Thursday, December 25, 2014
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Monday, December 22, 2014
Friday, December 19, 2014
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Friday, December 05, 2014
Thursday, December 04, 2014
Wednesday, December 03, 2014
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
Sunday, November 30, 2014
Good morning Berlin
You can be so ugly, so dirty and gray
You can so wonderfully terrible
You're night, are devouring me
It might just be the best for me
If I go home and sleep
And while I'm walking through the streets
Black slowly turns into blue
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Monday, November 17, 2014
Friday, November 14, 2014
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Friday, November 07, 2014
This has been currently getting a lot of play, getting posted on Reddit and, therefore, Boing Boing two days later. I put it off and finally watched it, and about five minutes in, realized this was the perfect ending to my vacation.
But what happens here, besides being funny at first, and then uncomfortable, then REALLY uncomfortable, then just weird, then almost funny again, is it reminded me of something.
Peter Serafinowicz is one of the funniest people out there, but he's also super uncomfortable. The guy is always skirting the line between funny and creepy. Look at one of his music videos:
Which, really, if you think about it, has a long tradition in British humor.
Maybe it's because it's an island nation with an ancient monarchy, that's also hung up about etiquette. Who else does that describe?
And I'll tell you, the first thing that popped into my head when I saw that was:
It's been said that humor is the relief we feel when a conflict has building tension in our minds. Which may also explain nervous laughter; after all, the failure mode of horror is comedy.
I'll leave you with one last little bit. I saw this in the theaters when it came out. I was probably too young to really understand the implications, but I do remember everyone laughing at the end of this scene. I mean, uproarious laughter. It's not funny, really, if you think about it, but it is.
What did Mel Brooks say? "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die."
Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Friday, October 31, 2014
He learned classical piano and wanted to be an opera singer, and was the middleweight boxing champion of Alaska. And one drunken night in 1956 he recorded a song that you always seem to hear around this time of year.
I found this documentary while looking for another documentary about Ghoulardi. Watching it left me...Spellbound...
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Friday, October 17, 2014
Dan and I disagree on if this is a good film or not. I think it's an amusing romp. He thinks it's stupid.
Well, if it's stupid, at least it's campy about it. Roddy puts in a good performance, though.
I think you can still rent it from Netflix, if you desire. Pay close attention to the first seance! A lot of it was used for this track:
Thursday, October 09, 2014
*These ads aren't for everyone, side effects may include dizziness, depression, insomnia, drowsiness, obesity, vomiting, erectile dysfunction, sterilization and suicidal tendencies. Commercials are not habit-forming. Ask your doctor which one may be right for you.
Monday, October 06, 2014
While training to be a sculptor, Piotr Dumała discovered that scratching images into painted plaster could be a beautiful way to create animations. This is only one technique of a method called destructive animation, where one image is erased and re-drawn to create the next frame in the sequence.
Creepy, isn't it? Here's more in that vein.
Saturday, October 04, 2014
Friday, October 03, 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Tuesday, September 09, 2014
Saturday, September 06, 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Monday, August 25, 2014
Last night, I showed Mom Hyakugojuuichi. When it came to the chorus, and "TV says donuts are made of fat, kazoo..." out of nowhere, Mom said, "Don't touch my mustache."
You see, there's a scene in Majority of One where Guinness is trying to teach Russell how to speak Japanese. Specifically, it's how to say "Thank you" and "you're welcome".
You’re Welcome: どういたしまして (do-i-ta-shi-ma-shi-te) (don't touch my mustache)
So, there you go. Mis-hearing Japanese anything is nothing new. I tried to weird out a 72-years-old woman and she weirded me out right back.
Also, that movie is kind of embarrassing to watch now.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Friday, August 22, 2014
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Monday, August 18, 2014
Sunday, August 17, 2014
ME: It would be wrong of me to give you a yellow kazoo, wouldn't it?
HER BUDDY, IN BATMAN GEAR: I'll take it.
So, one girl got a green kazoo and one got a yellow one. La-de-da.
Huzzah! A most excellent show this evening. Kris* played a little pre-show music (don't forget he does a show on Wednesday nights!) and everyone was orderly and well behaved.
First contest is always Hard Gay, usually at the 30-minute mark, but we had to get our kazoo orchestra together (all fifteen of ya) and god bless if they didn't start playing "Also Sprach Zarathustra" (you were paying attention to the pre-show music!). Our winner there was an anime virgin (and for a prize, he took the Barbie book for a friend of his).
