Some time ago I was being active on Twitter and landed a quest appearance on The Greatest Movie Ever! Podcast (see, persistence wins out I guess?). I personally enjoyed myself, getting to work with one of my bigger influences Paul Chapman. I listened to half of it by the time I posted this and discovered that through the magic of editing, I do not come off as a complete dumb ass. We were joined by cool dude Thomas Pandich, who helped me relax with this whole podcasting game. Go check it out.
Writer’s note: I wrote this review as an extra credit assignment for an art appreciation class, hence why the format is different. The topics I focused on were the portrayal of the artists in the film as well as the relationships between the artists and their creations.
The film I chose for this paper is the 1996 biopic I Shot Andy Warhol. I Shot Andy Warhol was directed by Mary Harron, who also directed the 2000 thriller American Psycho and the 2005 drama The Notorious Betty Page. Additionally, the film was co-written by Daniel Minahan, who directed several episodes of the TV series Game of Thrones and Grey’s Anatomy. After viewing Harron’s film I Shot Andy Warhol, I understand the background of the events that led to the assassination attempt on Warhol’s life and the relationship between Warhol and his would-be killer. The film made me realize that the world of art still has a dark side to it, one filled with misjudgments and resulting tragedy.
An Anglophile is described as a person who is greatly enthralled, to a point even obsessed, with British culture. Fellow CotBF member Franklin Raines and I personally knew and went to high school with an Anglophile. She was obsessed with Doctor Who and other British television shows, as well as the corresponding actors. That is what her sci-fi intake consisted of and usually what was talked about daily. This seems to be a running theme with Anglophiles, to be into the same three or four shows from Britain intensely and rarely interested in media from other countries. 2012’s Anything and Something is written by an Anglophile who loves everything British. Even with that fact it is not shoved it in your face or down your throat. It is actually used in such a way as to get you engaged and interested in the stories and Kaoru Mori uses it to her advantage.
Anything and Something is created by Kaoru Mori best known for her titles Shirley and Emma. Mori has a love affair with everything British; seen constant in her works like Emma with its focus on the life of the title character Emma and her life as a late 1800’s maid living in London. In 2005, she even won the “Excellence Prize” at the Japan Media Arts Festival for her work in Emma. Mori is also known for writing doujinshi under the pen name Fumio Agata.
When it comes to visual style and thematic elements, I tend to uphold them perhaps above everything else when it comes to entertainment. Now, plotting and characterization are usually just as important as well, but considering that my time and focus has been left to shorter properties, the latter just do not have enough time to grow. But like seeing a H.R. Giger painting for the few minutes, visuals and theme can develop far faster in just a frame; making 2005’s Lychee Light Club such a pure example of quick merit.
Lychee Light Club is by mangaka Usamaru Furuya, who has seen a spike in English language releases the last couple of years with titles like No Longer Human and Genkaku Picasso oddly some ten or so years after seeing a start with his title Short Cuts in the pages of Pulp magazine. As a creative figure, I usually see him paralleled to mangaka Jiro Matsumoto, who I have written about before on this site.
I am going to be honest and admit that I am not a fan of western comics. Just in general, I am repelled by western art as a whole, like the works of Vincent Van Gogh with his weird textures, direction, and colors. I see western comics having terrible plots that keep getting retconned. For instance, this little completely out of context quote from New X-Men “Magneto: No, that was actually Xorn’s twin brother possessed by the sentient mold Sublime, pretending to be me, pretending to be Xorn.” In fact, I highly doubt I would have been any more miserable if I continued never reading one. Of course, in comes Franklin Raines to change all that and slaps a request to cover a comic book, bless his soul. To be fair, he did at least let me choose what I would cover. So, I went with the puniest thing I could find in his library, which is why today I am reviewing 2012’s Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse.
Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse was written by Nate Cosby who also worked on The Storyteller and Immortals: Gods & Heroes. Chris Eliopoulos drew the art for Cow Boy, as well as Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius.
Guess who decided to get back to this whole social networking thing? Yes, it was us. Because for some reason, Twitter seems to be the only non-Steam related piece of social networking that we totally do not hate with a passion akin to a long drawn-out metaphor.
Check us out respectfully:
When I go to the theater, the movies I see tend to break into two MPAA ratings based categories: hard R fare that tends to earn that rating through interpreting the term “adult” to usually mean gore filled with a ton of nudity (not always the case, just work with me), and PG where there is nothing content worthy to bump up its rating, using the term “adult” to mean requiring a few years of life experience and comprehension to understand or appreciate. An example of the later would be the 2010 film, The Illusionist, whose tale of an aged magician’s confrontation with his lack of relevance in the modern world is a film that children could watch no problem; the reason I think it is meant for an older audience comes from the previously mentioned state of mind a viewer would have to be in to interpret the intended message. 1993’s Matinee fits that second category perfectly.
Matinee was directed by Joe Dante, who I instantly think of as the director of both Gremlins films (which I have yet to watch either, should get around to adding it to the stack) and the creature-feature Piranha. Joe Dante’s filmography in general is comparable to how back when I was starting to listen to The Cure in high school, having that “oh yeah, so that is who made this” during the course of early discovery.*
In Japanese culture dating back at least a few decades, the role of a middle/high school delinquent is often characterized by often skipping class, getting into fights, chain smoking, and generally trying to act like a bad-ass. The image of a twenty–something looking high school scholar sporting punch perms, brandishing bokken swords, and kamikaze jackets is so well known that they seem to be the goofy but endearing equivalent to the American urban youth gangster. But somehow Japan found a way to turn these figures into an almost romantic fighting spirit that can be taken separately from its American counter-part. 2009’s Drop is perhaps the best recent example of a Japanese film that tries to add a comedic tint to the delinquent world.
