Cars 2

By | Animation, Impressions, Movie, Review | 2 Comments

Pixar Animation Studios is a studio that I have loved ever since I was little, and to show my intense enthusiasm and love, have always attempted to haul all my friends to every movie release since A Bug’s Life. I was even ballsy enough to apply for Pixar’s undergraduate program, which was met with limited success. Animation studios like DreamWorks and Blue Sky pale in comparison to Pixar in almost anyway (though DreamWorks did produce one of my favorite movies of all time, How To Train Your Dragon), but Pixar’s seemingly permanent position as perhaps the most well known animation studio in the world was not easily achieved. This year, Pixar celebrates their 25th anniversary this year with a Cars 2, with director John Lasseter (Toy Story 1, 2 and Cars) back at the helm.

Pixar may have dug itself into a hole when it began its reputation of making gorgeous animated films that packed great story, tangible emotional value, and appeal to both children and adults. Though these expectation for Pixar are wonderful, it acts as a double-edged sword, having recently caused Cars 2 to have abysmal reviews on RottenTomatoes and overtaking its predecessor, Cars (2006), as the runt of Pixar’s collection of films. I find most upsetting is  that most people who have hopped on the Pixar Bandwagon of recent years are completely disillusioned to what makes Pixar so great.

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By | Animation, Anime, Movie, Review | No Comments

Based on the one shot manga, Amon Game by Uki Atsuya, Cencoroll is a unique movie that confidently deviates from the standard anime practices in a range of elements, ranging from plot to production. There are numerous titles that showcase extremely original plot, cutting edge animation, or some other production aspect that aides in the art of effective storytelling. I recently mentioned in my Japanese ANIME post several series actually exemplify these characteristics (while many titles that do not), however, rarely do you see a series like Cencoroll balance all of these aspects and do it with such a unique twist that criticizing it becomes difficult.

I happened across Cencoroll while I was searching for popular anime torrents on bakaBT and was instantly attracted to the promotional poster. Intrigued, I downloaded the movie and jumped right into it and was pleasantly surprised with what I had found. Read More

Pokémon Throwback

By | Animation, Anime, Electronics, Video Game | No Comments

A few weeks ago, I had an unexpected trip down memory lane as I remembered the good ol’ days where Pokémon took the world by storm.

I’ve always loved Pokémon. I wasn’t exactly a Pokémon nerd who followed each episode of the English-dubbed anime (or the original Japanese anime, for that matter) or attended local trading card game tournaments, but I had my fair share of obsessions. Like many others, I totally dug the Pokémon video game. What is so fantastic about the handheld franchise was exactly the idea of Pocket Monsters. Teenagers could explore the Pokémon regions anytime and anywhere. It was a world that felt expansive and endless (151 Pokémon felt like a lot at the time) and was accessible all at the flick of a switch. It was a game that was super easy to get into and out of, with tons of people almost mixing the two together. Read More

The Incredibles

By | Animation, Movie, Review | No Comments

Pixar is known for their quality productions ever since Toy Story made it’s debut. While their animation style and animation technology are at the forefront in it’s discipline, Pixar excels at another, if not many more, thing: story telling.

With every film, Pixar releases a digitally rendered movie that is not only perfect eye candy, but also possibly a masterpiece. After the debut of UP, their tenth feature film, Pixar remains the only studio to produce such high grossing consecutive movies. Even Toy Story 2, a sequel to Toy Story, may have beat it’s predecessor in money and popularity. What I will talk about today is Pixar’s The Incredibles.

The Incredibles is no exception. While The Incredibles is not Pixar’s most recent movie, I decided to have a second viewing since it had been a while. It was written and directed by Brad Bird, a former director and executive consultant of The Simpsons. It stars an ensemble cast including Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox, Jason Lee, Samuel L. Jackson and Elizabeth Pena. The film stars the Parr family, who each have superpowers. After the government orders superheroes to live a normal life, Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson – who also starred in The Family Stone <- must see movie for the holidays), who formerly went under the superhero alias “Mr. Incredible” secretly relives his days as a superhero, behind his family’s back. The Incredibles was originally developed as a traditionally-animated film for Warner Bros., but after the studio shut down its division for fully animated theatrical features, Bird took the story with him to Pixar, where he reunited with John Lassater. The Incredibles turns out to be Pixar’s sixth feature film, and is the first feature film by Pixar to have an entire human cast of characters. First were toys, then bugs, then toys again. Most people would think that movies that don’t have humans as main characters would take away from the movie, but I find this assumption wrongly placed. I find that when Pixar chooses these non-human protagonists and antagonists, we discover the limitless potential and creativity that Pixar is known for.

I recently watched a special feature film called “The Pixar Story,” which was on Disc 2 of 3 in the retail packaging of WALL-E. About an hour and a half, the documentary shed light on so many things that Pixar does, for example, the number of people and the details that are channeled into producing a Pixar film is mind-boggling. They have entire teams of people just to work on the dust that floats by for a couple of seconds in the movie. Read More

Whisper of the Heart

By | Animation, Anime, Movie, Review | No Comments

I spent maybe 5 minutes trying to think of a witty title and witty catch-phrase that was interesting, but my uncreativeness reigned supreme and left me dissapointed (not that I expected much anyway).

So here I am, flipping through my video folder, trying to decide what movie I would lament about for my debut post on “the sighs of efuzzy n’ zuangster.” Of course, I had to pick something meaningful, since it would be difficult to put as much meaning, purpose, and information in a movie review post as a “Pentatonic Scales.”

So I picked “WHISPER OF THE HEART.” [please disregard the CAPITALIZATION – it’s probably the only way to emphasize something important in notepad]

Whisper of the Heart/Mimi o Sumaseba (耳をすませば | literally If You Listen Closely)

Produced by Toshio Suzuki and Directed by Yoshifumi Kondou, I was pleasantly suprised after viewing this anime feature film. After being pleaded to watch this movie by efuzzy in earnest, I could not believe that I put off watching this movie. Of course, Studio Ghibli has always, is already, and will always continue to pioneer wonderfully colorful, moving, and meaningful films, but I was always sort of partial to Mr. Hayao Miyazaki; and so after finding out that Whisper was not directed by the aforementioned master of animation (of course, i.m.o.), I didn’t really summon much interest.

O.K. Enough chit-chat. On to the not-so-serious stuff.

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