Camay walk went well and there were no sprained ankles.
The third contest...well, we just had a lot of swag to get rid of and so we had a Hard Gay\Camay mash-up. Mad props to the kazoos for playing StarWars music during that. Thanks for not making me take all that stuff home.
Best part of the night? Dan's reindeer\Frozen (and all of you singing along). My face still hurts from laughing so hard.
Bonus plus of the night. You guys were AWESOME at picking up after yourselves. I think this was the quickest cleanup evah. I'm still not sure about the reverse chairs, however. Did anyone notice a pattern? It almost felt like crop-circles.
EDIT: I was wrong in a post earlier this year. Our Quinceañera with Anime Fest IS next year. We're planning on a pinata, amongst other things.
*BTW, Kris is where I got my "Hey, you kids, get off my con!" t-shirt. We actually came up with that one while waiting to get into the room at A-Kon a few years back.
Friday, August 15, 2014
That music is Raymond Scott and you should know who he is.
It's a classic! You've heard it lots of places.
Here's the full piece, as played by HIS group.
Now, you say, how would I know that guy? Well, give this one a listen.
Now listen to this.
By the way, he was also an electronic music pioneer.
Haha. That would be more interesting to sample.
I'm pretty sure this was colorized. I've heard the tune before, but not with lyrics. It's kinda creepy now.
Huh! So that's how it's done. It's almost embarrassing if it wasn't so darn cool.
Really, this whole post came about because I got a CD in the mail and I've been listening to it in the car. I honestly can't think of a better soundtrack for my life.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Sunday, August 10, 2014
That's right! Anime Hell will be preforming it's 14th year at AnimeFest. This coming Saturday night, August 16th at 11pm. Bring a kazoo (or your own favorite instrument) and join in on the fun.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Sunday, August 03, 2014
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Monday, July 14, 2014
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Saturday, June 21, 2014
You see, I found this thing while looking for George Pal videos. Dan and I were talking about Tubby the Tuba, so I was checking out all these George Pal cartoons and on the side-bar it said THE TIME MACHINE (I FOUND AT A YARDSALE) FULL 84 MIN. VERSION. I thought maybe they meant they'd found a copy of the "The Time Machine" at a yard sale and it had some footage I'd not seen before. Excited by that possibility, I clicked the link.
Oh, but it is not what I thought.
There are others who have covered this thing. I have not read their reviews. I watched the first ten minutes, but had to stop, but then Danno dared me to watch the rest of it. As I've done some blow-by-blows for other movies, I figured I could do this as well.
So, I've got a box of crackers, a nicely chilled bottle of pino grigio, and a wedge of fromage d'affine. Let's do it.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
There's stuff we don't show at Hell for a variety of reasons. This one hits them all.
Warnings for: language, a cartoon penis, discrimination against poo, cartoon violence, alien breasts, (TRIGGER WARNING) a music lesson, fish slapping, intermission, turtle vaginas, masturbation, pseudopediphelia, unacceptable behavior, Hitler, cartoon nudity, suicide, lesbians (not shown), that teapot, Jesus, silent emptiness, and a haunting piano piece that will be stuck in your head for days.
Monday, June 09, 2014
For a first-year panel, I'd say turnout was relatively decent: maybe 60% capacity? Far be it for me to lay any culpability on myself, so I'll give two justifications for that. First, the room had only one projector screen situated in the corner, so seats on the opposite corner were likely to have a hard time seeing the screen. More importantly, it was brought up to me that the Bridgewater hotel in which the panel was taking place was a brand-new addition to the con's layout as of that year. The convention was split up across four buildings, only two of which had an interconnecting pathway. The remaining two hotels required you go outside and walk 5-10 minutes, crossing outdoor streets and bridges, and (on Friday) without any signs in place. Since the new hotel wasn't within line-of-sight to the other buildings, I never would've known that hotel was even part of the convention had I not been told.
I was also a bit concerned that they had panel programming split up across multiple buildings, such that there were three rooms called, for instance, "Panel 1" which was the designation for the room I was in. You just had to know "Bridgewater Panel 1" wasn't the same as "Doubletree Panel 1"...which wasn't easy because the Doubletree had panel rooms ALSO named "Bridgewater." The big sign in front of my panel room said "Panel 4," but it was actually "BW Panel 1." People eventually figured this all out, but my hope for next year is they just give everything a unique number designation, then state which building it's in afterwards.
