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.


Zoran Taylor said...

Most memorable thing about 3DotC: The Moment when Redford walks into the office to discover everyone dead and draped over computers and xerox machines, pouring sheets of crimson blood, all looking like the 1970s business-casual equivalent of J.L. David's "Death of Marat", scored only by the endless, incredibly grating and ominous repeating noise of a primitive data processor or some such machine left on for wont of a living person to turn it off. At least that's how I remember it. It's been years since I saw the film.

Fun Fact: The book was called "The SIX Days of the Condor", but the pace at which such events needed to be portrayed for the purposes of the movie medium compelled them to cut that time in half.

Ben said...

If you liked Adult Empire, check out Keiichi Hara's latest two non-Shin Chan films - Summer with Coo and Colorful. Both very nice films.

Was UY film 4 the one with the tree? I remember watching that so long ago... I recall it was the weirdest entry in the series, like the tried to top Beautiful Dreamer, except not good.

Aaron Long said...

Thanks for the tip Ben, I'll try to find those Hara films.

And yeah, it was the one with the tree that gets cut down. Definitely the weirdest UY movie, especially because the weirdness doesn't really add up to anything, unlike Beautiful Dreamer.