that the big villain of Season Eight was Angel, somewhat possessed by an entity humorously called Twilight. Or not. It’s still kind of unclear, and it’s not at all clear how it fits into the Angel: After the Fall comic. Then there was flying super sex between Buffy and Angel. Then there was the head turning death of Giles. Ultimately we came unto the end of all magic. Read the rest of this entry
The push for photo realism in games has really drawn attention away from games with great sprite art. Muramasa: The Demon Blade is a title that got completely lost in the American market, in part because of it’s being a sprite-based side-scrolling action game and in part due to its being released on the Wii. In fact, I remember being interested in the title before it was released here and then totally forgot about it until a friend brought it to my attention again. I’m glad he did because the game really hit me on an aesthetic level and brought me into the world of magical ancient Japan. Read the rest of this entry
Thor is by no means a great film in this day and age, but the circumstances of the movie make it a surprising one. One of my least favorite comic book characters is Thor. What fun is it to read about a god? There is little drama to be had there because even if he does there are many means for him to come back – more so than most comic book characters. I was not looking forward to Thor and have made it very clear, although I said that marketing would have problems with the movie. I’m silly. The Marvel movies are their own brand that people will give a watch at least once. Thor was an easy number one in the box office this weekend. Good for Marvel!
But the movie works, and that requires some exploration. Besides the fact that it was a movie that managed to balance its humor, action, and pseudo-drama, the movie seemed to speak to its primary audience of children born in the 80’s and 90’s. Thor and Loki were born into a generation of privilege. Their parents and the parents before them fought in wars and had to establish kingdoms or households, and the kids do not know how to be humble or ever want for anything. The results are arrogance and envy. Read the rest of this entry
Remember a while back when I talked about how tricky it would be to advertise for Thor? Aside from the commercial I posted, there’s no good way to advertise the movie. My deeper implication was that the movie would be bad because Thor is such an uninteresting character.
Thor is still an uninteresting character, but the movie isn’t just about him. This movie is about an arrogant brother humbled and a jealous brother empowered. The movie is as much about Loki as it is Thor; it is all the better for following their individual paths. I do not have much time to discuss the film right now, but I want to let you all know that Thor is worth seeing. Not only that, there are minorities included in the Norse Gods. The movie is slightly more progressive than all other superhero films. Well, if only by a minor percent.
Go see Thor! We’ll discuss it later.
Despite the middling reviews for Danny McBride’s Your Highness, the film is actually a well-structured fantasy film. This is hard for me to say because, in general, I do not enjoy fantasy movies. It might be the fact that it was a comedy, and it may even be the fact that they kept the pace brisk instead of spending time on showcasing the fantasy world they created. Regardless, it is a competent film that is worth watching if the viewer cares about fantasy and/or dirty comedy. Yes, dirty comedy.
I have no problem with low-brow humor. My movie diet in high school were the works of Kevin Smith (and Fight Club), after all. Maybe age finally caught up to me, or maybe my appreciation for such films reached its saturation point; but dirty dick humor just doesn’t quite work for me the way it once did. Zack and Miri Make a Porno would have been a much more enjoyable film if it weren’t so crass. Your Highness would have been a more fun film if they excised the moments in which characters swore for the sake of swearing. Four-letter words are best used in precision comedy strikes, not just uttered to make sure people are paying attention. Not when they’re uttered for the guffaws of 16 year-olds who decided to sneak into the screening. At some points the film sounded less like a crafted tale and more like a high school lunch table. Read the rest of this entry
This article is an interesting attempt at defending Sucker Punch. By the end of the article, the argument becomes weak – eventually saying it’s flawed but Snyder was at least allowed to make an attempt at something. But I do like how the author says that no one is using the movie screen canvas like Snyder. It’s true.
Now that I’ve spent my $7 and seen Sucker Punch, I can work on a letter I’ve been meaning to send out. Well, a series of letters, if you will. Sucker Punch is not the only film plagued by certain media problems, but it is one of the most recent. If you want, you can imagine this for other films. I definitely have ideas for other letters, too, based on the form of this one. Read the rest of this entry
The problem fans had with Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 became crystalized to me after reading the final issue of the series. Spike has a conversation with Buffy that likens her not to her past self but to Angel, who had a history of making tough choices while Buffy merely had to find a way to beat the bad guys. Read the rest of this entry
The subject line makes it clear that the best story I have read this year was in the form of a comic book. Surprisingly, it is not the usual superhero comic that I read week in and week out. Spider-Man, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, X-Factor, and even Young Liars are great reads but pale in comparison to a series that is fast approaching 10 years since its last properly published issue. Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman started in 1989, but non-comic book readers became aware of his work through other sources. Stardust, Mirror Mask, Coraline, American Gods, and even his popular adaptation of Princess Mononoke all pale in comparison to his story about Dream, the anthropomorphized personification of the abstract, and his unpredictable family. Read the rest of this entry