Laundry Day (I'm always concerned to run things seen by millions of people; a few remembered seeing it but 2014 is the year to run Sailor Moon parodies)
Elvis Is Speed Racer (nobody seemed to know about Viva Las Vegas or pick up that the song was from Speed Racer)
Nuigulumar Z Trailer
Bowser Says the N-Word in Mario Kart 8
Saison Credit Card commercial
Katsuhiro Otomo commercial from 1984
Doraemon Akira style (nobody seemed to know who Doraemon was or what Akira was)
Pepe Deluxe - Salami Fever
Welcome to the NHK - Sato Discovers Internet Porn
Sailor Moon Stars eyedrops commercial
The Women of Robotech
Midori Anzen - Bunen commercial to encourage gaijin to come to Japan, where indoor smoking is permitted
Science Ninja Team Gatchaman - Murder Music (I experiemented with running all the clips in order rather than spacing it out...it didn't go over as well)
Turkey Shoot trailer
Turning Girls episode 2
Sesame Street - Cracks
Cock Puncher trailer
Bushido Man trailer
The Wizard of Speed and Time
My Friend God
Doozy Bots (didn't get too many laughs; I had to explain "those are SD versions of the robots from Mobile Suit Gundam")
Sivaji the Boss
Your Anime Superstore commercial
Superman Never Says Yes to a Cigarette
Yogi Bear Cigarette PSA
Game Launch Rock!
Chuck Norris Missing in Action
Sidekicks (despite not knowing some of those anime bits, lots of people seemed to immediately realize this clip was from Sidekicks)
Gdgd Fairies Season 2 - Pkpk Clones
The Cat - Cat vs Dog fight
20/20 - Nuts for Nintendo with John Stossel
Old Glory Insurance
Japanorama - Cosplay
Ninja III: The Domination - Ninja vs Golfers
The Ninja Squad - Ivan the Red's First Victim (after what happened with Gatchaman, I left it at just the first clip rather than show the rest)
Charge! Men's School episode 4: We Can't Lose to the Foreigners!
Be A Man Samurai School - Somersault Instructions
Look Around You - Slimby and the Special Picture
Domain of Murder - Finale
Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown
Sukeban Deka - Breakdance Fight
Monkey vs Robot
Danger 5 Season 1 Trailer
Chargeman Ken - Dynamite in the Brain!
Saturday, June 07, 2014
These and many other informative books are waiting at your local library or bookstore, visit them, they'll be happy to help you read more about it!
Monday, June 02, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014
Video was great, sound was better this year thanks to new speakers, tech went off without a hitch, room was filled to capacity, and we rocked for two hours. Shain has video of the crowd here. Here's what I ran:
The preshow included the songs "Stay Away From Downtown" by Redd Kross, a Lee Marvin PSA for Voice of America, and a song about a girl who had her little gun to protect little me.
- The TV Show
- my 2014 opening, "Teeth"
- Why do we like anime? Because American cartoons sucked. Like, say,
- Super President
- Mr. T
- Chuck Norris Karate Commandos Supercut
- Anime is obviously superior because sometimes small woodland creatures trip out on mushrooms
- Bannertail the squirrel
- action scene from 009 Re:Cyborg
- action scenes from Space Pirate Captain Harlock 2013
- Pokemon seizure scene
- live-action Kiki's Delivery Service trailer
- live-action Patlabor
- Patlabor erected in Shibuya home video
- clip from live action Gatchaman film
- live action Lupin III trailer
- live action Lupin comedy clip
- Vickie The Viking live action film clip
- Kanpai Senshi After V
- Attack On Titan with cats
- Attack On Titan Subaru ad
- Char Zeonic Toyota
- Char scene from "How To Date A Fujoshi Girl"
- Yamato bike ad
- Yamato 2199 clips
- Star Blazers Will Return After These Messages
- Lighter Jii
- Saison credit card ad
- Upgrade credit card ad (Sailor Moon)
- Toon Makers Sailor Moon
- Women Of Robotech
- Sentai vs Magical Girl
- Laundry Day
- Dr. Bees
- Dr. Brule "for your hell"
- Your Anime Superstore
- Eyesore Cinema ad
- Yogi Bear anti-smoking ad
- CG Peanuts film trailer
- Bring Me The Head Of Charlie Brown
- Godzilla 2014 trailer remix
- Bob's Burgers Equestrinauts
- My Little Brony
- Nuiguimar Z trailer
- Lea Press On Limbs
- Last Episode Of Naruto
- Devil Of Smoke
- Cartoon All Stars To The Rescue
- Maximum Hormone Stop The Winny Upload!!!