Drop was the first full feature film directed and written by Hiroshi Shinagawa, whose connection to Drop is actually quite interesting. Drop was originally a manga series, as from what I have read, is an autobiographical depiction of his life. The manga’s character designer Hiroshi Takahashi has his work inserted throughout Drop, fitting since his past work Crows was adapted by Takashi Miike into Crows Zero. A little off topic, but I bet I could cover Crows Zero as a companion to Drop in the future. Outside of even writing the script for Drop, Shinagawa went one step further and adapted his novel Slapstick Brothers into his latest film of the same name. Neat how films like this one find their beginning.
Serial killers seem to be a popular topic in the media, whether it is in the form of Hollywood’s slasher films or prime time news specials. Audiences always seem to be fascinated by these figures to some degree, regardless of whether the madman in question is real or not. Today’s review, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, will take a different route into the world of serial killer films, looking at this sub-genre under an uncommon light.
Henry was completed in 1986, but didn’t receive a theatrical release until 1990, due to the movie ratings board’s issues with the film’s gory content. The film was directed and co-written by John McNaughton, who also worked on Mad Dog & Glory and Wild Things. The other co-writer, Richard Fire, worked on the screenplay for The Borrower and Bleacher Bums.
1990′s Flight 005 Conspiracy was directed by Toshifumi Takizawa who also directed the Crusher Joe’s OVA’s and Blue Remains. Character design was done by Tsukasa Dokite, who also worked on the Dirty Pair anime and oh boy, I haven’t heard this name in a long time, the bizarre hentai Cream Lemon (link is SFW).
Flight 005 Conspiracy involves Kei and Yuri investigating two seemingly unrelated cases involving an exploded space flight and a missing researcher. What has started as a strange case quickly evolves into an interplanetary conspiracy, involving organized crime and an experimental compound named Ignoal fluid. While they are at it, they receive the help of handsome detective Danny and grizzled grandfather Dick, who is looking to save his daughter and grandchild. All of whom are endangered by the crossfire of an intelligence agency split between factions of government and previously mentioned organized crime in the form of Dirty Pair mainstay Lucifer.
Super Robot anime has two immediate appeals in this modern era. The first, being fantastic opening theme music and the second, which I will go into more detail later, is accessibility. Super group Jam Project is a great example of outstanding music, its founders, Ichirou Misuki, Hironubo Kageyama (Whom some of us at CotBF affectionately address as “Japanese Bon Jovi”.), and Massaki Endo have individual music that deserves to open this review. Watch all three of these openings and try to pick up on the pump-you-up feel as it just dares you to scream out an attack name. Now image a group made of singers all working the same level of excitement? I consider 2010’s Mazinkaiser SKL (Actually, this time instead of the aforementioned Jam Project, Mazinkaiser SKL’s opening is performed by the tonally more appropriate metal band known as Loudness) to be a perfect example of Super Robot anime and the inherent pick-up-and-go that shows like this champion.
Mazinkaizer SKL is directed by Jun Kawgoe with company Dynamic Planning, who I know as a company hell-bend on producing countless anime adaptions of mangaka. Go Nagio’s huge catalog of giant robot and random perverse demon/angel/demon angel material helped materialize such shows like Getter Robo Armageddon and New Getter Robo. Jun Kawgoe also directed the awesome but seemly ignored Cyborg 009 The Cyborg Solider.
Warning: Starting with MazinKaizer SKL, we are starting to occasionally cover Blu-Rays. Problem is, we have no idea how to make effective Blu-Ray screen caps (we looked up ways, but they did not help/required the out of our budget AnyDVD HD). This means we are going back to the old days when we used to take images off our T.V.s with our phones. So if they look fuzzy to you, they look just as fuzzy to us as well.
Boy geniuses have been the subject of many different types of media, like Dexter’s Lab and Jimmy Neutron. While both Dexter’s Lab and Jimmy Neutron are enjoyable to some they are limited due to censors and target demographic. Enter the 1999’s The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius, ready to break the mold and take you by the throat. Since it is made for adults, there is an upped level of insanity, subject matter, and writing, all while being serious with a subtle under tone of sincerity. This comic aims to take the idea of a young boy genius and ramp everything up to eleven.
Barry Ween is created by Judd Winick, who readers might know from his Cartoon Network series, The Life and Times of Juniper Lee. In 2010, he also worked on the screenplay for the DC animated film, Batman: Under the Red Hood.
Affair of Nolandia was directed by Masaharu Okuwaki, whose repertoire also includes Aishiteruze Baby, Cat’s Eye, and MÄR. Animation director is Yukari Kobayashi, who has worked on Lovely Complex and Gokujou. Notably, as this is Kobayashi first and only trek into the Dirty Pair franchise, the character designs in Affair of Nolandia look slightly different.
Affair of Nolandia finds the Lovely Angels sent to the planet Ookbar to protect a young girl named Missnie. Unfortunately, by the time the duo arrives at Ookbar, Missnie’s caretaker has been murdered and Missnie herself has been kidnapped. After dealing with the planet’s protective Chief of Security named Samara, Yuri and Kei’s traverse to the only place under Ookbar’s clouds with a maintainable ecosystem, the Nolandia Forest. After many ESP-induced mishaps occur during the trek around the forest, the duo are finally able to find Missnie, only to learn that she is naught but a small aspect of a much larger plan soon to unravel.