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"Lupin the 3rd Missed by a Dollar": The One Where Lupin Dies

I must confess, even as an ardent fan, that once you’ve seen a dozen or more Lupin the 3rd films many of them begin to blend together. That’s not to say Lupin‘s highly entertaining formula of priceless historical treasures, nefarious schemes, and goofy slapstick is a bad thing, just that like the Bond franchise it […]

"Cromartie High The Movie": You've Seen the Anime, Now See It Again

If one conducted an international survey to determine the defining traits of the Japanese people, I suspect very few would propose “funny.” Japanese films distributed abroad are almost invariably of a serious nature, traditionally dramas and recently more and more horror. The only Japanese TV that crosses the oceans is anime, which contains a large […]

"Ultimate Avengers 2": Redundancies Assemble!

The first Ultimate Avengers DTV film represented a big step in the right direction for Marvel Comics animation. Not only were the smooth animation and thrilling fights perhaps the best the Marvel universe has ever enjoyed, but at a time when rival DC’s superhero cartoons are skewing younger and younger UA endeavored to appeal across […]

"The Legend of Prince Valiant Volume 1": A Series Fit for a King

Once upon a time the newspaper comic strip sections were robust and full of not only the usual comedy but also action adventure. Though it has a lower profile today, one of the most famous such strips is “Prince Valiant,” which has portrayed the dashing exploits of a young Arthurian knight since 1937. Though there […]

"The Pink Panther": The Case of the Missing Laughs

There’s no such thing as a sure thing in Hollywood, but the odds were stacked heavily in The Pink Panther‘s favor. It boasts not only one of the most beloved comedic characters in film but also two formidable comedic talents in stars Steve Martin and Kevin Kline. Oh, and, uh, Cheaper by the Dozen director […]

"Hoodwinked": Won't be Fooled Again

I’m all for giving the little guy a shot in Hollywood. If more projects originated outside the major studios the screen would probably see more creativity, a trait sadly lacking in animated family features of late. However, sometimes the little guy gets in way over his head, as is the case in the very disappointing […]

"Galaxy Railways Volume 5 Manabu's Decision": The Majority Rules

Recently my day was made and then some by the news that a live action Star Blazers film was in development. Sure, it’s probably about as likely to come to fruition this century as Kevin Federline is to get his GED, but what do you know anyway? In the meantime I’ll happily make do with […]

"Squirrel Boy": TV to Hibernate to

One might question the creativity of the mastermind of a show called Duckman, but since many iconic and complex characters such Batman, Spider-man, and Hamlet-man share the same nomenclature I’m inclined to give the benefit of the doubt. However, when that person’s next magnum opus turns out to be Squirrel Boy, well, one begins to […]

"He-Man Season 2 Volume 1": Trying to Keep the Skeletal Man Down

Filmation’s He-Man occupies a confounding place in the pantheon of American television animation. Its tremendous success gave birth to a wondrous new era of syndicated cartoon programming while simultaneously ushering in an undertone of crass commercialism. However one may regard He-Man‘s standing today, the premiere season was clearly an unstoppable phenomenon. Season 2 Volume 1 […]

"Aeon Flux": Unanimated Action

Surely there are few television series trickier to mold into a PG-13 film than MTV’s cult animated hit Aeon Flux. Full of over the top violence and sexuality and with no coherent plot in sight, animator Peter Chung’s franchise doubtlessly presented the filmmakers with a daunting challenge. The live action Aeon Flux is a mildly […]

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