- Windows 7 girl
- Galaxy Gear ad
- Twain's Garbage Raft Rambles
- Shogun Warriors TV ad
And that was it for the night, and then we left the room so the tech guys could put everything to bed and we went out in the hall and had cake. THE END. See you in Toronto next May!!!
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Monday, May 12, 2014
Friday, May 09, 2014
Thursday, May 01, 2014
Mike is a penguin soldier who returns home after being injured during combat. Estranged from his family and friends, he leaves his hometown and starts to roam adrift through the country.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
If you were looking forward to seeing Anime Hell at A-Kon this year, don't. We're not doing it. No Dogsnack. No Hard Gay. No Camay Walk. No Kazoos. No Hell Nurse Katie. None of that.
I hear you asking, "Why? Sweet lord, why?" Well, we contacted A-Kon this year, at the same time of of year as we have the last few times, and got the following reply:
A-kon has for many years been shifting towards an environment where we do not seek out talent, we have talent beating our doors from panels to artists, and everything beyond.
Unfortunately this year I actually had a waiting list for groups and rooms starting in October. Additionally there was a last minute unscheduled change that leaves us without our largest video space for half of the convention, as it is becoming Registration. We are making due [sic] with all the changes but we don't have space between programming and events to fit you guys in this year, and our programming book has already gone to print.
In thinking about all the folks we had to contact to let them know it wasn't happening this year, I had to remember you, the fans. It's not that we've quit; we're just not going to be there this year. We'll be back next year and we're still planning on Anime Fest later this year.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
Thanks to Mike Kazaleh and others for sharing the love!
Sunday, April 06, 2014
Friday, April 04, 2014
Mark Kausler, Anne Chevalier, Zdenko Gasparovic, Max Bannah, Sally Cruikshank, Guido Manuli, Wayne Morris, Kaj Pindal, Hal Fukushima, Janet Perlman, Dieter Mueller, Frank Terry, Per Lygum, Paul Vester, Paul Driessen, Gordon Stanfield, Kathy Rose, Brad Caslor, Frank Nissen, Kazunari Furuya, Zlatko Grgic and Marv Newland.
ANIMATION HAS NO BORDERS (1986)
Mario Garcia-Montes, Julian Antonisz, Olle Hedman, Max Bannah, Roman Meitsov, Daniel Schelfthout, Shaila Paralkar, Mahjoub Zouhair, Andre Lindon, Marilyn Cherenko, Alison Johnston, Bob Lin, Kresimir Zimonjic, Heikki Paakkanen, Steve Segal, Frantisek Skala, Vera Moe, Michalis Arfaras, Robert Alder, Fernando Garza Tamez, Chan Sanwei, Vera Neubauer, Taku Furukawa, Oliver Georgi, Walter Tournier, Alastair McIlwain, Vincenzo Gioanola, Jannik Hastrup, Robi Engler, Tsvika Oren, Jordan Ananiadis, Jose Antonio Sistiaga, Peter Szoboszlay, Robert Stenhouse, Marcos Magalhaes, Peter Sweenen
ACADEMY LEADER VARIATIONS (1987)
Georges Schwizgebel, Claude Luyet, Daniel Suter, Martial Wannaz, David Ehrlich, Jane Aaron, Skip Battaglia, Paul Glabicki, George Griffin, Al Jarnow, Jerzy Kucia, Piotr Dumala, Stanislaw Lenartowicz, Krzysztof Kiwerski, Mieczyslaw Janik, Yan Ding Xian, A Da, Chang Guang Xi, He Yu Men, Hu Jin Qing and Lin wen Xiao
David Anderson, Elizabeth Buttler, Tom Gasek, Joan Gratz, Karen Aqua, Paul Driessen, Christine Panushka, Joanna Priestley, Craig Bartlett and Marv Newland.
