Saturday, November 29, 2008


How can this not excite you?

How are you not filled with the awe and excitement of your youth? How can you not be overwhelmed with nostalgia?

When I was a kid, probably around 6 or 7, I got up at 6:00 every day to watch first THE MIGHTY HERCULES, but that what I was really up to see was ASTRO BOY. And, as the impressionable young boy that I was, what I took from that show was that I wish, hoped, and dreamed... that I was a robot. For real, no exaggeration. I wanted to be a robot. A robot with a heart and soul. The protector of humanity and robot-kind alike; the World's hero.

I remember so many great stories from ASTRO BOY... the robot liar, the Snow Leopard, the Robot God, Uran's Twin, Robio and Jullie-8, and of course, the greatest of them all; The World's Strongest Robot. Stories filled with adventure, romance, imagination, and likable, memorable, characters.

But why is it ASTRO BOY resonates so much with a young boy, like I was? I think it might be that I projected myself into Astro... though a robot, he had a family, friends, and went to school. And while he eventually gained friends, at first he was picked on and ostrecised for being different... hell, looking at his origin, he was even horribly abused by first his father, and then the robot circus he was sold into; but he persevered. He questioned the descisions of adults and had a childhood niavitte that I could identify with; he just wanted to save everyone. Astro didn't judge the villian, but rather looked for a compromise. That didn't mean he was stupid though. Astro was incredibly smart, and after some deliberation, his positronic brain could come up with the optimum solution to any problem. Astro represents childrens empowerment fantasy at it's finest, because it emphasises the best qualities of a hero: Honor, respect for all life, seek compromise before conflict, but take decisive action, and most importantly, use your strength to help others. Thus it was through that projection, that fantasy, that I shaped my moral compass.

So as to this trailer... am I excited? You bet your ass! What I don't get is why other people aren't? While looking for the trailer, all I came across was petty bitching and moaning; people that didn't like the look of it, that questioned the need for a revitalization of a childhood classic, that didn't think Tezuka would approve of the use of computer animation... Fuck that.

How does it look? EXCELLENT. IMAGI is a great studio that's been slowly but surely tempering their craft, and TMNT, while not a perfect movie, was nevertheless well directed and had some pretty astounding animation, and more importantly, art direction. I think that Tezuka's art actually lends itself quite well to computer animation because designed with animation in mind; every single character in Astro Boy is simply constructed with solid, geometric, volumes and very little unnessessary detail, which lends itself greatly to computer animation (as a student of animation myself, I have to say, the simpler the structure, the easier to animation). My only real critical point is that I wish the eyes on Astro were bigger than they are. But look at what they show us; the tunnelling through the ground, arms flailing wildly, flashlight eyes, and exploding through Mount Fuji, are both lifted directly from the 1960's opening of the show. This shows me that they're being true to the character. I'll even wager they put the machine guns in his ass.

As to the need to bring Astro back... have you ever watched kids movies, or saturday morning cartoons these days? Have you seen what we're teaching our kids? I'm not saying it's all garbage, but... what do kids learn from fucking BRATZ, WINX CLUB, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, or FAIRY GODPARENTS? It's all vacuous, commercial, and mean spirited. Have you ever just HUNG OUT with kids these days? O_O Do we need to revitalize a hero that once served faithfully as a positive rolemodel for everything that one should aspire to be? You're damn right! And all the better that it's something from everyones childhood; parents should be able to identify with their children, and there's nothing kids love more than to have their interests validated by adults, rather than being met with a condesending, "That's nice dear." Children's eyes sparkle when you show interest in what they are interested in. How many parents can tell their children stories of a character they loved that the children haven't heard of? "You think that's something? Why I remember the time Astro had to save the world's Seven Strongest Robots from Pluto, the Strongest Robot of them all!"

As for whether or not Tezuka would want to see Astro in all his 3D animated glory? Are you fucking kidding me, here? The man practically invented animation the Japanese! To his dying days he was on the forfront of artistic innovation. If he had a chance to actually build a robot boy with a 10,000 horsepower heart, he would have. As much nostalgia I have for classical animation, especially pretaining to this character, Astro Boy isn't about the past; he's about the bright and shining future. The promise of a better tomorrow. PROGRESS! INNOVATION! HOPE! Astro Boy has already conquered every aspect of the two-dimensional medium; time for the next.

So get on board with me people. Leave behind your pessimism and anger! Leave behind your paranoia and selfishness! Leave behind your anxieties and fears! By embracing a nostalgic hero of the past, may we find hope for a brighter tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Trailer Time Again


I still have this horrible feeling that this movie is going to suck, and this trailer sort of confirms that suspicion in a way, as it feels VERY un-Trek-like... but I will say this: at least it looks like shit happens in this movie. ALL THE TIME. Like... shit just constantly happening. Which has always been my one big beef with STAR TREK. That there are usually HUGE GAPS between shit happening, in which shit does NOT happen. Anyways, I'm still out on this one.

Of course I'll still see it.


I actually already saw this, and I should probably give it it's own blog post, but JCVD (Jean Claude Van-Damme) was fucking AWESOME. It was everything you could want in a movie; funny, action packed, and a meaningful examination of the human condition. I really loved this movie, almost to the point of being moved to tears, TWICE.


