Friends, readers, everyone: did you know that right now, at this very moment, you can go on Ebay and—for the astoundingly low price of three American dollars—purchase yourself an original VHS copy of The Phantom, starring Billy Zane, with a holographic 3D punching action cover? Trust me, it’s worth every penny, for what you will get in return are 100 delectable minutes of Billy Zane’s toned physique, Kristy Swanson and Catherine Zeta-Jones teaming up to kick ass, and some delightfully cheesy (if culturally insensitive) superhero clichés like shark pools, sky pirates, and an ancient gang of evil Chinese dudes.
Bask in its glory
Revealing my obsession with male beauty early in life, I forced my parents to rent The Phantom no less than 20 or 25 times between the ages of 8 and 9. Why they didn’t just buy it for me, I’ll never know, but now that I am an adult with a meager income, this fine piece of cinema is now in my possession, and oh boy did it age like the finest of peanut butters. That is to say, that it’s maybe a little worse but still totally tolerable and safe to consume. Continue reading →
Today I am going to take a fun look at a goofy character in a kids’ movie, because my brain has been stuck on possibilities involving the Genie from Disney’s Aladdin. Mainly, the fact that the Genie references and even creates things from the future, whether it is actual physical items or transformations into pop culture references. Now I know that, really, there is no explanation for this other than that Disney thought it would be funny to have Robin Williams doing impressions, because it is. But today I have decided, against all reason, to look at how the Genie could know all of these things despite the fact that most of his references are from the future.
Two months after my last Dragon Age post, I arrive for my triumphant return to the series. However, for those of you who may have been hoping for some thoughts on Inquisition now that I’ve had ample time to finish a run-through or two (or… just one as the case may be) will sadly remain waiting. Now, while I am an enthusiast of external media of this series in the form of books and comics, I’m not avidly collecting them. My friend, however, is, and it just so happened that I visited her this week. So when I say that we watched the 2012 film Dawn of the Seeker, I’m blaming the occurrence entirely on her. On the whole, Dragon Age maintains a pretty good—or at least decent—quality of media across the board. In my opinion, this film barely reaches mediocre. This frustrates me greatly because Dawn of the Seeker contains part of the backstory of one queen badass and lover of romance novels, Cassandra Pentaghast. The film even does her justice, but the story just ends up being a mess.
I’ve always been a fan of animation and CGI, so when I saw the trailer for Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart, I immediately wanted to see it. The English dub recently came out, and I’ve had a chance to watch it. Oddly enough this movie wasn’t anything like what I had expected. It’s not bad, per sé; rather, it was very overwhelming. There are a lot of directing and writing choices that are either clichéd or baffling. Someone (like myself) watching this film for the first time may not be able to follow the fast pace and references the movie makes without knowing the original source material. I thought the film was a standalone project, and was really disappointed by how generic the story was. When I researched the film further, I found the movie is more about the music than it is the story.
The movie is based off of the album by the French band Dionysus. The album, La Mécanique du Cœur, or “The mechanics of the heart”, started as a novel written by the lead singer of the band, Mathias Malzieu. Malzieu co-directed the film, while Dionysus composed the soundtrack for the film. It’s strange, since the film has a different ending from the novel/album, and I personally don’t understand why they changed it.
While the announcement of the Oscar nominations were a while back at this point, well-deserved grumblings are still going around within the general public about what was nominated and, in some cases, what wasn’t. Many believe that the exclusion of The Lego Movie was either a horrendous oversight or a case of critical pretension at its worst, but there had to be something about the other movies that gained them enough clout to be on the list in the first place. While I think a large reason of why Big Hero 6 made the cut was due to its status as a Disney flick, out of all nominations the one that stuck out to me the most was Song of the Sea. Animated by Cartoon Saloon, the story looks at the story of a young boy and his friend, a young girl who just so happens to be a selkie. Unfortunately, as this movie wasn’t showing in either of the theaters in my town, nor could I find it online, I didn’t get to see it as I had planned. But, all was not lost! This turned out to be the perfect opportunity to finally sit down and watch Cartoon Saloon’s other critically acclaimed film, The Secret of Kells from 2009, and oh my god you guys, it seriously deserves all the hype it gets.
Given the string of upcoming and recent releases of film, I don’t exactly have the most faith in companies to give audiences a re-telling of a fairy tale that isn’t completely white and just dreadfully dull. And, well, honestly, going into Into the Woods I had the same sort of feeling. Unlike many others here, I’d never seen any form of the stage production and only vaguely knew what the story involved (see: “something about fairy tales”). Based on the previews it just looked like Disney trying to grimdark another movie with Johnny Depp in it to make some bank à la Alice In Wonderland. While, yes, the movie did have Johnny Depp in it and was a little darker in spots than I think it should have been—despite the movie’s admittedly dark undertones—luckily Into the Woods managed to sidestep all the “quirkiness” that Alice tried so desperately to include and delivered on an entertaining, but not entirely poignant film. This may say more about the writers than the characters, but it was something that ended up hurting my overall reception of the film.
Growing up, my favorite Thanksgiving movie wasAddams Family Values, the 1993 sequel to the movie The Addams Family. You might think that’s because there are only a few Thanksgiving movies and the rare Thanksgiving episodes in various TV shows, but you would be wrong. Addams Family Values is my favorite Thanksgiving movie because the movie is very clear in its message that Thanksgiving is a bullshit imperialist holiday.
Now, Addams Family Values is not strictly speaking a Thanksgiving movie, though it does incorporate and critique Thanksgiving more than any other holiday. Like the first Addams Family movie, the events of the movie take place over several months. I’m actually not even sure if the Thanksgiving play that is shown in the movie is performed on Thanksgiving—I’m pretty sure it’s not—but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk about the movie overall first.