ANIMATED SELF-PORTRAITS (1989)
Sally Cruikshank, David Ehrlich, Candy Kugel, Bill Plympton, Maureen Selwood, Mati Kutt, Riho Unt, Hardi Volmer, Priit Parn, Jan Svankmajer, Pavel Koutsky, Jiri Barta, Bordo Dovnikovic, Josko Marusic, Dusan Vukotic, Nikola Majdak, Renzo Kinoshita, Kihachiro Kawamoto and Osamu Tezuka
PINK KOMKOMMER (1990)
Christopher Hinton, Craig Bartlett, Janet Perlman, Stoyan Dukov, Sara Petty, Alison Snowden, David Fine, Paul Driessen and Marv Newland
YELLOW STICKY NOTES | CANADIAN ANIJAM (2013)
Paul Driessen, Cordell Barker, Lillian Chan, Malcolm Sutherland, Alison Snowden, David Fine, Chris Hinton, Jeff Chiba Stearns, Marv Newland, Louise Johnson, Joel Mackenzie, Jody Kramer, Jonathan Ng, Howie Shia and Janet Perlman.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Friday, March 21, 2014
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Dan and I were talking about this track, which I love, and how I first heard it on Marketplace, because I am dull and square like that.
This got me thinking...
See, I like Röyksopp, and I guess I like car insurance as well, because I dig this tune. But those graphics reminded me of something.
Oh, it was this thing by Pleix. Wait, what else have they done?
Well, OK, that's pretty horrible, but what's the reality?
Yeah, that's dreadful. It does work pretty well with the right soundtrack, however.
Just in time for Meatless Monday, too.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Look at this wonderful thing A\Very found!
It's actually part of a much longer thing.
Yeah, we can't show that. It's too long.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
You may want a blindfold and a cigarette for this, comrades.
Late in the last century, Taco Bell used Socialist iconography for Capitalist purposes. And somehow nobody was offended by replacing Che Guevara with a chihuahua.
Corporate HQ is in a jungle, how appropriate.
We don't want you to confuse him with Fidel Castro.
Khakis and a red beret and you're ready for guerrilla fighting in the drive thru.
Yes, it is a glorious day for tacos, comrades!
Beret tip to Comrade Chris for this VHS.
Friday, March 14, 2014
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Monday, March 10, 2014
Saturday, March 08, 2014
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Monday, March 03, 2014
As this was only showing the one night, I suspect we were a test audience of some sort. I was the only one who filled out a card at the start, so I won two free tickets (You can't win if you don't play.) but I'm not sure what kind of feedback we were supposed to give. There were no previews. The sound was a little louder than it needed to be, but I don't think the turn-out was as good as they had expected (and that's why you're supposed to advertise), so there were fewer bodies to absorb the sound.
Luckily, this presentation was with subtitles. So! Let's see what we got right and what we didn't.
What I missed at the beginning was the explanation that tools that are 100 years old gain a soul and become Tsukumogami.
Mom thought the kasa-obake were great, but she also collects frogs. The song they sing is basically "Here and there and everywhere. Get used up and thrown away." Our hero admires them before repairing them.
I was pretty much right about the cloth room, but the speech given is much creepier ("Am I still still pretty? Call me pretty. Mister, am I pretty?"). Once he's fixed up the ittan-momen, he asks to be released.
The final room, the prayer at the end was was on gratitude. "Thank you for your service." It was the recognition of use that saved him.
We never got any subtitles for the opening calligraphy.
The animation did a strange stutter at the start, but I think that's part of digital projection on the large screen. The kids are still adorable, but now you can make out the details.
What I did not realize the first time around was Matsuyoshi always wanted to be a fireman. When he first appears, he's holding a banner similar to what the fire brigade rushes around with and chanting "Make way! Make way!" When he sneaks out at night, it's to go watch a fire. After he's disowned (that still happens) he says he can be a fireman now.
The girl's name is Wakka (I'd called her Owaka) which means "water" in the Ainu language, so there's that.
Mom swears she's seen this story before, but not as an animated piece. We agree it's just one of those tales where there's probably multiple versions. We both agree this one has the best music and is the strongest piece.
And yes, I cried. Again.
Subtitles added absolutely nothing to this story except maybe people's names. It's still dumb.
FAREWELL TO ARMS
This had the most going on so subtitles added the most.
Gin (I'd called him Jin) has saved up all his money to buy four acres of vineyard. He promised to send us all a bottle of wine.
The brash kid I'd called Nobu (that's what it sounded like), but his name in the subtitles is Rum. The action is still pretty much the same for him; the only change I'd make is he insists on firing at the 'bot while the guy with the glasses is dragging him away.
