Make-Out with Violence

In episode one of the anime series Elfen Lied, a dangerous mutant escapes from a facility where she was being held, washes up on a beach, and is found by a young man and his cousin. The entire series revolves around their attempt to protect her from the malicious forces pursuing here. Of course, though, it all comes back to their initial decision to take her in the first place. Now, call me crazy, but if I saw a naked, unconscious girl on a beach, my first thought wouldn’t be to take her home to take care of her, but to call the police or someone else. You may be wondering what this has to do with Make-Out with Violence, but for those who’ve seen the film, I think you catch my drift; if you find a zombie version of a girl that was missing your first instinct should NOT be to take her home as a pet.

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Compare Duncan Jones’ Moon to Christopher Nolan’s Inception and one gets a crystal clear idea of both the divergent types of science-fiction (hard and soft), as well as the disparity in popularity between the two styles. Hard science fiction has been on the decline for (roughly) the last 30 years, and it seemingly reached its peak in the wake of 2001: A Space Odyssey and all of the films that followed. That said, even the films that followed and were influenced by it—Alien, Blade Runner, Outland, Silent Running—were certainly moving closer to the realm of sci-fi fantasy. To define the difference it would be hard to find a better quote than Rod Serling who said: “fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science Fiction is the improbable made possible.” Inception is clearly the impossible made probable by its vague technology, while Moon presents an improbable world made very possible. To probe the further differences one can look at the budgets and box office. Inception was a massive blockbuster, costing $160 million and eventually grossing close to $300 million. Moon was only allowed a $5 million budget, which isn’t surprising given that it was Duncan Jones’ first film, and it disappointingly grossed just a shade over that budget. Audience demand seems to ring out loud and clear: hard science fiction is out, and science fiction fantasy is in.
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From the Dustbins: Vampire Wars

The OVA boom was a wonderful time for anime.  Well, make that “a terrible time”, actually, because it was one of the greatest creative slumps the industry has ever seen.  Studios tried to rake in cash by appealing to the Western demographics that were wowed by the graphic violence and general maturity of titles like Akira, so they churned out volumes of forgotten pieces of trash that usually aren’t even worth the plastic of the VHS tape that they were distributed on.  I call it “wonderful” only because some of the greatest pieces of animated bullshit to have ever come from Japan were released as a result. Read more of this post


(artist's rendering)

You probably saw this in theatres last year, but I didn’t.  Whenever something gets that much hype, the thing in question usually turns out pretty crappy.  And even though this wasn’t quite the case with Avatar, I can say now that I don’t think it would have been worth the ever-growing expense of the ticket price just to get nauseated when the goddamn 3D glasses didn’t work. 

But that’s OK.  I saw it when it hit HBO, since I don’t even have Netflix and haven’t been to a blockbuster in some ten years.  Needless to say, this probably won’t be useful to anyone since I’m the last guy on the bus that watched this shit.  But I just don’t care anymore.  I’m so lazy and ambivalent that I’m not even including pictures in this review. Read more of this post

Ergo Proxy

Oh, the complexity!


Go ahead.  Ask yourself the question.  Why is a review for a cartoon series being thrown up here alongside all of this serious film buff pretentiousness?  I’ll admit, it’s an ugly duckling among the likes of more artistic live action or animated merits, and it’s certainly far from the more ambitious projects of Neon Genesis Evangelion or Masaaki Yuasa’s Mind Game—both of which are also animated works of Japan. Read more of this post

Legend of Zu

"Why am I in a film that makes no sense?"

Cecilia Cheung channels Brigitte Lin.

Directed by Tsui Hark

Hong Kong SAR; 2001

Starring Ekin Cheng, Cecilia Cheung, and Louis Koo

104 Min.

In Short: Tsui Hark’s ambitious sequel to his influential 1983 film marks a great leap forward in CG for Hong Kong cinema, but lacks the heart of the original. The immensely convoluted plot doesn’t help the ordeal, but at least the action is well done.

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