Stefan’s R&A: Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance

Also known as "Evangelion, New Theatrical Edition: Break"

[Due to the pre-existing nature of the film’s source material, this article has been split into two separate groups. The first half of the article is a traditionally written movie review for Evangelion 2.22 free of important spoilers that might ruin the experience for first-time viewers. The second half of the article is a in-depth comparative analysis between Evangelion 2.22 and the television show it was based upon: Neon Genesis Evangelion, and even a look as to how art can sometimes imitate life, and is targeted for those who have watched both the film and the original television show.] Read more of this post

Megamind

Science-Fiction, Action, Comedy; 96 minutes; 2010; U.S.; Directed by: Tom McGrath; Procuded by: Lara Breay Denise, Nolan Cascino; DreamWorks Animation, Pacific Data Images, Red Hour Productions

There are two things I’ve never enjoyed in Hollywood matter how hard marketing tries to make me enjoy them: Will Farrel movies and DreamWorks movies.

Well, that last one is a slight exaggeration. The first two Shrek films were enjoyable for me when they were funny. But the franchise was quickly exposed to be no more than a mindless and spiteful Disney mockery when their jokes failed to entertain those watching them, even if the viewers did tire of the Disney formula that DreamWorks was trying to demolish in their own jerky way. And as for Will Farrel, I’ve never enjoyed him in… anything. To me, he just comes off as a sick joke that’s trying too hard to be funny. Heck, I didn’t even like Elf, and that movie was trying to stay away from Farrel’s usual tacticks.

So why would I even watch a film that packaged these two annoyances together into one set for the Hollywood studio to throw at me? Well to be honest, I don’t quite know why myself. But I’m sure glad I watched the new DreamWorks film starring Will Farrel: Megamind.

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AKIRA

Japan; Science Fiction; 125 minutes; Produced by Ryōhei Suzuki, Shunzō Katō; Based on the graphic Novel by Katsuhiro Otomo; Written and Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo

The year was 2007, I was close to ending my first year in film school, and I hated anime. I didn’t just dislike anime, or was merely uninterested in anime, I had a burning hatred toward any Japanese animated product I had ever seen. Sure, I was into the Digimon merchandise back as a kid, but never saw any of the shows. And after seeing other stupid Japanese shows like Yu-Gi-Oh and Dinosaur King, I never wanted to. To my naïve brain, this is all Japanese animation was about: 30 minute time slots for poorly written merchandise commercials.

That is until I met this guy while volunteering for various stage drama activities. He seemed rather knowledgeable about film, so we got along very well. Then I found out he liked anime. I was dumbfounded. How can someone so smart enjoy watching such crap? Upon my inquiry he merely responded, “Oh, you just need to see good filmmaking.” I never told him but I spend the next couple days muttering the likes of “What does he know? I’m in film school. I know more about good filmmaking than he’d ever wish to know.”

He had mentioned several anime features, but the name that mysteriously stuck in my head was AKIRA. So when I saw the film on DVD at the school library I decided I’d watch it and tell off this otaku about the difference between good filmmaking and Japanese cartoons. I also picked up Koyaanisqatsi and Russian Ark that day just so I could build up a good arsenal of examples of what good filmmaking actually is. Read more of this post

Golgo 13: Queen Bee

In the commentary for Golgo 13: Queen Bee, director Osamu Dezaki and executive producer, Mataichirô Yamamoto, discuss why it took them 13 years to create a sequel to their first Golgo 13 film titled The Professional. I’m not entirely sure they ever really deliver a solid answer, even though both seem to love the character, the series, and desire to do more. Or maybe I just missed it because the two spend the majority of the runtime talking about sex. They talk about it culturally and philosophically and socially and fictionally, but mostly they talk about how they tried to use it to define their titular character whom, in the span of 55 minutes, gets at least four sex scenes. The pair mentions that they didn’t want to come across as just two dirty, middle-aged men, but I’m not sure they succeeded.

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“Holiday” Specials: A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlrie Brown Christmas

You remember this show, don't you?

4.5/5 Stars

4.5/5 Stars

So, it’s the Christmas Season. Or  just the “Holiday Season” if you want to be politically correct. I understand there are many Holidays in celebration this time of year, but gosh darn it, no matter how often the commercials say “Holiday Season”, the TV specials always center around the concept of Christmas; even if that concept barely has anything to do with the man CHRISTmas was named after.

So up until December 25th, I’ll be reviewing Christmas Specials. I’ll start calling them “Holiday Specials” once the climax of these specials don’t revolve around Santa Clause, Christmas Trees, or December 25th.

I though I’d kick off the season with one of my absolute favorite Christmas Specials of all time: A Charlie Brown Christmas.

This particular seasonal short film has always been non-sequitur with the rest of the batch of Christmas films. The main character’s always depressed during December, the kids are seen as the greedy little snobs that they really are, and most of the what the kids believe about the happiness about the holiday is torn down within the first 5 minutes of the movie.
Merry Christmas, people!

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