Our guy with the glasses is named Marl (or Marle in the credits), but I thought his name was Maru. The reason he hits the 'bot with a green laser is to mark it for the drones, so he's not being dumb.
The 'bot is called a GONK. And Avery was right: there's only one. The underground was the original target of the journey, but they were side-tracked by the heat of the GONK and decided to take it out before proceeding.
Everyone knew about the missile on the train and they were going to just defuse it, but then the GONK showed up. As they couldn't disarm it, it had to be destroyed, but that went wonky due to being in a subway station.
The brochure handed to Marl at the end explained how "this is a rational war".
I will say, on the big screen, it's much harder to track what's going on. I can see a dub working OK for this (we're not asking for major dramatic performances from these folks), and that would make it easier to track what's going on.
All in all, if it does go into wider distribution, go and see it. It's worth it, even if it's only a little over an hour. Heck, take your mom.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Oh my god, I can't believe I forgot this! Well, here it is, a day late.
Yesterday was Tex Avery Day. Above, we have an embed of the wonderful cartoon "I Love to Singa", for which there was a fantastic writeup on Saturday Morning Cartoon. Go read what they have to say about it! It's got some great history. Heck, we've posted on this cartoon before.
There's also some neat stuff at Cartoon Brew and Loop
And now, I'm gonna show some cartoons.
We showed this cartoon once at Yulecon (we needed something holiday related), and it's shocking (looking at it as an adult) how many war gags were in it. Did we ever get those jokes as kids? Seriously, there's three war gags in the first 30 seconds and they just keep coming. Why would a kid ever laugh at a giant C sticker on the side of a boat? Actually, just go read that article and then watch the cartoon. It's funnier.
I have no idea why this is broken up the way it is. Probably to avoid a take-down notice.
According to the comments, this is Tex's last theatrical cartoon. What's great here is how the silence is used so effectively. The need to keep quiet was used that same year in Deputy Droopy and earlier in Rock a Bye Bear.
MGM Cartoon "The First Bad Man" (1955)
I am pretty sure that the first jail is based on the John Neely Bryan cabin in downtown Dallas (the map, by the way, is accurate). The cabin is not really that interesting, now that they keep the windows shuttered. It used to be you could walk up to it and look inside, which was actually kinda interesting when you're in fourth grade.
Picture distortion from passing airplanes! Oh, how far we've come.
Finally, "The Wacky World of Tex Avery". Mom told me if you can't say anything nice to not say anything at all, so I'll just keep mum on this one. They say the good die young; honestly, it's just they don't stick around long enough to disappoint you.
Oh come on, like I'd end on a down-note!
Friday, February 21, 2014
OK! So, yesterday, we fought a "robot" and decided to head into the subway. Let's go check out underground and the horrors lurking within.
Look, the guys even brought a little rover scout drone. Aw, how cute!
It even knows its name!
Deep in the subway, they've found several boxcars. Remembering what these guys did during the montage at the start, we can guess they're going to try to salvage something here.
And one of those boxcars has some plot in it. The music changes and people chat excitedly. No, whatever that is, they're not just going to haul it back to the truck. This is big stuff.
Oh, and explosions.
Someone is firing on them! It's another 'bot. This will be a very different battle, as Jin didn't have a chance to set up a kill-zone and Nobu is going to find it hard to snipe from the same level as his opponent. Also, Nobu's armor has gone out again. He's just sitting there.
Maru fires some grenades, but that might not be enough.
A different place, a different style.
What I really love about these critters, and part of why I started to giggle, is the sound effect of their lasers. I don't know why I get off on that as much as I do.
Jin has some missiles left, so he's going to set a kill-zone as quickly as he can. He might be more effective if he wasn't so spooked by the view of their vehicle outside and the smoke from it. I'll bet you Yankee's dead (he had no armor).
This thing is really mean.
The Chief tells Maru to go to the boxcar. Maru can't believe what he's hearing. Jin throws an electro-pulse grenade at the 'bot and it's momentarily paralyzed, but Maru has to puke in his helmet first (no, I'm not taking that snapshot).
Jin's taking pot shots at the bot while the Chief is un-burying himself. We can assume that Nobu is dead. Maru manages to make it onto the boxcar, which has power, for some reason.
The A-Train, it aint't.
The music is building. Something big is going to happen! The Chief frees himself from some rubble and uses his progressive-knife on a fallen bit of scaffold. Jin runs around the side from the 'bot. Maru busts open the roof and gets out of the boxcar. The Chief finds Nobu's sniper rifle.
