Film Review: Stop Making Sense


Live music is theater. Yes, live music is often seen in a theater, but they the act of performing music publically is, in some manner or another, theatrical. It’s a performance that seeks to tell a story or convey an emotion through music. Some genres of music try to lean away from this, like folk or punk (though arguably punk leans so far away from theatricality that it ends up accidentally leaning into theatricality). Others, like metal, prog, and some parts of pop lean into it, either through telling a deliberate story or through the presentation. Stop Making Sense definitely fits into the latter category. Continue reading → Film Review: Stop Making Sense

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Anime Review: Darling in the FranXX


So one of the things I did not know until recently is that A-1 Pictures is one of the anime studios that has benefited from the exodus from former Anime industry titan GAINAX (in addition to other studios like Trigger and Khara popping up in the wake of this as well). Consequently, a lot of discussions I encountered on the lead up to the anime series Darling in the FranXX started out as a discussion of the series as a Trigger joint, before moving on to talking about it as a sort of GAINAX reunion. I’d consider that analogy not that far off. The series feels something like the Anime equivalent of the Led Zeppelin reunion concert – the band getting back together to revisit their old hits (in this analogy, the newer staffers from A-1 Pictures and Trigger would represent Jason Bonham). Continue reading → Anime Review: Darling in the FranXX

Film Review: Stray Dog (1949)


Stray Dog is one of the earlier film noir styled films from Akira Kurosawa. It’s an interesting example of the genre, and it also makes for an interesting snapshot of post-war Japan. The premise has Toshiro Mifune playing a rookie homicide op whose weapon is stolen by a pickpocket while on the bus. The detective ends up being partnered with a veteran detective as they make their way through Tokyo’s underworld to find the gun. Continue reading → Film Review: Stray Dog (1949)

Movie Review: The Searchers


I never really watched many western films with plots based around Native Americans when I was a kid. Not even The Searchers. I kinda knew, at a fundamental level, that most of those films had something of a simmering undercurrent of racism that would leave a bad taste in my mouth. Even after I got older, and started hearing people talking about The Searchers in particular as one of the best Westerns, if not one of the best films of all time, I couldn’t quite quell those lingering doubts. However, after much deliberation, this year I decided to get around to watching this movie. Continue reading → Movie Review: The Searchers

Movie Review: Fate/Stay Night – Heaven’s Feel – Part I, Presage Flower


It is important to say this out of the gate, even more so than with Fate/Apocrypha – this is a film for people who have been watching Fate/Stay Night from the beginning. This, to a large degree, has to do with the structure of the original game. Heaven’s Feel is the third route of the game, played after (in order) the Fate and Unlimited Blade Works routes. Consequently, the story of the route has a lot less focus on explaining the Holy Grail War, Servants, or mages, because you’ve played through the game twice already. Continue reading → Movie Review: Fate/Stay Night – Heaven’s Feel – Part I, Presage Flower

Legends of the Force: Vlog – Solo: A Star Wars Story


The next Star Wars Story installment is out, and I talk about this film’s depictions of Han and Lando, and how they compare to what we’ve seen in the Legends continuity thus far – with the Han Solo and Lando Calrissian Adventures novels in particular.

Opening Credits: Star Wars Theme from Super Star Wars on the SNES.
Closing Credits: Chiptune Cantina Band from Chiptune Inc. – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvJtiGFudFlvYMfjiU1NKJg

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Film Review: Eyes Without A Face


Eyes Without A Face is a very engaging, but bleak horror film. Not bleak in the sense of the horror exploitation films of the 1970s, where the endings erred on the side of “Nobody survived and this is going to happen again” or even just “None of our protagonists survived” as was the case of Night of The Living Dead. The film’s ending does have a true sense of catharsis, and if it was narratively framed differently, it would end on a much more upbeat note.

To get into this, I’m going to have to get into spoilers for a film from 1960. If you want to come in cold, consider this your warning. Continue reading → Film Review: Eyes Without A Face

Anime (Video) Review: Carnival Phantasm


This week I’m taking a look at one of the few Type Moon anime *not* to come to the US.

Tokyo Otaku Mode’s Fate section is here: https://otakumode.com/shop/label/Fate%20Series

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Film Review – His Girl Friday


His Girl Friday has aged poorly.

Let’s start off with the fundamental premise – Newspaperman Walter Burns (Cary Grant) has divorced from his reporter wife Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) at some point prior to the beginning of the film. She’s stopped by the newspaper to announce that she’s remarrying, to insurance salesman Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy), and is going to leave reporting – having been burned out by the cynicism. However, this happens on the eve of the execution of a man named Earl Williams (John Qualen) for murder. Continue reading → Film Review – His Girl Friday

TV Special Review: Jesus Christ Superstar, Live


I’m not the biggest fan of musicals. I’ve liked some of them, but I don’t really get into the genre as a whole. One of the Musicals that has always worked for me is Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice – with the musical probably being one of the two’s best collaborations. The musical recently got a new stage adaptation, performed live on NBC, and I watched the archive of the show on Hulu. Continue reading → TV Special Review: Jesus Christ Superstar, Live

Anime Review: Fate/Apocrypha


Let’s make this clear from the beginning – if you’re looking for a gateway to the Fate universe – this isn’t it. While Fate/Apocrypha is set in an alternate timeline which would, in theory, free it from some of the baggage from the original work, this is not even remotely the case. I’ve discussed the first half of the series a few months ago, but now it’s time to talk about the series as a whole. There will be spoilers – so if you haven’t decided to watch the show yet, read that review first. Continue reading → Anime Review: Fate/Apocrypha

Film (Vlog) Review: Avengers – Infinity War


I saw Avengers: Infinity War in the theater on April 26th, so I’m giving my thoughts in a (mostly) spoiler-free video.

Please refrain from any spoilers in the comments until the end of July, 2018.

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Film Review: Heaven’s Gate (Director’s Cut)


Heaven’s Gate is a film that originally had a profoundly negative response – critically panned for its excess, both in terms of the troubled shoot and the film’s length, it was considered everything wrong with “New Hollywood”, even before we get into the reports that horses were killed and maimed in the making of this film to enough of a degree above and beyond earlier westerns that this movie lead to the start of the American Humane Society sending monitors to film shoots to make sure this didn’t happen in the future. Since its initial release, the film built up something of a cult following, which ultimately lead to the film getting a re-edit and re-master to fit the director’s vision for its final release a few years ago from the Criterion Collection. Continue reading → Film Review: Heaven’s Gate (Director’s Cut)

3 Possible Anime Cinematic Universes


I give a few possible candidates for another approach to adapting anime to live action.

5 Anime That Could Work in Live Action
Mother’s Basement – When Will Hollywood Anime Git Gud

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Movie Review: George Harrison – Living in the Material World


A while back I reviewed the documentary film The Ackermonster Chronicles – a documentary film telling the life story of Forrest J. Ackerman. The film conveyed Ackerman’s life in a way that I compared to people talking about Ackerman at a wake, telling stories about his life, and in my view it didn’t quite get across why, necessarily, Ackerman was historically important or significant. George Harrison: Living in the Material World, from director Martin Scorsese uses the same style of presentation, but gets that point across better. Continue reading → Movie Review: George Harrison – Living in the Material World