March 16, 2012

More Mini-Reviews

Here are my disorganized, sloppily written thoughts on movies I've seen recently. I'm very busy with schoolwork, my next Fester Fish cartoon and another project I've been hired on, so obviously this blog, which is meant to just be a place to post my own work, is taking a back seat at the moment.

Crayon Shin-Chan: The Adult Empire Strikes Back

So great. What I've seen of the Shin-Chan TV series reminds me of a Japanese version of South Park or the Simpsons. But this movie is a lot more dramatic than the show normally is. There's still plenty of comedy in it, and a couple of fantastic, silly action scenes, but there's a depth to the characters that I wasn't expecting. Funky designs and nice animation, a lot fuller than I was expecting.

Anatomy of a Murder
Surprisingly light and occasionally funny for an acclaimed courtroom drama about rape and murder from the 50s. George C. Scott is amazingly slimy and creepy, and Jimmy Stewart is great as always. It's three hours long, but it goes by really fast.

21 Jump Street
Wasn't expecting to like it until I found out it was directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (the guys who created Clone High and directed Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) and co-written by the guy who wrote the script for the Scott Pilgrim movie. I never found Jonah Hill that funny before, but he does a good job in this. Channing Tatum is the real surprise though, he's actually very funny.

Three Days of the Condor
I'd heard good things about this 70s paranoia thriller, and I usually love that type of movie, but this was disappointing. It was confusing and overly complicated, and the big reveal at the end (spoiler: it's all about oil) is underwhelming. This would be forgivable if the movie had some good suspense sequences, but there were really only a couple of memorable moments.

Urusei Yatsura Movie 4: Lum the Forever
This reminded me a lot of UY Movie 2: Beautiful Dreamer, but it’s not nearly as cohesive or satisfying. While it manages to be quite atmospheric, and enjoyable as a series of bizarre vignettes, by the end the lack of any clear narrative drive becomes annoying. It’s telling that not even the director Kazuo Yamazaki can properly explain what it’s about. It does have some neat sequences though, and is worth a watch as it’s the final work of the crew from the actual TV series.

March 11, 2012

New Lupin III TV Series Looks Great

They're making a new Lupin III TV series for the first time in over 25 years. This project is going to be aimed at an adult audience, like the franchise originally was. They've got some of the industry's top talent and a lot of fresh blood working on this, and after all those formulaic, redundant TV specials done on autopilot, it looks like they're finally getting it right again.

It's apparently focused more on Fujiko, which is the one aspect of it I'm not that excited about.

But I can't wait to see it, because they're actually going a lot closer to the original, crazy look of the manga. I'm excited by the Monkey Punch look of these promo pics.

The second one is part of an elaborate website background, which is why it has such a weird composition. But I'm really liking the way the characters are being drawn here.

I never would have guessed they'd even consider doing Lupin in a style like this again. They've been desperately pandering to a mainstream anime, all-ages audience for so long I thought they'd never break out of it. But it seems that they have.

Starts airing in Japan April 4. Hopefully it'll be streaming on Crunchyroll or something so we can see it over here too.