FRIDAY the 13TH is sort of a guilty pleasure of mine... I also like some of the HALLOWEEN movies as well, for the same reasons. See... the hero of these movies are not the teenager victims, but the murderous killers themselves, who punish these kids for being stupid, selfish, self absorbed and ignorant fucking TEENAGERS. Notice how the survivors are always the intelligent, open minded, virgins that don't smoke pot or have promiscuous sex... their reward for not being idiot whores is that they get to see adulthood! Jason is trying to SAVE HUMANITY by culling the dead weight of society! As is Micheal Myers. Now, the one difference between the characters is that you have no sympathy for Micheal Myer's, because he has no real motivation to kill these people other than pure malice and the fact that he's FUCKING INSANE. Jason, though, is an almost tragic figure in that he's motivated by a child's desire for revenge. Born deformed and probably a little mentally handicapped, he was mistreated and generally abused by his peers, and cruelly murdered through ignorance and neglect. That doesn't make his unending kill-krazy rampage right, but you can understand why he does it... especially after his mother's death drove him even further into insanity (as if DYING didn't fuck him up enough in the head...).

Anyways, yeah... I can't really justify wanting to watch this movie any more than I can justify having watched all the others. All I know is that usually every even numbered FRIDAY THE 13th is pretty good, while the even numbered ones make no fucking sense whatsoever. JASON X is actually pretty brilliant if you look at it as more of a self-parody than an actual horror movie... and, as Parrish pointed out, it's going to be pretty hard for Jason to top killing an entire space colony... I mean, he could kill teenagers all year and still only fill a barn with bodies.


A homage of sorts to 50's B-Movie monsters and aliens... it really just looks like another uninspired DREAMWORKS CGI movie. Like... not terrible, but not terribly good either. The only thing I really took away from this trailer is that Seth Rogan is a fantastic voice actor. I'd probably see this is nothing else was on that weekend, and I had literally nothing else to do... otherwise this really just only looks like bootleg worthy viewing.


A weird looking foreign film about a time travel gone awry. This actually looks pretty sick.


Parrish and I saw this trailer when we saw QUANTUM OF SOLACE, and both got the same thing out of it: WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS MOVIE ABOUT? I have no idea.


After seeing that trailer, I can't believe that this franchise isn't based on a video game... because it looks like it's based on a video game.

I actually really liked the first TRANSPORTER, but the second one was a big pile of poo, so I'm hoping this one can make up for that. Either way, I'll see it for Jason Statham... THE BADDEST MUTHAFUCKER IN FILM, YO!


This looks pretty good actually. HANCOCK was really disappointing as a deconstruction of the superhero genre, but this actually seems to really get it. It's about a guy named "Les" who takes an experimental anti-depressant that he thinks gives him super-powers, so he decides the responsible thing for him to do is to become a superhero named "Special." (get it... he's LES until he's SPECIAL, ha ha ha... PUNS and SUPERHEROES are like peanut butter and jam!).

I'll see this.


I hate Tom Cruise as much as the next guy, given that he's a crazy douchebag jackass, and I really hate to support him in any way, but... he was funny in TROPIC THUNDER, and this Bryan Singer directed movie looks pretty sick. It's about an attempt to kill Adolph Hitler made by his own people. Like I said... I hate to support Tom Cruise in any way, but a good movie is a good movie.


I really like Danny Boyle, and he's responsible for making one of my favorite movies ever, SUNSHINE (for real... SUNSHINE is probably in my top five), and I got to say... I've heard nothing but good things about this movie, and the trailer looks EXCELLENT. I'd really like to see this.


Hey, know what totally looks like a better vampire movie than fucking TWILIGHT? THIS ONE. Seriously, I think this Swedish film has got the right idea of how to go about making a Romance-Vampire movie... romantic, yes, but don't lose the spookiness! This looks like just the right amount of spooky and romantic to me! I'd like to see this, but probably won't get the chance, because the theatre will be filled with teenaged girls excited about seeing FUCKING TWILIGHT, featuring efeminate pretty-boys whose "pale skin sparkles like diamonds in twilight." *Shudder* Yeah, they made the right choice.


A film filled with creepy looking Japanese-Horror movie shit, written by David S. Goyer, who has proven that he can either be really good... or fucking GOD AWFUL depending on who's directing. "Can you be haunted by someone who was never born?" APPARENTLY YOU CAN! HA HA! Again... shit like this is another guilty pleasure of mine.


More spooky shit.


I'd sort of go see this just to see Bruce Campbell in person... though I do like the line, "You need someone to face a heinous monster, and stop him in his tracks..." Heh heh... no one uses the word "Heinous" anymore.


Clint Eastwood once again proving that you're never to old to be a FUCKING BADASS! A bitter, racist, and hardened old man stubbornly refusing to admit his age, learns the error of this ways when he becomes a vigiliante to protect his chinese neighbours from a vicious street gang. Clint Eastwood is still the fucking man. This movie looks pretty great.


God that's a terrible subtitle... another guilty pleasure of mine, is that I like UNDERWORLD, which is hard to justify after the second movie fucked it up (that Super-Vampire guy was fucking cool though). I don't think we really needed a prequel though.


A biopic that I actually give a fuck about. I's gotta represent for Biggie, yo! Still... I can't believe they made a movie about Biggie before they made a movie about Tupac. That seems fucked up somehow. Either way... this movie will have a great soundtrack.


I can't help but feel that this film will quite possibly be fucking unwatchable. It looks like Frank Miller jerked off onto celuloid. Good GOD. >_<


Is this a remake of the 1980's movie HOUSE (I can't actually remember what that movie was about...)? Or is this a really off the wall theatrical re-imagining of the popular TV medical drama, HOUSE?