Queue Philip Glass scales.
And then things get really unhinged. The roof on the boxcar starts to open. Maru gets hit by a laser. Jin jumps on the 'bot.
A worthy opponent.
Jin is vaporized. The Chief shoots a few more times. And then....
Not a minute too soon!
A minute-man missile comes out of the boxcar. Way to go, guys.
The warhead falls off, but the engine is still flying around in the subway, until it hits the roof. With nowhere to go, it just crumples up and kabooms.
The Chief and Maru make it out of the rubble that was the subway, but Maru's suit is still damaged from the laser hit it took earlier, so he has to do an emergency evac. A moment of relief that they're OK.
That was short-lived.
Oh no! The Chief is dead and Maru is defenseless! The thing is gonna kill him...and... No. It fires at his suit, but not him. In his struggle to get away, Maru loses his dog-tags and the 'bot fires on those, but not him. The 'bot tells him to have a nice day and starts to walk off. The 'bot should have a female voice when the dub comes, because that would be funnier.
You have to give him points for effort, though.
With everyone else from his party dead, Maru just beats on the 'bot with a rock. The 'bot's unfazed, but does take enough time to vaporize his clothing.
His butt looks like a kitty.
What else can you do? Maru picks up a warhead and runs at the automaton. Queue music. Queue credits. Queue my goony laughter. Final shot of Mt. Fuji!
Now, the fifth piece was not included in the final film, but here's a trailer.
Of course it's a game.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Buki yo Saraba "A Farewell to Arms"
This one is worth the ending, and out of all the pieces in this Otomo anthology, it's the Otomost. Keep your eyes peeled for fiddly things, things falling apart, and automatons where every bolt has its own foley effect.
We've got rock and roll, a desert, and an all terrain vehicle. No, it's not a commentary on the Gulf Wars, but it could be. It's just a bunch of guys in the desert. A bunch of guys with suits.
Casual Friday! No ties!
We've got the Chief (blond), Nobu, Jin (with the mustache), Yankee (Junkie? The driver), and Maru (in glasses). The roomie swears that Maru has an Osaka dialect. That's right; make the stereotypical intellectual the hick.
Don't stand there.
While they're tootling around in the desert, we get some flashbacks of them scavenging (salvaging?) various things. These guys get in their power suits and rummage around in the ruins, looking for guns or ammo or whatever. They pull the doors off containers looking for stuff.
No idea where they get gas for the vehicle or their snacky-treats, but there it stands.
They also have a drone.
The kids who watch this now are going to have fond memories about it the way I do for Robot Carnival. I'm kind of embarrassed for them, because this is going to look so dated in twenty years. This is the one they'll all remember and it's the one that will look the hokiest. (Also, I giggled like an idiot for the last ten minutes of this one.)
Anyway, the drone has some interesting footage. They've found something in the city and so it's time to drive over there, get into the “protect suits", and check it out.
Hey, Nobu. No showing off.
This is also where we get to see that the suits have “Peacekeepers" on the badge on the side. The suits are pretty nifty: both armor and power-assist with face-masks that are an intelligel that you can peal off after damage. I can hardly wait for the cos-play.
But the drone saw something in the city! Time to break out the heavy gear and go to town. Literally.
Don't forget the beer.
The boys rush into the city square and set up their kill zone. Maru sends some flying bombs on trip around the sky, Jin ties off some missiles to a railing, and Nobu sets up his sniper's nest. the Chief overlooks all of this and radios back to Yankee.
Because Yankee sees what the drone sees.
And we get to see what a drone sees right before it's blown to kingdom come by a robot. Yes, I know that a robot is actually controlled by an external intelligence and these are automatons, but I'm calling them “'bots" here because that's going to be easier for everyone.
Plus, look at it.
Maru decides to give away his position with a green laser pointer. The 'bot fires on him.
Nobu fires, but misses, so the 'bot fires on his position. Thankfully, Nobu knows that when you are the sniper, you fire, then relocate. This involves a little roof-jumping, but that's easy in a power-assist suit.
Also helps to have computer-assisted targeting.
Maru fires some of the flying bombs at the 'bot, but it's no good. Nobu gets another shot in, but a building crumbles under him during his relocate and the 'bot has him dead to rights.
With no power, it's just dead weight.
Maru runs out to save him, while the Chief watches. It looks like the 'bot is close enough to some smoke bombs; the Chief orders a full discharge to hide Maru and Nobu so they can get away.
