Apart from my reading schedule, the most media I’ve consumed in the last few months has mainly been anime. Since anime has comprised most of my entertainment diet, and since the 2013 winter season ended just a few weeks ago, here’s a set of capsule reviews of the stuff I’ve been consuming… Continue reading
Tag Archives: animation
Plenty of analysis has already been done on the top 50 films from Sight & Sound’s 2012 critics poll. Indiewire has a whole series running on the poll, including a lament about the lack of female representation. As I mentioned in the comments in my previous post, I had three big disappointments in this year’s list, which was compiled from the top ten lists of 846 professionals.
Newbies but goodies
The most recent film in the top ten is from 1968, indicating that virtually no consensus has had time to emerge in the last 40-odd years about what constitutes great contemporary cinema. It’s also disappointing that the most recent film from the top 50 is Mulholland Dr. (not a favorite, though at least it wasn’t Inland Empire), and that it came in at 28 (with 40 votes). By contrast, many analysts have already noted that the silent era is well-represented, with three of the top ten films being silent films made between 1927 and 1929, though only five of the top 50 (if I understand the list correctly), are silent, and they are, ironically, clumped up into the top twelve slots, with Battleship Potemkin missing the tenth slot by one vote, and L’Atalante close behind.
I’m very glad that the silent era is well-represented, and I don’t know that newer films are more or less deserving of the distinction of being in the top ten (or 50), but it does seem to be such a shame that four decades of wonderful cinema are barely represented, once all the votes have been tallied. Here’s the tally of films in the top 50 from each post-60s decade: Continue reading
The premise of Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai, on paper, promises lurid hijinks and innuendo: a dweeby high school student who does nothing but play dating sims accidently strikes a deal with a cute demon girl, and he must now use his gaming skills to seduce a panoply of girls, each of whom fits parameters ripped right from his games. For little boys who go to sleep with images of panty shots and inadvertent boob grabs dancing in their heads, this scenario would be divine gift. Unexpectedly, there is relatively little truly ribald content in Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai; instead, each seduction scenario spends a great deal of time dramatizing — empathizing with — the inner lives of the girls Keima must “conquer.” A series highlight is the paean to the splendors of reading in the arc devoted to Shiori, a shy librarian with a crippling fear of speaking to others, which plays like a segment of Disney’s Fantasia. The amount of time spent on giving the female characters lives and personalities of their own suggests a profound respect for them as individuals and women. Continue reading
Kung Fu Panda was one of the best films of 2008; it is one of the best films of the last decade. I was unsatisfied by the film only in the respect that I wanted more, and I wanted it now. Three years isn’t a terribly long time to wait for a sequel, and I’m very disappointed that the box office receipts for Kung Fu Panda 2 are not encouraging — it’s a hit, but it is not going to be a blockbuster, even when it finally turns a profit. It’s getting trounced by The Hangover Part II, the X-Men prequel, and (in terms of cost-profit ratio) the Judd Apatow-produced Bridesmaids. A third movie may happen, but expectations will be considerably diminished, which is a shame, because Kung Fu Panda 2 is every bit as good as its predecessor, and it succeeds in the key element that distinguishes all great sequels: the characters continue to grow. Continue reading