Macross Plus

If someone were to ask me to compile a list of the best OVAs ever made, there are a few titles that would immediately leap to my mind.  Gainax’s landmark 1987 anime Gunbuster is one, and so is Giant Robo, which had its first episode released in 1991.  FLCL (2000), Time of Eve (2007), Green Legend Ran (1992), Cat Soup (2001), Key: The Metal Idol (1991), and Bubblegum Crisis (1987-92) would each probably have places on that list as well.  It isn’t that there must be anything of profound substance in a work, nor even any incredible feats of narrative brilliance, for me to consider it worthy of inclusion among the “best ever made”.  A lot of it comes down to sheer enjoyment, I’ll admit, but the compilation of such lists inevitably involves some amount of subjective preferences.  But there’s no denying that a lot of that enjoyment relies on things such as animation quality, the uniqueness or quality of the cinematic form, the adroitness of the writing, the development of the characters and the presentation of the themes, etc.  And while I’d certainly consider these titles—and others, probably—as being within the top ten or twenty, I don’t believe any has what it takes to be the best ever made. Read more of this post

The Guilty Pleasures Pile: Carnosaur

Science Fiction; U.S.; 1993; 83 minutes; written and directed by: Adam Simon; based on the novel by: Harry Adam Knight; produced by: Mike Elliot; Executive produced by: Roger Corman; New Horizon Home Video

Actual Quality

Guily Pleasure Quality

There are some movies that defy all thought and predictions. Films that go beyond the boundaries set for them by their contemporaries. Films that literally boldly go where no respectable person has gone before. (Mainly because respectable people know better.) These are films that are so bad they’re good. You laugh at they’re vain attempts to make you care, the silly ideas that are meant to scare you, and performances that no one, not even the actors and director, seemed to know what they were going for.These are the films that find themselves in our Guilty Pleasures Pile, and though many on this film blog have already thrown stuff into the pile, I’m going to make my first contribution in a while to the stash with a little mockbuster film Roger Corman executive produced en lure of Jurassic Park called Carnosaur. In fact, it’s fun to see how these two franchises kept butting into each other’s territory.

Corman was known in the olden days as the director who looked for one thing from his actors and one thing only: Stand on the tape mark, you turd. Actually, he was a wonderful guy to work with and lot of fun, but you had to hit your marks. He didn’t care what your line sounded like, he didn’t care how you did what you did… he just wanted you to stand on the tape mark and say your piece so he can say “cut”. 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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Dirty Pair, or Why Aren’t You Watching The Lovely Angels?

The magic of the Lovely Angels is difficult to describe.  There’s something irrationally appealing about the mannerisms of their characters, the intonations and inflections of their voice actors, and their general screen presence.  It extends beyond mere lines and color on two dimensional cells, and it’s something less concrete than the pleasantly eye-catching character models.  The infectiousness of this attachment blurs on the fringes of moè tinged with no small amount of the erotic, facilitated no doubt by provocative costumes, hot women in dangerous situations, and their seemingly effortlessly-written banter.  Kei & Yuri are fantastic characters, to say the least, as admirable as they are humorous and sexy.

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From the Dust-Bins: Turkish Star Wars

It's actually much worse than this, but the numbers only go so low.

1982, Turkey; 91 Minutes; Directed by: Çetin Inanç; Produced by: Mehmet Karahafiz. No studio listed for apparent reasons: no company wants to fess up to this abomination.

YouTube seems to be the leading site in plagiarized video materials in our modern age. There are many arguments for and against the use of copyright materials for educational or entertainment purposes, but I’m not going to debate that in this article. I’m merely bringing this up to compare it to the similar breaches of copyright committed by the Turkish back in the 1980s. Particularly, the use within 1982 film Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam, translated into English as The Man Who Saves The World.

Star Wars has had many rip-offs since it’s release in 1977. My film instructor personally knew a man who was cast to play a gold-plated version of Darth Vader in a space odyssey film that was supposed to be better than anything Star Wars had to offer. Odd that I can’t remember the film’s title, huh?

But none of the rip offs made by the States can top the stupidity of downright plagiarism portrayed in The Man Who Save The World. This film has been the black sheep of any film group since the day of it’s birth, and it’s popularity as laughter fodder has only been growing in light of its availability on the internet. In fact, you can find the Turkish film right here. And seeing that it actually uses the special effect shots from the original Star Wars movie, it has been called by many “The Turkish Star Wars”. Read more of this post

From the Dustbins: Ai City

 

 

A child psychic, her macho martial artist guardian, and an incompetent PI speed on down a causeway pursued by a butch female telepath leading a motorcycle gang.  Minutes later, the butch female telepath motorcycle blonde has been inexplicably transformed into an attractive, naked, amnesic, humorously lecherous woman that can’t keep her hands off the PI.  Nobody knows how this transformation occurred, but it involved some kind of shattered-mirror dimension that resulted between some kind of psychic clash of wills.  Later, donned only in the PI’s trench coat, she fights a pair of villains that practically stepped out of Batman’s rogues gallery, telekinetically ripping one of them apart before the battle is interrupted by a sort of science sorcerer that lives inside Robby the Robot.  By the end of the film, it is explained that a DNA-mutating virus was developed ages ago and it warped everyone into monsters, and that the child psychic was in fact a this messianic device that would destroy the virus and redeem humanity—this is explained, of course, just prior to the climactic boss fight that takes place in an unexplained gore dimension.  And at the very end of the film?  Everyone inexplicably time travels and the cycle repeats itself.  Read more of this post

From the Dustbins: Birth – A War of Two Worlds

Some two decades before Hiroyuki Imaishi made his directorial debut with the hyper-sexualized, over-stylized, action-packed short film OVA Dead Leaves—a defining work that collected nearly all of the stylistic signatures that would eventually establish him as one of the industry’s foremost young directors—was Birth (released overseas with the subtitle  A Legend of Two Worlds), spearheaded by animation director Yoshinori Kanada.  Years ahead of its time and ridiculously well-animated for its age, Birth stands as testament to the post-Macross era of the anime industry; only in that golden age of abundance could so much effort and money be poured into such a ludicrous title.  And I mean this with all the heartfelt sincerity and exuberance I possess.  This OVA is, quite simply, incredibly absurd.  And awesome. Read more of this post