The 'bot is just firing at where ever those smoke bombs came from, which is a nice distraction for the others to try to get a hit in. No luck. Nobu's legs aren't working, but he can still fire his gun, so he does. Maru just drags a guy to possible safety.
Finally, the dumb 'bot wanders into the kill-zone that Jin set up earlier. All the little lights turn from green to red and that's it. It shoots a few down, but...
With that out of the way, let's go to the subway! There's no way that could be a bad idea.
Actually, this piece is a little long and this is a good place to stop. We'll pick up more tomorrow.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
The weakest piece in the whole set. I'm really meh about it, but something had to follow a tragic love-tale. Granted, they couldn't end with Combustible, because that would be a real downer, but there had to be something to buffer that with the last piece.
Still, it could have been better. I'm just not impressed. This is the one you can FF.
We start off with three guys and a horse who have all been beaten by the polar bear. The bear wounds them, but does not kill them. However, the guy wearing the cross has a few choice words for that bear. The bear ignores him and concentrates on the thing falling out of the sky.
This is what I was MADE for!
Meanwhile, two old guys discuss the giant red demon that's being tended to in the house. Saving his life and tending to his wounds must be very lucky!
The big red demon kills the old woman and busts up the joint. He goes after the girl and she screams because, well, it's anime. What else is she going to do?
The next morning and the guys who were fighting the bear are having their wounds treated in the house where the demon was. No, the bear didn't do this. No, the bear didn't repaint the place, eat a couple cows, and run off with the girl. That was the demon.
One of the survivors is a little girl, who plays with a spider-lily, just like the one her sister (mom?) wore in her hair before she was hauled off by the demon. The little girl runs into the woods.
Can I just say I'm not even impressed with the animation style here? I really want to be, but I'm not. It leaves me cold. The watercolor effect works very nicely with the backgrounds, not so much for the characters.
Anyhow, the kid goes running off and finds a clearing of spider lilies. She flops down in them and pounds the ground. It's not fair that her sister got carted off like that!
Poppies will make her sleep.
This is actually better writing than the rest of the piece. The red spider lily is the flower that symbolizes death and abandonment. Just as in Western culture, flowers have meanings, so you can sometimes use them as a short-cut when introducing a character. This also makes it really weird that the girl was wearing a red spider lily in her hair in the first place. She was pretty much marked for death from the start.
Somehow, all this emoting distracted the kid and she did not see the GIANT WHITE BEAR in the little stream that runs past the flowers. He's eating fish, as bears do. The kid thinks she's going to die, but no. The bear does not kill her, She tells him her problems and he lets her know it will be alright.
Human tears are delicious.
The bear accepts the mission to go save the sister.
However! Lurking nearby is the guy with the cross. He's still hunting the bear and follows it to the...
Oh man, steampunks!
...Crash site, I guess. It's a wasteland. Maybe it's just cursed. The bear goes inside and finds the sister.
A fate worse than death.
Yeah, there's not going to be much saving going on here. We all saw that scene in Aliens. Enraged, the bear just torches the place.
Sadly, the big red demon shows up in time to see its house on fire, knowing its babies inside are dead. The demon and the bear fight. It goes on forever.
Seriously, it's the longest three minutes of your life.
The kid sees this and comes out of her hiding spot behind a tree. She knows her sister's dead, and she cries. The guy with the cross shows up with a special spear. He's going to kill the demon.
Spear sans magic helmet.
This distracts the demon from the bear, but it sees the kid and figures he can try to raise a family again, or at least get a little snack in. The kid decides to use prayer to fight the demon, but the bear shows back up.
Thank god for the Portuguese.
Some local lord (maybe Takashima Shūhan?) has sent over his vassal troops and they fill the demon with musket balls and arrows. This has no effect, but thanks for trying.
But the bear keeps coming! Go bear! That bear is going to kill that demon if it's the last thing he does (don't worry. It will be). There's yelling! There's drooling! There's fountains of blood! The bear is full of berserker rage, which is funny because he wears a bear skin all of the time!
It's not a life-changing piece. I'm sure that with a good translation, everything might be more meaningful, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. Visually, it wasn't that interesting and the music was pretty blasé. The backgrounds were nice, but there was no outstanding character design or stunning animation techniques. I didn't laugh. I didn't cry. I didn't feel anything. I'm only grateful the movie did not end with this mess.